If you are stepping out on the Thames Path - for a long distance hike or a gentle stroll - you are now spoilt for choice: numerous books, maps, apps, and brochures to help you on your way.

Now along comes another guide book Thames Path by Joel Newton (Trailblazer £11.99).

So what's different? For a start the detail - comprehensive hardly does it justice. Trailblazer have similar books for a variety of long-distance walks in the UK, all distinguished by an impressive depth of research.

With this book in your hand or tucked into your backsack you would have immense difficulty in getting lost or not knowing where the nearest restaurant, pub or bus route is.

Besides tracing the path itself and highlighting places and features of interest, the book has walking times and distances plus places to stay, where to eat, public transport, GPS waypoints.

Its 99 maps of 98 towns and villages along the 184 mile path are clear, a bigger scale than most and are carefully annotated for walkers.

'Humble rambler'

Aimed very much at the walker without a wad of cash in their back pocket - restaurants in the Canary Wharf area, for example, "are unlikely to appeal to the humble rambler".

The book is peppered with facts: the price of fish and chips in Oxford, where to find cheap dormitory accommodation in Pimlico, where to eat pickled herring in Barnes, which train companies serve Windsor, how the stone to build the dome at St Paul's Cathedral was loaded onto barges at Lechlade, what beers are available along the river.

Advice varies from tips on avoiding hypothermia and sunburn to what to pack for your dog for the walk.

And if you are not planning a long-distance trek the book highlights itineries for day walks and short breaks with detailed information about how to reach different sections of the river.

The huge amount of information about prices on everything from typical dishes at restaurants to bed and breakfast is really useful but one worry might be how long it will stay accurate.

In short: Immensely detailed, pocket-sized, welcome addition to books on an increasingly popular walk.


More Thames books HERE