This is a large book- over 1000 pages, and it aims to be a single, comprehensive guide to Britain. It begins with a section on travel advice such as tips about safety, information about currency and safety and information about travelling to Britain and within Britain. Basically, information for before you travel. But I would question the appeal of this kind of printed material. All this information can be found out quite easily online, and online sources are naturally much more up to date.
In the intro, and throughout the book, they make remarkable generalisations. "English pubs general..." " The British public usually..." I hope people don't take this too seriously!
Also this book is not re-written, it is simply updated. As such some sections are not actually updated for years, as they are left untouched with each edit. Hotels that were good 10 years ago might have changed a great deal now. Obviously they can't go back and review each hotel every year- which is the books main drawback. Nowadays you can go online and view customer reviews from many travellers for a specific hotel, something that a book simply can't do.
They don't include the very useful chain hotels (Travelodge, Premier Travel Inn, Inn Keepers Lodge etc) in this book at all- Simply dismissing them as "for business travellers." However often these offer very large discounts for people who book in advance (which most vacation travellers surely do.) They seem almost obsessed with " Hostels " and " B and Bs" I presume because they consider them more "authentic." The reality is hostel/B and B accommodation is in somewhat of a decline, and the destinction between "business" travellers and "vacation" travellers is somewhat artificial.
What I'm sayng is this book shouldn't be soley relied on for hotel listing as it is of limited scope, and material might be well out of date.
Their comments and listings for restaurants are, by necessity, very limited and a bit pointless. For many cities they list only a couple of restaurants. I don't know anyone who would choose their dining location based on such a limited scope, and it makes no little attempt to cover Britains massive take away culture, presumbaly assuming that people on holiday always dine restaurants.
The main sections of this book attempt to cover the entire country. Of course, London gets massive coverage, and most other places an overview or just a few lines. Some counties get barely more than a page. I don't know anyone who goes on holiday to visit an entire country, so really most of the book is of little relevance to travellers as it reviews places they arn't going near. This is especially true if you arn't including London in your trip.
This book is certainly readable, but as a full travel guide it lacks the depth available from other sources, most notably the internet. The size of the project means that most information in this book (especially about hotels) isn't based on personal experience- how could it be? As such the majority of info- phone numbers for taxis, places to stay, places to eat etc is available easily for free on websites and at tourist centres in the major towns.
I also feel it lacks more down-to-Earth information such as info about supermarkets, nightclubs, social groups etc. Most towns are judged on thir historical rather than contemporary appeal.
My tip would be to read this BEFORE you go to Britain, then leave it at home. the best way to travel is to experience things firsthand, by yourself. My experience of some places I have visited has been ruined by poor guidebook descriptons.