Top critical review
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Prefer the old version - too cluttered format
on 30 April 2018
Purchased this to replace an old and very tattered copy of the same title. I was hoping for a similar format to the original version, which was a simple to follow map of the canal and immediate surrounding area on one page, with information relating to the canal itself and general interest / local facilities on the opposite page. This was a great formula for navigating the canal; any of the 'crew' could just grab the book to instantly see the distance to next lock, swing bridge etc. Also, this layout was perfect as canal features were the main focus.
This new edition is more of a general interest publication, obviously aimed at a wider audience. The full colour maps are taken directly from the Ordnance Survey, with the surrounding areas covered in equal importance. This is fine if you want to wander away from the canal, but makes for a cluttered canal guide. I, and I'm sure most other narrow boat users will have the OS map as well as this guide, so why was it considered necessary to relegate the canal to just another feature on a 'busy' map. It is now far harder to use as a quick reference for navigating the canal.
Overall, a very big disappointment. Ok, it is very colourful and maybe a nice book to read at home before your trip, but it is certainly not a dedicated canal user's guide any more. This book will accompany us on our next trip, but I'm afraid my old, outdated and very scruffy original will be still be our main guide and information source.