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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prettiest but not the most practical book on the shelf
Stunningly put together book - featuring beautiful photography, detailed topographical maps and an alternative selection of the best walks in Britain. All 75 walks are described clearly and colourfully, and the author really sells the scenery, helping the reader to visualise each walk. I got the impression my mum was really chuffed to receive this and it now has pride of...
Published on 21 Dec. 2010 by Matt Aylott

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars falls short of expectations
this is a nice set of walks, no doubt, and offers something local for everyman, all seemingly gentle enough for the average walker, and yet long and demanding enough to reward.

the book is set out with a handy contents page, and reference map to the walks, so it is fairly easy to find a local walk. each walk covers 2 or 3 pages, with a colour photograph...
Published on 13 Nov. 2010 by Daniel Dalton


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prettiest but not the most practical book on the shelf, 21 Dec. 2010
By 
Matt Aylott (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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Stunningly put together book - featuring beautiful photography, detailed topographical maps and an alternative selection of the best walks in Britain. All 75 walks are described clearly and colourfully, and the author really sells the scenery, helping the reader to visualise each walk. I got the impression my mum was really chuffed to receive this and it now has pride of place on her bookshelf.

However, a pocket guide this is not. 'Ramblers Best Walks Britain' is more of a coffee table book because it is too large and heavy to take with you on a walk. I think it is better suited to providing inspiration. Or of course you could be old fashioned and take a photocopy! Surely thats the British thing to do!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars falls short of expectations, 13 Nov. 2010
By 
Daniel Dalton - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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this is a nice set of walks, no doubt, and offers something local for everyman, all seemingly gentle enough for the average walker, and yet long and demanding enough to reward.

the book is set out with a handy contents page, and reference map to the walks, so it is fairly easy to find a local walk. each walk covers 2 or 3 pages, with a colour photograph OS-style map of the walk, and brief step-by-step guide to the walk. in this, nothing new: effectively the same as any other walking guide.

where this differs from many similar books is in its scope, being nationwide. this has both advantages and disadvantages. on one hand, it would be a very handy book to have in a pack in the car for an surprise fine day. however, the book is very large and heavy, and not really convenient for porting around even if car-bound. the size would be acceptable if the book offered detailed descriptions of each walk, in the wainwright style, but in fact, there are scarcely 200 words for each walk, so the book is no good as a detailed reference to plan walks from home, either. so the prpose of the book must be, therefore, to show off the photography. sadly, however, the quality of print is very poor. Colours are over blown, or muddy, images are poorly printed and hazy, and the paper is semi glossy and filmy. the photo's themselves are passable, but no better than any other marketing catalog would sport.

so this, therefore, is a poor quality, essentially unusable for any purpose, heavy, and derivative book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Neither one thing nor the other, 14 Nov. 2010
By 
Many Beans (York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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This is a gorgeous book. The photography is absolutely wonderful, and it is presented in a very nicely finished and well assembled package. I particularly like the absence of a dust jacket to get torn and crumpled - the pictures on front and back are printed as part of the cover. It is a really nicely made product.

The walks themselves are probably not the best walks in Britain: they are selections by regional ramblers groups - and perhaps a more interesting and informed offering than we would otherwise get. They're also focused (quite reasonably!) on rambles rather than more strenuous hikes - so no Munros, Marilyns or wilderness hikes here. This does offer an interesting selection of recommendations you might not easily find elsewhere, but perhaps omits the best known walks that you might do first if only visiting an area once - for example, in Yorkshire, Malham Cove, Tarn and Gorge are passed over in favour of Roseberry Topping. The other side of this coin is that areas that tend to be overlooked in typical "best of" collections are well represented here.

As other reviewers have set out the problem is that this isn't a very practical guide if you actually want to go and do the walks - and if you don't want to do the walks, then the the business-like maps and directions don't sit very comfortably alongside the rather wonderful photography.

I felt I should like this more than I do - I support Ramblers, and love walking - but ultimately this feels rather compromised, perhaps by trying to cover too much. A very worthy effort nonetheless, and a particularly good quality book - it's a nice physical object.

