Between the Chalk and the Sea

An old map. A lost pilgrimage route. A journey in search of our walking heritage.

“I loved this memoir - centuries of stories captured in the chalk, all told through the prism of one life.”

— Raynor Winn, author of The Salt Path

“A stunningly evoked, sensitively drawn journey into a part of England that feels both ancient and entirely new. Such is the subtle power and lightly worn erudition of Gail Simmons' writing.”

— Sophy Roberts, author of The Lost Pianos of Siberia

“As she follows a long-lost pilgrimage route, Gail Simmons finds a whole new way of looking at a familiar landscape. Every footstep is steeped in history, every path is imbued with the traces of all those who came before.”

— Neil Ansell, author

“Few books change the way you see familiar landscapes: this is one of them. A sacred, humble and rewarding journey, like the pilgrimage itself ”

— Ben Rawlence, author of The Treeline

“A brilliantly modern take on one of the oldest of literary genres - the pilgrimage narrative. Gail Simmons walks a long-forgotten trail, and along the way encounters places, people and a myriad of obstacles. This is no ordinary walk, but one with a purpose: to discover the meaning of what it means to be British in these troubled and disjointed times.”

— Stephen Moss, author & naturalist

“An old route for pilgrims is given new and vivid life through Gail Simmons as a solo woman walking. A compelling blend of history and nature writing that is a gift to all of us who love this iconic stretch of chalk cliffs and downland.”

— Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep