Lisa Woollett

author & photographer
Book cover
Book cover

Holyer an Gof Publishers' Award

'Wonderful... a cabinet of

BBC Coast presenter Nick Crane

A collection of photographs, discoveries and natural history that is by turn atmospheric, quirky and fascinating.

Signed by the author, free postage, £14.99

Many of the photographs are glimpses of the mercurial sea around Cornwall's shores, in all its moods, from jewel-like pools to waves powering into cliffs.

Woven in with these is Lisa's haphazard museum of finds - the often strangely beautiful things she has picked up on Cornwall's shores, along with any curious or interesting findings from her subsequent research. There are some wonderful names: by-the-wind sailors, a warty venus, landlady's wig - and some extraordinary creatures in this inter-tidal world, their lives at times violent, charming and bizarre.

There is much of the evocative and often mysterious language of the sea, with some beautiful old Cornish words and phrases: a lot of portents of bad weather - the sun-dog, the weather-eye, graving clouds - and a telling number to describe a fine misty drizzle.

There is, too, the odd maritime legend - fog-shrouded spirits foretelling storms, lost lands and legendary floods - and some wonderful oceanographers' research: a science of washed up trainers, bath ducks, and fisherman's boots lost at sea.

'Quite simply the closest I have ever seen anyone come to describing the seashore in the way I feel the seashore.'

Sir Tim Smit, Eden Project

'Beautifully and simply written, illustrated and designed. Her writing swings between personal, accessible and poetic narrative and informative natural history detail. Her passion shines from every page.'

Western Morning News

'This incredibly beautiful book does a wonderful job of opening up the magnificent world of our marine environment, enabling people to learn and appreciate its beauty and importance.'

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

'Manages to combine art with science and produce real magic.'

The Marine Quarterly

'Everyone loved this book. It is delightful, imaginative, hugely informative and written with clarity, joy and enthusiasm. Beautifully constructed with striking photographs. A work of wonder.'

Holyer an Gof Publishers' Award 2014 (judges' summary)

'This quirky book is guaranteed to surprise, enlighten and inspire.'


Winner Rubery Book Award 2016
Finalist British Book Design & Production Awards 2016

‘Perfectly captures the spirit of the most beautiful yet fragile wild space we have’

Marine Conservation Society

This beautiful and unusual book brings together a year's wanderings along Britain's shores with stories of their natural history, geology and evolution — from ancient myth to current science — and the author' s striking contemporary photography.

Signed by the author, free postage, £14.99

Whether paddling through the shallows or crouching on a cliff in a hailstorm, we are taken on a journey of compelling diversions. Against a backdrop of the shifting seasons, weather and tides, we follow the trails of washed-up cuttlebones, by-the-wind sailors and mermaid's purses. We meet wind-sellers, Selkies and 19th century fossil hunters, and a cast of wondrous creatures, both ancient and modern.

Amongst luminous photographs of seaweed and jellyfish, of gulls wheeling through spume, are stories of barnacle geese growing on trees, the evolution of whales, and Lego dragons lost at sea. Drawings of plankton and shells fill the margins, as we see how a handful of sand or whorl of a fossil nautilus can hold hundreds of millions of years of Earth's history.

As the threads draw together there is the sense that a walk on the beach, with all its chance finds and everyday wonders, stretches both back into the deep past and ahead into the uncertain future of our oceans. Above all, we are inspired to go out and explore for ourselves, reminded of the pleasures of discovery, and of looking and listening more closely.

‘A charming book, with a beautifully poetic slant. Lets us dip our toes into this world with a renewed appreciation and understanding... the reader left mesmerized and inspired.’

BBC Wildlife Magazine

‘Wonderfully written and photographed... Shines an extraordinary light on the ordinary, studying everything she finds with the intensity of a scientist but the wide-eyed wonder of a child’

Western Morning News

‘Poetic prose and engaging storytelling... photographs so startling they look like paintings. Interesting, inspiring and beautiful.’

Eden Project Magazine

‘Filled with marvels from end to end’

Caspar Henderson, author of
The Book of Barely Imagined Beings

'No-one who has ever been awed by the sea, or struck by its beauty, will fail to be thrilled by Lisa Woollett’s wonderful Sea Journal'

Philip Marsden, author of
Rising Ground

‘Beautifully photographed, full of delights and born of a deep love for the ocean’

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author of
The Cloudspotter’s Guide