New Guide to Britain

Old Apr 25th, 2001, 04:04 AM
  #1  
Just Curious
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New Guide to Britain

The latest edition of the the Lonely Planet guide to Britain says Blighty can seriously damage the wealth of overseas visitors.
The guide describes Britain as expensive and London "horrifically" so.
It also says dining out prices are "too high and service is not good enough", while the profusion of restaurants linked to major chains is "a sorry development".
The guide adds that if tourists stay long enough in old British hotels they soon realise that "Fawlty Towers is really a documentary".
Food also comes under attack, with Lonely Planet saying that although food in Britain is getting better quickly, the improvement has not extended to breakfasts.
It says: "Tourists tend to enjoy the traditional English breakfasts (the Scottish and Welsh variations can include such horrors as black pudding) because they don't eat such things often at home. If they did, they would die."
The guide also said many British public toilets were "still pretty grim", while drunken brawls by "liquored-up lager louts" were common.
Some hotels were still not keen to accept children, while the arrival of youngsters in restaurants was sometimes met by "frosty stares".
Lonely Planet says it has tried to produce a guide which pointed the way to lesser known sites to relieve the pressure on such places as Oxford and the Lake District.
Spokeswoman Jennifer Cox said: "Our authors were quite shocked at how overcrowded the well-known sites were, while other picturesque or genuinely interesting but less well-known sites were left empty."

Does it ring a bell in anyone's experience?

 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 04:10 AM
  #2  
JOdy
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Guess they didn't go to the right places. Everyone should experience London, and I hope this book would not put anyone off. Not fair minded at all.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 04:47 AM
  #3  
Bob
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Having taken our 2nd trip to Britain followed the next year by a trip to France. I would agree that Britain is very expensive. The only other item I would agree with is that less know sites are less crowded and well know sites are very crowded. But we have found this to be true in any place in the world. So what's the big deal. The rest of the guide sounds like it was written by someone who dislikes Britain, a poor pick to write a guide.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 04:52 AM
  #4  
xxx
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English food is not wonderful. However, I don't know that anyone chooses it as a culinary destination. English breakfasts we encountered varied with the establishment. Some were very good and some were terrible. I would agree that Britain is very expensive. I was expecting London to be costly, but was thinking we would find prices to be less in more rural areas. That was not the case. I don't know if that is just the way it is or if we just didn't seek food and lodging in the right places. We had no problems with liquored up louts. We did not find people to be outgoingly friendly but they were always helpful and polite when we asked questions.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 05:12 AM
  #5  
Philip
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I am surprised that this is coming from Lonely Planet. In the material I've read from them, they've always been targeted toward the budget conscious and those who like to tour "off the beaten path." I figure anyone who stays in a hostel can put up with anything. Hope they are not becoming to "Yuppie-fied".
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 05:31 AM
  #6  
sylvia
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Does anyone take Lonely Planet seriously. Yes, it is possible to eat badly in the UK especially if you go for chains or touristy places. It's also possible to get really horrible food in other European countries and certainly in the US.
If you know where to go and get books like the Good Food Guide or a good pub guide, you can find food as good and varied in the UK as anywhere in the world.
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 06:45 AM
  #7  
elvira
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I've never liked the Lonely Planet guides; they always sound like spoiled, petulant children who look for the negative so they can sound terribly world-weary "I'm a cynic and aren't I clever". Ptuee.

Where does Lonely Planet suggest we all go? Will it be some sort of ego trip for them "look we told them to go to Schtuppton and they went!"

Announcing that Britain is expensive and the sites are crowded is like slamming New York City for being big and noisy. Duh. For these revelations someone got paid? Where can I get that job? "Don't go near Florida; Disneyworld is full of people and the ocean is way too damp".
 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 07:01 AM
  #8  
David White
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London is expensive. So is New York or Paris. They are all major world cities, and high costs seem to come with the territory. There are many ways to spend less than a fortune in London, but at least from these limited quotes, it doesn't seem like the guidebook author was being objective and thorough.

London has almost unlimited cultural and historic offerings for visitors. The city has rarely been touted as a gourmet destination, however. Not every traveler WANTS meals at fancy restaurants, so the profusion of chain dining options can be good news. We're not talking strictly McDonalds or Planet Hollywood...London has other restaurant chains that provide lower-cost, fairly well-prepared food for busy, hungry visitors.

I can't disagree about the comment on older, traditional British hotels in London. Other travel writers have labeled these places "the old mouldies" with good reason. Overpriced, and under-appointed, these places are far below the standard that many American tourists expect. But even here, a savvy London visitor (not to mention a guidebook writer) can find good alternatives. In the budget range, newer offerings from the Travel Inn chain have added some modern, decent hotels in the city. Other big hotel companies--Hilton, Holiday Inn, Forte Crest--have London properties that occasionally offer special rates. And with enough research and cross-references, a London visitor can locate some quality, less-expensive hotels and B&Bs in the city.

Public toilets? London's are no worse than New York’s, but a smart visitor knows to use the facilities in department stores, large hotels, and other places. Heck, there's even a "Loo of the Year" award in Britain...given to the best public toilets.

What about the traditional English breakfast? Just look through this message board and you'll find a bevy of opinion on this subject. No, its not health food, but I suspect that many tourists will walk enough while visiting Britain to ward-off the worst effects of the high-calorie English breakfasts they consume.

As the author of a family guidebook to London, and a frequent visitor to the UK who has taken children throughout the country, I also question the Lonely Planet's comments on children in hotels. To be sure, Britain is not as child-oriented as some countries. There's still a bit of the traditional "reserved" British character here. But our family has traveled from Canterbury to Penzance, Oxfordshire to Cumbria, and York to St. Andrews--our children have been welcomed almost everywhere.

David White
http://www.KidsToLondon.com

 
Old Apr 25th, 2001, 11:26 AM
  #9  
dana
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just returned last week from spending 4 days in london. yes london is very expensive and i live in new york, but most major cities are. london is not know for it's food even though they say it is improving.yes we were surprised how expensive the meals were yet we didn't have reservations for dinner and the restaurants were turning people away but they were very nice to us and sat us.we were a family of 4, 2adults and 2 children and we had no problems whats so ever. we stayed at the thistle marble arch and when we checked in our family room wasn't ready, so they gave us 2 adjoining rooms. they didn't have to do that since we were checking in at 9:00am.
overall everyone we met was very nice to us and we had a great trip. would return with the kids in a heartbeat.
 

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