Friday, 3 May 2013

A bank holiday book giveaway!

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you'll know that I love a good walk, and the rest of the family reluctantly keenly enjoy walking with me! Joking aside, even though there may be grumbles at first, once they're out of the house the kids enjoy it. Of course I can go on and on at them about why we need to save the planet, but I'm sure that getting out there and experiencing its beauty for themselves will do more to inspire them than all of my droning.

For my recent birthday I was really pleased to get a replacement copy of Kiddiwalks in Wiltshire. This is one of a series of walking guides aimed at families produced by Countryside Books, covering various counties in England. Our original copy went walk about itself, and it's been missed ever since so I was very happy to receive another. Having completed about a quarter of the twenty walks in the book, there were still plenty waiting to be discovered.

Part of the success of the walks is that they all have to pass the Kiddiwalks 'S' test: 

Simple - circular routes that aren't too hilly and some of which are suitable for buggies.

Short - all the walks are between 1.5 and 3 miles.

Stimulating - Plenty of variety and points of interest, places to play and open spaces.

Stops - Each walk features somewhere to stop for a refreshment - this could be somewhere for a picnic, a cafe or family-friendly pub.

We can vouch for all those criteria as we've enjoyed some of the walks so much that we've done them more than once. Several friends have been taken to see the grave of the first person in Britain to be eaten by a tiger, in Malmesbury! As if that isn't excitement enough, the grave is but a few metres from a stained glass window in Malmesbury Abbey devoted to Elmer the Flying Monk.

Another of our favourite walks is one which leads the walker to Brown's Folly near Bath. And our monthly walk up the By Brook valley, which I've been chronicling on the blog, is also taken from this book. We're not native Moonrakers so the walks have helped foster a connection to and love for this area of the country - an area we didn't really know before moving here.

The Kiddiwalks Wiltshire book is well written and clearly laid out with easy-to-follow maps and descriptions, as well as lots of information about the history and wildlife you are likely to encounter. Although they're aimed at families, you'd still gain a lot from the books even if you don't have kids. With a map of the local area, you could easily work out how to extend the routes to give you a longer walk if you wanted. 

We've been to see this White Horse at Westbury many times,
but are hoping to see another of Wiltshire's chalk horses this weekend.

We're planning an afternoon out this weekend with extended family, based on one of the walks that we haven't done yet and which is further afield from us in Wiltshire and I'm certain that the five out of the seven people in the group who are over 39 will enjoy the walk as much as the under 13s! With free parking, a picnic and no admission fees, this will make for a frugal bank holiday outing, even if you take the cost of the book (£7.99 with a 20% online discount) into account.

The books are all available from Countryside Books and the really good news is that they have kindly agreed to provide a Kiddiwalks book free to one of you lucky readers! All you need to do is to visit their website (click here or on the link above) and decide which Kiddiwalks county you would like your book to cover. (Countryside Books do lots of other books, not just walking guides, so the website is well worth a visit). There are too many Kiddiwalks books to list here, but they cover North, South, East and West. And London! (But not the far, far South West - Devon and Cornwall are notable omissions in the series). You might like the book that covers your home county or one that you can use on holiday. The choice is yours! Once you have made up your mind then leave a comment by 7pm BST, Monday 6 May on this blog post or on the Everyday Life On A Shoestring Facebook page, specifying which book you would like, and I will draw a winner at random. 

Please note that I approached Countryside Books for this giveaway and they generously co-operated, not the other way round (so let's make sure there are lots of comments folks!) I was going to write about the books anyway as I think they offer such good value and such good material! 

Many thanks to Jackie at Countryside Books!

Good luck!


  1. Well that's a bit of a pain being that I am currently living in Devon!! Failing Devon I'd probably go for London or Kent. I love books that point out things you might not otherwise come across, especially somewhere like London where everyone goes to see the obvious!

    1. Sorry you weren't lucky this time Claire. They do lots of Devon walking guides, just not the Kiddiwalks one!

  2. That sounds like a fantastic book. I haven't seen anything similar over here although I have seen a lot of hike/walk books. I want pictures of some of the highlights from your next walk.
    A flying monk?

    1. Legend has it that he was trying to emulate Daedalus, attached wings to his arms and legs, and flew about 200 metres before landing!

  3. Hi the books sound great, we'll definitely buy one for any region we are planning to go on holiday to. However too start off we'd love a copy of the London book, our home town. We are always happy to discover new places here, especailly those off the beaten track. Thank you.

  4. These look really good we're always looking for new shortish walks to take our dogs on so I would be looking at the Oxfordshire book please. Thanks Fran

    1. Hi Fran - you were the lucky winner! Please email me your contact details so that I can forward them to Countryside books. Thanks!

  5. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention I live in Westbury and enjoy a nice walk but with 3 children a 3 mile walk is about all they can manage before the moaning starts lol. I am off to green metropolis to see if I can find a copy.
    Much Love
    Claire from frugal living xx xx xx

    1. Hi Claire, Sorry you missed the give away. Lots of the walks in the book are well under 3 miles but still quite a satisfying walk. Of course there's a Westbury White Horse walk in the book - I guess you don't need the book for that one!