HE WAS known as ‘the quiet American’ when he was working at the Bournemouth Echo.

But international best-selling writer Bill Bryson isn’t turning the volume down now.

He’s blasted Brits for ‘tearing Britain down and taking it for granted’ saying that Blighty is actually a ‘brilliant place’.

Mr Bryson, who worked as a sub-editor on the Daily Echo in the 1970s, before moving to The Times told a national newspaper: ‘What I’ve been telling people for 40 years is you have an incredibly beautiful country here, so use it and value it.”

The author was speaking as a group of seven US ex-pats were preparing to walk the 569-mile “Bryson Line”. This is the route from Cape Wrath to Bognor Regis, taken by Bryson in his latest best-seller, The Road to Little Dribbling.

In the book he investigates and comments, in his now-famous style, on the quirks of Britain as a follow-up to his best-seller Notes from a Small Island which was published 20 years ago.

The Bryson Line Walk aims to raise £100,000 for British charities, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. It was chosen because Mr Bryson calculated it was the easiest way to walk the length of Britain in the straightest possible line.

He told The Telegraph: “They're just trying to demonstrate that there are a lot of people like us who live in Britain voluntarily...people spend a lot of time tearing Britain down and taking it for granted but it's actually a brilliant place.”

He said that although we were living in a ‘very expensive time’ people didn’t have to pay anyone to enjoy the nation’s landscapes.

“The National Parks system here is really wonderful,” he said. “You have so many miles of public footpaths in Britain. In a little country it’s an incredible number. On the whole you already are doing a really good job.”

Walkers are aiming to complete 30 miles each day. You can donate money here thebrysonline.com/the-route