This beautifully illustrated book brings together a year’s wanderings along Britain’s shores with stories of their natural history, geology and evolution — from ancient myth to current science.
Whether paddling through the shallows or crouching on a cliff in a hailstorm, Lisa takes us on a journey of compelling diversions. Against a backdrop of the shifting seasons, weather and tides, we follow the trails of washed-up cuttlebones, by-the-wind sailors and mermaid’s purses. We meet wind-sellers, Selkies and 19th century fossil hunters, and a cast of wondrous creatures, both modern and extinct.
Amongst luminous photographs of seaweed and jellyfish, of gulls wheeling through spume, are stories of barnacle geese growing on trees, the evolution of whales and Lego dragons lost at sea. Drawings of plankton and shells fill the margins, as we see how a handful of sand or the whorl of a fossil nautilus can hold hundreds of millions of years of Earth’s history.
As the threads draw together there is the sense that a walk on the beach, with all its chance finds and everyday wonders, stretches both back into the deep past and ahead into the uncertain future of our oceans. Above all, we are inspired to go out and explore for ourselves, reminded of the pleasures of discovery, and of looking and listening more closely.
The Rubery Book Award
British Book Design & Production Awards
One of the Guardian’s ‘Top ten books about women and the sea‘.
‘No-one who has ever been awed by the sea, or struck by its beauty, will fail to be thrilled by Lisa Woollett’s wonderful Sea Journal’ Philip Marsden
‘The British coastline encapsulated in a treasure trove of a book’ The Guardian
‘Wonderfully written and photographed… Shines an extraordinary light on the ordinary, studying everything she finds with the intensity of a scientist but the wide-eyed wonder of a child’
Western Morning News
‘A charming book, with a beautifully poetic slant. Lets us dip our toes into this world with a renewed appreciation and understanding… the reader left mesmerized and inspired.’
BBC Wildlife Magazine
‘Perfectly captures the spirit of the most beautiful yet fragile wild space we have’
Marine Conservation Society
‘Filled with marvels from end to end’
‘Beautifully photographed, full of delights and born of a deep love for the ocean’
Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author of The Cloudspotter’s Guide
‘Poetic prose and engaging storytelling… photographs so startling they look like paintings. Interesting, inspiring and beautiful.’
Eden Project Magazine