The Stopping Places

The Stopping Places

A Journey Through Gypsy Britain

Summary

'I needed to get to the stopping places, so I needed to get on the road. It was the road where I might at last find out where I belonged.'

Damian Le Bas grew up surrounded by Gypsy history. His great-grandmother would tell him stories of her childhood in the ancient Romani language; the places they worked, the ways they lived, the superstitions and lores of their people.

In a bid to better understand his heritage, Damian sets out on a journey to discover the stopping places – the old encampment sites known only to Travellers. Through winter frosts and summer dawns, from horse fairs to Gypsy churches, Damian lives on the road, somewhere between the romanticised Gypsies of old, and their much-maligned descendants of today.

‘A beautiful writer who seems born to tell this fascinating story’ Amy Liptrot

Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award
Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Award
Longlisted for the Wainwright Prize

Reviews

  • Tender and intensely lyrical ... the prose is pure delight. The author breathes life into everything he sees ... To read The Stopping Places is to better understand the curious history of the Roma and how they have survived into 21st-century Britain
    Jackie Annesley, The Sunday Times

About the author

Damian Le Bas

Damian Le Bas was born in 1985 into a long line of Gypsies and Travellers. He was raised within a network of relations who taught him how to ride and drive ponies, tractors and trucks, sing melancholy cowboy ballads and speak the thousand-year-old Romani tongue. He was awarded scholarships to study at Christ’s Hospital and the University of Oxford. Between 2011 and 2015 he was the editor of Travellers’ Times, Britain’s only national magazine for Gypsies and Travellers. The Stopping Places is his first book.

Damian lives and works mostly in Kent, with his wife (the actor Candis Nergaard); and Sussex, where he grew up and where his nan – who taught him the old Romany Travellers’ little-known routes and ways – both still live.
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