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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource, certainly worth getting once
As a long-time member of both the National Trust and English Heritage, I did wonder how much in this book would be of use to me. The answer was a great deal, as the book contains not only all the National Trust properties, but also all the English Welsh and Scottish Heritage houses and castles, the major cathedrals, all the houses in the Historic Houses Association, and a...
Published on 22 Dec. 2009 by Sussex by the Sea

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars won't replace the internet, nice for looking
I enjoyed looking at this book. It is a nice thing tho flick through and very efficient compared to looking all these places up on the internet, you can swiftly see a lot of places and can review them by area. However, unless you are treating this as a laundry list of places to visit you'll still spend a lot of time of the internet. Especially if, like me, you have kids...
Published on 23 Dec. 2011 by sam


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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent resource, certainly worth getting once, 22 Dec. 2009
By 
Sussex by the Sea (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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As a long-time member of both the National Trust and English Heritage, I did wonder how much in this book would be of use to me. The answer was a great deal, as the book contains not only all the National Trust properties, but also all the English Welsh and Scottish Heritage houses and castles, the major cathedrals, all the houses in the Historic Houses Association, and a large number of additional houses and gardens.

While some of the information in the book is available online, it is much easier to read all in a single place, with the maps at the end giving the location of every property in the directory. There are 18 pages of maps, though the book could be improved by having even more pages given to the maps, as things get quite crowded in the more populated parts of England. It is the maps that give the book the edge over the internet, as being able to see where the houses are in relation to each other is a great help when planning days out. The properties in the main directory are usefully ordered by county, rather than region, which also helps when looking for several places near each other.

The book contains up to date information for 2010, but the book could last for several years provided the reader remembers to look up the website of each house before visiting. As such it's certainly worth buying this book once, but there's no need to keep buying it each year.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tempting and exciting, a great incentive to get up and go!, 1 Jan. 2010
By 
Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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About the weight and shape of a telephone directory but there the similarity ends. This sumptuously illustrated definitive guide to our most desirable destinations is an excellent addition to any library. When looking at one's own county there are still reminders of wonderful days out to be had and all information required to make the trip. The photographs are sensational, inspirational and inviting, flicking through it feels like the best of any top class glossy magazine, a very happy way to spend an hour or two from time to time. I am especially pleased to have a copy as I frequently have guests from abroad who I know will find this a truly useful and comprehensive guide to all that is worth seeing here. I don't think that the book will date much either, these places have been standing for centuries and their web sites will show the most up to date info. All points are covered - collected within this "Britain's Heritage - Open to Visitors" beautiful book. Each place has several paragraphs to introduce you properly and a cleverly designed set of symbols and clear details of opening times so trips can be planned with confidence. Hidden away treasures as well as the more obvious candidates will entice and motivate you to spend time enjoying the most satisfying and interesting of days out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive with great photos and maps., 21 Oct. 2010
By 
debbie8355 (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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2010 is nearly over but I've used this book constantly in the past year. I binned my flimsy ant like National Trust handbook which is virtually unreadable by comparison as all the information I need about NT properties is here, plus all the information about English Heritage and independently owned properties which are open to the public. This large book now lives in our car and it's a great guide of all the notable houses, gardens and castles in the UK so it's a brilliant one stop reference book. If you're on your way somewhere or visting an unfamilar area it gives you a huge choice of places to visit without having to google or cross reference different books or websites. From what I've found so far the biggest properties with the most to do have the biggest write ups so you can also immediately pinpoint the 'top' attraction in a geographic area. The maps are very handy.
The printing and pages are high quality. Perhaps too high quality as I doubt I'll replace this for a few years until it falls apart. Things like opening times, current festivals and events I'd always check online before making a journey anyway - just in case.
A brilliant book and a fantastic present idea. I wouldn't be without mine now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice, lovely photos, 4 Jan. 2010
By 
Mike J (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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If travelling around the UK visiting historic places is what you enjoy, I'm sure you will make great use of this book. Even if it's not something you have done regularly before, browsing the pages and the many photos in this book, will make you want to jump in the car and spend a day in the country.
It's well organised and you get useful info about each property but fairly basic and limited. Might be as well to follow up your choice on the net before you go.
The photos are very nice and the book is possibly worth buying just for those, they say 1500 photos, some small, some full page, but all nice and well taken, many aerial or elevated shots also.
If you have a National Trust or English Heritage membership you will benefit doubly as many properties seem to be owned by them.
My only criticism is the entries that do not have photos, I found myself all but ignoring them, but if you were looking for something specific, they may be of use.
Book is quite big and heavy with a nice weighty feel to the pages, well worth buying.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good with a few omissions, 28 Dec. 2009
By 
Uncle Barbar (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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First things first - this is a very heavy book - it's certainly not one you would want to carry in your bag (if you could fit it in) with you when you visited any of these places! It is best read before hand or in the car and as many details remembered when visiting one of these places.

The book is divided into regions ("Eastern- England" for instance) and then county within that. I'm not sure I wholly like this division as it's often confusing when counties are sometimes put in one category and sometimes in another - why not just have them in county order?

