Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
A good reference book but not without flaws
on 19 June 2012
This book aims to be everything you need to know about Scotland from the best places to stay and the best restaurants through to the best castles and beaches.
The book itself is split into 12 sections. These are: Wha's Like Us? (an introduction and random tidbits), Edinburgh, Glasgow, Regional Hotels & Restaurants, Particular Places to Eat & Stay in Scotland, Good Food & Drink, Outdoor Places, Historical Places, Strolls, Walks & Hikes, Outdoor Activities, Consuming Passions and The Islands. There is also a fairly comprehensive index.
Each different entry (be it for a hotel, attraction or whatever) is fairly comprehensive with the author's take on the item in question. There's also details on price, location, number of rooms, opening times etc. This is great but it obviously quickly dates the book as things change from season to season. I personally thought the author could be a little more down to earth with his comments but they weren't mean which is a good thing.
My main issue with the book was in terms of the layout. Unless you are going to Glasgow, Edinburgh or want to do a specific activity (such as hill walking or bird watching etc) then you really have to dig around the book. Hotels are in one place alongside places to eat. Then you have to look through other sections to see if there are castles in the place you're going to stay or an attraction where you're going to stay. I would have preferred it if it was all broken down into areas so you could see what's in the area you're planning to visit. Lists of top castles, churches, gay friendly places etc are all very good but they should be an extra rather than the main thing.
There are some maps in the book - mainly of the major routes and the town centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh. There are also a few pages of pictures which is a bit random and feels out of place in a book that otherwise is just text.
Overall this is a good reference book to use before you set off for your trip. It's not the best but you'll definitely find some useful information. 3 stars.