Frontier Travel writing

Collage of photos of horse,saddle and road from Eye on the Hill: Horse Travels in Britain

Eye on the Hill:
Horse Travels in Britain ~ 2018 Illustrated Edition of 1977 Journey

Eye on the Hill - Horse Travels in Britain
Richard Barnes
216 pp. illus, 100+ photos, some in colour H/b.
ISBN: 978-1-872914-50-3. £19.77

The new edition of Eye on the Hill – Horse Travels in Britain is made possible by advances in print technology. It has over a hundred photos arranged in the text, some full page (larger than previous editions) and a few in colour. Showing horse and rider, the view from the saddle, and the roads travelled on, they add an atmosphere of Time-travel, and offer an unusual view of Britain. The text has also been reset, corrected, and enhanced with one or two additions, most notably a three page response to Rural Rides, (1830) by William Cobbett, 'the great contrarian'. But the writing has not been brought up to date and remains very much a story of 1977 revisited. The changes to come, which would affect any such journey made today, arrived later with mobile phones and wi-fi. Now there are more motors, no smithies and far fewer country pubs. The book ends with the reflection that Britain's roads will be open to a horse and rider forever.

"" One of the most captivating books in modern equestrian literature. It is poetry set to the sound of a horse's gentle clip-clop. It is a tale of the gradual uncovering of the secrets of back-country Britain. It is a sweeping away of pedestrian restraint. It is magical music sung to the tune of the lark singing and the saddle creaking on a warm summer's day. Amply illustrated with stunning photographs taken by the author during his journey, Eye on the Hill is part prophecy, part travelogue, and always engaging".
—The Longriders Guild 2004

" A beautifully written gentle story of one man and one horse as they travel through a Britain on the edge of change. It is a story of characters – the character of the horse, the man, the people, and above all, the country".
—Horse Magazine July 2006

>" I wonder how many of us have wanted to ride a horse around Britain, at some time or another, but found excuses why not….The journey's rhythm beats at 19 miles a day, the book is a genuine read of the moments known by every horse traveller, and having enjoyed reading it, I hope it inspires the next generation".
—Christina Dodwell 2005, explorer, Longrider and author of A Traveller on Horseback in Eastern Turkey and Iran, and other books

" Although he was not aware of it at the time, it was a journey in a sequence that, in a sense was as historic as that of some of his illustrious predecessors like William Cobbett and George Borrow who travelled on a similar journey and saw the countryside from the back of a horse. I enjoyed reading Richard Barnes's book and I believe it will get the same response from those readers who may have the quiet satisfaction of sharing another man's description of our countryside".
— George Ewart Evans (1909–1988) oral historian and author of The Horse in the Furrow, Horse Power and Magic and several other titles

"Books like this should be banned. They give the deskbound among us feelings of wanderlust that we can't fulfil. Richard Barnes set off on a remarkable journey with his horse, covering 1500 miles through thirty counties. This is an eminently readable account of that journey describing the route as it could only be seen from the back of a horse. And it reveals a good deal of the somewhat romantic and idealistic character of the author through his snippets of homespun philosophy, pungent political, social and religious comments and some intriguing snatches of history and archaeology".
—D. Paull, Eastern Daily Press

" Personal Experiences are well mixed with history and comment on the rural scene - a relaxed easy book, a welcome breath of simple sanity in a mad world".
—BBC Radio Cumbria