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Fodor's Choice-towns(only 9 in England? Holland has 25)

Fodor's Choice-towns(only 9 in England? Holland has 25)

Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:36 AM
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Fodor's Choice-towns(only 9 in England? Holland has 25)

Since I am returning to Europe this Summer I thought I'd take a peek at my Fodors guides to see what Fodors considers to be top picks on towns/cities to visit(not hotels or individual sights like York Minster, etc). As for towns/cities---- Fodors lists 9 places in England as "FodorsChoice". I'd never really paid attention to this. Then I checked my Holland-Netherlands guide and France guide.... Holland has 25 FodorsChoice towns. Really? Just seems strange that, for instance, Bronkhorst in Holland is a FodorsChoice but Bath is not. I truly love The Netherlands--- but it almost seems a little biased. France has about 50 Fodorschoices which perhaps makes sense considering it's about 4 or 5 times the size of England. Bath did receive that star* second tier rating, along with Owlpen! How are these "choices" decided upon? Oh, and Dedham is a "choice" but Cambridge and Oxford aren't.
I always make my own choices(quite obviously as my trip report shows) but am now very curious about Fodors selection process?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:45 AM
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Weird -

why not e-mail amy and ask her about the criteria/selection process.

( [email protected] )
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:46 AM
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The Fodors editors biased? Tell me it isn't so!

The Fodorites themselves biased? About first-time posters? No! Really?
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Old Feb 23rd, 2013, 09:15 AM
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Thanks janisj ill do that!
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 07:41 AM
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Hmm. A little surprised, I guess, at the lack of responses---or theories regarding this question. I did send an email to the address janisj provided-- and will post the response once I receive an answer. Thanks!
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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Generally I find Fodors books poor in comparison to the Rough Guide, so far I've read the Spain and Turkey Fodors books and to say the obvious the Spain is a turkey, though the Turkey is ok in neither case would I recommend them to a friend.

One cause of the variation may be down to when the books were published as these ideas eg "choice" are just marketing terms which will be valueless in 10 years time.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:20 AM
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Bronkhorst is a Fodor's choice? Really??? Have they ever been there?
I now it claims to be the smallest city in the Netherlands, but that isn't true, and it has rather oddly a Dickens museum. But blink and you'd miss the place.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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I like them all. Kind of enjoy reading and learning a little from every guide book series and that includes ole Ricky. Just never paid much attention to the Choices, or to Michelins star ratings, or Steves picks until this year. Now I know to continue to not pay much attention to those parts of the books(wildly varying). Still curious about the criteria, though. Maybe it all boils down to simply--- if I expect to really enjoy a town, region, or village--- I usually do truly enjoy my visit. Thanks bilboburgler!
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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ancestral, I do like the Michelin star rating for towns but I prefer to look at the guides in 1950s and if the same town has a good score in the 2010's then it is worth a visit. Still I wouldn't go out of the way to drop by on a wet Sunday.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Hetismlj2,

Yes--- it's a FodorsChoice. Surprised me as well. So is Staphorst, Deventer, den Bosch, many more. You may remember that I lived in your country years ago(Tilburg andnMaastricht) and been to many towns(was there again last Summer) and the "choices" surprised me--- especially considering that Bath and York didn't seem to make the cut. By the way, we were able to stay in one of my favorite places in the world which I hadn't visited in years: Hindeloopen! God I really do love that place! We also saw Sloten, Workum, Makkum. Then down to Oudewater, Delft, Giethoorn, and finally on down to Thorne, Maastricht, and the Limburg villages. Also got to visit a Dutch friend I hadn't seen for years. Had a terrific time in your sweet nation!!! This year the closest I will be to Nederland is Vianden--- but who knows?
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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Bilboburgler--- now that's a great idea! Il have to order some of the older guides. As for wet Sundays--- well, seemed as though every single day of our trip last year was very VERY wet!!!
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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Hetismij2--- sorry I misspelled your screen name before. iPad.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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I've no idea what FodorsChoice is, can find reference on this site only to a similar name for individual business establishments - and wouldn't contaminate my bookshelves with Fodors' kiddie guides any more than I'd dream of using the advice its editors dispense here.

I bought one of their guides once about 30 years ago and was so underwhelmed I've not bothered accepting the free ones they offer me.

In this, most of my fellow-countrymen seem to agree, since I don't think I've seen a Fodors guide on sale here for years.

For basic countries: Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Time Out or Michelin. For tougher ones: the Footprint Handbooks or local specialists like Bean for southern Turkey.

What do Fodors say "FodorsChoice" is meant to be?
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 11:24 AM
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Rick Steves has Bath up his rear which are family (two who live in the UK) find funny. According to Rick, he feels that it might be better to stay in Bath and commute in to London...really? So it just depends on who is writing the book, I quess.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 11:25 AM
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I cannot spell correctly-should be OUR family!
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 11:41 AM
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Definition of Fodor's Choice, from the freebie Peru sitting on my coffee table:

"As travelers we've all discovered a place so wonderful that its worthiness is obvious.And sometimes that place is so unique that superlatives don't do it justice: you just have to be there to know. These sights, properties, and experiences get our highest rating, Fodor's Choice..."

"so unique"??? "worthiness"??? (fire the writer) I agree that Bath and York, and Cambridge and Oxford, are places I would expect to see getting high ratings.

I read as many guidebooks as I can get my hands on when planning a trip, but I usually travel with
Lonely Planet. I find Fodors maps annoying..
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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FodorsChoice(top picks of places to visit) for England:
Clovelly
Castle Combe
Lacock
The Slaughters
Ludlow
Borrowdale
Lavenham
Whitby
Dedham

That's it! No Bath, York, et al. Admittedly they never seem to to rate the large cities like London or Paris, but they very often rate Bath sized towns hence the inclusion for Holland of:
Kampen
Amersfoort
Delft(agree)
Scheveningen
Alkmaar
Middleburg
Etc etc

No response yet from Fodors to my email asking about the criteria.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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I bought some guides 2 years ago in The Cotswolds that I really enjoyed--- they were( I think) called Goldeneye guides. Gave them away before returning home but remember them giving some terrific walks. Author may have been somebody Fricker, or close to that name.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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I can't argue with Fodors choices for holland - i don't know it well enough.

so far as England is concerned, firstly are we talking about England itself or the UK? [all of the above are in England - no scotland or Wales - are they separate?]

but what they have omitted seems weird- Ludlow but not Chester, Borrowdale not Windermere, Whitby not Durham, no Lincoln, Brighton, Lyme Regis, Lynton/Lynmouth, Tetbury, etc. etc.
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Old Feb 24th, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Borrowdale not Windermere

Windermere is the Lakes version of Madame Tussauds, Borrowdale is a beautiful and fortunately unknown part of the Lakes except to hard core Lake lovers.

As for Whitby - Captain Cook, whaling, the Synod of Whitby and that's before you mention that writer chappy.

And this as someone who loves Durham dearly and thinks the Cathedral is one of the greatest buildings on Earth.

Ludlow BTW is in Wales which might account for it
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