Professional Details

Short Biography

Roly Smith is president of the Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild and a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers. He is also Commissioning Editor for Frances Lincoln Publishing, a freelance writer, editor and media consultant, and the author of over 80 books on walking and the countryside. Based in Bakewell, Roly was formerly Head of Information Services with the Peak District National Park, the busiest in Europe. He was recently dubbed ‘Mr Peak District’ in the local press. Previously he enjoyed a 20-year, award-winning career in daily paper journalism, latterly with the Birmingham Post and Mail. He was chairman of the OWPG for 11 years before being elected its president in 2001, and an honorary life member in 2006. He is vice-president of the South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire area of the Ramblers’ Association, and a regular contributor to outdoor and heritage magazines. Roly is also a regular author and contributor to a variety of publications produced by the AA, Readers’ Digest and others. He is a media consultant to Baseefa Ltd, editor of Archaeology & Conservation in Derbyshire and a member of the editorial panel for Wild Derbyshire. He has organised the last three anniversary celebrations of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass, and his book on Kinder won the Alan Ball Local History award from the Libraries Association.

Professional Activities

Roly is Commissioning Editor for Frances Lincoln Publishing; editor of Archaeology & Conservation in Derbyshire, and media consultant to Baseefa Ltd.

Recent Publications

A Peak District Anthology (Francis Lincoln, 2012); The Pennine Way (with John Morrison, Francis Lincoln, 2011); Heritage Landscapes (AA Publishing, 2011); World Heritage Sites of Britain (AA Publishing, 2010); National Parks of Britain (AA Publishing, 2008, revised 2011); Myths & Legends of the Peak; Well Dressing; Dovedale; Ashbourne & Area; Matlock; Eyam; Tideswell (all Ashbourne Editions, 2011-2012)


Runner-up in the Lake District Book of the Year Awards, 2009; Alan Ball Local History Award (Libraries Association) 2003; OWG Awards for Excellence, Feature Award, 1993; OWG Awards for Excellence, Highly Commended (Feature), 1992; Fisons Agricultural Journalist of the Year, 1983; Newspaper Society, Colour Feature of the Year, 1975.

Personal Information


Roly Smith


33 Park Road






DE45 1AX


01629 812034

Mobile Telephone Number

07761 774206

Email Address


Specialist Activities

Writer, editor and media consultant

Specialist Areas

The Peak District; all National Parks (UK, US and Canada); walking; access history; the countryside, its natural and human history; landscape history.

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