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Seems a bit pessimistic
on 17 February 2013
Let's start with some facts: when unfolded, the map measures about 80cm by 65cm (HxW), so it's never going to be very detailed. It shows all of Britain and Ireland, including the Shetlands and the Channel Islands as insets, and a little bit of France (Calais, Dieppe area). It shows the coastline as a rather faint white line - quite difficult to see, because the light pollution colours extend well into the sea! The main roads and motorways are marked, along with the main towns.
The colour scale shows the naked eye limiting magnitude of the faintest stars visible as nine colours ranging from brown (3.75-4.0) to grey (5.75-6.0). At the most polluted end, I found this to be very optimistic (I don't think you are ever going to see the Andromeda galaxy in Central London with the naked eye without a general power cut), while towards the other end of the scale I found it to be pessimistic (in SE England you have to be well out in mid-channel before you get to anywhere marked as grey!).
Before getting this map, I had been using the (French) avex-asso website which includes a uk map. This allows more detail so that even small villages can be identified. Clearly the two maps are calculated with different assumptions, hence giving different results. Purely subjectively, I feel that the online map gives a better impression of what to expect, so I was a bit disappointed with the Philip's map.
So the Philip's map gave me the impression that unless you were going to a little bit of West Devon, West Wales or the Scottish highlands, you might as well not bother, whereas the avex-asso map gives you hope that in some of the country areas of Surrey and Kent, you may well see quite a few stars.