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Lonely Planet Ireland (Country Travel Guide) Paperback – February 1, 2010
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From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, if you're going there, chances are Lonely Planet has been there first. With a pithy and matter-of-fact writing style, these guides are guaranteed to calm the nerves of first-time world travelers, while still listing off-the-beaten-path finds sure to thrill even the most jaded globetrotters. Lonely Planet has been perfecting its guidebooks for nearly 30 years and as a result, has the experience and know-how similar to an older sibling's "been there" advice. The original backpacker's bible, the LP series has recently widened its reach. While still giving insights for the low-budget traveler, the books now list a wide range of accommodations and itineraries for those with less time than money.
From pub-hopping and leprechaun-chasing to Ogham stones and the Book of Kells, Lonely Planet presents the essential Ireland. In addition to the requisite lowdown on food and accommodations, a detailed activities section covers everything from walking and birdwatching to hang gliding and rock climbing. The book's intriguing "boxed asides" delve into topics ranging from the mystical to the environmental, including the witch of Kilkenny, the legend of Inishbofin Island, the Birr Observatory and Telescope, even Ireland's disappearing bogs. --Kathryn True --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
…these smart and exhaustively researched guides have become the gold standard for serious, independent travelers.' --San Francisco Chronicle
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The Lonely Planet guide was very helpful in locating everything once we arrived in every city. It explained many things about all our surroundings and that helped get us started. Even though I gave the maximum stars, one of the problems in this and every guide is that the writers list the places they went and not all the places. Not only that, but they tend to list the places where only tourists go. But all these books do that so one must take the good and look for themselves when they arrive at their destination.
Does it do anything unique? Not especially. Lead to hidden treasures? Well, no (the leprechauns are evidently still guarding those pots of gold at the ends of rainbows). Could it use loads more photos? Sure. Is it encyclopedic in its coverage? Nope. And it doesn't do much for Northern Ireland at all, at all, which is truly unfortunate. Could it give you a better idea of distances between places, and perhaps better ways to get there? I do wish it would! Is it a bit chunky and weighty, given current luggage weight limits? Groan: yep.
But is it a competent, easy to read, well-organized travel guide? Yes.
And that's about the best one can hope for, isn't it? After all, nothing's PERFECT.
What I found to be one of the key strengths of this guide over others were the number of accommodation options and restaurants. For each location they generally picked a favorite which was almost always worth checking out (although sometimes pricey).
The Lonely Planet guide is also among the best for budget travelers and those looking to travel green.
I have no opinion on the contents of this book yet. I'll let you know after I buy the paperback edition and take it on the road. I guess the future hasn't arrived yet ...