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Blue Guide Scotland (Twelfth Edition) (Blue Guides) Paperback – October 17, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elspeth Wills graduated with an honors degree in history from the University of Saint Andrews.

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Product Details

  • Series: Blue Guides
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Guide; Twelfth Edition edition (October 17, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322514
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,474,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Just-a-girl on January 17, 2002
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We used the Blue Guides for Florence and Venice last year, and we were amazed at how much detailed information they contained about history, art, and culture. So when I began planning a long Scotland trip, I was happy to find a Blue Guide for the country.
Blue Guide boasts several benefits which I haven't found in other guides. The first is an appreciation for historical details. Here you will discover who actually built the castle you're visiting, who painted the portrait in the hall, when the furniture was made, along with who lived there and what they accomplished. And these details are not only there for the most famous portraits and castles, but also for those that other guidebooks don't even mention.
The second benefit of the Blue Guide is the city walks you'll find here. Some guidebooks approach a city based on how many famous sights it has. They list the sights and how much they cost, and you get to find your way on a map from place to place. Blue Guide takes an intelligent step away from that approach and takes you on a walk around the city. Maps are included, and you could easily deviate from the walk, but why would you want to? If you follow Blue Guide's walks, you'll read descriptions of the architecture along quaint streets, and you'll be led to all of the galleries and sights you want to see.
The final benefit of using a Blue Guide is never needing to buy a local guide to a gallery or museum. You know those audio guides that give you a tour of galleries? You won't have to pay for any of them, because Blue Guide will walk you through each room, painting by painting.
Finally, a word about the more practical details found in this guide. The maps are excellent, but they are divided into several pages. At first, they are a bit confusing.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 22, 2002
My sister and I recently traveled to Scotland for a 10-day holiday. We found the Blue Guide to be an excellent resource for information on the history and culture of Scotland. The history of various buildings and sites was provided in great detail as were descriptions of building interiors. The walks outlined were good and led one to lesser-known locations.
I found there to be several weaknesses, though. The book could not be used for planning a trip in terms of accomodations, shopping or restaurants as very little information is provided regarding those specifics. The index is woefully inadequate requiring one to try and remember which region a small town is located in order to find information. Attractions and sites are not rated - one is left wondering which sites would be the best when time is limited.
My sister had purchased Fodor's Scotland edition which I would recommend as a primary guide book particularly when selecting accomodations and restaurants. The Blue Guide was a great secondary guide book - particularly regarding the history and legends of Scotland.
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As other reviewers have noted, do not buy the Blue Guides for information on meals, accommodation, transport, etc. They have always been designed to help the traveller understand the history and culture of a country, and the sights that might interest an informed and reflective traveller. Other guides deal with the logistics.

I first travelled in Scotland with the Blue Guide in 1979, and recently bought the current edition for planning a return trip. Although the purpose is clearly the same, I am sorry to note a loss of detail. The ruined cathedral of Elgin, for example, used to have an almost step-by-step description of the visible remains. The current edition skates quickly over the surface of what you can see. Perhaps the signage, or the guides available on the spot, are now more thorough. But I for one miss having the detail in one handy, portable package.

Nevertheless, if you like to understand a country you are visiting, buy the Blue Guide among others. In the case of Scotland, it will tell you far more about what matters to Scots, and what has shaped the nation, than anything else short of a comprehensive history.

Buy the other guides for where to stay and where to eat.
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I am sad to hear that Blue Guides are no longer published. In addition to the Scotland guide, I have used them in Greece and Italy, with city guides, regional guides, and country guides. Their characteristic is that you can be almost anywhere in the subject area of the guide and find that place in the book.

Lots of detail, tiny print. Be your own tour guide.
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