My favorite basic beginning woodworking book is "The Complete Book of
Woodworking: Detailed Plans for More Than 40 Fabulous Projects". No
longer available directly from Amazon, but a few used copies are
available. Great intro to wood and woodworking, with some good plans
(and some really simple ones). Highly recommended.
I don't have a lathe, but if I were getting a gift for my retiring dad,
I'd seriously consider one. Good idea.
If you think he'd be interested in more traditional tools, and he's
more interested in the woodworking process than making things quickly,
I'd consider hand tools. Let's see - a japanese Ryoba saw, a basic set
of chisels, a Lee Valley Low Angle block plane, a combination
waterstone for sharpening, a selection of clamps including some bar and
some spring, and a combination square should be a good set to get
started, and could cost somewhere around $300US if you didn't get
top-of-the-line everything. (All that stuff is available from Lee
Valley for a little under $300, but I don't know how their shipping is
to the UK.) I think that should be in your 100-200 pound range, isn't
it? That's assuming he has stuff like glue, sandpaper, a workmate or
something to serve as a bench, etc.
Sounds like a fun shopping trip!