Hugh Westacott was born in 1932 and was for many years a librarian working both in England and the United States. After the success of his seminal book The Walker’s Handbook, now in its fifth edition, he took early retirement and devoted himself to writing, guiding and lecturing about walking. He spends his retirement improving the condition of the local public paths. He is married to Joan from San Antonio, Texas and they have two sons and live in Devonshire. Joan, now retired, was a librarian at the American School in London. Hugh has two daughters by a previous marriage.

In 1974 he founded his own imprint, Footpath Publications, which issued a number of footpath guides, and in 1984, when living in the United States, he started Rucksack Holidays which brought Americans to Britain for walking holidays, and for twenty years led hiking tours in Britain for Wilderness Travel one of America’s leading adventure holiday companies..
Hugh specialized in guiding Americans and Canadians on day walks and hiking trips.


All aspects of walking, hiking and backpacking
The history of walking for pleasure
The relationship between literature and the English landscape
The history and development of the English landscape
The history of navigational techniques
The etymology and history of English place-names
All aspects of English history

Member of the following associations and societies:

Charles Close Society for the Study of Ordnance Survey Maps
English Heritage
National Trust
Ramblers’ Association (Life Member)
Society of Authors