Favorite UK Guidebooks???

Mar 27th, 2003, 08:55 PM
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Favorite UK Guidebooks???

Hi Everyone,
I am going to be traveling in July for about three weeks in the UK. We're planning on spending about 6 days in Ireland, a week in Scotland (we're attending a conference) and 6-7 days in and about London. I am a definite neophite in this area, and would appreciate your recommendations for your favorite guidebooks for these areas.
Thanks so much!
casey163 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2003, 09:16 PM
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I used the Let's Go Guide for Britain and the UK and the Time Out guide for London. I liked Time Out both for the info and the the detailed maps in the back, although I used my Streetwise map of London most of the time. I generally like Let's Go for their hotel/food/site info, but I tend to do low-budget trips.
Vita is offline  
Mar 27th, 2003, 10:09 PM
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It really depends on your style. I use Lonely Planet and the Rough Guide for Scotland, but there is another very odd book, called Scotland the Best, which works in a totally different way to to all others.

Instead of looking up Inverness and seeing what to see, it tells you the 14 best seaseide inns, or the 12 best views, or the 15 best Gothic castles.

It does have listings for restuarants, and hotels but outside Edinburgh and Glasgow there's no guarantee that they'll be where you want them to be. The emphasis is on quality, not location
sheila is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 12:25 AM
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Wherever I travel now, I try and get hold of the 'Eyewitness' guidebooks. You can even find them in public libraries. They go into great detail - with photos, which brings the place to life for me. They even have photos of the local buses and bus-stops etc. Which sounds daft, but I find invaluable when wandering (dazed and confused!) around an unknown city/country.
EnglishOne is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 05:34 AM
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If this will be your first trip to Europe, I highly recommend _Europe Through the Back Door_ by Rick Steves. Not only is it a wonderful introduction to independent travel, it includes brief guides to favorite places. If, after reading it, you like Rick's approach, you could buy his London and/or Great Britain guidebooks. Visit www.ricksteves.com for the complete story. Or visit your public library. It likely has copies (maybe a bit outdated, however) of at least some of Rick's books. BTW, Rick also recommends other guidebooks besides his own on his Web site and in _Europe Through the Back Door_.
TimS is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 05:36 AM
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Oops! I forgot to mention that Rick Steves also has a guidebook just for Ireland.
TimS is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 05:46 AM
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I�ve visited the UK at least once a year for the past 10 years. Over these years I have bought nearly every guide book available (except Rick Steves), usually at remainder or damaged prices. While all were of some use in planning my travel, the only ones I felt were worth taking with me were the Rough Guides (to England and to Wales) and the TimeOut guide to Edinburgh.
ron is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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I just reread my message. That should read Let's Go Guide for Britain and Ireland. Also, I found London Walks (www.walks.com) to be great for short walking tours in London. I also used Stonehenge Tours (http://stonehengetours.com/) for a day trip to Salisbury, Stonehenge, Avebury, and Old Sarum. You won't need them though if you have a car.
Vita is offline  
Mar 28th, 2003, 06:49 AM
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Guidebooks speak to each of us differently. I suggest you go to a bookstore and look up the same one or two topics in each of several guidebooks. See which scope and style of information you like. For London itself, Fodors book is good.
I also recommend Steinbickers "Daytrips London" which includes walking tours of other towns and cities, transportation suggestions, etc.

I have a file on London; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
elaine is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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Casey, for an excellent and free package of info go to the British Tourist Authority at www.visitbritain.com.

Elaine's advice of going to a bookstore or library is on the money.

My personal choices are the Steinbicker books and the Michelin Green Guides but I don't use guide books for lodging and restaurants so if that's important to you they are inappropriate. My London Michelin is 1994 and the Great Britain is 1997 and both were used in the last two weeks as was the Steinbicker for daytrips by train to Brighton and Salisbury.

I consider the Michelins timeless and used my 1988 edition of Chateaux of the Loire 2 years ago. Everything was still in the same place.

jsmith is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 01:08 PM
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DK Eyewitness guides are outstanding!

uncle_sam is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 02:51 PM
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Not a guidebook as such, but make sure you have a look at an excellent insight into British pubs to which someone posted the link here a while ago -
Very funny and all too accurate.
Xenos is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 03:29 PM
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If you're looking for information without pictures, "Scotland for Dummies" is my favourite. Don't laugh! lol

I'm going there for the second half of May. I feel like I've read every travel guide I can get my hands on. I think the draw to the dummies book was it's conciseness. It contained a lot of basic information that the other travel guides may have just assumed you'd know.

Could it be I just figured out the origin of the name? *chuckle*

~ Sheryl
red63corvette is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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You'd be hard pressed to find a better, more comprehensive guide to Ireland than The Rough Guide. It's not as slick or photo-oriented as many other guides, but that's one of its strengths. It's well written, candid, and most informative. The Rough Guide has also made some positive strides in recent editions as regards listings of accommodations. But if you're primarily concerned with background on the various sights and attractions on offer for both the Republic and the North of Ireland, The Rough Guide is tough to beat.

Best of luck.
DavidD is offline  
Mar 29th, 2003, 11:40 PM
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Ther, Casey, I'm sure that helped

All clear now? LOL
sheila is offline  
Mar 30th, 2003, 01:05 AM
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London: visit the Tourist Office in Victoria Station. Get the book listing sites and the bus or underground to get there. Bus conductors are most helpful. They will advise you when to get off. I think bus travel better and easier than the underground. And the view is better. Most towns have 1 sheet guides..what to do if you have an hour..or two hours..and so on. City tourist offices. Concierges at hotel can be great sources of practical information. Take notebook to record directions. Write desired destination, show it to people. Great if you don't know language. I had difficulty trying to buy ticket to Katowice..I wasn't pronouncing the word correctly.
GSteed is offline  

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