A meandering journey to Spain’s secret corners, historic cities and holiday hotspots
Slow Trains Around Spain
A 3,000-Mile Adventure on 52 Rides
Published in hardback 8 April 2021
ISNB: 978 1 78783 301 2
Encounters? Plenty. Mishaps? A lot. Happy Spanish days? All the way.
Between soaring mountains, across arid deserts, parched plains and valleys of fruit orchards and olive groves, down glittering coastlines and along viaducts towering above plunging ravines – there is no better way to see Spain than by train.
Tom Chesshyre hits the tracks to take in the UK’s most popular travel destination through carriage windows on a series of clattering rides beyond the popular image of ‘holiday Spain’ (although he stops by in Benidorm and Torremolinos too). Heading wherever the trains take him in a big S-shape around the country, Tom slips into the rhythm of the tracks meeting characters aplenty along the way. From hidden spots in Catalonia, through the plains of Aragon and across the north coast to Santiago de Compostela, his journey takes him onward via Madrid, the wilds of Extremadura, dusty mining towns, the cathedrals and palaces of Valencia and Granada, and finally to Seville, Andalusia’s beguiling (and hot) capital.
Tom Chesshyre is the author of nine travel books including Slow Trains to Venice, To Hull and Back, Tales from the Fast Trains, Ticket to Ride and From Source to Sea. He worked as travel writer on The Times for 21 years and contributes to the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday and The Critic magazine, where he writes the monthly rail column “Tickets, Please”.
Praise for Slow Trains Around Spain
“Chesshyre takes us on a wondrously hypnotic meander across Spain. His attention to detail and unwillingness to be rushed, either as passenger or author, make this a highly relaxing and subtly addictive read. What’s more, if train travel is to play a bigger part in our travelling future, as many feel it might, Slow Trains Around Spain makes it feel like a future well worth embracing.”
Glen Mutel, National Geographic Traveller
“A book for our time… as the renaissance of rail surges ahead throughout Europe, there can be few better places to see this in action than in Spain. But don’t expect a book about timetables and connections and station neighbourhoods, this highly readable, well-researched travelogue is about how train travel opens up the world, allowing you to be spontaneous, taking you to unexpected places and situations. It’s a lovely read, take it with you on a long slow train journey; you’ll be entertained and inspired.”
Richard Hammond, Green Traveller
“A dawning new golden age of rail rightly extols ‘flying by train’: zipping city to city in a high-speed flash. Yet there will always be joy – for those of us who adore life on steel rails – in trundling by train. Shoogling, pausing, alighting,often. Chesshyre’s book will show you the way, and it is a delight.”
Tim Dunn, railway historian
“By turns humorous and sharply insightful, he affectionately paints a vivid portrait of a deeply divided and contrasting country, bringing to life its characters and landscapes like few other travel writers can. Always curious, witty and intelligent, his writing style and subject matter are deeply rewarding – even cathartic – especially at times when we can’t travel ourselves. This is armchair travel at its satisfying best.”
Francisca Kellett, travel writer