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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2010
An interesting, informative and very up to date book.
However, it is completely ruined by its obsession with "celebrities". I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in Jilly Cooper, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, various Royals etc. etc., in fact I find the constant mention of them deeply irritating and enough to put me off the whole area.
The black flap proudly trumpets that the author is chief writer for "Cotswold Life" magazine- a glossy, rather superficial publication, full of....surprise surprise.... "celebrities"- I think that says it all, really.
There is also a gushing review from Jilly Cooper. Hmmm...I wonder why?!
The back cover says there are "Chipping Camden tips from "Heat" magazine's Julian Linley".... a recommendation NOT to buy the book, if ever there was one!!
I have checked the rest of the "Best of Britain" series, and it appears that writers are chosen with similar credentials and the information has a similar emphasis.
There don't seem to be any other comprehensive, up to date guides available- this is a real shame!.....an excellent opportunity wasted. I assume the "celebrity" approach must be a way of trying to make money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2009
This book is fantastic. It covers all of the Cotswolds in detail and is very honestly and informatively written. I particularly like the 'not what to see' and the focus on famous locals
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2009
A really helpful introduction to the area for first-time visitors and almost certainly for previous visitors, too. Plenty of detail of where to go and what to see but I was a little disappointed that there aren't some suggested drives. Good value for money, though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2010
I bought this as I wanted to find out a little bit more about some of the places in the Cotswolds. I did just that and have kept for reference. Its very much a tourist guide though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2011
This is the first Best of Britain book I have read and I have found it really helpful. If you are looking for a contemporary approach to guide books, this is a good one. Not just about tea shops and how pretty the area is, but some great ideas for things to do and the best (contemporary) places to stay/eat.

It's a little different to other guide books in that it has features on local celebs (up to a page in length) and I see that one other review found this annoying. For me it is a bit of fun and in a 320 page + book, does not detract from the usual guide info. And I rather like reading about Jilly Cooper!

Another strength for me is the 'what to do with children' and 'how to avoid children' information. This is great - something for everyone.

At two years since publication, the book does need updating. Egs: Harry Hare's (restaurant in Cirencester) has closed and there is no mention of The Swan at Swinbrook which is the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire's pub of some repute. As there is a section on the Mitford sisters, it would make sense to include it.

Also, it would be helpful to know if venues/accom allow dogs!

All in all though, I would very much recommend this book as a spirited, and as they claim, contemporary guide.

Should the publishers read this, I would love them to consider a range of similar books which cover moving to, or living in an area. If they used the same approach but obviously with relevant info for house buyers I think they would be onto a winner!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2010
Maybe it's because I'm used to guides like "Let's go" or the "Rough Guides" or thre Time out ones with factual, straightforward information about the places to visit that I didn't like this guide at all. It is full of useless and irrelevant information such as the sections called "the celebrity connections", honestly, who cares? Especially when the so-called celebrities are completely unknown. The descriptions of the attractions are vague and lack basic info such as what road it is on. Yes, it has the post code so you can use your GPS, but why make it complicated? Very disappointed.
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