By L. Russell Muirhead
The book does not attempt to compete with any of the numerous guide-books already published.
Kept purposely within small compass, it intended as an introduction for travellers of all sorts to the counties concerned; and its main object is to draw the attention of its readers to some of the chief features of interest and beauty in the district which it describes. It does not claim to be complete – a practical impossibility in so small and compact volume – and if it induces any of its readers to make further exploration of the countryside, whether on foot or by car or cycle, or even in the pages of other more detailed books, Its main object will have been achieved.
At the same time it does claim to be a useful guide to the most outstanding points in the district covered. The area concerned is one of the great playgrounds of London, extending from the North Downs to the sea, and it is covered by a series of routes crossing each other at many points, so that parts of several routes can easily be combined in one excursion. A wide range of topics is dealt with from ancient history to the position of to-day’s aerodromes, from the geology of the soil to the lay-out of the most modern by-pass roads, and any traveller who is willing to pause on his way through the countryside should find within its pages something to interest him.
No attempt is made to give a complete list of hotels or other houses of refreshment-that is left to the more formal guide-books –but a selection has been made of inns and other good halting-places, which in the opinion of the author and editor are worthy of mention for one reason or another. The omission of a name does not imply condemnation, and no advertisements of any kind are accepted from hotels.
A great feature is the eight-page atlas, in three colours, on the scale of t-inch to a mile, covering the whole of the country described. These maps not only show all the available roads and a number of the most important footpaths, but are also specially marked to indicate the most attractive roads and the towns and villages most worthy of a visit. In addition to the maps, there are sketch plans of the principal towns in the area, showing the quickest way through the towns and the speediest exits from them into the country. For rapid reference these plans have been placed in the middle of the book, just after the atlas section.
An alphabetical index of the chief places described will be found at the end of the book.