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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2012
First, the walk. It follows, roughly, Robert Louis Stevenson's 1878 journey, which he turned into "Travels with a Donkey in the Ceevennes", his first best seller. The walk is mostly in the Cevennes, one of France's least populated areas, relatively unknown to British tourists, and very beauutiful. The trail, France's GR (Grande Route) 70 is largely in hills and mountains, up to 1695 metres, in remote country, often looking like Scotland, including gorse and heather. The walk includes medieval sheep trails, disused railway line (including tunnels) and mountain paths and passes.

Second, the book. First, the directions are clear and extremely helpful. Along with excellent French waymarks, it makes clear which paths to take (and not take). I never got lost, and am no orienteer. Second, the proposed days walks are well judged, with longer and shorter options and variations. The longest day was 17 miles, with about 700 metres of up and 1000 of down (most, but not all, gradual). So hard work, but not enough to take the pleasure away. Third, it includes some useful practical information and guide to places.

Third, some tips. First, maps. This book recommends the French IGN 1:25,000 maps. I bought from Stamfords the IGN (so in French) 'Chemin Stevenson' Topoguide, which included both 1:50,000 route maps and background on the region, and that was enough for me. Second, the Cevennes can be cold and wet - in late April, I had rain and sleet and (unseasonal) snow. Third, visit the website of the Association Chemin Stevenson for lots of practical information, including accommodation - it's a French site, but with a very helpful English booklet. Finally, buy the RLS book, and enjoy the walk.
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on 10 September 2011
I bought my copy of the Guide (Alan Castle, 2007 second edition) after looking around for material to help me plan my walk of the Stevenson Trail, which I completed in July 2011. I found the book to be an excellent resource for planning the trip as well as a really useful pocket sized guide while I was walking. Directions given in the Guide are well considered and there is a reasonable amount of contextual information too. Using the Guide and the good Grande Randonee (GR) way marking along the route, I found I had no need for additional maps, even though I had purchased a user-defined Satmap SD card for the route. If you do opt for maps, however, note that you may need 10 up to separate maps to cover the length of the walk with a usable map scale. All in all, I consider this Guide a hugely valuable and inexpensive investment for English speakers planning to walk the Stevenson Way.
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on 19 June 2015
I generally use Cicerone guides on walking trips in the UK and Europe, and unfortunately this is the first poor one I've come across. The author has obviously tried to produce a book which gives readers a flavour of the area, the original Stevenson journey, and the modern GR70 route, but as a result the route descriptions are basic,, have information missing and are hard to follow. I can forgive the fact that the information is a bit out of date - the facilities have improved greatly since it was written, and there have been a couple of relatively significant changes to the route - at least one permanent and a few KM of the original, What is rather annoying is that the author doesn't appear to know his left from his right - this became a bit of a standing joke on our trip, as landmarks were often not where we were expecting them - I know that benches and signs could have moved from one side of the path to another, but not so sure how farms, mature trees and lakes would have 'migrated'. Not all the route is well waymarked, and if we hadn't had a GPS track to follow, we'd probably have been lost more than once based on this guide.

This guide really needs a thorough re-write if it's going to be useful, we eventually bought a French language 'topo' guide from a fellow walker, and even with the language barrier found it far more helpful and easier to follow.
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on 27 July 2013
this was a gift for a friend who loves this area of France. He had never heard of the trail or the link with RLS but he is fascinated by the detail given. he may not walk it physically but is having fine walking it in his mind
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on 9 January 2011
I bought this for my husband for Christmas and he loves it! He's quite keen to do the trail at some point but in the meantime has found the book enjoyable to read and is well laid out with lots of information. He got another book in the Cicerone series as well and is so impressed that they are now his series of choice for walking and climbing guides.
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on 16 March 2015
I mistakenly gave this product a 2* review previously as I was confusing this book with a related product (RLSs book itself which was an appalling copy). I should have given this Cicerone guide 5*, no question. This is a great book - really nicely structured and informative. An easy to recommend purchase
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on 9 April 2013
After i read the book from Robert louis Stevenson "Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes", i want to more about this trail and the Cévennes area.
This guide is really helpfull and is in pocket format, so you can take it always with you.
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on 3 June 2013
very comprehensive coverage - it will be interesting to see how it relates to the trail later this year. Love it!
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on 11 January 2015
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