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The Berko Loop

The Berko Loop is a delightful walk, cycle ride and read around some of the quirkiest and most beautiful countryside spots near Berkhamsted.

You probably won’t find the The Berko Loop on an Ordnance Survey map. Well, the places will be there – Cow Roast, Wigginton Bottom, Frithsden, Nettleden – but not drawn or illustrated quite like this. Kevin Exley, author, walking and cycling ambassador for Berkhamsted and this part of the Chilterns, has created a new and different map of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. And it’s delightful.

The Berko Loop was recommended to me by Nicky Pritchard, owner of floral design business Forever Green. Nicky lives in Nettleden, and Kevin turned up on her doorstep to interview her.

Along with Forever Green and Nicky, The Berko Loop features many other highlights in this pocket of the Chilterns. You will meet Roundheads, Buddhists, farmers, a blacksmith, B17 bombers and lizards.

The Berko Loop is a wonderful guide to an area that remains unknown to many. It’s such an enjoyable read that you can cosy up with it in bed. But it is very likely that you will soon want to jump up and go and explore. I know some of the places mentioned, and you will too: Ashridge, the Buddhist monastery Amaravati, and Bovingdon Airfield. But there is so much more here, off the beaten track, and Kevin Exley’s tone of voice and humour, combined with great storytelling and an ability to pack in loads of interesting and historical facts, makes this book zip along.

Kevin and Brenda, Johns Lane Farm

I particularly like the photos and stories about some of the people who live in and around the Loop. You will meet Forever Green‘s Nicky Pritchard and Kevin and Brenda at Johns Lane Farm. Find out more about Crispin and Collette of Berkhamsted Bees. You’ll meet Natalie and Simon at Frithsden Vineyard, Lawrence at Wildwood and Stephen the Blacksmith.

When I first posted a photo of the book on Instagram – it arrived direct from the author, in a lovely postie gift box – someone said that it would make a great gift for Father’s Day. I have to agree.

The Berko Loop is available direct from the author Kevin Exley; from Number 20 and Lovelo, Berkhamsted.


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