The lost paths

Jack Cornish


In stock

Hundreds of thousands of miles of paths reach into, and connect, communities across England and Wales. By 2026, 10,000 miles of undiscovered footpaths around Britain stand to be lost. Jack Cornish has dedicated the last five years of his life to walking these forgotten routes, and this book is the result. It is Jack Cornish’s hope that ‘The Lost Paths’ will show just how special these forgotten rights of way are, and how embedded each path is in the history of Britain. Footpaths, tracks, country lanes and urban streets illuminate how our ancestors interacted with and shaped their landscapes in the pursuit of commerce, salvation, escape, war, and leisure.

ISBN: 9781405951289 Category:


Discover the rich history of Britain’s millennia-old network of pathways, and it will be impossible to take an unremarkable walk again . . .

‘A nostalgic amble through the history of travel in England and Wales, and an examination of the routes that make up our modern path network. Jack Cornish interlaces titbits of travel, history, personal reflection and anecdote’ The Times

‘Marvellous. Cornish is the ideal companion on the road: interested in everything, learned, acute, and a splendid story-teller’ Charles Foster, author of Being a Beast

A rallying cry to reclaim lost routes and preserve this precious resource for future generations’ Walk Magazine

Hundreds of thousands of miles of paths reach into – and connect – communities across England and Wales. More than just a practical way for us to walk, ride and cycle, they are an inheritance from our past, revealing how our ancestors interacted with and shaped their surroundings. From Iron Age footsteps to Anglo-Saxon mercenary trails, through Railway Age tracks and Home Army defences, our land reveals a hidden history of us.

But thousands of miles are still missing from our maps, and they will be lost forever unless they are urgently reclaimed. Fighting for these paths’ survival through his work with the Ramblers Association, Jack Cornish has spent years walking and recording these forgotten routes – those that have been lost, those that have been saved and those which remain hidden in plain sight.

The Lost Paths is a history of the people who have used, and in some cases created, these walkways:

  • The drovers who herded their sheep and cattle to market
  • The wanderers who travelled between workhouses, seeking shelter and subsistence
  • The miners who ventured deep underground along the Cornish coast
  • The wartime heroes who built up Britain’s defensive infrastructure

This incredible ‘ordinary’ history of the land beneath our feet reminds us just how precious these paths are, and have been, to the human story of this island. This is a celebration of an ancient network and a rallying cry to reclaim what has been lost and preserve it for future generations.

Additional information

Weight 0.514 kg
Dimensions 22.2 × 14.4 × 3.6 cm






viii, 388




914.2 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

Join our Mailing List

Sign up to the Jaffé & Neale newsletters to receive updates on forthcoming titles we’re excited about, book club information and book signing events at the store.