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North Downs Way (National Trail Guides) [Paperback]

Neil Curtis , Jim Walker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Feb 2007 National Trail Guides
The North Downs Way is the National Trail that follows Natural England's acorn waymarks from Farnham to the coast at Dover. This picturesque Trail takes in chalk ridges, river valleys and sections of the Pilgrims' Way. At the eastern end you can either walk via Canterbury (a total distance of 130 miles, 208 km) or follow the southern route (123 miles, 197 km). This is the complete, official guide for the long-distance walker or the weekend stroller. All you need is this one book. The Guide contains: the entire route split into convenient sections; 1:25 000 Ordnance Survey maps for each section marked with points of special interest; circular routes off the trail for shirt walks, enabling the walker to explore the local area; route information on each section, with colour photographs and notes on nearby features; background information on local history, wildlife, archaeology, geology, industry and landuse; details of public transport, villages on or near the route with facilities for walkers, useful organisations and accommodation, including camping sites; and the Countryside Access Charter on your rights and responsibilities when out in the countryside.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 Feb 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845132726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845132729
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 127,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts 2 Aug 2008
By JerryW
First the good bits: this guide is strongly made and well bound, the pictures are good quality and the mapping is first class. The maps are based on OS Explorer series, surely the best there are. The background information on the Downs is OK.

Now for the bad bits: there is a lot of extraneous matter that few walkers will need - circular walks etc - and the written route directions are truly dreadful. Instead of actual distances - eg turn left at the junction in 400 yds - it uses useless words like "soon" or "shortly." The word "soon" can mean any distance from 25yds to well over a mile and I ...soon... came to dread it. Where distances are used they are frequently inaccurate - one distance quoted as 100yds turned out to be 1/4 mile! Also many directions are complex, badly worded and very hard to decipher.

Overall this is not a bad guide but it would be so much better if (a) the background and other extraneous material were separated into another book or part book, and (b) the route directions were completely rewritten.

Buy it for the maps, if you buy it. The waymarking of the Way is pretty good and with them and the maps you can, as after a while I did, manage without the route directions altogether.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars North Downs Way Guide 5 Oct 2009
This is probably the best guide available for the North Downs Way. OS map sections are always preferable to drawn diagrams (in my opinion) to provide accurate explanation of the route and the topography.

I have walked the route covered by the guide, using it along the way, although it's best not to depend on it as some of the descriptive text is a little bit lacking in places. As a consequence, there remain several points where a decision is left to the walker regarding which direction to proceed where the book offers little or no advice. But, then again, I have yet to find a totally foolproof guide for any walk in this respect (and it would need to be 500 pages long if the North Downs Way was to be described in such intimate detail !).

Generally the NDW is maintained and way-marked very well. The guide works best as a compliment to this and by keeping ones wits about you, the way-marks and the guide together will ensure that neither the seasoned or casual walker is likely to go astray very easily.

The guide has plenty of information about the scenery through which the walk carves its way and describes (with maps !) one or two circular walks for those wishing to explore around the main route which I have found interesting.

On the whole then, this is an excellent little book with plenty of maps covering the entire route of the NDW. It is also tactile - a nice book to handle and dip in to. Plenty of beautiful photographs of the super scenery along the way are included. Highly Recommended !
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4.0 out of 5 stars The North Downs Way 3 Sep 2009
A great book full of useful maps, pictures and information. Well worth it, even if you're only planning on doing bits of the walks.
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