I have lived and worked in and around London all my life and it is only recently that I have started to fully appreciate what a vibrant and eclectic city is sitting on my doorstep. With this in mind I have purchased numerous London Guides and I quickly ordered the Lonely planet guide when I saw it.
I will admit from the start that I am a fan of Lonely Planet guides and this is a particularly fine example of what they can publish when they get the package right. It is colourful, full of stunning images, easy to decipher maps and chock full of insightful tips to help you get the most from your time in London, whether it be a day trip (like I tend to do) or a longer vacation.
This has a London Top 16 section and I have to say I generally agree with the choices the publishers have made. If you do these 16 things alone you will have a decent taste of what London can offer. This includes museums, parks, markets and pubs.
This book also guides you around the various regions of the city and has an extended section to cover the east, which is especially useful in this Olympic year. This has a fascinating historical section at the back, as well as the usual guide book info on currency, electricity, opening hours etc. There is also plenty of info on the best places to eat, see live entertainment and stay.
From a Londoner's point of view I can say this is an excellent guide book to help you get the most from your trip to the capital. It makes for interesting reading for natives who want to learn more and get more from their city, as well as for visitors who want to know some of the background and key highlights before they arrive. London is such a varied city and this guide goes some way to unlocking it's delights for you. I have some rather bland Lonely planet guides in my collection, but thankfully this isn't one of them and it would make a worthy addition to anyone's travel guide bookshelf.
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I was born in Richmond upon Thames in the mid 1940s, and at that time, the town was classified as being in Surrey. As years went by and London grew, Richmond was then incorporated into Greater London. As I grew up, days out to London with my Mother was a normal event for both seeing the sights and for shopping in the school holidays. On leaving school in 1964, I then graduated into being a commuter and worked in the Knightsbridge and Sloane Square areas of our Capital City. During these years, I got to know London pretty well, so I was interested to see what The Lonely Planet London Guide would contain.
It is a fabulous Guide and one that born and bred British Citizens, as well as visitors from abroad can benefit from. (None of us know everything do we!!)
Helpfully, this Guide is divided into 4 Sections, namely: - 1. Plan Your Trip 2. Explore 3. Understand 4. Survival Guide. Each of these Sections is colour coded, as are the leaf edges on the side.
1.Plan Your Trip contains -
Welcome to London / London's Top 16 / What's New / Need to Know / Top Itineries / If You Like / Month by Month / With Kids / Like a Local / For Free / Museums & Galleries / Eating / Drinking & Nightlife / Gay & Lesbian / Entertainment / Shopping / Sports & Activities.
2.Explore London -
This section lists the various London Neighbourhoods and each one contains information on Top Sights, Sights, Eating, Drinkng & Nightlife, Entertainment & Shopping. There are two pages containing 'Neighbourhoods at a Glance', together with a map, so that the visitor can see each area in relation to the others. At the start of each Neighbourhood, there is a map of that particular area.
Within this section there is a wealth if interesting information on London Today, The History of London, Architecture, Literary London, Theatre & Dance, Art & Fashion, The Music Scene and Film & Media.
4. Survival Guide
This section contains all the information on Transport in the Capital, as well as an A-Z Directory and an Index
At the very end of these four Sections are all the maps, finalising in a very useful pull-out map that shows the Central London Bus Routes Map & the Underground Trains Map. On the other side there is a Street Map of Central London. Perforations on this pull-out mean that if so desired, the map can be detached from the Guide Book.
Throughout the book, there are many photos, together with information of the opening times of the various attractions, entrance fees and with regard to accommodation, the expected average prices.
This is an excellent Guide Book for London and is of a convenient size to carry around.
on 11 April 2012
I was expecting not to like this. The last few Lonely Planets I've bought all had an over-inflated sense of self-importance and seemed to be trying too hard to knock the 'main' sites at their subject for the sake of it. This is a welcome return to form. I've worked in London, but never properly lived there, so have a sense of the place and have been to most of the big sites, but don't have the depth of the knowledge that a local would, and wouldn't know about the less famous gems.
This book seemed very fair in it's description of most of the places I've been to which makes me trust what it says about those places I have not. So it has enthused me about going to see the lesser known places it speaks highly of. It's well structured and covers different budgets so there is something for everyone. Not too thick (some Lonely Planets nowadays look thicker than bibles) - so if your planning a long-weekend or more in our capital this book really will help you plan to get the most from your time and value for your money.
on 24 March 2012
This is quite a good, comprehensive guide to London. All the top sights are covered and include full colour pictures which is good and there is a pull out city map too which is useful. It covers the main things visitors want like shopping, accommodation and places to eat. My only negative is that I have used lonely planet guides many times before for backpacking and the such and have found them invaluable for budget accommodation and eating places, yet the London edition doesn't cater much for this market - it's aimed more at the high spending tourist. Personally I found much better information online on trip advisor etc.
Pretty bog standard London guide. It includes information on everything you want from a city guide - places to visit, eat, stay and info on travelling around in cabs, buses and on the tube etc.
All explained in a very easy to understand manner. All the information is laid out clearly and organised into sections as you would expect.
