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In Outlandish, acclaimed travel writer Nick Hunt takes us across landscapes that should not be there, wildernesses found in Europe yet seemingly belonging to far-off continents: a patch of Arctic tundra in Scotland; the continent’s largest surviving remnant of primeval forest in Poland and Belarus; Europe’s only true desert in Spain; and the fathomless grassland steppes of Hungary.

From snow-capped mountain range to dense green forest, desert ravines to threadbare, yellow open grassland, these anomalies transport us to faraway regions of the world. More like pockets of Africa, Asia, the Poles or North America, they make our own continent seem larger, stranger and more filled with secrets.

Against the rapid climate breakdown of deserts, steppes and primeval jungles across the world, this book discovers the outlandish environments so much closer to home – along with their abundant wildlife: reindeer; bison; ibex; wolves and herds of wild horses. Blending sublime travel writing, nature writing and history – by way of Paleolithic cave art, reindeer nomads, desert wanderers, shamans, Slavic forest gods, European bison, Wild West fantasists, eco-activists, horseback archers, Big Grey Men and other unlikely spirits of place – these desolate and rich environments show us that the strange has always been near.

Reviews

Praise for Where the Wild Winds Are:
Where the Wild Winds Are is full to the brim with learning, entertainment, description, scientific fact and conjectural fiction. It is travel writing in excelsis
Jan Morris, Literary Review
A thrilling and gorgeous tale, packed with meteorological wonder
Amy Liptrot, author of 'The Outrun'
A quest both quixotic and entertainingly escapist
Financial Times - Books of the Year
Nick Hunt's writing is powerful, playful, searching and often strikingly original. As he walks through the world, his journeys always reveal more than they set out to find
Paul Kingsnorth, author of 'The Wake'
A wise and beautiful book, glowing with atmosphere and passion for the world that's slipping between our careless fingers, Nick Hunt's Outlandish shines a light on Europe's past and offers an eerie glance towards its future
Nick Jubber
A deep dive into some of Europe's most extreme and unexpected landscapes. Fascinating, illuminating, and filled with revelations. Makes the world seem bigger and brighter than you had imagined, which is all you could ever hope for from a travel book
Neil Ansell
Vivid, moving, profound and sometimes very funny ... Outlandish is a truly stunning work of non-fiction and an important addition to writing that explores the deep connections between our selves and our place on Earth - Joanna Pocock, author of Surrender
Nick Hunt's powerful imagery and vivid storytelling make for an original and unique travel book. Outlandish is beautifully written, enriching and informative ensuring each chapter, each page, is a journey of its own where his curiosity takes the reader with him to somewhere new entirely
Geordie Stewart
Nick Hunt's bold exploration of our hidden continent makes you fall in wonder with the Earth again. Passionate, learned, surprising and revelatory, this is a journey for our times - into 'places of power' beyond human influence, where timelines get tangled like the last of the ancient forests
Kapka Kassabova
Hunt paints with words, the canvas is large and there are many vivid colours. The texture of each challenging environment comes rippling through each page as we can sniff the air, suss out the sky line, test the ground and set off in any direction we choose
James Crowden
Nick Hunt discovers something intense and otherworldly in Europe's wild fringes - a wonderful and deeply absorbing book
Philip Marsden