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Scotland Guide Book
on 28 April 2013
This is the March 2013 7th edition of the Lonely Planet of Scotland. I have a confession to make later -so read on!
The book is very well laid out and includes some "3D" drawings of downtown Edinburgh and Stirling Castle to name but two. All the pictures are in colour and the font is in various colours to help you pick out features and items from the pages.There are highlights regarding the shops, sights to see and culture etc. for each area of Scotland discussed.
There is tear off street map of Edinburgh and Glasgow at the back of the book -so you don't need to buy a separate map.
The book starts with a map of Scotland with "dialogue boxes" pointing to interesting places. For example, it mentions "Whale watching near Tobermory -which the guide book tells means Mary's well! It gives the tourist early warning of prices going up by 20% in July -Aug and the midges start to really bite then too!
On page 25 it mentions a web site where you can swap experiences with other travellers. There are helpful itineries on pages 26-28 depending on how much time you have -and the solid advise to enjoy a part of Scotland very well rather than dash around and not really "see" anything -this applies to any holiday in my view. The first 40 pages of the book give an overview of Scotland before going through area by area.
The maps in general are very clear throughout the book -I love a good map - and the LP ones are in colour and clear with places of interest clearly shown.
The other great thing about the maps of Edinburgh and Glasgow is the way they "zoom" in over a series of related maps from a main map. Excellent.
I have been going to Scotland for over 20 years now and used the LP guide to see what it said about Pitlochry; Peebles, Elgin, Glasgow; Edinburgh, Inverness; Dundee, Ayr; Stirling, Oban; Fort William and others. The guide was very helpful and covered all salient facts.
So how about that confession? I have got into the habit of using the Rough Guide series and indeed bought the latest RG before we went to Scotland in October 2012, staying at New Lanark and visiting Glasgow (by Park & Ride). The RG did help us plan our holiday and we used it during our visit.
I have retraced this holiday with the Lonely Planet guide. I think the LP is easier to use and navigate around (and I don't think it's just because I knew where I was going)
The LP shows places of interest on maps in red. The RG mentions them too but they are not as clear on the maps. The RG does mention the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow as the Armadillo - but I could not see this slang name in the LP -so it is not all one way. The RG is 670 pages long versus 510 for the LP both at the same price. I am not clear what the extra 160 pages cover.The whole of Scotland up to and including the Shetland Isles are covered in both books
So how do I -a dyed in the wool RG user now view the LP series based on the Scotland guide?
It is clearer than the RG in the way it is laid out with the use of coloured text. The maps in the LP are certainly clearer than the RG. So I think the LP version is full of the information you need, but is funkier than the RG version. I decided to buy the LP guide to San Francisco now as a handy guide to carry around whilst in the city.
So points for the two Scotland guides: RG 7/10, LP 10/10