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on 27 February 2012
I was very disappointed to find that the maps for the droitwich canals have not been updated since the 2009 edition. As the canals have been opened for 9 months I would have expected the restored canal to have been shown - how upto date is the info in these guides? Do not buy this for the restored Droitwich canals. The latest Pearson guide to the Severn & Avon has the restored Droitwich canals even though it was published before this guide.
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on 5 July 2013
Very disappointed with the accuracy. The front cover shows a picture of the Bristol Avon at Bath, instead of the Stratford Avon. The Droitwich Canals are shown as a dotted line, with locks missing, no bridge numbers and the lock numbers in the wrong order. On page 67 it says "many locks are awaiting restoration", but further down on the same page it says "On 1st July 2011 the Droitwich Junction Canal opened fully, completing the through route ..." The guide was not published until the following year, so there was time to get it right. Saul Post Office is shown, but it closed around twenty years ago. Elsan points are shown that closed ten years ago. Water points are marked in the wrong places. I love the layout of Nicholson Guides, but feel very let down. Come on Nicholson, get your act together! Ask some boaters to check it before you publish.
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on 3 October 2013
I've mainly used the Pearson Guides in the past but having used a Nicholson Guide to the Thames two years ago I decided to buy one for the Avon Ring. Unfortunately one page was torn with almost all of a map missing and I didn't receive the replacement until after I had left to cruise the Avon Ring. I like to use the Geo Maps along with the guide as they show even more detail of the surrounding area and I had a Pearson Guide too, although an old one and probably outdated in some respects.
Most of the time I used the Nicholson Guide which is based on large scale OS maps.
All the facilities necessary to boating on the rivers and canals are shown on the maps by clear symbols, most importantly the BW water filling points and the pubs. Good written descriptions of pubs and eateries along the route include telephone numbers to book tables.
I think one feature that enables the Nicholson Guide to outscore the Pearson is it is spiral bound making it much easier to keep open while steering the boat.
Apart from covering the Avon Ring, this guide also includes the rest of the River Severn from Stourport to Gloucester with the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal plus the canals in and around Birmingham out to Walsall and Wolverhampton and the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.
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on 14 October 2014
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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on 23 April 2014
This book provides all the information narrowboaters and those interested in the canals of the western Midlands would want. The canal routes are shown in detail using OS maps and clear descriptions of the facilities, sights and surroundings of the region's many canals. The only addition that might be useful would be some more in the way of information about places to eat on the routes shown. However, as this is information that may change relatively often and relatively quickly, I understand why this has not been included in detail. Even without this information, you will find this book useful in planning and for general interest - a very useful reference book.
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on 5 January 2015
Commentary and information a bit dated and somewhat underwhelming. It's a pity there is not more information about suitable moorings etc and many recognised ones (with rings etc) are not listed. But useful compact document and easy to handle when on boat.
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on 24 February 2013
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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on 5 October 2013
This is a brilliant guide to the described waterways and was invaluable in aiding our recent canal/river holiday. Unfortunately it was misprinted with some pages being printed upside down making the key unuseable.
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on 15 November 2013
This book, and others in the series, I consider to be a very useful reference when cruising our rivers and canals.
Most of the content is very accurate, though we did find one mooring on the Avon which had been washed out by floods last Winter - but no book can keep that up to date.
There is lots of useful information to help with navigation of rivers, canals, locks etc. We also use the listings of pubs, shops etc. close to the route.
It sits easily on the boat when cruising and fits into a waterproof map case for those inevitable times when rain hits you while on the move.
One improvement I would like to see is a couple of pages showing distances to supplement the few that are listed at the start of each section.

I will soon have the complete set.
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on 15 August 2013
These are the best all-round canal and river navigation guides, useful for walkers too. There are one or two inaccuracies, but it's good value for money. The overlaying of the canal information on the OS maps is what makes it for me.
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