In the Middle Ages, mules were used to transport goods across Britain. Strong, sturdy and able to carry a good 160 lbs of weight, they made ideal walking companions (as long as you didn’t ask them to do anything they disapproved of).
Now Hugh Thomson has revived that ancient tradition.
Taking his cue from Robert Louis Stevenson’s 19th-century bestseller Travels With a Donkey, Hugh leads his trusty mule Jethro across England from the Lake District to the Yorkshire Moors, using old drovers’ roads that have largely passed into disrepair.
His previous journeys have resulted in acclaimed books on Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya, and more recently on southern England for the prize-winning The Green Road into the Trees.
As he crosses the north, he combines his trademark wit and insight with a lyrical intensity about the history and the landscape; and it is his encounters with the people he meets along the way which bring that landscape to life in a manner few other contemporary travel writers attempt.