Swiss Watching

Swiss Watching Slow Train to Switzerland Around Switzerland in 80 Maps

The entertaining books on Switzerland by noted author and member Diccon Bewes are offered at a steep discount to members of the Association.

Diccon Bewes is the most Swiss of all Englishmen. He grew up in deepest Hampshire. A degree in International Relations from LSE and an 18-month world trip set him up for a career in travel writing, though he took the scenic route via bookselling. After ten years at Lonely Planet and Holiday Which? magazine, Diccon decamped to Switzerland as manager of the Stauffacher English Bookshop in Bern.

As well as grappling with German grammar, re-learning to cross the road properly, and overcoming his innate desire to form an orderly queue, he has spent the last few years exploring the bits of Switzerland he'd never heard of before. And eating lots of chocolate.

Diccon is now a full-time writer, occasional radio guest, member of the swissinfo Public Council and permanent expat.

Book title: Swiss Watching

Book subtitle: Inside the Land of Milk and Money

Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Language: English

Format: Paperback, 13.7 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm, 336 pages


Forget everything you thought you knew about Switzerland. Swiss Watching is an original and intriguing read about this landlocked island, going behind the stereotypes of banks and skis, francs and cheese. In Swiss Watching, Diccon Bewes’ expert knowledge dispels the myths and unravels the true meaning of “Swissness”. One country with four languages, 26 cantons and 7.8 million people (but only 78% of them Swiss): there’s nowhere else like it in Europe. Switzerland may be almost 400 km from the nearest drop of seawater, but it is an island at the centre of Europe.


Book title: Slow Train to Switzerland

Book subtitle: One Tour, Two Trips, 150 Years and a World of Change Apart

Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Language: English

Format: Paperback, 13.3 x 2.5 x 21.6 cm, 320 pages


One tour, two trips and 150 years – and a world of change – apart. That was the premise behind his new book, Slow Train to Switzerland. It’s the story of the first conducted tour of Switzerland, and how that changed both the Swiss and the way we travel. It’s a tale of trains and tourists, the British and the Swiss, a Victorian diarist and an English travel writer.


Book title: Around Switzerland in 80 Maps

Book subtitle: A truly magical and engrossing journey across Switzerland's history

Publisher: Helvetiq

Language: English

Format: Paperback, 23.2 x 2.2 x 33 cm, 226 pages


A map is the perfect pictorial way to explain and entertain. This book achieves both of these goals and provide a detailed picture of Switzerland. Diccon's search for original maps led him through official archives and private collections. The results are presented here, along with the fascinating stories behind them: from the circular island map of 1480 to the birth of modern Swiss cartography; from the British rail plan for Switzerland to a Soviet map of Basel during the Cold-War; from the 1970s Zurich map for men to the vision of a Greater Switzerland with 40 cantons.


Log in as a member to order any of the books at the members' discount. Diccon will sign and dedicate each book to you.

Copyright © 1998-2023 Swiss LSE Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Disclaimer and Impressum: The Swiss LSE Alumni Association acts only on its own behalf, is in no way authorized, maintained, sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise representative of the London School of Economics and Political Science or the University of London. It is an independent and autonomous national membership association incorporated under Swiss federal law. Its postal address is: The Swiss LSE Alumni Association, CH-3000 Berne. It is represented by its Officers as they are listed in the respective section of this Web site.