Hidden Histories:
A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape

"This book is perfect for anyone who’s travelled through the countryside, scratched their head, and thought, ‘what on earth is that thing?’"
Tony Robinson

"I’ve spent over forty years wandering the British countryside, & only just found out I’ve been doing it with my eyes shut!"
Steve Backshall

“This fascinating spotter’s guide to Britain’s historical landscape – what to see and how to decipher it – is rammed with intriguing nuggets..."

The Sunday Times

Ever looked at a field, and wondered what the lumps and bumps are?

Or stared at a church and puzzled over how old it is?

Do you want to hunt for dolmens, reaves and tumuli?


Wherever you go in Britain there’s history woven into the landscape around you – in the shape of a field, the wall of a cottage, a standing stone or churchyard, even in the grass under your feet…

And there are literally thousands of sites scattered across the country that don’t have tickets and tour guides, but are waiting to reveal their secrets.


My new book is your guide to that landscape! 

It arms the explorer with the crucial information needed to ‘read’ the landscape and spot the human activities that have shaped our green and pleasant land.


Photographs & diagrams point out specific details and typical examples to help you understand what you’re looking at, or looking for. From hedgerows to corpse roads, from the Highlands to the Sussex Weald, the British Landscape is yours to explore.

Prof Francis Pryor (author of The Making of the British Landscape, Britain BC and Britain AD) says:
A friendly and well-written introduction to the hidden riches of the British landscape, with clear explanations and excellent illustrations. Use it as a handy guide, when out-and-about, or read it from cover to cover at home. Either way, it’s an excellent and authoritative read.

Neil Oliver says:
"What a brilliant idea - I only wish I'd thought of it first! This fine tome is the perfect companion for a good old walk in the wilds. Fantastically thorough. And so much detail and careful thought, ideal for all - whether specialist or general enthusiast. I'm loving it and learning from it. First class!"

Countryfile Magazine chose it as one of this year's Top Winter Reads:
"With seemingly everything covered from Neolithic hummocks to Gothic parapet spires, its scope is as magnificent as our countryside itself."

Talks, Walks & more...
Hidden Histories events

Join me on a journey through Britain’s historic landscape. What clues should you look for to puzzle out the origins of a village, or the age of a hedgerow? What are the secrets hidden in tumuli, chambered tombs and churchyards? A must for all landscape detectives!

Upcoming dates:
Thursday 20th April  - 6.30pm
Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape TALK
Stanford's Travel Bookshop, London

What archaeological and historical features can you spot in the landscape around you? What stories do they reveal? Discover the secret history hidden in your map, in the shape of a wall, the window of a cottage or even the grass under your feet. From lumps and bumps to Roman roads, this talk will be packed full of tips for the would-be landscape detective.
Tickets £4, redeemable against the purchase of a book
Book tickets now
Sunday 30th April 2017 - 11am
Making the British Landscape: in Conversation with Nicholas Crane
Chipping Norton Literary Festival

We explore the history visible in the landscape around us - and discover some of the ways Britain's countryside tells our history and shapes our modern lives. A mustn't miss event, with two fab books that explore the same fascinating countryside in very different ways.
Book tickets now

Thursday 11th May 2017 - 6.30pm
Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape TALK
Stanford's Travel Bookshop, Bristol
part of the Bristol Walking Festival
What archaeological and historical features can you spot in the landscape around you? What stories do they reveal? Discover the secret history hidden in your map, in the shape of a wall, the window of a cottage or even the grass under your feet. From lumps and bumps to Roman roads, this talk will be packed full of tips for the would-be landscape detective.
Tickets £4, redeemable against the purchase of a book
Book tickets now
Saturday 13th May 2017 - 5.30-8pm
'Layers of History' Launch Event
Heritage Lincolnshire, The Collection, Lincoln

Discover Lincolnshire’s layers of history with Heritage Lincolnshire's CEO Liz Bates, TV presenter and author Mary-Ann Ochota, archaeological finds expert Dr. Adam Daubney, landscape consultant and photographer Steffie Shields and Heritage Lincolnshire’s Layers of History team. Books and booze on sale!


Book tickets now

Wednesday 17th May 2017 - 7pm TALK

Thursday 18th May 2017 - 2pm Badbury Rings WALK
Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape
Wimbourne Literary Festival

Discover the exceptional history hidden in the ancient landscapes of Britain's southwest. Find out what clues to look for, and what it's all telling you. From cottages, to ancient trees, and tumuli to turnpikes, they've all got secret histories to reveal.

Then join me the following day for a guided walk around the Iron Age hillfort Badbury Rings and the surrounding landscapes.

More Info
Wednesday 7th June 
Hidden Histories: A Spotter's Guide to the British Landscape TALK
Northwich Literary Festival

What archaeological and historical features can you spot in the landscape around you? What stories do they reveal? Discover the secret history hidden in your map, in the shape of a wall, the window of a cottage or even the grass under your feet. From lumps and bumps to Roman roads, this talk will be packed full of tips for the would-be landscape detective.

More info