Wild France

By: Douglas Botting

£12.50

Out of stock

A Traveller’s Guide

From the subtle joys of lowland meadows or the tranquillity of the meandering Loire to the wave-lashed Atlantic coast or the high mountains shaped by millennia of glacial activity, France offers an impressive list of wild places. This book selects the best and conveys with enthusiasm, region by region, the natural charm of the French countryside.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • DETAILS

    DETAILS

  • DESCRIPTION

    DESCRIPTION

  • REVIEWS

    REVIEWS

  • CONTENTS

    CONTENTS

  • AUTHOR

    AUTHOR

  • PREVIEW

    PREVIEW

  • WILD SERIES

    WILD SERIES

  • DETAILS

    • RRP: £12.50
    • ISBN: 978-1-873329-33-7
    • Format: 210 x 149 mm
    • Pictures: 50 colour, 45 b/w
    • Binding: Paperback
    • Extent: 224 pages
    • Maps: 8 colour, 18 b/w
    • Rights: All available except UK and US
    • Edition: 3rd
  • DESCRIPTION

    A Traveller’s Guide

    The romance of France lies deep in the hearts of travellers from Britain. Normandy, Provence, the Loire and the Camargue – such names have an instant magic, and all are represented, along with over 50 other exploration zones, in Wild France, a comprehensive guide to the country’s most out-of-the-way places.

    ‘Friends smiled knowingly when I told them I was off to explore the wild side of North-East France,’ recalls one contributor; ‘they had visions of me whiling away the small hours in the night-spots of deepest Pigalle. When I explained that my task was to explore other forms of wildness, they looked blank. They doubted whether the area had anything in the way of natural wonders to discover.’ But discover some he did.

    If it’s wilderness you’re after, this book will winkle it out. It covers every region of France, from the Alps to the Atlantic coast and from the Vosges to the Pyrenees, taking in the spectacular gorges of the Massif Central and the leafy forests of Burgundy, the Mediterranean coast and the island of Corsica. In the narrative text the contributors share their personal knowledge of each region, its topography, wildlife and scenic character.

    In the accompanying fact-packs they suggest walks, rides and drives, activities and places to stay. Every exploration zone is graded for its remoteness and wilderness value. In this edition the entire text has been reset to include new hotels and itineraries, new train and bus information. E-mail addresses and web-site details have also been included to bring this established guide-book fully up to date.

  • REVIEWS

    ‘For those seeking quiet corners and the most unspoiled places of France this book is a must – an essential companion.’
    France

    ‘The handsomely illustrated book offers useful information for nature lovers, with a guide to plants and animals and where they can be found.’
    The Independent

    ‘Well written and a vital addition to the traveller’s library.’
    TNT

  • CONTENTS

    About the Series

    WILD FRANCE: AN INTRODUCTION
    Map of France showing Chapter Areas

    THE KEY TO FRANCE’S WILD PLACES
    Wild Habitats
    Protected Areas and Nature Conservation
    Exploring Wild France
    Rules of the Wild
    To the Reader

    CHAPTER 1: BRITTANY AND NORMANDY
    Forêt de Brotonne & Marais Vernier
    Parc Régional Normandie-Maine
    Baie du Mont St-Michel
    Côte d’Emeraude & Côte de Granit Rose
    Monts d’Arrée
    Iles d’Ouessant
    Presqu’île de Crozon
    Côte de Cornouaille & Côte Sauvage
    Forêt de Paimpont
    La Brière

    CHAPTER 2: THE NORTH-EAST
    Côte d’Opale & Baie de la Somme
    Plaine de la Scarpe et de l’Escaut
    Forêt de Compiègne & Forêt de Laigue
    Champagne
    Parc Régional de Lorraine
    Massif des Vosges
    Vosges du Nord

    CHAPTER 3: THE ALPS
    Alpes de Provence
    Massif du Mercantour
    Massif du Queyras
    Massif des Ecrins
    Massif du Vercors
    Massif de la Chartreuse
    Massif de la Vanoise
    Haut-Jura

    CHAPTER 4: CENTRAL FRANCE
    Les Volcans d’Auvergne
    Livradois-Forez
    Parc Regional du Pilat
    Les Cévennes
    Plateau de Millevaches
    Dordogne
    Armagnac
    Haut-Languedoc

    CHAPTER 5: THE LOIRE AND BURGUNDY
    Sologne
    Forêt d’Orléans
    Morvan
    Forêt de Troncais
    Forêt de Fontainebleau
    Haute-Vallée de Chevreuse

    CHAPTER 6: THE PYRENEES
    Pays Basque
    Béarn
    Bigorre
    Comminges
    Ariège
    Andorra
    Cerdagne & Capcir
    Conflent & Vallespir

