The best travel books for your camping holiday
"Reading makes immigrants of us all. It takes us away from home, but more importantly, it finds homes for us everywhere."
– Jean Rhys.Whether you’re a bookworm looking for good books to read, a camper needing inspiration and advice or a newbie trying to find a book right for you, this is the place to be.
Reading books is one of the greatest ways to learn new things, source inspiration for your next adventure, and escape to a place far away, all from the comfort of your home or pitch. Here you’ll find our top camping book recommendations, from new releases to timeless classics and even camping stories to keep the kids entertained.
- Travel guides
- Classic travel books
- New releases for 2023/24
- Inspiration for your next holiday
- Travel books for kids
Once you’ve got a rough idea of where you want to go, pick up a travel guide from your local bookstore or library on the location and get researching. Here, you’ll be able to find the best areas to stay, places to eat, and touristy things to see. You may even find a hidden gem or two. The great thing about having a travel guide on hand is that you can take it with you, so if your phone dies, you’ll still be able to navigate your way around a foreign place.
Here are some of the best travel guidebooks in the UK.
Rick Steves guidebooks
Rick Steves guidebooks rate, in order of importance, all the main sights in the area. They’re a great way to get an overview of the top things to do in your chosen destination and share insights into how to beat the crowds, skip the lines, and avoid tourist traps. These books also include a detailed map and routes so you won’t get lost on your adventures.
Lonely Planet guidebooks
Lonely Planet travel books have the ultimate mix of inspiration and information in their huge range of titles. Travellers in the UK might enjoy Lonely Planet's Ultimate UK Travelist, which details the top 500 experiences and attractions on offer.
Rough Guides travel books
For information on specific places in the UK, Rough Guides is a good place to look. You’ll find a guide to most places in the UK, but here are some links to our most popular destinations:
DK travel guides
Another popular stop for travel guides is DK. With a good range of books covering UK road trips and top destinations, we’ve cherry-picked a few to check out:
- DK Eyewitness Top 10 Scotland
- DK Eyewitness England’s South Coast
- DK Eyewitness Top 10 Lake District
Around the Coast in 80 Days: Your Guide to Britain's Best Coastal Towns, Beaches, Cliffs and Headlands, by Peter Naldrett
Those interested in exploring Britain’s coast should check this out. Whether you’re planning to explore the wild Scottish coast or more trendy areas like Brighton or just looking for inspiration, this is a great summary of our varied coastline.
The Beach by Alex Garland
This cult classic follows the story of Richard, a backpacker in Thailand. He follows a map promising a secret island, and when he finds what he’s been seeking, it’s more eye-opening, enjoyable, and frightening than he could ever have imagined. How long does paradise ever really last? Discover the answer in this enthralling novel.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
In this much-loved adventure novel, Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson narrates a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Follow the journey of Jim Hawkins as he follows a map to the fabled treasure. What he finds and who he faces along the way will spark your imagination.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Captain Ahab swore vengeance on a giant white whale that took his leg. Follow him on his crew on his mad and obsessive quest.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
A favourite of all generations, this classic by Jules Verne is a great read for all ages. The protagonist, Phileas Fogg, bets his friends that he can travel around the entire world in 80 days. Follow his journey as he attempts to do just that, passing through plenty of adventure on his way.
The Journey to the End of the World by Henning Mankell
Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson
Follow Bill Bryson and his well-known humour as he journeys from Hammerfest in Norway, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. With his brilliant observations on the culture and people in each place he visits, this offers a great escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Hebridean Journey: The Magic of Scotland's Outer Isles by Brigid Benson
Publish date: 06/10/2022
Discover the individual characteristics of each of the islands in the Outer Hebrides in this richly illustrated book. Learn about mysterious ancient monuments, fascinating wildlife and much more in this life affirming paperback.
The Hiking Book From Hell: My Reluctant Attempt to Learn to Love Nature by Are Kalvo
Field Notes: Walking the Territory by Maxim Peter Griffin
Riding Out: A Journey of Love, Loss and New Beginnings by Simon Parler
1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before by Patricia Schultz
Patricia Schultz has over 544 pages of the finest beauty and wonder of the world. From masked dancers in the Himalayas to majestic elephants grazing in a volcanic area in Tanzania, there’s so much inspiration. This would make a fantastic coffee table book and gift for any traveller.
Secret Gardens: of the National Trust by Claire Masset
Discover some of the most beautiful National Trust owned gardens in this photographic book, accompanied by fascinating text highlighting botanical and historical details. Lost gardens, delicate pixie houses and wonderful orchards are all beautifully displayed. This is the perfect book for planning your next UK camping trip! Read our round-up of the best gardens in the UK.
Scottish Bothy Walks: Scotland's 28 best bothy adventures by Geoff Allan
If you love exploring Scotland and are an avid walker, this book is for you. Offering a mix of day walks and routes spanning over several days, Geoff Allan takes you to his favourite bothies and highlights breath-taking landscapes along the way. This is a good book read for your next camping trip through Scotland.
One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter
Mike Carter spent five months cycling an incredible 5,000 miles around the entire British coastline and has documented his tale in this funny and inspiring book. Follow Mike on his journey to discover the kindness and generosity of people he met along the way. Read the stories of fellow travellers building a different type of future to the norm and all about the funny characters he met on his journey cycling around the nation.
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn
Follow the remarkable journey of Raynor and Moth, her terminally ill husband, as they impulsively decide to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. With limited funds and only the essentials for survival, this story tells the tale of home and how it can be built in unexpected ways.
Wherever You Go: A Guide to Mindful, Sustainable, and Life-Changing Travel by Daniel Houghton
Digging deep into how travel can be life-changing and transformative, former CEO of Lonely Planet, Daniel Houghton, has produced this guide which may just change the way you travel. This book covers how to be more mindful of your carbon footprint, other cultures and time spent with others. Read travel stories from Airbnb founder, Brian Chesky, former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama and many more who relay how travel has become more than just discovering new places.
The Art of Looking Up by Catherine McCormack
This is a book of fine art and a brilliant reminder that only ever looking in one direction will limit the amount of beauty you see in the world. Featuring 40 spectacular ceilings from around the world, you’ll be in awe of the skill and passion poured into some of the most stunning creations on this planet. You may recognise some of the images, including the Vatican Palace, Blenheim Palace and the Louvre.
Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
American author Cheryl Strayed memoirs her solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail just after her mum suddenly died from cancer. Her story is full of sadness, bravery and spirit.
The Famous Five by Enid Blyton
The adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog were first published in 1942 and have never been out of publication since. Follow the characters as they embark on thrilling adventures, exploring and uncovering plenty of secrets along the way. A great series to remind us all that a little courage and determination will help you to achieve fantastic things.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Given the plot of this dystopian classic, it’s one for older kids to enjoy. Lord of the Flies follows a group of schoolboys who are the only survivors of a plane crash on a desert island. The boys explore the island’s beautiful beaches and fascinating wildlife by day but come night have to deal with nightmares of a primitive beast. A great read for any young teen bookworms.
The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé
A household name, Tintin, is well known for his many adventures with his dog Snowy. The travelling reporter embarks on extraordinary quests spanning many historical and political events. The first Tintin comic was published in 1929, and his adventures are just as popular today.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Follow this classic story of the shipwrecked Lemuel Gulliver, who finds himself on some of the strangest lands on the planet. It tells the tale of a man who, through experiencing different cultures and ways of life, comes to the realisation that his own homeland is doing it all wrong.