We’re always interested in travel guides to Scotland as it’s not only one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, it’s one of the most popular choices for people wanting to travel beyond London.
Michelin’s travel guide to Scotland is in their Green Guide series, and we’ve already reviewed and recommended the Paris guide in this same series. The Scotland title runs to 400 pages, including 45 maps and plans.
There are double-page maps of both Edinburgh and Glasgow city centres, with an extra half-page map for the attractions outside Glasgow centre. The maps will be perfectly good enough for getting you around the cities, and the Glasgow one has two walking tours marked on it as well. We’ve never found the Michelin style of mapping to be all that attractive, and feel that series like the Rough Guides and Lonely Planets do better maps, but the Michelin maps and plans are adequate for the visitor’s needs.
In addition, there are town plans for all the major towns and cities, including Dumfries, Perth, Aberdeen, Stirling, St Andrews and Inverness. There are also maps for their ten recommended driving tours, and plans of many of Scotland’s monuments such as Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Rosslyn Chapel (of Da Vinci Code fame).
Unfortunately when guidebooks are updated from the desk (which is increasingly the case) rather than by sending the writer out again to revisit everywhere, mistakes can creep in. In the entry for Urquhart Castle on page 343, for example, no mention is made at all of the impressive Visitor Centre there, which opened way back in 2002. We may be wrong, but the entry for Urquhart Castle does give the impression of having been written before the Visitor Centre existed. The current guide came out in 2011 and it is the 8th Edition of the book, so our suspicions might unfortunately be justified.
There’s also an oversight in the entry for Alloway, where Robert Burns was born, which may again be to do with the updating. What the guide refers to as the Burns Cottage and Museum is now called the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. This opened in January 2011 at a cost of £21 million but isn’t mentioned at all in the text. Even if this 2011 guide was updated in 2010, the opening of the Birthplace Museum has been known about for a few years so it ought to have been mentioned, concerning as it does one of Scotland’s most famous sons.
Despite our reservations, the book overall isn’t bad, and if you use it then it will certainly help you enjoy a visit to Scotland.
There are better guidebooks around, though, such as Lonely Planet’s Scotland Travel Guide, which is over 100 pages longer, much better, and about the same price (in fact the UK edition is £2 cheaper than Michelin’s guide).
Dec 26, 16 03:03 AM
Beyond London Travel visits Floors Castle near Kelso in the Scottish Borders, family home of the Duke of Roxburghe and one of VisitScotland's 5-star visitor attractions, a Scottish Downton Abbey.
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The Beyond London Travel Books page reviews guidebooks, history, mysteries and fiction to help readers enjoy their visits to England, the UK, France, and beyond.
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