on 30 April 1998
I bought Access London after reviewing a dozen or so guidebooks over a few cups of coffee at the local bookstore, and haven't looked back. I only wish that Access guides were available for all of the places that I have traveled. Hopefully one day they will be!
Perhaps it was my personal outlook toward going to the city that swayed my decision; so be it. I couldn't have cared less about Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard. It was the old history of London that I sought. The narrow passages, the Thames and it's memories of a 1000 yrs. of watermen plying the river, the pubs which seemed moored in a stream of time all their own. Access London provided the location to many of these windows on the past and was invaluable in making a memorable experience of both of my trips to the City.
Now, it should not be misunderstood that Access London doesn't give useful and accurate information about the more popular attractions London has to offer, because it does, and then some. I found the sections pertaining to the museums of London to be especially helpful in finding the highlights among a myriad of exhibitions. The book went so far as to provide floor plans for each of the major museums as well. A last consideration in recommending Access London is the fact that it is laid out in geographic sections. This means that no matter where you find yourself in the heart of this most interesting city you are provided with a host of alternatives when it comes to your eating, drinking, sleeping, and sightseeing options.
Access London is an explorers guide to a great city and gets my strongest recommendation.
on 16 July 2004
Though this series embodies a clever concept, both the current edition (the 9th) and the previous three (and perhaps others) contain many inaccuracies, especially the inclusion of places that have changed dramatically or that are simply no longer there. While the format is convenient for having at hand while walking around the city, I cannot recommend using this book for planning. Moreover, the concept and presentation around which this series is based has been significantly improved upon by the DK-Publishing Eyewitness Travel Guides series.
If you intend to walk around London and want an accurate guide that orients you and points out the essential and interesting sites, the Eyewitness Travel Guides series is a much better bet. If you are really looking for a street-by-street, house-by-house listing of everything there is, the Access series is useful--but be sure to check everything that matters to you with another source before departing to make sure it really is there!
on 9 March 1999
This guide is the most user-friendly London guide I found. It's small enough to be carried around, has great tips on restaurants & shopping, floor plans of major museums, and makes sight seeing a breeze. Not the book to find low-cost hotels, though.