12 books that inspired us to explore

Quotes about reading and adventure4

When you can’t get out on a real-life adventure, books about adventure are easily the next best thing. Stories can transport you to other places, other times, other worlds… the possibilities are endless! But it’s more than that. Books fuel our excitement and inspiration, allowing us to dream about the real-life adventures we might one day have and the people we might one day become.

To mark World Book Day 2021, we asked some of our team to share the books that captured their sense of adventure, inspired them to explore or tapped into their love of puzzles and mystery. Here are our top 12 books about adventure:

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

It’s got to be The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis! Just remembering Lucy creeping through the wardrobe into Narnia for the very first time and the adventures that awaited her and the others makes me smile. I’m not sure I ever got over the fact my wardrobe had a solid back!

Claire Britton, Trail Writer
Claire by the sea

2. Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

For me, it’s 100% got to be the Famous Five and Secret Seven books that sparked my love for adventure. But to pick one? It would probably be Five on a Treasure Island. I used to wish I could find a map or stumble across something that needed working out and solving – I still do! I’ve even got two Timmys to take with me when I explore.

Kylie Orchard, Trail Mechanic
Cassie and Tilly on an adventure

3. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

The book that instilled a sense of adventure in me is Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I used to love all of the Ransome books when I was younger, but Swallows and Amazons is the one that started it all, as a lot of it was based around Coniston Water, where we used to holiday two to three times a year. My dad’s side of the family lived in the area, so we would get together with our cousins and spend the long summer days messing about on the lake, sailing up and down and camping on Peel Island (really Wild Cat Island), pretending we were pirates and anyone we encountered were landlubbers. Fun times!

Neil Jager, Trail Writing Consultant
Neil by the sea

Quotes about reading and adventure

4. Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman

As a kid, I wasn’t really into the classic adventure stories – I much preferred fantasy and mystery. But Northern Lights, and the rest of the His Dark Materials series, takes fantasy and mystery and adds a whole big dollop of world-crossing adventures as it follows Lyra Belacqua and her dæmon Pan as they take on a perilous journey to the Arctic in search of her missing best friend, Roger. I’m still in awe of these books nearly 20 years after first reading them, and I’m still a little bit heartbroken that I can’t visit Lyra’s Oxford in her parallel world.

Rachel Foxton, Resident Wordsmith
Rachel on a wintery adventure

5. The Silver Crown by Robert C O’Brien

The Silver Crown by Robert C O’Brien. In this children’s novel, a child, Ellen, is forced into a world of dark adventure after a tragic incident leaves her orphaned. It’s set in the Eastern states of the USA – Ellen is trying to get to her aunt in Kentucky – but she meets with a very sinister set of adversaries along the way. The idea of being a child alone, in danger, and asking, “What would I do? Where would I go? Who would I trust?” really sparked my imagination and gave me a sense of confidence in travel and exploring, as well as the excitement of venturing into the unknown.

Kathy Brown, Trail Writer
Kathy out exploring

6. Expedition: Adventures into Undiscovered Worlds by Steve Backshall

I love reading about real-life adventures, which is in complete contrast to the fictional adventures we send people out on with Treasure Trails! A recent favourite read was Expedition: Adventures into Undiscovered Worlds by Steve Backshall. I love the idea of going where no human has ever been before, the challenge and sense of danger, and imagining all those unknown discoveries just waiting to be stumbled upon!

Aaron Hutchens, General Manager
Aaron Outdoors

7. The Ring O’Bells Mystery by Enid Blyton

I devoured books as a child (at least 2 a day) and loved travel, adventure, mystery, detective and nature stories. One that springs to mind is Enid Blyton’s Ring O’Bells Mystery. This tale of a circus boy stumbling across a seemingly impossible to solve mystery certainly fired the imagination of a five or six-year-old in the 1950s. Yes, that long ago!

Ivan Poole, Trail Writer
Ivan in the garden

8. Endurance by Alfred Lansing

I love adventure books! The book that is my favourite adventure book is Endurance by Alfred Lansing. The title is apt as the book relates the remarkable tale of the epic Antarctic journey led by Ernest Shackleton. The characters in the book have to endure all manner of hardship and danger to save their group. I have read the book several times.  

Tony Lennox, Trail Writer
Tony in the Pyrenees

9. Playdays Magazine

The Peggy Patch and Rosie and Jim stories in the Playdays Magazine were always my favourites growing up. Each story would revolve around a different place and learning something new. This always made me want to explore lots of places and look closely for things that were usually hidden. My favourite story was about fossils, which, as an adult, I now look for everywhere I go, and has created a life-long interest in rocks and fossils.

Jacqui Begg, Customer Happiness Team
Jacqui near some rocks

10. The Cherrys and the Pringles by Will Scott

Will Scott wrote several books about a couple of families who lived in the same street, known as The Cherrys series. The first book I read from the series was The Cherrys and the Pringles. One of the parents used to set treasure hunts for the kids during the school holidays. This book got me hooked on treasure hunts and going out exploring, and I couldn’t wait to go back to the library and get another book from the series!

Chris Gowland, Trail Writer


Chris refuelling during a mission

11. Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Eragon was my favourite book as a kid. I loved the all-inclusive sense of adventure in the book, as it had everything; mythical creatures, magic, difficult journeys, and life-defining battles. The characters were compelling, and the world was very immersive due to its different languages, scenic descriptions, and general detail. Alongside the novel, I also had a graphic/interactive ‘Guide to Alagaesia’ book, which included maps, letters, and other incredible visual imagery of the world – I’ve wanted to be a dragon rider ever since!

Jasmin Robson, Customer Happiness Team


Jasmin in the countryside

12. The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

One of my favourite books as a kid was The Magic Faraway Tree. It really hooked me in; I used to wish I could go and visit the tree, meet Silky, Moon-Face and The Saucepan Man, and more importantly, explore all the magical lands in the clouds at the top! It inspired me to write my very own mini adventure book, all about a journey into the woods to discover all sorts of new worlds!

Jane Harvey, Minister of Fun
Jane in the countryside

Be part of your own adventure story on a Treasure Trail

When you get out on a Trail adventure, you’ll uncover twisting tales and fascinating facts about a place, as well as getting the chance to star in your own real-life adventure story as you hunt for the treasure, examine the evidence or hide from enemy spies. But did you know that each Trail starts with a fun, fictional backstory to set the scene? Next time you’re out on a Treasure Trail, make sure you take some time at the start to learn all about the story behind your quest, case or mission before jumping into your roles of explorers, detectives or agents and cracking those clues!

World Book Day - Every Trail tells a story

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