The ground-breaking, pocket-size Top 10 Walks series was first created by Northern Eye Books Limited in 2011 to meet the needs of a rapidly changing market.
The books were conceived as a series of regional themed titles that could be marketed as a whole through counter top displays and other POS stands.
Their aim was to reflect the needs, tastes and often limited pockets of a broad audience who were likely to buy a simple, eye-catching guide through non-traditional outlets such as visitor and tourist information centres (VICs and TICs), visitor and heritage attractions, supermarkets, motorway services, outdoor shops, gift shops, garden centres, and so on.
Naturally, they were crafted to sell through bookshops and other traditional outlets, too.
To do this, the books needed to be attractive, almost jewel-like (!) must-have products in their own right, be superbly designed, and — above all — be easy to use, with clear directions, enhanced OS mapping and superb photography that showed readers exactly what to expect.
To ensure the content and walking directions were also completely reliable, all the books were commissioned from outdoor professional writers who were also members of the invitation only Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG).
Many of the extensive palette of design and interpretive elements used in the books were developed by the directors during more than 20 years professional experience as heritage and countryside interpretive consultants to major clients across the UK, including: the National Trust, English Heritage, Cadw, the RSPB, Forestry Commission, United Utilities, and others.
The books also employ several ‘layers’ of information designed to suit different ‘learning styles’ — another interpretive concept.
The first books were launched into the fiercely competitive market of the Lake District towards the end of 2011. If they could succeed there, we figured, they were good enough to succeed anywhere.
They have since proved extremely popular with retailers, wholesalers and the public alike, and new titles are currently being rolled out across the UK’s fourteen National Parks and other Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and discrete geographical areas across the UK.