The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane: Book Review

Embark on a journey through ancient paths and forgotten landscapes in Robert Macfarlane’s “The Old Ways”. Discover the allure of walking and the profound connection between people and the earth.

Sneak Peak

“The Old Ways” explores the author’s travels on historic routes, from ancient pathways in Britain to pilgrim trails in Spain and beyond. Through personal anecdotes and rich descriptions, Macfarlane delves into the depth of our relationship with landscapes and how walking can illuminate our own paths in life.

My Take

I was captivated by Macfarlane’s lyrical prose, which effortlessly weaves together history, geography, and personal reflections. His vivid descriptions brought each trail to life, making me feel like I was walking alongside him. I appreciated how he seamlessly blended his own experiences with the historical and cultural significance of each path, offering a unique perspective on the act of walking.

One aspect I found slightly challenging was the intricate language and detailed descriptions, which at times required me to slow down and savor the content. However, this also added to the book’s depth and richness, making it a rewarding read for those who enjoy immersive narratives.

What Makes the Book Unique

What sets “The Old Ways” apart is Macfarlane’s ability to evoke a sense of wonder and exploration through his writing. His deep appreciation for nature and the landscapes he traverses shines through, inviting readers to slow down, observe, and contemplate the world around them. The book acts as a reminder of the importance of reconnecting with the earth and finding solace in nature’s embrace.

Moreover, Macfarlane’s blend of travel writing, memoir, and cultural history creates a multi-layered narrative that appeals to a wide range of readers. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a history enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a thought-provoking read, “The Old Ways” offers something for everyone.


In conclusion, “The Old Ways” is a beautifully crafted exploration of the art of walking and its profound significance in our lives. Robert Macfarlane’s eloquent prose and insightful reflections make this book a compelling read for anyone interested in nature, travel, and the beauty of ancient paths. I highly recommend it to those who are looking for a literary journey through landscapes both external and internal.

4.5/5 stars

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