Skip content
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch
Walking the Bones of Britain by Christopher Somerville
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account
Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Walking the Bones of Britain

A 3 Billion Year Journey from the Outer Hebrides to the Thames Estuary

$15.15

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Christopher Somerville

This audiobook uses AI narration.

We’re taking steps to make sure AI narration is transparent.

Learn more
Length 12 hours 5 minutes
Language English
  Send as gift   Add to Wish List

Almost ready!

In order to save audiobooks to your Wish List you must be signed in to your account.

      Log in       Create account

Brought to you by Penguin.

Travelling a thousand miles and across three billion years, Christopher Somerville (walking correspondent of The Times and author of Coast, The January Man and Ships of Heaven) sets out to interrogate the land beneath our feet, and how it has affected every aspect of human history from farming to house construction, the Industrial Revolution to the current climate crisis.

In his thousand-mile journey, Somerville follows the story of Britain's unique geology, travelling from the three billion year old rocks of the Isle of Lewis, formed when the world was still molten, down the map south eastwards across bogs, over peaks and past quarry pits to the furthest corner of Essex where new land is being formed by nature and man.

Demystifying the sometimes daunting technicalities of geology with humour and a characteristic lightness of touch, Somerville's book tells a story of humanity's reckless exploitation and a lemming-like surge towards self-annihilation but also shows seeds of hope as we learn how we might work with geology to avert a climate catastrophe.

It cannot fail to change the way you see the world beyond your door.

©2023 Christopher Somerville (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Christopher Somerville is the walking correspondent of The Times. He is one of Britain’s most respected and prolific travel writers, with forty-two books, hundreds of newspaper articles and many TV and radio appearances to his name.
He lives in Bristol.

Christopher Somerville is the walking correspondent of The Times. He is one of Britain’s most respected and prolific travel writers, with forty-two books, hundreds of newspaper articles and many TV and radio appearances to his name.
He lives in Bristol.

Phone showing make the switch message

Limited-time offer

Get two free audiobooks when you make the switch!

Now’s a great time to shop indie. When you start a new membership supporting local bookstores with promo code SWITCH, we’ll give you two bonus audiobook credits at sign-up.

Make the switch
Libro.fm app with gift bow

Gift audiobook credit bundles

You pick the number of credits, your recipient picks the audiobooks, and your local bookstore is supported by your purchase.

Start gifting

Reviews

Walking the Bones of Britain demystifies our daunting geology on a nine-month journey laced with humour and history. [Somerville's] infectious enthusiasm and wry humour infuse his journey from the Isle of Lewis to southern England, revealing our rich geological history with vibrant local and natural history. An ideal gift for any walking enthusiast who wants to know more.

Rambling alongside the tirelessly energetic Christopher Somerville from the comfort of my armchair is a joy.
In Walking the Bones Someville is the perfect travelling companion. Knowledgeable and observant, he picks up the stories of the paths he walks along in much the same way as he illuminates the stones which are under his feet, holding them up for us to see, and then returning them to the path, for the next curious traveller to find. A meticulous exploration of the ground beneath our feet. Glorious."

For someone who hated geology lessons at school, barely able to stay awake during discussions of laminated rhyolites and tuffaceous breccias, Christopher Somerville has made up for this with aplomb and vivid readability. To have tramped more than 1,000 miles from the sea stacks of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, where in fiery days gone by more than 3,000 million years ago the landscape was literally set in stone, and reach the silty clay of Wallasea Island in Essex is a remarkable achievement. By focusing on the best bits of geological interest along the way such as Arthur's Seat in once volcanic Edinburgh, the sandstone crags of the Pennine Way and the chalky Chilterns, he provides an illuminating new take on the British landscape. Encounters, warm humour, history and plenty of geology (Carboniferous periods, Permian periods, Zechstein Seas, no less) carry you down the winding tracks. Expand reviews
Get two free audiobooks AND support local bookstores Make the switch