This Glasgow and Edinburgh guidebook from Frommer’s allows you to discover the best of Scotland’s two main cities. They are, after all, only about 50 miles (80 kms) apart, with several trains per hour between them, and a journey time of usually just over an hour. Edinburgh is more popular with tourists, but if you have time then you should certainly plan to visit Glasgow too. It has some superb museums and galleries, great architecture, and the splendid River Clyde. This guide, which is more comprehensive if a little less attractive than Frommer’s Edinburgh and Glasgow Day by Day guide is a great companion to these two impressive cities, and gives each city roughly equal amounts of space.
Author Barry Shelby may have been born in California but he moved to Scotland in 1997, lived in Glasgow for ten years, and now lives in Scotland’s beautiful Western Isles. He is also the author of Frommer’s Edinburgh and Glasgow Day by Day guide, as well as Scotland for Dummies.
Glasgow and Edinburgh Guidebook
It’s good that Frommer’s chose an author who clearly loves these two contrasting cities, and the love for them and interest in them shines through in the writing. It still has all the practical information you expect from a good guidebook, but there’s insight and affection here too. And why not, as both cities have so much history, culture – and fun – to offer any visitor. This ranges from the historic Edinburgh Castle to the more modern phenomenon of the Edinburgh Festival, which gets a short section devoted to it. Both cities have museums to rival any in the UK, including the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and Glasgow’s Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
We also like the little side stories that add value to the book, with boxes of information on subjects such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott’s novels, the haggis, or how to trace your ancestral roots.
Maps are an important feature of any guidebook, and we have always liked the way Frommer’s does them. The pale grey and pink backgrounds mean that the text stands out, and even the street names are large enough to see easily. Attractions are printed in bold, and numbered in bright red, with a clear key inset in a plain white box. The maps for the walking tours are to a larger scale, making them even easier to follow. There are thirty maps throughout the book, with city centre maps for Edinburgh handily placed for easy reference on the inside front cover, with Glasgow on the inside back cover. Full marks to Frommer’s for its maps yet again.
Edinburgh and Glasgow Walking Tours
Another feature we like about Frommer’s guides is the inclusion of several mapped walking tours. There are four suggested walks for each city, including the Royal Mile and Leith for Edinburgh, and the Commercial Centre of Glasgow, which takes in the Willow Tea Rooms and Glasgow School of Art. All eight walks have good maps and all the directions you need. These walking tours are a good way to discover each city for yourself – and the cities are well worth discovering on foot.
Our Verdict on this Glasgow and Edinburgh Guidebook
This Frommer's guide is just as good as their Day by Day guide - which it ought to be as they're written by the same author. This one is more detailed, and costs a little more. The other guide is a handier size for fitting in your pocket or backpack. They're both excellent.
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