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Publication Date: 16 May 2019
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 288
Author: Nick Mayhew-Smith
ISBN-13: 9780281077359, 9780281081547

The Naked Hermit

A Journey to the Heart of Celtic Britain
By Nick Mayhew-Smith
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ISBN: 9780281081547
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Descending into the darkness of a long-abandoned hermit's cave, wading naked into an icy sea to pray, spending the night on a sacred mountain, Nick Mayhew-Smith recounts an extraordinary one-man mission to revive the ancient devotions of Britain's most enigmatic holy places.

Based on ground-breaking research into the transition from Paganism to Christianity, this book invites the reader on a journey into the heart of the Celtic wilderness, exploring the deep-seated impulse to mark natural places as holy. It ends with a vision of how we can recover our harmony with the rest of creation: with the landscape, the weather and the wildlife, and ultimately with the body itself.

Follow the footsteps of holy men and women such as Columba, Patrick, Cuthbert, Gildas, Aidan, Bede, Ninian, Etheldreda, Samson and others into enchanting Celtic landscapes, and learn the unvarnished truth behind the stories that shape our spiritual and natural heritage.
About the Author
A travel writer and former Financial Times journalist, Nick Mayhew-Smith spent five years visiting seven hundred sacred sites to write his bestselling book Britain’s Holiest Places (Lifestyle Press, 2011). It was turned into a six-part television series shown on BBC4 in 2013. Nick was nominated Writer of the Year by BBC Countryfile in 2012.
Press Reviews

‘Nick Mayhew-Smith takes us on a journey through labyrinths of ancient texts into lost worlds of living and believing. This book is an invitation to encounter the God of all creation in the raw and naked majesty of nature, and to recognize in that encounter an ancient and forgotten faith calling to us from the depths of our wounded planet.’

- Professor Tina Beattie, Digby Stuart Centre for Religion, Society and Human Flourishing, University of Roehampton

‘The author of Britain’s Holiest Places has done us all a favour in this new book. Mayhew-Smith invites us to celebrate the riches of our spiritual heritage. He does so, uninhibitedly, nakedly! Prepare for full immersion into chilly realities around the Celtic soul. Expect to come out quickened to the marrow.’

- Professor Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul and Poacher’s Pilgrimage

‘I want to thank Nick for writing this book. I am with him every step of the way as we feel together the enormous power of the planet, channelled through one man’s drive to understand the connection between people, nature and God. And I also want to thank him for doing so with such humility and humour, for making me laugh and marvel in equal measure. It is a wonderful book.’

- Mary Colwell, television producer and author of Curlew Moon

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