Thursday 9 June 2016

Review: At Night: A Journey Round Britain from Dusk Till Dawn

At Night: A Journey Round Britain from Dusk Till Dawn At Night: A Journey Round Britain from Dusk Till Dawn by Dixe Wills
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is an alternative side to Britain, a side only revealed, though that is probably the wrong word, at night. Familiar landscapes become eerie and disorientating, but also calmer and quieter. Animals and people not normally seen during the day emerge. Other senses are enhanced and you become more aware of the smells and sounds around you. With your sight diminished, it takes a while to adjust to the dark, but on a moonlit night you can still see well.

In this quirky, delightful book, Wills goes looking for Britain at night. He joins in with an overnight bike ride, cycling from London to Dunwich. His regular bike was stolen, so he is on a spare bike and it isn’t quite roadworthy. He travels on the overnight sleeper train from Scotland to London and spend a night on the island of Skomer watching out for Manx shearwaters. The legend says that a night spent on Cadair Idris will turn you mad or into a poet, so Wills has to give that a go. He lives in London, and one of his jaunts was spending time wandering around the same streets that Dickens trod, revealing a whole new aspect of the city to him.

Like his other books, this is a really enjoyable read. He has a knack of choosing subjects that are rarely touched on by other writers, and by exploring the various aspects of the country at night he has found another niche. There are tips on moving safely at night too, as he wants us, the readers, to venture into the night in the same way that he did. Worth a read, and I am looking forward to his next book.

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