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The number one Sunday Times bestseller: Bill Bryson’s first travel book for fifteen years – a brand new journey around Britain.


Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation’s heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed.

Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn’t altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain’s occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas.

Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.


Warm, funny, thoughtful, sometimes grumpy. An absolute joy. + in Country Life: I snorted with laughter…The Road to Little Dribbling is consistently and unendingly fabulous…I intend on buying a copy for everyone I know.

Clare Balding

Fans should expect to chuckle, snort, snigger, grunt, laugh out loud and shake with recognition…a clotted cream and homemade jam scone of a treat.

Sunday Times

Is it the funniest travel book I’ve read all year? Of course it is.

Daily Telegraph

There were moments when I snorted out loud with laughter while reading this book in public…He can be as gloriously silly as ever.

The Times

Bryson has no equal. He combines the charm and humour of Michael Palin with the cantankerousness of Victor Meldrew and the result is a benign intolerance that makes for a gloriously funny read.

Daily Express

Everybody loves Bill Bryson, don’t they? He’s clever, witty, entertaining, a great companion…his research is on show here, producing insight, wisdom and startling nuggets of information…Bill Bryson and his new book are the dog’s bollocks.

Independent on Sunday

At its best as the history of a love affair, the very special relationship between Bryson and Britain. We remain lucky to have him.

Financial Times

The truly great thing about Bryson is that he really cares and is insanely curious…Reading his work is like going on holiday with the members of Monty Python.

Chris Taylor, Mashable

At last, Bill Bryson has got back to what he does best - penning travel books that educate, inform and will have you laughing out loud...I was chuckling away by page four and soaking up his historic facts to impress my mates with. Sure to be a bestseller.


Stuffed with eye-opening facts and statistics..... Bryson's charm and wit continue to float off the page....Recognising oneself is part of the pleasure of reading Bryson's mostly affable rants about Britain and Britishness.

Daily Mail

We have a tradition in this country of literary teddy bears – John Betjeman and Alan Bennett among them – whose cutting critiques of the absurdities and hypocrisies of the British people are carried out with such wit and good humour that they become national treasures. Bill Bryson is American but is now firmly established in the British teddy bear pantheon…The fact that this wonderful writer can unerringly catalogue all our faults and is still happy to put up with us should make every British reader’s chest swell with pride.

Sunday Express

The observation, the wit, the geniality of Bryson’s inimitable words illuminate ever chapter.

Terry Wogan, Irish Times

His millions of readers will probably enjoy this just as much as its predecessor.


Bill Bryson is a wonder. Here is a man who can write a page about ordering a cheese sandwich - and make the reader care about the sandwich...the result is a grumpy paean of praise to a place we've grown used to doing down...he reminds the reader what an extraordinary place this island is...He does not mention in his new book that perhaps one of the things that makes his adopted country so remarkable is the willingness of its people to accord the status of Living National Treasure to a fellow from Iowa.

Erica Wagner, New Statesman

We go to him less for insights – though there are plenty of these – and more for the pleasure of his company. And he can be very funny indeed. Almost every page has a line worth quoting.

Glasgow Herald

The funniest travel book I’ve read all year, if only for the number of gags per page.

Sunday Telegraph

Bryson is at his best when striking a melancholy tone, wandering yet another Identikit high street despairing at the loss of community and individual character. A delightful read.

The Lady

He still loves us, indeed he has become one of us. The prologue on the idiocy of the citizenship test is worth the cover price alone.

Sunday Times Books of the Year

Mr Bryson is an entertaining travel companion with a keen eye for the absurd . . . He writes lyrically on the monuments at Stonehenge and Avebury. He is great on the joy of walking through the English countryside, bemoaning the loss of hedgerows, fields and 'verges full of nodding flowers and birdsong'.

Wall Street Journal

The sheer number of gags per page make it an assault on the funny bone.

Daily Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    April 18, 2016

    Black Swan

    480 pages

    RRP $28.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Paperback


    April 15, 2016

    Black Swan

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    October 8, 2015


    400 pages

    RRP $50.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    October 8, 2015

    Transworld Digital

    480 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
  • Audio CD


    October 8, 2015


    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers


    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Bill Bryson

A Short History of Nearly Everything
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything
Troublesome Words
At Home
Icons of England
One Summer
Neither Here, Nor There
Notes From A Small Island
Mother Tongue: Popular Penguins
The Life And Times Of The Thunderbolt Kid
At Home (Illustrated Edition)
Bryson's Dictionary: for Writers and Editors
Down Under
Notes From A Big Country
Made In America
A Walk In The Woods
The Lost Continent
Bill Bryson's African Diary
Large Print: One Summer


The Fatal Shore
Down Under
Book With No Pictures
The Twits
Release Your Anger: Midnight Edition: An Adult Coloring Book with 40 Swear Words to Color and Relax
Wreck This Journal
Shannon's Kitchen
There Are No Grown-Ups
The Course Of Love
Textbook Romance
Too Much Information
Behind the Scenes at the Museum of Baked Beans
A Piano In The Pyrenees
Join Me
Spanish Lessons
Best Laid Plans
Dan and Phil Go Outside
The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold
Far and Away
Land of the Midnight Sun