As mankind gave up the nomadic hunter gatherer life and became farmers, they were largely self sufficient. However one vital commodity was available only in a few isolated areas - salt. These early settlements needed salt to preserve meat and as a vital part of the diet of every animal. Thus trade routes were born, a network of paths and tracks fi ltering across the land to the south east from the two major centres of salt production in Droitwich in Worcestershire and those in Cheshire. In these pages the author follows the routes taken by salters distributing the salt across the country in an area between the ports of Liverpool in the north and Bristol and London to the south; as far north as Burnley, to the west as far as Harrogate, Sheffi eld and the Lincolnshire border; and south to Lechlade and the Thames, around the Cotswolds, and as far southwest as Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. These routes can be followed on foot, on a bicycle, or from behind the wheel of a car when an alternative route is given. Along the way we shall investigate the history of the places and sights, look at how salt has infl uenced these areas and at some of the people involved, and offer suggestions for refreshment along the way. The Salt Routes is a fascinating read for historians, walkers, visitors and locals, some of whom may have friends or family who still earn a living from a trade which has existed as long as Britain reappeared from beneath the glaciers of the last ice age.