Frank Duerden seems to have mastered this trick slightly better: I have his "Great Walks in the Yorkshire Dales", which has inspired many trips. Sadly this is hard to get now, but his book on Northumberland may be worth a look.

GREAT WALKS YORKSHIRE DALES.
Best Walks in Northumberland
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Celebration but Impractical., 12 Nov. 2010
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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As a Member of the Ramblers, I can see that this is a great celebration of all that is best about the organisation and is clearly based on the articles from the regular magazine that members receive - "Walk".

So there are some lovely photos which really benefit from the large format of this "coffee table" hardback. It is great to browse and choose walks that you will do at some time in the future, while the articles are all interesting and well-illustrated.

This is a real advert for the joys of walking in Britain and as such, maybe it is better-suited to those who have never tried this kind of thing, than those who are more experienced and will have seen all this before. If you want to "convert" somebody - then just show them this book!

Of course the reason I cannot give this 5 stars and as many others have pointed out - despite this being a wonderful book to browse and admire - it is ultimately impractical and so is not really in the spirit of the Ramblers, which is about getting out there and doing it!

There is no way you could take this book with you on a walk - as it is too heavy and bulky. So we have all these wonderful maps and descriptions of the walks - but they seem a bit pointless, as they need to be in a different format to actually be useful.

We fall between two stools with this then - maybe it needs to be 2 items - the coffee table book with sumptuous illustrations and then the companion, light-weight maps and descriptions of the walks themselves.

As it stands - it is all lovely stuff and great to own - but you can't help feeling that with a bit more thought, it could have been useful, as well as entertaining and informative?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful - if somewhat impractical!, 6 Nov. 2010
By 
M. Harrison - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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This is a lavishly produced coffee-table guide featuring 75 carefully chosen walks from the Ramblers, the foremost experts on walking in Britain. The format allows for some spectacular photographic spreads, and there are OS maps too, to help you plan your route.

However - and it's an obvious point - this is a large, hardback, hefty tome, an inch thick: it certainly won't be going on any walks with you. This means that while it's useful for inspiration, and as a resource at home, to actually go out and do the walks you'll need access to a flatbed photocopier or scanner.

The walks themselves, as you'd expect, are very good. I've used the Ramblers' guides before and always found them eminently practical: you can tell they've all been walked, rather than just compiled using maps, and with clear, simple directions you'd have to try really hard to get lost. The local information, such as historical material, places of interest etc, is great, too, and there is extra information such as the best time of year to go, and what the terrain is like.

It's a shame that more attention isn't given to those who may wish to do the walk using a handheld GPS or smartphone, though. It would be great to choose the walk from the book, then load it up into your device - or find it online - and set off unencumbered by either the book, a sheaf of photocopied pages, or an unweildy map.

For traditionalists and armchair trekkers, however, this is an absolutely beautiful book of 'dream' walks, with stunning photography and peerless practical research. A wonderful present for lovers of the great outdoors.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for ideas for rambles, 31 Oct. 2010
By 
Dr. J. L. D. Pearse (Gloucestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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This is a beautifully presented book of rambles throughout Britain (NOT the UK, hence nothing for Northern Ireland). It is odd that one or two of the smaller counties get more than 1 entry whereas a few of the larger ones seem under-represented, but the spread is reasonably comprehensive.

The photos are superb, the descriptions appear to be accurate and easy to follow, and the routes are clearly shown and waymarked on the OS maps. The rambles are mostly, but not entirely, circular, and there are also helpful hints on how to get to the start, the degree of difficulty and the approximate time needed. But there seems to be very little on the availability of food or drink along the way.

Of the 75 walks, 33 are 9 or more miles in length and many of these are more like 11 to 15; only 18 are 6 miles or fewer. But they pretty well cover the whole of Britain, and any keen rambler is likely to be able to easily adapt them to the desired length or find an alternative walk having been pointed to a particular area by the book.

The book itself is not really intended - and is certainly not suitable - for taking on the ramble itself. And its page size is quite large, and only just about capable of being scanned for taking a copy of it with you. So not like the "book of walks" that many a rambler will have on their shelf. But that is not really its purpose.

