I have walked quite a lot of the UK's long distance paths and I usually buy one of the National Trail Guides. But when I planned to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, I chose this book instead. The main reason was that the amount of information was simply so much greater than in other guides to the path. It covers so much in great detail - obviously the path itself - but also history, flora, bird life, accommodation, transport, as well as many many other practical tips. The photography in the book is also excellent with some good sections such as flora. When I bought the guide, the only downside I felt against the national trail guide series was that this doesn't have OS quality mapping included, but hand drawn maps of quite short sections. However, when actually completing the walk, I found the mapping quite adequate, and although I had purchased OS maps as well, I didn't need to refer to them. To be honest, it would be quite difficult to get lost on this path anyway - it's pretty obvious where you should be going as you just keep the sea on the same side all of the way! Apart from recommending this guide - I must recommend this LDP as well - it's absolutely fantastic with some of the best coastal scenery in Britain. Just get out there and do it - you won't be disappointed!
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This book is an absolute gem. It contains practical advice on what to take, distances between certain key towns & villages, a chart showing basic details of facilities at the main towns & villages (such as cash points, food stores, post offices, whether there are places to eat & stay,etc), and an overview of pubic transport.
There book then splits the path into several sections so that it can detail specific route guidance information and maps for each section. There is a description of the main towns and villages which you will pass on each section, plus any local tourist attractions. This includes reviews and contact details (including e-mail and web addresses where available) of a variety of different accommodation options available in each place, along with price guides. In addition you will also find here names and contact details of places to eat, sometimes also offering a bit of extra information about them if they are especially recommended. Details of taxi companies offering baggage transfer services appear on some of the town description pages, although I feel this could have been given more attention as a section in its own right, and the areas covered by each company made a little clearer.
So with this book you can decide which part of the path you would like to walk, how far you want to go each day, which towns take your fancy to stop at overnight or to spend time at when passing through, where your public transport access points are, and whether or not you are going to need a packed lunch!
This guide has all the information that you need for the walk - the maps are sufficient in themselves (no need to carry OS maps for route finding, though you may like them for surrounding detail) particularly as this is a coastal path that follows the coastline at pretty much all times. I particularly liked the detail - not just of camp site locations, but also where to locate the pubs, water supplies, foodstuffs, - even where to look for seals!, etc. The publisher's also maintain updates on line for their books - a useful source of changes since publication. If I had any criticism, it would be nice to have a laminated cover, maybe a ribbon bookmark and a couple of extra pages for notes. Phil.
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