I have to make the disclosure that the book I am about to recommend is written by a friend of mine but that shouldn't make any difference: Jack Thurston is the presenter of the Bike Show on Resonance FM (104.4 in the UK) so he knows a thing or two about bikes. He's even been interviewed by my favourite blogger, BikeSnob NYC - what higher accolade is there in the biking world?
Lost Lanes is a collection of original cycle routes around London and the south of England with lovely photos (if only the weather was that good all the time) and interesting and engaging descriptions of the routes, together with recommendations for pit-stops (both for the bike and the stomach). The routes are grouped into different categories: for kids, for gourmets, for history, for hills etc, so it covers pretty much all the bases. Oh, and this being the year 2013, the book comes with downloadable tracks you can store on your GPS devices to ensure you don't get lost.
It has to be said that a lot of books of this type have been written but I can't say I have ever seen one in which so much thought and care has been put into the selection of the routes themselves. The descriptions really make them come out of the page and have even got me thinking about organizing a family holiday around them some time in the future. There is one route that I am particularly interested in trying - although probably running as part of training for a Marathon - which goes alongside the Regent's Canal, along the Greenway, through the Docklands and past the Millenium Dome.
You can preview the first pages of the book here.