Travel/Cycling Books

Journeys around Europe and North Africa, the occasional war zone and to the brink of starvation

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The Quest for the Holy Quail:

A 3,000 Mile Plague-Time Bicycle Ride through Morocco and its Freakiest Food


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Steven Primrose-Smith is back on his bicycle and this time he's in Morocco. Exorcising nightmares of a previous visit, he wants to experience the entire country: its windswept coastlines, its dramatic mountains, its gorgeous gorges, its parched deserts but, most of all, its freakiest food. Stuffed camel spleen anyone?

In this warts and all tale of modern Morocco, he cycles 3,000 miles, climbing through the drug towns of the Rif Mountains, visiting the Instagram hotspots of Chefchaouen and Essaouira, crossing the highest major road pass in North Africa and eating the bits of animal that Western cultures usually throw away.

But something is determined to ruin his adventure: COVID-19.

As Morocco closes down around him, Steven is faced with the prospect of being trapped in a depressed and dangerous Fes. Will he escape and, more importantly, will he fulfil his quest for the Holy Quail?

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Biking Broken Europe:

6,000 Miles through an Unstable Continent


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Includes the frozen and not-so-frozen conflicts of TRANSNISTRIA, ABKHAZIA and NAGORNO-KARABAKH!

Europe is not what you think it is. Nestled within the stability of a continent that has changed remarkably little in nearly a hundred years, there are many pockets of discontent, unstable regions that want out of their current host nation.

Some of these movements are long-running jokes or the dreams of idle fantasists, but many are supported by millions and, in a few cases, thousands of people are dying for their cause.

After his bestseller "No Place Like Home, Thank God", Steven Primrose-Smith wants to see a different side of Europe. In this sequel, he cycles over 6,000 miles through thirty-nine of these wannabe nations, often through substantial regions of Europe you may never even have heard of.

Various governments warn you not to travel to Transnistria, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh, three of Steven's wannabes, frozen and not-so-frozen bloody conflicts. This time he's wearing a cycling helmet.

Recent Amazon review comments:

"Although humour flows throughout, it's a serious travel book that tells of an impressive bike ride."

"Steven has written several books about cycling in Europe, but he always manages to get a distinct theme for each book so they are all different...Possibly his best yet."

"In this day and age every Tom, Dick and Harry can write and self publish a book about their cycle tour; only a select few can write a good book about their cycle tour that's worth reading. Steve is one of those guys that can write a good book, not just one book but five now...I'd definitely recommend this book, along with all his other books."

"A great story, very well told. This book will appeal to non-cyclists every bit as much as cycling fans. The humour is sharp.The observations of the tough life in Eastern Europe bring the situation to life without being judgemental."

"A splendid romp through some of the more fascinating corners of Europe. This was my first book by this author and I’m happy to say it certainly won’t be my last. Engaging throughout and full of insight alongside the regular gentle wit."

"Almost impossible to put down! I ‘found’ Steven’s books on kindle only recently, and I’m glad I did!"

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Route Britannia:

A Spontaneous Bicycle Ride through Every County in Britain (Book 1, The Journey South and Book 2, The Journey North)


Book 1, The Journey South: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

Book 2, The Journey North: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

The Whole Journey: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

Tired of seeing Britain continually attacked by the media, politicians and the British themselves, Steven Primrose-Smith wants to see it for himself. All 97 counties of it! Surely it can't be as bad as everyone tells him.

After twenty years living abroad, he thinks the time is right to search his homeland for the best of British using new eyes, those of a foreign tourist, and in the only way he knows how – by bicycle. Armed with a list of recommendations gathered from friends and strangers alike and the most spontaneous of routes, he pedals 5,000 miles through damp English country lanes, soggy Welsh moorland and windswept Scottish mountains. He gets wet quite often.

Following on from the success and irreverent style of both No Place Like Home, Thank God and Hungry for Miles, Steven seeks out the quirky in the people he meets, the places he visits and the food he eats. Can his initial store of positivity survive the journey, or will it be ground down by the traffic, the weather and his British, vegetable-free diet of beer, pies and pork scratchings?

In Book 1, The Journey South, Steven travels from Merseyside to Warwickshire, through the whole of Wales, the West Country, the south coast and to London.

Armed with a bag of googly eyes, he meets a poetry-prescribing nurse, stumbles across Hilda Ogden's lawnmower, has his footwear stolen by foxes, discovers some very special Mexican fleas, crashes the TARDIS and visits dozens of British capitals, including its infidelity capital, its boob job capital and its dogging capital. He experiences "real" Britain – the good and the bad – its Morris dancers, pie 'n' mash and the pinnacle of British culture, a good old-fashioned street fight.

In Book 2, The Journey North, Steven travels through East Anglia, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East of England, the whole of Scotland and the Lake District before finishing in Lancashire.

