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Birmingham & the Heart of England (Collins/Nicholson Waterways Guides, Book 3) Spiral-bound – 1 Mar 2012

18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholson; New A5 edition edition (1 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007452586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007452583
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 15.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 339,976 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Oxford in 1948, Jonathan was brought up in rural Yorkshire and later in mid-Wales. He inherited a love of the countryside from his father, a land agent, and spent several years lecturing in agricultural education after training as a farm manager. He went on to establish his own small business renovating period houses, indulging his passion for old structures in very much a hands-on capacity.

Jonathan has researched and written the Nicholson Waterways Guides for over 20 years - and more recently The Times Waterways of Britain - having developed a fascination for Britain's inland waterways while teaching. He currently lives on a 60ft narrowboat, moored on the Forth & Clyde Canal, near Glasgow.


Product Description

Review

"Taste in guide books can be a very personal thing, but few serious boaters will venture out without a Nicholson's Guide. There is a wealth of information that even the most experienced cannot hope to keep abreast of, and the guides are welcome valuable for cyclists and walkers too." The Inland Waterways Association.

About the Author

Collins UK is a leading information-led publisher of illustrated and narrative non-fiction.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
I bought this to replace my aging copy bought in the 1990's, as I wanted to be sure I had up to date info for a trip round the Warwickshire ring. Fortunately I didn't throw the old one away !

The format of the guide has changed - no longer do we have the waterway running vertically up/down the page, we now have segments of OS maps on each page with text above, very similar to the Pearsons' guides which I already have. though the text is at least similar to before.

Ther biggest issue I have with this book though is the number of errors it contains - not typos, or even slightly incorreect information which you could perhaps forgive and ignore, but actual errors that make it difficult to use it for it's main purpose navigating Englands Waterways.

The book is divded into sections covering the different waterways and canals as before, and as before where a junction requires a branch to another section, there's a page reference so that you can easily pick it up again, in what may be the middle fo another section. The problem is that several of these I encountered are wrong, leading me to jump to the wrong page, and causing me to refere to a bigger map of the canal network to work out which canal and section it shoulkd be piontinhg to.

Now, some may say this is a minor inconvenience, and I did find this out at the planning stage so I was able to correct the page numbers and familiarise myself with the route before setting off, BUT when the main purpose of this book is for navigation, and you can't even do that with any guarantee of accuracy within the pages of the book itself, I have to wonder whether employing a proof-reader might not be money well spent.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Used this for a 10 day journey the long way round the Warwickshire Ring (all the way up to Gas Street Basin rather than cutting the corner in Birmingham)
Pros:
Spiral bound, with built-in bookmark - I cannot emphasise how useful this is when navigating on the back of the boat
Mile markers - very handy for planning. Water points and BW/CRT stations clearly labelled
Very very clear mapping, not surprising as it's OS map data, but it is very clear
Useful details on good pubs and shops
Nice bits of history and incidental interest

Cons:
It's been mentioned by many reviewers, but on our ring, I'd guess 30 pages, there were at least 4 mistakes with the page number directions. I went through it before we started and corrected the wrong ones in red pen. It can't be that hard to do a final proof.
Sometimes hard to tell which pub in the description was which on the map - maybe numbering them would help

Our second canal trip - we did the Four Counties last year and I bought the Nicholson and the Pearson. This time, I only bought the Nicholson, which may tell you something.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Couldn't decide which to use for recent cruise, so bought both, and ended up using both as each has significant deficiencies....
Nicholsons - by far the better map (OS) but occasional omissions. Continuation Page numbers on edges of maps are not always correct (pretty basic error). Too much historical information at expense of pragmatic information on where to moor, local services, etc. Infuriatingly, pubs indicated on map are not named or cross-referenced to their brief descriptions. I went through book before trip adding in the pub names and updating using Google.
Pearsons - better information and narrative. Maps are vitually unintelligible and useless (North is in a different direction on each page, for the convenience of those compiling the guide but making visualising and tracing a route almost impossible for the user).
Both guides are useful but woefully out of date: sometimes pubs have changed their profiles, closed or even been knocked down!
A more subjective and up-to-date guide to pubs (interactive?) must be possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael H on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
The book is well produced, the spiral binding being helpful. There are many practical features on the maps and the text contains a good level of balanced background information on surrounding areas around the canals.
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
The Nicholson canal cruising guides continues to be, in my opinion, better than Pearson (the main competitor) and others. However the 'new edition' still contains out-of date material that obviously hasn't been checked and updated (shops and pubs that have closed years rather than months ago, etc). And the text does, for me, spend too much space on churches & real ale!
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By Brenda on 24 Feb. 2013
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
When I bought a set of 'New Edition' Nicholsons Guides immediately they were available, I mistakenly hoped for improvements on the earlier edition, with real updates. I should have known better - information still out of date, sometimes by more than a year. Still, that's Nicholsons!
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Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Having returned to the canals after a 17 year break we were initially surprised to discover that Nicholson's had changed their format. Getting used to it now and this wider page style does allow for more information to be displayed alongside the map.
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By Jo B on 29 Aug. 2012
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
We have been using these Nicholson guides for the canal system for many years now and could not do without them. We bought this one as a replacement for an older edition. It is a good idea to update them every few years.
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