There’s nothing that people from Lancashire love more than a good cup of tea and Beth and Steve Pipe are no exception.
Their new book Boots and Brews hopes to spark a much-needed glass of inspiration for those interested in walks around Morecambe Bay and surrounding areas accompanied by a warming drink.
Their book aims to guide readers through simple walking routes, top tips and pictures to encourage people to appreciate the outdoors.
And the guide is even approved by Royalty, as Prince William and Kate Middleton specially requested a private tour during their visit to Cumbria, as Beth reveals: “Writing for the Cumbria Wildlife Trust led us to getting a call from Kensington Palace.
“They asked for a guided walk and of course, you don’t say no to an opportunity like that.
“We took them on a short guided walk around Patterdale for around 40 minutes. They were absolutely lovely. I was so scared up until the point when they got out of the car. They were such normal people.
“It was very surreal though. I had to keep reminding myself that it was real and this was the royal family.”
Beth and husband Steve, who live in the Morecambe Bay area and have two cats, married 16 years ago and always thought that the idea of writing a book would be a fantasy.
After being hit by redundancies in 2009, they figured it was time to try something different and inspired by their love of North Lancashire, they began travel writing.
Beth explains: “I struggle to do the maths about how long we’ve had this dream.
“We often talked about the idea but the idea for a book wasn’t fully formed.
“We had dreamed of writing a book but how it actually came about was accidental. I had started a blog online before we were approached and asked to write a book much to our surprise.
“I didn’t think I was good enough to write a book and always thought people would laugh at me. I always thought it was something that other people do.
“We really hope its history, wildlife and of course, food, comes through in this book and inspires you to linger a little longer.
“There are lots of walking books out there but we are so passionate about Morecambe Bay.
“Many people don’t realise how many areas there are to Morecambe Bay so we have really tried to give people the best viewpoints and of course, places to eat a packed lunch.”
After publishing a total of eight books, one of which gives pointers as to where you can find the best gin whilst backpacking around Cumbria, Beth doesn’t refer to herself as a historian but instead a nosey hiker and she still works in delivering corporate training courses to lawyers when she isn’t scouring the North for the best hike or pint.
She says: “I just want to explore the area. We’ve tried to do all the work for people in the book for people who just want to discover something new.
“I’ve also dug into a little bit of the local history. I’ve tried to keep my historical nuggets short, sharp, interesting and occasionally funny.
Imagining a pint or cup of tea after a day in the outdoors may seem all too appealing to Brits, so it’s no surprise that Beth and husband Lancashire-born Steve, 48, love nothing more than a drink and bite to eat.
Beth adds: “There’s always a pub, a cafe or somewhere to buy a sandwich or pie before or after you set out.
“At the end of a walk, you always find yourself left with the packed lunch in your bag.
“We’ve made sure people know where they can go and want to support local businesses. So, instead of going to buy a soggy roll from a supermarket we want to encourage people to go and buy fresh produce from nearby cafe’s and restaurants.”
Steve, who once worked in tech support took the photographs alongside Beth.
She adds: “Writing the books have been a great balance and it gives me balance in life. We know that this lifestyle brings us less money, but we get to spend more time together.
“We actually really enjoy working together.”
The married couple-gone-authors have been travelling around to markets and events to promote their new book and say that it has been well received.
Plans are already in the pipeline for another book, a sequel to Gin, Cakes and Rucksacks which sees Beth visit her favourite distilleries in Cumbria.
She adds: “We did a 138-mile trip round Cumbria all whilst carrying an empty beer cast. It was quite an experience. I am very excited about it.”
Boots and Brews: Walking, food and folklore around Morecambe Bay is available now from booksellers in places around the Bay, or direct from the publishers on www.carnegiepublishing.com.