Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Consistenly Lonely Planet quality but not quantity., 6 Feb 2008
This review is from: England (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
I haven't had a problem with the accuracy and the usefulness of the information in this Lonely Planet guide to England. I have no complaints there. The prices and the opening times are right. The recommendations insightful and the options presented (more or less) clearly.
My only complaint is that the depth of information is quite limited and the maps don't often cover more than the very city town centre of most locations.
I can understand that the book can only be so big but really, who wants to carry around a chapter of England's history when you travel and then resort to a series of additional maps and guide information. If you're going to carry this great hunking book when you travel, take it to read as well as as your guide book and make the weight worth while.
Maybe Lonely Planet should consider increasing the quality of their printing so that the maps can be more detailed.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Jun 2008 14:07:48 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 Jun 2008 13:02:07 BDT
C. Nation says:
I'm a tour guide. In my opinion, a guide book is for info, the "what": maps are for the "where". I want a guide book to major on the info.

Any maps in a book should be restricted to specifics - the Oxbridge colleges, for example, or a historic town centre like York. Anything more and the scale is going to be uselessly large, as the reviewer has found. Britain is a tight little island. Every town has something - perhaps a great deal - of historical interest, every field has been a battlefield. My advice, as far as maps go, is to buy one of the big road atlases - in April I found Asda selling 2008 Collins road atlases reduced from 6.99 to 0.50p! Earlier, I got the RoadChef edition of the AA Large Scale 3 miles : 1 inch road atlas 7.99 > 3.99. I use this for site visit planning. The Collins is good for general route planning but is plenty detailed enough for most purposes.

I advise my clients to buy something like the Collins @ 4miles : 1 inch / 11kms : 1cm - Phillips and Bartholomew are good, too - and at the end of their tour, if they want to keep their stuff to a minimum, simply cut out the pages which cover their trip and chuck the rest away.

One last thing. A paper map is a must - as a souvenir, at the very least - but satnavs are so very useful and pretty cheap now, I'd advise any independent traveler around Britain to get one or instal mapping in a phone or PDA. Paper maps are all very well but they cannot tell you where you are, once you're lost. You can then run up against the impenetrably complicated topography of rural Britain. Ask a local? Well how about "Straight down 'ere and turn reet at some green trees." In Yorkshire, in mid summer, this might make all the sense in the world to yer man but is totally useless to you. Before I got my satnav, I once got lost in deepest Wales. Although very close to my destination - in the same postcode district -even a passing postman didn't know it. Only 5 mins drive away when I phoned and got the postman to tell my hostess where we happened to be, she had no idea where that was. No visitor to Britain should underestimate the ease with which it is possible to become lost, in town or country, in this island. In fact, I have dispensed with the notion of "lost". I now regard myself as "temporarily unable to identify my present position". Until Joanna, that is [Joanna Lumley is my TomTom voice - "you have reached your destination, darling," she breathes ...]

I have TomTom street level mapping of the whole of W. Europe in my Nokia E61 phone and I've used it to walk across the centre of Anger, somewhere I'd never been before in France, from my hotel to a restaurant. For anyone who has yet to experience satnav, the accuracy, convenience and sheer stress-relief factor are a revelation.
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