    CHAPTER 7: THE ATLANTIC COAST
    Lac de Grand-Lieu
    Marais d’Olonne
    Marais Poitevin
    Forêt de Mervent-Vouvant
    Forêt de Chizé
    Etang de Cousseau
    Landes de Gascogne
    Courant d’Huchet
    Etang Noir

    CHAPTER 8: THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN AND CORSICA
    Massif des Maures & Plaine des Maures
    Presqu’île de Giens & Iles d’Hyères
    Massif de l’Esterel & Lac de St-Cassien
    Gorges du Verdon
    Montagne du Cheiron
    Massif de la Ste-Baume & Montagne Ste-Victoire
    Corsica

    CHAPTER 9: THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN
    La Camargue
    La Crau
    Les Alpilles
    Les Etangs du Littoral
    Roussillon

    Glossary

    Useful Addresses

    Index

  • AUTHOR

    Douglas Botting was born in London and educated at Oxford. He is a writer and photographer who has travelled on numerous scientific and filming expeditions to wildernesses around the world. He has made three journeys through the Amazon basin, once as official photographer for the Royal Geographical Society Expedition to the Mato Grosso. He has journeyed across East Africa in a balloon to observe and photograph the great game herds, and led two expeditions to the little-known Arabian island of Socotra. He was one of the first Westerners in modern times to venture across Arctic Siberia and, as a member of the European Conservation Project Operation Seashore, he circumnavigated the 6,000-mile coast of the British mainland twice on assignment for the BBC and The Times.

    Douglas Botting has made many documentary films for television, including the BBC World About Us series, and has worked on assignments for Time-Life, The Geographical Magazine and national newspapers. His books include works of reportage and travel, amongst them One Chilly Siberian Morning, Wilderness Europe and Rio de Janeiro, as well as biographies of the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt, the naturalist Gavin Maxwell, author of Ring of Bright Water, and Gerald Durrell, the conservationist and author of My Family and Other Animals. He has also written several books on the history of the Second World War.

  • PREVIEW

    MONTS D’ARRÉE

    The wildlife is rich and varied. Buzzards, woodpeckers, jays and other common birds live in the forest. Salmon and otters revel in the clean waters of the rivers, and beavers have been reintroduced.

    This ancient wood naturally has its own legends. Dahud, the daughter of a 6th-century Breton king called Gradlon, was in the habit of throwing her lovers off a rock near Huelgoat. King Arthur is supposed to have slept in a cave somewhere in the forest. And there is a Gallo-Roman hill-fort, which, inevitably, has come to be called Le Camp d’Artus (‘Arthur’s Camp’) – although its links with the legend are tenuous at best.

    MASSIF DES ECRINS

    The first and only person I saw the day I climbed the mountains of the Ecrins was a lean, grey-haired man in his fifties. Nothing unusual about this, but his outfit was odd: swimming trunks and a short-sleeved pullover, which seemed superfluous on such a hot day. He stopped and chatted amiably to me.

    He was clearly a true lover of nature, for he lived in a cabin in a remote spot 8 km (5 miles) from the nearest village. At this altitude (1,600 m/5,250 ft), the snow would lie waist-high at his cabin door during winter, so he would retreat to another cabin further down the mountain until the spring. Neither of his two homes had electricity or a telephone, and gas lamps and wood fires were his only sources of light and heat. I couldn’t help feeling I’d run into the modern French equivalent of Henry David Thoreau, who, despairing of progress, retreated into the woods to find inspiration for his writing. When we parted, he wished me a ‘bonne promenade’; I wished him a ‘bonne vie’, thinking to myself somewhat enviously that he already had precisely that.

  • WILD SERIES

    This major series covers a subject that has never been fully treated in guide-book form: the great outdoors, the wild places far from home and work, the long walks, mountain fastnesses, woods, moors, sea coasts and remote islands where travellers can still find a refuge from the modern world.

    These are literary books written for the armchair traveller by established travel writers. They are passionately committed to conservation, deeply imbued with a sense of place and illustrated with spacious colour photographs of landscapes and views.

    They are also practical books with all the detailed travel information you will need to visit places that catch your imagination. Each exploration zone is graded according to its wildness and level of difficulty and is accompanied by its own fact-pack of hard-working guide-book text on where to go, where to stay, what to do and what to avoid, with lists of further reading and specially drawn maps in colour and black and white.

    In the country you are surrounded by rocks, plants and animals, so the books carry attractive line drawings and knowledgeable descriptions of the natural world designed to satisfy your interest as it grows.