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on 8 October 2011
Regular purchaser of this Guide which for us has been the best and most reliable source of information for good pubs when travelling in UK. Disappointed with the change of format this year, grouping into geographical areas, rather than the traditional counties makes locating new pubs for us in the Guide less easy. The change to charging a fee for entries results in the perception of some loss of integrity and the change to whiter more expensive paper for the text appears to be a needless expense when the Guide has a realistic life of 12 months. The introduction of black and white maps to replace the traditional four colour maps is also disappointing.
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2011
I've bought this in previous years and it was very useful. This year I bought the 2012 guide without looking at any of the reviews here. The negative reviews are correct!
This new guide is extremely inconvenient to use:
You look at a map and see an entry for a town - you then look up the guide to the maps to see what "region" it is deemed to be in, then find the part of the guide that covers that region, and look through the entries for that town. Each of the "editors' favourites" entries get a full description (good), but then you get further entries under an "also worth a visit" section. These have star ratings, but very brief entries, without telephone numbers, food details, opening hours etc., etc. I was confused - are these starred entries "worse" than the "editors' choices"? No, it seems these entries just haven't paid a fee, so get a 2nd rate entry! Worse still, these "also worth a visit" entries do not warrant being featured in the maps. So if you look at a town which is devoid of any entry - it just means that no pub has paid for an entry, but there might be several "also worth a visit" entries! I buy this book mostly to find pubs that do accommodation, but as most of the entries no longer give this information, it is hardly a proper unbiased and independent guide. If the editors had the decency to clearly explain their new system, I might have had some sympathy for them, instead I was extremely annoyed about the structure and contents of the book - until reading these reviews realised what had happened.
I was very tempted to send the book back to Amazon. I will certainly never buy this book in future years, an d suggest anyone thinking of buying a copy look carfeully at the reviews here to see whether it is of much use to you.
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on 11 April 2013
I bought the last year's guide as it was much cheaper than new, I don't expect that mant have changed in a year! and I don't go to that many pubs either!! I did use it in the Salisbury area as I did not know where to go and was pleased to have it. It is a pity the guide is not available for smaller areas such as South East England or even Southern England as it covers the whole country which of course includes many areas where I will not be going. The list of good pubs is not exhaustive and there are many that do not feature in this book. However I would recommend it as an ideal travelling companion.
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on 6 May 2012
I bought my copy not long after its issue in 2012 without thought as I have been buying GPG from as far back as 2000. Very disappointed due to change of format and presentation.I miss the county guides as these were a good way of locating pubs in a specific area.The useage of "Regions" to describe locations strikes me as an EU Directive.The policy of charging for entry destroys the whole ethos of previous editions. I was told by the landlord of a small hostelry in Shropshire some two years ago he could be included in the next years guide for £ 200.00. His entry for his modest basic pub has a similar entry to a superb dining pub of repute within the same area.The result is that you cannot get a true indication of a pubs quality. For those who have them cherish your 2011 guide as that is the last definitive guide to pubs in Britain. Unless the format is reversed I feel that the 2012 edition will be the final guide published!
Finally perhaps the better pubs could request a new symbol in the guide to indicate "No Payment Made"
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on 6 October 2011
For any previous buyers or regular users of the GPG - Beware - the 2012 edition is a sad disappointment. The 2012 edition is marked by the significant change of charging pubs for them to be featured in the guide - however this change is neither stated or honestly acknowledged in the guide. BBC radio 4 exposed the change. Understandably pubs have it seems refused to pay to be included.One consequene of this change is that the guide can no longer be relied upon to provide useful information on the best, interesting or intriguing pubs in an area. A comparison of the 2010 and 2012 guide highlights the change - the 2010 edition includes 60+ detailed reviews of pubs in London - the 2012 edition a mere 13. Although the guide now includes a section on : "Also Worth a Visit" - the 3-4 lines on each entry are far from adequate. Overall the impact is that the 2012 edition will be the last that I buy.
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on 24 May 2012
A lesson in how to destroy a winning formula. The Good Pub Guide was an essential annual purchase but no more. Find a copy of the 2011 guide and treasure it. Why? A pub can now elevate its presentation in the book by paying for an entry compared to a possibly far superior pub that chooses not to. The publishers claim that a pub cannot buy its way into the book, unlike some so called 'guides', but confidence has been shattered. This change has also meant that the paying pubs, which are in the minority, are now grouped into large regions, compared to the old counties, which makes locating a pub more difficult. The non paying pubs are still organised by county. A shambles. Is it too much to hope that the publishers will reverse direction for the 2013 edition.
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on 26 June 2012
I was in two minds about purchasing the kindle version of the Good Pub Guide. Numerous reviewers had slated the guides impartiality after the authors adopted a "pay to feature" policy. I can live with this but I can't understand their decision to organise the guide by region and not county. If I'm holidaying in Cornwall I don't want to have to search through endless pubs in Devon, Dorset and Somerset to locate those in Cornwall! I can't recommend the guide for this reason.
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on 12 June 2017
No problems
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on 30 November 2014
Not as easy to use as earlier editions, county by county as opposed to the region.
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on 12 January 2015
The only reliable unbiased Pub guide
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