Hay Author, Bridget Ashton is set to release her new book, 'Hit the Road, Gals' as the third part of her 'Hay-on-Wye trilogy.'

Bridget's newest memoir recalls stories of her and her friends' penniless travels hitchhiking around Europe and north Africa in the 1960s.

Armed with sixpenny Esso road maps and thumbing rides from friendly lorry drivers, they journey through Wales, Scotland and onwards to London. Venturing abroad, they find themselves enchanted by the romance of France, navigate Spanish landscapes fraught with both beauty and danger, fend off proposals of marriage on the back of a lorry travelling through the Atlas Mountains, and revel in the soul-stirring folk music of Ireland.

'Hit the Road, Gals' is the third book from Bridget Ashton following 'Cold War, Warm Hearts' which details her experiences travelling behind the Iron Curtain in the 1960s. You can hear a recent podcast with Bridget and Cold War Conversations where she talks further about this on an episode from December, 9 2023. 

'Hit the Road, Gals' is due to be published on Wednesday, 28, February

Bridget grew up in Hay-on-Wye, and the books she has published are part of the 'Hay-on-Wye trilogy', joined by a thematic link. She now lives in Morpeth, Northumberland.

Speaking about her new book, Bridget said: “During my travels I would scribble stories in my diary, never thinking I might use them later in a book. I took photos too with my simple box camera and glued the pictures into my diary later.

"These reveal the life of a curious girl and her friends growing up in the 1960s. We were seeking love and adventure, defying the all-girls fusty college rules in the early days of the sexual revolution when girls were supposed to remain virginal until marriage.

"We explored the freedom of the roads  encountering handsome boys in France who charmed us with their songs; having a near-fatal encounter with a gang of boys in Spain who had never met free English girls; bewildered by the men of the family in an Algerian village who prepared a silken bed and how the aged grandmother came to our rescue; dancing with a caliph in the desert so that we could ride on his camels.

She continues: We were an unremarkable group of girls, daughters of small traders, farmers, factory or office workers, tumbling innocently out into a world without mobile phones or internet, away from the influence of teachers and family. Isn’t this what all young people dream of doing?”