A FORMER Walney resident is publishing a book about one of Spain's most commonly misunderstood regions.

Sarah Farrell, 55, who lived on Church Lane in Walney Island for over 8 years and worked as a sub editor at The North-West Evening Mail during that time, upped sticks in 2005 and moved to Dénia - a small port city between Alicante and Valencia, on Spain's Mediterranean east coast - after holidaying in the area on several occasions.

Having lived and worked in Spain since then, Ms Farrell's travel guide - entitled 'Visit Alicante's Myths and Legends' - is largely drawn from years of personal and professional experience, as well as her own research.

"A lot of people think this area is just Benidorm. But it really has so much more! So the book is largely about encouraging people to venture a bit further inland when they come out this way and to visit these areas".

In particular, her travel guide highlights the rich cultural heritage left behind by the Islamic Moors, who ruled and inhabited parts of the Iberian peninsula up to the Spanish 'Reconquest' that took place between the eighth and 15th centuries. The book also uncovers the stories behind some of the area's stunning natural beauty spots.

"Even with Alicante, a lot of people just go through the airport - which is a real shame".

Ms Farrell worked at The Mail when some of paper's biggest stories in recent times broke, such as the discovery of Lady of the Lake murder victim's body and the escape of a white rhino from Dalton Zoo in 1999.

As was the case with Furness, Ms Farrell was drawn to Alicante by the warmth of its locals.

The author also believes her new Mediterranean home shares something with her old one: "Walney is still a well-kept secret, with the castle and brilliant beaches."