- Flexibound: 448 pages
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel (March 20, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0756615461
- ISBN-13: 978-0756615468
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,007,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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London (Eyewitness Travel Guides) Flexibound – March 20, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
The Eyewitness guides always do an excellent job of providing important maps of the transportation systems in each area and the cost of each system. I especially love the suggested agendas proposing how to spend a single day in a specific area fitting in attractions, where to lunch and what to see along the way and the historical guideline, as well. Very well done.
These guides, and London is no disappointment, are so visually interesting and colorfully published that I fail to understand why other guides seem to get more attention when they are flat and boring. While providing much of the same information, I've not found other guides to be as useful or as much fun to use.
However it was written so long ago and has been so poorly patched its practical text is not suitable for the people I bought it for. The advice about traveler's checks with the patch about using your credit card to get a cash advance from an ATM is quite a bit off. Digital camera owners need to be told to look at their charger and see if it works at 240; that tells them whether to get a voltage transformer or only a plug adapter. Oyster cards are a confusing convenience that can save real money and time if you stay more than a few days. These practical things need to be written up properly.
A brief reference to vibrant Canary Wharf and the superb Dockland's museum was not added very well. The photo on page 236 must have been taken before the first American edition in 1993. For perhaps 5 years you have been able take a tour that walks across the top of Tower Bridge; do readers want to be told that is a change from what the book used to say? Goddard's pie shop, which gets as much coverage as Docklands - Canary Wharf, is closed. Have the editors heard of Ben Franklin's house?
"Annually Revised" it says. There is evidence of many revisions and repairs; that is true. However this 2007 edition is not good enough to be your main guide book. Read it with some skepticism.
The book is nicely arranged by sections of the city. All major tourist attractions are covered, in part through the use of attractive cutaway museum floor plans and street plans for neighborhoods commonly visited by tourists, including a few removed from the center of London, such as Greenwich.
The Eyewitness Guides do not provide in-depth or specialist information; but, overall, they are no less detail-oriented than any other of the many *basic overview* guidebooks. A helpful contrasting example might be the Blue Guide for London: which is also an overview guide book but which cannot fairly be called a "basic" guide. While the Blue Guide is as broad in scope as the Eyewitness Guide in terms of the number of attractions covered, it is generally more detail-oriented, especially regarding architecture and history.
Since the Eyewitness Guide for London is not a specialist guide book, it is also largely free from editorializing, for better or worse. (I.e., no entry in an Eyewitness guide is going to include a suggestion to avoid a particular attraction, or a warning that some aspect of an attraction can prove frustrating. Other guides--such as a TimeOut, Blue Guide, or a Lonely Planet guide--are better for that.)
As is the case with most guide books, the Eyewitness Guide also offers sections of practical tips and information. This includes how to operate most London phones, what British currency looks like, what the emergency numbers are (e.g., in London one dials "999" not "911"), where to buy stamps, how "zebra" crosswalks work, etc. It should be stressed that other guide books offer the same information, and some more comprehensively. But the Eyewitness series' handling of such information is noteworthy once again because of the photographically-intensive style. While another guide book might inform the reader that in London phone booths are red, the Eyewitness Guide states the same thing *and shows a photograph* of a typical red phone booth. Is such a photograph really necessary? No. But, the photograph becomes one more aspect of the London tourist experience graphically captured by the publisher.
In short, the book is a must-have if you're traveling for the first time to London. I never tire of thumbing through my Eyewitness Guide for London. So rich, colorful, and dense are the layers of photographic and graphic elements in the Eyewitness Guide for London that it can provide hours of enjoyment both before and after your trip.