Steven concludes his 5,000-mile journey through the whole of Britain. He visits the site of a UFO landing, stumbles upon Britain's quirkiest pier and finds a man who converted his caravan into the Titanic. He also eats the best of British regional food, including a clanger, a parmo and a deep-fried Mars Bar and visits dozens of British capitals, including its moaning capital, its porn capital and its incest capital, as well as the happiest place in Britain.

Recent Amazon review comments:

"I loved this book and I can't wait for the second one. Steven Primrose-Smith's witty writing and quirky observations made me laugh out loud so many times. As soon as I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. Steven's humour shines through."

"Steve's done it again; he's written another enjoyable cycle tour book. It was another page turner. Can't wait for part two."

"Have really enjoyed Steven's other two cycling books...This was no exception and looking forward to part two. Keep up the good work."

Book 1, The Journey South: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

Book 2, The Journey North: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

The Whole Journey: Available from Amazon UK | Available from

Hungry for Miles:

Cycling across Europe on £1 a Day


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After blowing all his cash on his previous long-distance bike ride (No Place Like Home, Thank God), Steven Primrose-Smith wants to go cycling again. Without the necessary funds, he decides to see if it's possible to travel thousands of miles on a budget of just £1 a day.

Against advice, he puts together a team of complete strangers, including a fresh-faced student, a Hungarian chef, and a man with the world's worst bike, the beard of a goblin and a fetish for goats.

While cycling from Liverpool to Gibraltar through England, Wales, France, Spain and Portugal, they plan to supplement their cash-strapped diet by fishing and foraging. It's just a pity no one knows anything about either.

People quit, nerves are strained, and faces and bikes are both smashed. Will anyone make it to Gibraltar?

Recent Amazon review comments:

“He's obviously one of life's top blokes. He can strike the balance between fact, fiction, humour, sadness and in this case famine...Thank you for sharing your intelligent wit and passion for all things good...”

"A very humorous and frank account of an extremely difficult challenge and I really enjoyed reading it...Looking forward to the next book."

"Another great book from this author, easily as good as No Place Like Home. You know you are reading a good book when you can't put it down and are sad when it comes to an end...good fun and highly entertaining."

"Always worth reading, he makes his readers laugh, think and occasionally sigh with relief that they weren't accompanying him."

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No Place Like Home, Thank God:

A 22,000 Mile Bicycle Ride around Europe


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After a near fatal brain haemorrhage Steven Primrose-Smith decides that life is too short to hang around. Inspired, he jumps on his bicycle to travel a road that stretches 22,000 miles across the whole of Europe.

During his ride through 53 countries, climbing the equivalent of 20 Everests, he dodges forest fires, packs of wild dogs and stray bulls, is twice mistaken for a tramp, meets a man in Bulgaria who lives under a table, discovers if ambassadors really do dish out pyramids of Ferrero Rocher at parties, transforms into a superhero after being savaged by radioactive mosquitoes near Chernobyl and comes close to death in France, Norway, Ukraine and Russia.

Such a massive challenge requires calories and Steven gets his from the more unsavoury elements of European savouries: brains, testicles, lung and spleen stew, intestine sandwiches, sausages famous for smelling of poo, a handful of maggots and even a marmot. Nobody eats marmots.

But the distance and his culinary adventures are only a part of the mission. His real objective is much more difficult. Will he be able to confirm something he has long suspected or will he, after all his searching, eventually find somewhere in Europe worse than his home town of Blackburn?

Recent Amazon review comments:

“If you love travel, you will love this book! This is by far the best cycle-based travel book I have read...I could not put it down! It's very well-written, naturally funny without trying too hard and... about the places and people he discovers, not the bike itself...Inspirational and very funny.”

“Highly entertaining – you'll laugh out loud. This is the funniest book I've read for a very long time. It's so much more than a story about a bike ride - it's a travelogue, a witty and astute observation about people and life, a candid description of many places you'd never even dream of visiting! Once you start to read it, I guarantee you WON'T put it down. I laughed out loud a dozen times before I'd even covered the first 3 chapters. Highly recommended.”

“Very entertaining – never a dull page! What a journey - once I started it I literally had to keep reading until the end! His descriptions of people and places along the way made me feel like I was right beside him on his epic journey and he kept me laughing all the way along! A definite must read...I can't wait for his next book!”

“A travelogue with a difference! BIG laughs, pithy observations on life, the universe and everything else and simply great stories. A great read from start to finish.”

“Thought-provoking and funny. This book made me laugh out loud as well as ponder the meaning of life; for anyone who has ever ridden a bike, done a bit of travelling or eaten food. Worth a read.”

“A must read. I really enjoyed this book! The author has a witty vision of life and a special sense of humour. Loved it!”

“Fab book with wonderful descriptions of his traveling experiences...make this well written book a joy to read and am happy to recommend it.”

“Good fun and a great read. Laugh out loud funny...Looking forward to the sequel.”

“Loved it from the first sentence!”

“a great read witty funny”

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