Essential Books for the Armchair Adventurer

Compiling your bucket list of adventures from the comfort of your squishy sofa.

Winter evenings are the perfect time to dream. A cosy fire, a nice glass of vino and a good book. What could be better! But, just in case you feel bad for not battling the gale force winds, with icicles hanging from your nose, your fingers and toes frozen solid, we have a plan. In the likelihood that you are concerned that you might not maintain your reputation as a bit of an adventurer, we have compiled a list of the very best books to inspire your next big adventure (when the weather is better).

Planning for all those adventures in the future, in the warmth of your own home can be just as much fun as doing them.  Well, maybe that is going a bit far, but all inspirational dreams begin as small ideas.  Here are some books full of inspiration to fuel the fire in your adventurer soul.

  1. Biking it : Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides Of the World

From pedalling in Patagonia and Mongolia, to sedate bicycle tracks in France and Spain, this book is full of first-hand cycling stories. Listing 200 accessible and fun bike rides, it is sure to inspire your next free-wheeling adventure. Each ride is illustrated with stunning photography and a map. All the practical details are included, such as where to start and finish, how to get there, where to stay and more. This book helps cyclists to plan their own trips, based on your own skillset and needs. Each piece shows how cycling is a fantastic way to get to know a place, a people and a culture.

  1. Hiking it: Ireland’s Best Walks by Helen Fairbarn.

A brilliant guide to over sixty rambles, hikes and climbs in this wonderful land. Featuring some of the best one-day walking routes in Ireland, this is a perfect guide for all levels of walkers. The hikes vary from short strolls to full-day treks and a full selection of maps, illustrations and information will help you to plan for, and complete, some amazing treks. Every part of the Republic and Northern Ireland is featured. From rugged peaks and chiselled ridge lines to towering sea cliffs and sheltered loughs. The routes take you past the country’s finest scenery. Many of the walks are hill-walks, with clear descriptions of the country’s classic mountain ascents. Even seasoned hill-walkers will find challenging outings in this book.

  1. Surfing it:  Grey Skies, Green Waves, a surfer’s journey around the UK and Ireland. Tom Anderson

This is not strictly a guide book but more of a biographical trip around the chilly coastlines on a surfing odyssey. But it makes perfect reading for the winter couch surfer who doesn’t fancy braving the wild weather outside and prefers to plan for sunnier days. An amusing and easy to read surfer book, which will go a long way to feeding those plans for summer fun and will add new surfing beaches to the bucket list.

  1. Paddling: Oilean- The Irish islands Guide for sea kayakers. Dave Walsh

Over 570 Irish islands are listed here. Plenty for you to fantasise about paddling around.  This is the second edition of the sea kayaking guidebook, which has a wealth of photos and vital tidal information. The essential information for kayakers or anyone in a small boat is here: landings, camping, drinking water and tidal information. Any wildlife to be found is detailed and on the islands that are or have been inhabited and there is fascinating information on their history and archaeology. The stories are engaging and are often told with a wry humour which makes them very readable. After reading this, you just might be tempted to put a toe in the water and head out to sea.

  1. Camping: Cool Camping Europe by Jonathan Knight

Imagine waking up to the dawn chorus in the Black Forest. Or sleeping in a yurt in the French countryside. This travel guide to over 100 of the best camping experiences in Europe will have you dreaming of hot showers and excellent camping facilities in the most awesome natural surroundings. Featuring twelve countries: Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland, there is much to choose from in this stunning guide to camping in Europe.

Books can transport you to other worlds. Books can help you dream. With adventure books, you can make plans to be truly transported and make your dreams a reality as you plan that next big adventure.