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Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith

Oliver Smith is an award winning travel journalist. For 10 years he travelled the world working for Lonely Planet Magazine. Today his work can be found in various outlets – FT Weekend, The Times and National Geographic Traveller – he also writes a regular walking column for Waitrose Weekend.

Oliver has been named Travel Writer of the Year on four occasions in the UK, and is the recipient of the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for reporting in Outside Magazine in the United States.

His first book: The Atlas of Abandoned Places: A Journey Through the World’s Forgotten Wonders was published by Octopus in 2022.

His first narrative travel book: On a Holy Island: A Modern Pilgrimage Across Britain, sets out to radically reframe our idea of 'pilgrimage' in Britain by retracing sacred travel made across time, and is published in March 2024 by Bloomsbury.


The Scottish and English word plodging has been wading through the lexical muck and mire since the late 1700s, and it refers to icky, slow, molasses-type walking. Plodge is probably a variation of plod. This word isn’t totally out of use, as a 1995 use from British magazine The Countryman illustrates: “Northbound Pennine Wayfarers, plodging through the interminable peat-bogs of the North Pennines.” Even if you have a spring in your step, it’s tough to skip merrily through the peat-bogs. Credits to Mark Peters.

Added by Geert Vermeire

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