The more important places have their own page (Knebworth House for instance). These entries contain one or two photos and a strip of information on how to contact the place, opening times, location and admission price details. Smaller venues (and therefore entries) contain much condensed versions of these often without a picture.

This book is called "Historic Houses & Gardens (Castles and Heritage Sites)" which is quite a wealth of sites to include in a book just over 600 pages long and which covers Wales and Scotland as well as England. The problem is - it DOESN'T include them all. Some counties (Kent for instance) appear to be quite well covered - others (Essex for instance) not so. Just browsing through I noticed a large omission - Hedingham Castle is one of Essex's most prestigious castles - why the omission? Orford in Suffolk is a similar sized keep and is included. Hadleigh castle (Essex) is missing also - why? I am sure I would find other omissions if I looked closer.

The descriptions of the sites are good and the information about location, opening times and costs very useful AND the pictures are often really quite stunning. I always want my "historic sites" guides to be comprehensive though and I do not feel that this one is. Which is why it only has four stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A tome of knowledge, 11 Nov. 2011
By 
Chappers "chappers" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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Although the advent of the internet has made paper-based reference materials all-but obsolete, I still like to peruse a thick book such as this as sometimes the simple scanning of pages in a book can bring something to your attention that a structured internet page might otherwise have missed.

I am somewhat surprised to find that this book is paperback as opposed to hardback, but non-the-less it contains a wealth of information on various historic buildings that are open to the public around the UK.

One naturally skips to one's own area first of all, to see what such a book has to say on local points of interest. For me, the pages on Lincolnshire contains all the usual suspects, from the birthplace of Sir Isaac Newton at Woolsthorpe Manor, to the stately seat of Burghley House. I question the complete lack of descriptive narrative and pictures covering Lincoln Cathedral and the complete absence of Lincoln Castle - which considering it's prominence I would have thought it would at least have had a mention. I get the sense that some counties or institutions perhaps have received preferential treatment?

On the whole, this is a great book for browsing an area that you might intend to visit, to casually investigate any places of historical interest in that area. I give this book 4 out of 5 for it's sensible and easy to reference layout. Marked down by not being hardback and for the occasional omission which I can't quite figure out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful if not overly exciting, 20 Jan. 2012
By 
D&D - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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This book is a useful addition to the UK travel library as it provides a concise guide to interesting places to visit. Yes there are many others with some often very personal selections but Hudsons scores by being especially well illustrated with good pictures.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Your History !, 29 Dec. 2009
By 
Jago Wells - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
A great book, superbly illustrated and detailed which would be an ideal gift for National Trust members and those who love sampling our architectural cultural heritage. Spanning the length and breadth of the UK, this big book...not a handbag friendly tome...delves into every aspect of the sites history. With full information on opening times,amenities,parking etc.
I think it's fair to say that those who would use this book the most would be mature couples and retired people. Families with young children would be unlikely to take their brood to many of these old piles given the low boredom threshold which most younger children have.
However;It would make a great gift for Uncle Joe and Auntie Barbara who take great delight in wandering around our stately homes,gardens and castles.
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3.0 out of 5 stars won't replace the internet, nice for looking, 23 Dec. 2011
By 
sam (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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I enjoyed looking at this book. It is a nice thing tho flick through and very efficient compared to looking all these places up on the internet, you can swiftly see a lot of places and can review them by area. However, unless you are treating this as a laundry list of places to visit you'll still spend a lot of time of the internet. Especially if, like me, you have kids and don't want to spend 3 hours in the car driving to a place to find that there is no ice cream and you need a backup plan.

So nice for looking but it has spent more time on the shelf than it's price demands to get value for money.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Reference Guide, 27 April 2010
By 
Mr. N. Daws (Staffordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites 2010 (Paperback)
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This large paperback book lists a wide range of historic houses and gardens open to visitors in every area of the UK, including Northern Ireland.

The main list, which comprises most of the book, is divided into twelve main regions (with Wales, Scotland and Ireland counting as one 'region' each). Each region is then sub-divided into counties (in the case of England) or smaller areas (e.g. South, Mid- and North Wales).

The houses and gardens are then listed alphabetically. Typically a photo is included, though not in all cases. The information provided about each attraction includes its ownership, opening days/hours, admission prices, location, and contact details. Some description is also provided, though not necessarily very much. For example, Portmeirion, one of North Wales' leading tourist attractions, gets a one-sentence description (and no photo).

The book also includes an English Heritage access list to grant-aided properties. This is a handy resource for finding out about some of England's lesser-known attractions, although as there is no cross-referencing from the main list, you will need to consult it separately.

Finally, the guide includes a list of historic places to stay, and a selection of indexes. The latter include places offering civil wedding venues, plant sales, corporate hospitality, and so on.

Overall, Hudson's Historic Houses and Gardens is a comprehensive and attractively produced reference guide. Anyone who enjoys visiting Britain's historic houses and gardens will find plenty of ideas for days out here, although for in-depth information about any particular place they might need to look a bit further.
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