So overall a lovely book to browse through, especially on a winter's day, and also to help one think about where to go in less familiar parts of the country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant fireside companion, 30 Oct. 2010
By 
Jeff "roadrunner" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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As others have said, this is a coffee table book. It's nice to look at and I'm sure members of the Ramblers will be proud to own it. I do, however, have a number of criticisms. Northern Ireland seems to me a rather glaring omission and, unless it's my ignorance, when did 'Caerphilly' and 'East Cheshire' become 'counties'? Nor can I agree about the photos - they're mostly from stock photo agencies; many have over-enhanced colours and definitely lack sharpness. Inevitably in a book like this, you're going to be subjective; we won't all enjoy the same walks. Clearly Ramblers groups around the country have been asked to submit favourite walks from their area and someone's had to decide which to choose. Given that there are only 75 they're thinly spread out [apart from South East Wales which seems to me to get more than its fair share!]. I also wonder about 'Terrain'. I would never call a Munro a mere 'Moderate' nor the Seven Sisters which caused my legs to ache for a week. I did like the inclusion of the relevant bit of OS map and waymark notes - if they'd stuck to that with perhaps a small photo, it would have been much better but then as a 75-page book it would hardly fit what the Ramblers presumably had in mind. It falls between stools - little practical value as a walk guide and as a book of photographs, it has its faults. Why on earth spoil photos of beautiful locations with a quotation for goodness sake? So yes, it's a book of [fairly] nice photos of some stunning countryside but which is destined never to leave the living room.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely photographs, 28 Oct. 2010
By 
Pete in Wiltshire (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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This is a great coffee table book, with superb images of the most beautiful parts of the UK in it.

But I'm not sure I could seriously use it as a walking guide, if only because the coverage is so sparse. 75 walks equates to around only one per county, and indeed I'd have to travel something like thirty miles to start the walk nearest to me. I guess it might be useful as an up-front reference, if I were planning a holiday in a certain part of the country maybe, but probably not for a spur-of-the-moment day out.

But if you buy it for the magnificent scenery, you won't be disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars BORDERLINE USEFUL, 4 Nov. 2010
By 
Ludovico Sforza (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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Unless you normally take a 'suitcase' with your gear in when walking then you will find this book far to big to take on a tramp.. A large glossy tome of some 11" x 9.5" x 1.1" and weighing several pounds it really is only of use in giving you some idea of where to walk and it's not too great at that.

The good points, each suggested area eg Cornwall gets a large colour photo with some text covering highlights of the proposed trail and a few generalities about, in this case Cornwall, turn over page and you are given directions for the ramble. An OS map takes up a small part of the page and the are some details such as distance of walk, terrain etc. as well as the number of the relevant OS map. On the same page you are given details of the walk split alpha numeric. The alpha gives the directions to follow and the numeric something to look for/at e.g. Maenporth is a sheltered, popular beach with safe swimming......excellent but why squeeze it all onto one page? The opposite page contains just a large colour photo; no, to me to be walkers book this should have been less than half the size and I certainly don't need lots of glossy photos to fill my rucksack with.

Fine for coffee tables and perhaps giving ideas but pretty useless in practice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice but not much use as a guidebook., 31 Oct. 2010
By 
Jago Wells - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain (Hardcover)
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This book brought out to celebrate the Ramblers Association's 75th anniversary is a beautiful tome full of striking colour images,OS Map sections and sharp text describing each walk. Problem is....what do you do with this book apart from decorating your bookshelf with it ? With roughly ONE walk in each county or region,it's not something you would pack for a walking tour in a new area. Neither could you glean much inspiration to discover and explore an area you were unfamilar with from such a paucity of detail. It's like a rock climbing guidebook offering one climb per cliff !
I don't want to speak badly of such an excellent organisation as the Ramblers Association but really....this is 'walking' book for people who do not walk but like coffee table books full of pretty pictures.
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Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain
Collins Ramblers Best Walks Britain by Collins Maps (Hardcover - 30 Sept. 2010)
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