‘A delicious and hypnotically fascinating masterpiece of squinty-eyed fanaticism’ – Stephen Bayley, Spectator Books of the Year ‘No one else so relishes the odd corners of history’ – Sunday Times ‘Such a warm, gentle and generous writer, with no faux scholarly tosh or solitary ecstasy riffs’ – Evening Standard The one and only guide to every col and pass in the British Isles, for cyclists, walkers and armchair travellers A col is the lowest point on the saddle between two mountains. Graham Robb has spent years uncovering and cataloguing the 2,002 cols and 105 passes scattered across the British Isles. Some of these obscure and magical sites are virgin cols that have never been crossed. Dozens were lost by the Ordnance Survey and are recorded only in ballads or monastic charters. The eleven cols of Hadrian’s Wall are practically unknown and have never been properly identified. These under-appreciated slices of natural beauty provide a new way of looking at British history, and a challenge for cyclists and walkers. A wonderful writer . . . No one else so relishes the odd corners of history – Sunday Times He is such a warm, gentle and generous writer, with no faux scholarly tosh or solitary ecstasy riffs – Evening Standard Graham Robb is an acclaimed historian and biographer, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He has won the Whitbread Biography Prize and the Heinemann Award forVictor Hugo, as well as the Ondaatje Prize and Duff Cooper Prize for The Discovery of France. He lives on the English-Scottish border (and within a day’s ride of one hundred and seventy cols).