When Peter Caton set out to walk the Essex coast he had no idea of the beauty, wildlife and stories that he would find on the way. He takes the reader up and down the many creeks and estuaries of the longest coastline of any English county, through nature reserves, seaside resorts, unspoilt villages, sailing centres and alongside industry past and present. On the way we read of tales of witchcraft, ghosts, smuggling, bigamy and incest. We learn of the county’s varied history - stories of battles with Vikings, of invading Romans bringing elephants, a fort where the only casualty occurred in a cricket match, burning Zeppelins and of Jack the Ripper.
Whilst a narrative, not a guidebook, Essex Coast Walk contains a wealth of information, including many little-known facts and stories. With gentle humour to match the coastline’s gentle beauty, and illustrated with photographs and maps, the book makes for easy reading.
It tells of the solitude of the most remote coastal areas in England and of the huge range of wildlife to be found here. In contrast we read of the docks and industry of the Thames, but find that even here there is beauty for those willing to look.
The book highlights how climate change may alter our coast and looks at new methods of coping with rising sea levels. It tells us how tiny settlements grew into large holiday resorts and how other villages have remained as unspoilt and isolated communities.
The author’s thought provoking final reflections consider how the coast has changed over the centuries and what its future may be.
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Peter Caton's first book, Essex Coast Walk, was published in June 2009. This describes a series of walks along the full length of the Essex coast, with much information on the people, places, history and wildlife encountered on the way. The book was reprinted in November 2009 and continues to sell steadily. A narrative not a guide book, Essex Coast Walk is an easy read, with gentle humour to match the coastline's gentle beauty, and has been appreciated both by people with an interest in the county and by those who just enjoy a good interesting read.
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