John Dundas Cochrane (1780–1825) was destined for the sea from an early age, but is best remembered as 'the Pedestrian Traveller'. At the end of the Napoleonic Wars, he set out on a six-year tour of France, Spain and Portugal on foot. When in 1820 the Admiralty turned down his offer to explore the river Niger, he decided instead to walk round the world via Russia, Siberia and North America. On his arrival in St Petersburg, the Russian government gave him money to continue his journey using sledges and canoes where necessary, but he abandoned it in Kamchatka, marrying a local woman and returning with her to England. This account of his travels was published in 1824 and was immediately popular, going into several editions. By no means a scientific survey, it is full of interesting anecdotes and observations about a then unknown and mysterious area of the world.