But what I liked best about this book is that it isn't just divided into sections which list all the museums, all the restaurants, all the bars in alphabetical order of name.
It is divided into districts of London and then has sub categories for the museums, restaurants etc within that part of the city. That makes planning your day so much easier.
Its sections are - Richmond, Kew & Hampton Court, Notting Hill & West London, Kensington & Hyde Park, Greenwich & South London, The West End, The South Bank, The City, Hampstead & North London, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch & Spitalfields, The East End& Docklands. So, just pick an area you would like to explore, turn to that section and thumb your way through all the sights which are in that neck o' the woods. I have not seen a guide book organised this way so I was rather impressed with this.
London has so many things to do and see and when you plan your itinerary it is easy to miss things. So the way they have divided stuff into areas helps you to plan your day and see and do stuff all in the same part of the city.
It has the usual pull out map attached to the back page - and like every other pull out map it always gets slightly ripped as you try to work out where the folds are and how to open it out. Or is that just me??
I was a bit disappointed with the bit about where to go for English afternoon tea. I wanted information on Claridges and The Ritz but this book barely mentions them.
But overall I quite like the book.
I hope my review is helpful.
This is a lively and attractively designed guide to London. It is divided into four sections called Plan Your Trip, Explore London, Understand London and Survival Guide.
In Plan Your Trip you get London's Top 16 attractions, such as the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Tower of London, which gives the reader some 'headline' places to visit. Also on offer are Top Itineraries, based on the idea that you only have four days to explore the UK's capital. You get advice about seeing London with kids and how to act 'like a local'. There are also the usual sections you would expect from a guidebook, such as Museums and Galleries, Eating, Shopping and Entertainment.
In Explore London there is a section called Neighbourhoods At A Glance, followed by a detailed account of the top ten neighbourhoods. These sections give you all the information you need. The entries are necessarily concise, though the Top Sights are given more space. I would have liked more pictures, but when images are used they are clear, bright and attractive. There are two page spreads for places like the Victoria and Albert Museum, with four captioned photographs. The Explore London section is by far the longest section of this book.
I hadn't expected to find the Understand London section in a guidebook, but it is a worthy addition. It helps contextualise the shorter entries in the previous section. While there isn't enough room to give a truly comprehensive history of London, this summary does well to get the main points across. There are also brief overviews of Architecture, Literary London, Theatre and Dance, Art and Fashion, The Music Scene, Film and Media and London Today.
The Survival Guide is a less entertaining read than the other sections, though the information it contains is undoubtedly vital to the visitor. It deals with matters practical, from transport to toilets and everything you could need in between.
This is an excellent mainstream guide to London. I wouldn't have minded a little more colour and personality in the writing. We are so often told about the good, it might have been fun to have heard about the bad. If the writing is a little bland in places, it is never less than useful. Recommended for tourists - and for Londoners who might have missed some of the treasures of our wonderful city.
I think that this is a great guide....It clearly explains the customs of the UK and guides a visitor around the whole of London.
It gives good advice on where to stay, what to do and see and where to eat.
In an Olympic year I think that this guide is particularly useful and it would help a British person on holiday in their capital city as well as a tourist visiting the UK for the first time....
It includes a useful, large map in the back that can be removed from the book...I think that this is an excellent idea and along with a pop out map of London and the Tube system would be all that a visitor would need.....London Berlitz PopOut Map (Triple Map) (Berlitz PopOut Maps)
This guide is packed with information, is easy on the eye and is very user-friendly. There is a pull out paper map at the back of the book which is clear, with a type size that is easy to follow - however I would urge visitors to invest in a plastic-coated one given the inclement, blustery weather London can sometimes enjoy!
As a very general guide to London this book makes a good starting point. However, and this is a major consideration, given the cover of the book has a red sticker with `2012' prominently displayed, some of the information is not as up-to-date as one would hope. For example - the chapter on Hampstead and North London, page 242, gives a `Top Sight' as Kenwood House, which one cannot argue with, it's a fabulous place to visit, but unfortunately it is closed from March this year until autumn 2013. This closure has been planned for some time so this should have been noted. Web addresses are generally not included with the entries in the guide; urging would-be visitors to check details of opening times etc is sadly lacking.
Another slight puzzle is the inclusion of so many rather expensive hotels and restaurants - one would need to be quite wealthy to enjoy many of the recommendations. Again, I would check-out the menu of your chosen eatery on the Web before booking a table. At least one establishment in this guide is given a `££' price band when I know it would be more like `£££' for a modest meal.
The Lonely Planet City Guide of London is a solid guide to the city, but isn't one for those wanting to go off the beaten track and find something a bit different.
If you're new to the city then this is perfect for you.
Usually the lonely planet guides make for good reads. They are not great guide books to wander around a city with but they do provide plenty of interesting background before you travel.
What seems to have happened with this book is that the publishers have been persuaded away from their previously winning formula and produced a book which is much more likely to be used for very specific purposes rather than a general read.
It does a reasonable job but is confusing in parts and has a tendency to cram too much into some parts.
This book does try to fill a need but there are other books which do this so much better. I think lonely planet should go back to their earlier styles of travel writing.