Books, useful websites, places to eat and drink – all can be found here!

Books I use for identification/information:


  • Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Birds of Britain

This is a really old book, mine was published in 1981 and some of the pages are illegible and stuck together because it got wet when the roof leaked!  But it’s still useful with lots of interesting info and good illustrations.

  • RSPB Handbook of British Birds (third edition) by Peter Holden and Tim Cleeves.

Detailed ‘biographies’ of 272 of the commonest birds in Britain and Ireland plus short descriptions of 24 rarer species sometimes seen in Britain. Good, clear illustrations and non-technical language.

  • A Conspiracy of Ravens – A Compendium of Collective Nouns for Birds.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcuts by Thomas Bewick, a pretty little book – a good present for bird lovers.


  • Reader’s Digest Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of Britain

Again an old book, companion to the Reader’s Digest bird book above.  This one didn’t get so wet!  Useful guide on identification using colours and numbers of petals.

  • Wild Flowers  –  a Collins gem pocket book.

Small, handy guide with 240 British and Irish wild flowers.  Photographs and illustrations to help with identification.

  • Wild Flowers of Britain and Europe by W Lippert and D Podlech

In full colour – a guide to over 350 species of wild flowers.  Nicely arranged by colour of the flower which is really useful in trying to track down the right plant.  Good photographs and helpful botanical information.  Also – it has a little ruler on the inside cover so when you find a flower you can measure it – which is good for trying to decide which flower it is you’ve seen!


  • Bloomsbury Pocket Guide to Insects by Bob Gibbons

Good colour photographs and information about 240 of the most common British insects.

Books about walking:

Useful websites:

Flower identification:

part of the Zooniverse project, Orchid Observers aims to find out whether and how climate change is affecting the UKs orchids.  You can upload photographs of orchids you’ve seen along with location, but there are also good photographs and information for identification purposes.  You need to register to access the site but there’s no charge and you don’t get loads of emails from them – just a newsletter every now and then.

Festivals and events:

must watch BBC2 programme – catch up on iplayer!

everything you could possibly want to know about the sea shanty festival!

Places to eat and drink:


A pub (freehouse) with a bookshop in – turn up the lane opposite Marks and Spencer and go upstairs in the building directly ahead.  Cheap books, lots of room to sit and have a drink (take your own sandwiches or pasty though as they don’t serve any).

right on the beach – lovely cup of tea/coffee and serves freshly cooked food.


Right on the edge of the RSPB nature reserve in Lelant with amazing views over the estuary through ‘windows’ in the fence so the wildlife is undisturbed.  Sit inside or out.  Lovely for tea and cake and main meals too – cooked while you wait.  

Places to visit – including gardens and historic houses:


live music venue, theatre, cafe and lovely gardens

  • Queen Mary Gardens

Formal gardens directly behind Gyllingvase Beach

  • Swanpool Local Nature Reserve

one of the most important brackish lagoons in Britain.


National Trust property and gardens

General information:

  • Canal and River Trust

Charitable Trust caring for 2000 miles of waterways in England and Wales


Information to help you plan walks around any section of the south west coast path updated with route changes, seasonal walks, walks suitable for all ages and abilities, pub and teashop  walks, and short break ideas.

Graded walks with good clear instructions and interesting local information.  There’s an app associated with the website which you can download to your phone and use, instead of printing off the route (as long as your phone doesn’t run out of battery!).  There are also maps on the website but you can’t print them so you really need OS maps as well.

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