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Mad Dogs and Englishmen: A Year of Things to See and Do in England Kindle Edition
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The biggest problem is that the basic premise of the book, listing things that can be done in England in month order, sometimes doesn't make sense. Whilst it works fine for annual organised events, for example in January it suggests that the reader visit the Straw Bear Festival in Whittlesea or play the Hood Game at Haxey in Lincolnshire, the book also suggests that that month you should visit The Deep in Hull, climb Big Ben or tour HMS Trincomalee in Hartlepool. Why? Surely these are attractions can be visited at ANY time of the year. It would appear they have been listed for January purely to fill the gaps between the organised events. The other drawback of listing the things to see and do in this fashion is that it means that it would be difficult to use this book as a travel aid. Holiday makers in Devon, for example, couldn't really consult this book to find out what were the attractions of the area. This could have been easily rectified by the inclusion of an addition of a second index listing the attractions by counties, but this has been overlooked.
My other main complaint is that whilst there are some photo's in the book there are not nearly enough. There are many blank spaces, pointless illustrations or spaces for notes (does anybody ever make use of these?)in this book that could and should have been filled with pictures of the attractions described.
On the plus side, I found the text of the book to be quite enjoyable. The places and events listed are well chosen and a little off beat, and whilst the descriptions are succinct they are well written. Not that much practical information is listed, just the address, website and nearest railway station (not always 100% accurate - Leeds ISN'T one of the two nearest stations to Haworth, for example)but I suppose the intention is that any prospective visitor would be able obtain that any further details from the internet anyway.
Overall though, I was disappointed by this book; it could have been much, much better.
A drawback is that the proposed activities, visits, outings and so on, are arranged by month, not by geography. So, you are in the Cotswolds in May and you have 4 suggested activities: watch the Cheese Rolling at Cooper's Hill, the Tetbury Sack Race, the Cotswolds Olimpicks near Chipping Camden and admire the view from Selsley Common. The first three you can only see on the day that they happen? You can walk on Selsley Common any day.
We are off to North Yorkshire for a week next week. According to October's chapter there is nothing worth doing there (although plenty in other destinations that we could do any day of the year).
Going through the whole of the rest of the book chapter-by-monthly-chapter to look for things to do I N Yorkshire, it recommends two pubs, a seaside resort (and its theatre), a natural feature and a stately home; all accessible year-round but arbitrarily assigned to months rather tied to a destination. The index doesn't allow the reader to search by area. None popped up in the October Chapter.
A good book to keep on one side to help plan holidays. However, most of the activities suggested are not time-sensitive but you have to work your way through to discover which events are for a day or three and which are there year round.
More a bogside/bedside planning book than a definitive "where are we going next month" holiday arrangement accessory.l
It has some good ideas, but the layout is so bad - it's all over the place. If it included ideas for trips which incorporated various sites etc, this might have been useful.
As it is, you have to do quite a bit of work to find three things in the same area!
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