Read the UK Challenge: 2017 and beyond. Way, way beyond… #AroundTheUKIn144Books (@Bbrilliantbooks; @gilbster1000)


So. Since yesterday when I introduced the idea of the Read the UK challenge, it has taken on a personality all of its own. It seems to be a very popular idea and I guess I can understand why. It also led to some debate over definition of a county and, if you take modern definition or current county boundaries, then the list is longer. A lot longer. Like an extra 58 books.

Never ones to run from a challenge though, Abbie and I are quite happy to redefine boundaries but it does mean that the challenge will take a little longer to complete. That’s okay. We have no time scales, we just want to know if it is possible. That said, it gets awful lonely on a long trip and while one of us is ‘driving’ the other will be sleeping (fat chance with two insomniacs on board lol) so we need a little company along the way.

And we found it. Joining us on this now epic 144-book challenge is none other than Rachel Gilbey of Rachel’s Random Reads. As Rachel reads different genres to me and Abbie we stand a much greater chance of completing so we are going to tackle all 144 counties, metropolitan boroughs or whatever the heck they are called these days in the UK and NI including all of the islands. Yep. Epic challenge indeed.

Our plan is thus:

  • No timescales. We read as we always intended to but we will endeavour to cross off all counties along the way. We may come looking for help i.e. book suggestions, and we’ll certainly be looking up all suggestions made so far – thanks for those.
  • We will post our review as and when the book is read and tag all posts #AroundTheUkIn144Books. Hopefully with your support we can get it trending on Twitter too – wouldn’t that be a hoot.
  • At least once a month we will try and ‘meet up’, perhaps reading a book from the same county but certainly delighting all you lovely bookish folk with a group update.
  • As for the rest… we’re winging it. This has to be a fun journey and it can’t interfere with the normal running of our blogs or it just won’t work. That said, it will be great to take stock this time next year and see how many counties we have visited between us. I’ll even try and find someone to map it for us because lord knows, I’ll be no good at that.

The new list of counties we are attempting to visit is below:

(Note we are including London as one big lump as I’m too old and tired to try and separate books into the relevant boroughs and there will likely be too much crossover anyway.)
Aberdeen City Luton
Aberdeenshire Medway
Angus Merseyside
Antrim Merthyr Tydfi
Argyll and Bute Middlesbrough
Armagh Midlothian
Bath and North East Somerset Milton Keynes
Bedford Monmouthshire
Berkshire Moray
Blackburn with Darwen Na h-Eileanan Siar
Blackpool Neath Port Talbot
Blaenau Gwent Newport
Bournemouth Norfolk
Bridgend North Ayrshire
Brighton and Hove North East Lincolnshire
Bristol North Lanarkshire
Buckinghamshire North Lincolnshire
Caerphilly North Somerset
Cambridgeshire North Yorkshire
Cardiff Northamptonshire
Carmarthenshire Northumberland
Central Bedfordshire Nottingham
Ceredigion Nottinghamshire
Cheshire East Orkney Islands
Cheshire West and Chester Oxfordshire
City of Edinburgh Pembrokeshire
Clackmannanshire Perth and Kinross
Conwy Peterborough
Cornwall Plymouth
Cumbria Poole
Darlington Portsmouth
Denbighshire Powys
Derby Redcar and Cleveland
Derbyshire Renfrewshire
Devon Rhondda Cynon Taf
Dorset Rutland
Down Scottish Borders
Dumfries and Galloway Shetland Islands
Dundee City Shropshire
Durham Somerset
East Ayrshire South Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire South Gloucestershire
East Lothian South Lanarkshire
East Renfrewshire South Yorkshire
East Riding of Yorkshire Southampton
East Sussex Southend-on-Sea
Essex Staffordshire
Falkirk Stirling
Fermanagh Stockton-on-Tees
Fife Stoke-on-Trent
Flintshire Suffolk
GL: Greater London Surrey
Glasgow City Swansea
Gloucestershire Swindon
Greater Manchester Telford and Wrekin
Gwynedd Thurrock
Halton Torbay
Hampshire Torfaen
Hartlepool Tyne and Wear
Herefordshire Tyrone
Hertfordshire Vale of Glamorgan
Highland Warrington
Inverclyde Warwickshire
Isle of Anglesey West Dunbartonshire
Isle of Wight West Lothian
Kent West Midlands
Kingston upon Hull West Sussex
Lancashire West Yorkshire
Leicester Wiltshire
Leicestershire Worcestershire
Lincolnshire Wrexham
Londonderry York

So – where can you follow us on our epic UK ‘road trip’? Well here of course – Jen Med’s Book Reviews. It was my daft idea – can’t abandon the team now. I’m the designated driver – just call me Jennie Sat Nav.

You can also follow Tour Director – Abbie Rutherford over on Bloomin’ Brilliant Books and Entertainment Director – Rachel Gilbey over on Rachel’s Random Reads

The adventure starts here. Wish us luck. Alternatively it you want to get on the ‘library bus’ and travel with us, let us know. The more the merrier.

Happy Reading All


(Image copyright: Volina/Shutterstock)

18 thoughts on “Read the UK Challenge: 2017 and beyond. Way, way beyond… #AroundTheUKIn144Books (@Bbrilliantbooks; @gilbster1000)

  1. Think you are all nuts but then again I come from the same gene pool as one of you so nuff said….happy reading…if I come accross any in my book travels I wil let you know 😊📚📖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Think you are all nuts but then again I come from the same gene pool as one of you so nuff said….happy reading…if I come accross any in my book travels I will let you know 😊📚📖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good luck. I was so tempted to join in with this but have too much going on just at the moment. Looking forward to seeing how far you travel.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is truly epic stuff! If anyone wants a Devon-written book (set in Cornwall!) I’m happy to chuck a free paperback of Penhaligon’s Attic your way! Drop me an e-mail terri(at)terrrinixon(dot com) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh no, you seem to have dropped Berwickshire off your list! It’s the eastern part of the Scottish Borders and a lovely place. I live and set my Borders Mysteries there, in case you wish to reconsider.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll add it in. Must have got lost in the shuffle somewhere. Wouldn’t want to miss it 🙂 Thanks for the heads up. So many counties we’re bound to lose some… 🙂


    2. Ooh. I think it’s been reclassified as the county was ‘dissolved’ (apparently) in 1974. This has been one of the problems getting a full list as some many variations between the old counties and the new political borders that have sprung up. My home county was split into Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin although everyone always says they come from Shropshire no matter where they live.


  6. I love this idea! I have no idea what my schedule for the next months is gonna look like but I’ll be following your journey and maybe getting a few books along the way! It’s such a brilliant way to discover the whole of UK!

    Liked by 1 person

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