top of page

Gail Simmons

Between the chalk jacket.jpg

Gail Simmons is a ‘walking writer’ and the author of Between the Chalk and the Sea (Headline, 2023) and The Country of Larks (Bradt, 2019) which was shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020.

Gail has an MA in Medieval History and a PhD in Creative Writing and teaches at Bath Spa University on their MA in Nature and Travel Writing. She has contributed travel features to the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Sunday Times, Independent, Wanderlust and TIME magazine, and has appeared on the BBC’s From Our Own Correspondent and Woman’s Hour.

Between the Chalk and the Sea: a medieval journey

On an antique map in Oxford's Bodleian library, there's a faint red line threading through towns and villages between Southampton and Canterbury. This line marked a significant through long forgotten road because, when Henry VIII banned pilgrimage in 1538, he ended far more than just a centuries-old tradition of walking as an act of faith.


As Gail Simmons so joyfully shows us, this faint line also provides a valuable chance to rediscover the delights of walking as an escape from the burdens of everyday life. Winding 240 miles between the chalk hills and shifting seascapes of the south coast, this ancient path took  Gail deep into history, exploring our past and telling a story of kings and knights, peasants and pilgrims, of ancient folklore and modern politics.

bottom of page