In this journey of discovery, John Micklewright travels the slow way, on foot, on paths, tracks and byways from the Channel to the Alps – from the coast of Normandy to the flanks of Mont Blanc.
The Opening Country is a beautifully written account of his progress through the French countryside, an evocative patchwork of landscape, nature, history, literature, film, and – drawing on his father’s diaries that stretch back to the 1930s – of memoir.
Always curious, absorbing all around him, ready on a whim to divert from his chosen route as he heads unhurriedly southwards. The natural world unfolds as spring turns to summer with surprises of bird song and butterflies, against a constant background of reminders of the economic and social story of rural France and of wars past. The result is an engrossing record of a classic long-distance walk through Britain’s nearest continental neighbour.
The Opening Country is a book to fire the imagination – a call to travel slowly, to open eyes and ears, to discover and explore.