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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2013
There have been innumerable guides giving descriptions of walks in Britain, including lots concentrating on wildlife. This well produced, sturdy and handsome book by James Lowen, does something a little different, with suggestions on how to spend 52 weekends watching the best of GB wildlife.

The sites are invariably interesting, the photographs beautiful and the writing, despite the relatively small amount of space the author allows himself, inspirational.

It's not always made immediately clear how likely it is to see the special species described...eg Weekend 24 is headlined "Glamorgan for Fen Orchid..." and there's a big photo of the target plant but reading the walk description carefully... "a 99% decline since 1980...some are off limits..." gives a more realistic appraisal of success than the strapline. This is commendable, as the hopeful weekend naturalist may have travelled a great distance in the hope of spotting the orchid and deserves a fair and realistic estimate of how easy the search will be. Most if not all the site descriptions do give clear appraisals of the chance of success.

There is always a danger in site guides like this that vulnerable species or areas will be too publicised, the only entry I found a bit dubious from this respect was weekend 46 where the wildlife-watcher is advised to drive up and down a raod at night as the best chance to see Wildcats. This seems a bit dangerous for the animal but undoubtedly would give just about the only chance of seeing one without joining a guided walk.

Some of the weekends involve a bit of travelling between two or more rather distant places (eg Walk 7)but I can honestly say that virtually every suggested short break would be a memorable and really rewarding experience.

Well researched and presented this collection of magical weekends would be perfect if only the author would have provided maps for each of the sites. Without them the portable, sturdy format is a bit wasted. Even so, very highly recommended.
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on 27 September 2013
Beautifully written, 52 Wildlife Weekends combines the best of wildlife and travel guides to provide really usefully and flexible itineraries that take in both stunning wildlife and the landscape and culture of the British Isles (the latter through some well chosen recommendations of places to stay). The detailed information on exactly where and when to go help to maximise the chances of a successful wildlife-watching trip for all and the breadth of target species means that even the seasoned wildlife-watching enthusiast is likely to discover something new.

I can't recommend the Kimmeridge Bay snorkelling highly enough - an eye opening experience for anyone who thought (as I did) that snorkelling was an activity best saved for warmer climes. Get your wetsuits on and get out there!
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on 11 September 2013
Really like this book, beautifully produced with loads of ideas for places to go and itineraries for the weekend. Focuses on the really amazing wildlife wonders, so good for wife / kids who are not quite so keen as me. Very useful list of places to eat and stay.
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on 23 September 2015
A simple book but really useful when planning a visit in the UK. It has helped me decide when to go to the Outer Hebrides and where to spend a couple of nights on the way there from Devon and on the return journey.
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on 15 December 2013
This book has 52 fantastic and inspiring ideas for weekends getting to know our beautiful countryside and wildlife. I spent a truly magical weekend watching the deer rut in a golden sunset on Dunwich Heath followed by a glorious morning birdwatching at stunning RSPB Minsmere. We didn't spot any otters unfortunately but I will be going back so maybe I'll have better luck next time. Buy the book and get out there - I promise you, it's worth it!
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on 1 March 2014
I like this book a lot. It is a fabulous guide to wildlife sites throughout the UK and is invaluable to ensuring that you are in the right place at the right time to have the best wildlife adventures. It is a well presented and illustrated and professional looking guide.
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on 10 November 2015
Some good ideas for long weekends watching nature. Strange over the top style of writing.
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on 19 November 2013
What a great idea for a book. We do like to spend our weekends bird watching and this is the ideal companion.
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on 24 May 2015
Love it, following the weekends
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on 10 January 2015
Some good suggestions to some less well known locations. Tends to be biased towards the south & coastal sites.
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