Lonely Planet’s 2011 Scotland travel guide will be of great interest to anyone wanting to travel beyond London to perhaps Edinburgh, St Andrews for the golf, or to explore the beautiful Scottish Highlands. The guide is particularly good on Edinburgh, and includes a pull-out Edinburgh city map (which also includes a thorough Edinburgh street index, a map of Edinburgh’s neighborhoods, a map of Central Glasgow and a map of Leith).
There is a separate Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter guide, but it’s only 176 pages long and, with much more colour in it, costs almost as much as this guide to the whole of Scotland, which is three times the size. The Scotland travel guide also has almost as much information about Edinburgh in it as the dedicated Edinburgh guide.
If you know you want to go from London to Edinburgh but want to know what else there is to do in Scotland, the guide’s list of the Best Travel Experiences in Scotland will help. Golf and whisky are two of them, of course, and other highlights include Glasgow (easily reached by train from Edinburgh), walking, Scotland’s castles, island hopping, Glen Coe and, naturally, climbing Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
A major attraction of Scotland for golf enthusiasts is the chance to play a round at St Andrews, the historic home of golf. The book rightly says that St Andrews is a fantastic place to visit, even if you hate golf, but for golfers it does give you enough information on how to get there, where to stay, eat, and drink, what the town’s top visitor attractions are, and of course how to plan ahead and book a round on the Old Course. This isn’t easy, and single golfers are advised to start queuing at 5.30am in the hope of joining a group. Rather easier is to book one of the Guided Walking Tours of the Old Course, which run June-August.
The back of the book boasts a new inclusion - 3D Plans of Iconic Sights. Well, apart from the fact that we run a mile from anything that includes those now meaningless words ‘icon’ and ‘iconic’, the most over-used words in the English language, the 3D plans are a disappointment and a waste of space. We expected them to be spread throughout the book, adding to the pleasure of visiting Scotland’s main sights. But no, we eventually found them - all three of them - tucked between the Edinburgh and Glasgow chapters. Yes, there are just three 3D plans, and they are of Rosslyn Chapel, Stirling Castle and the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.
Despite the 3D plans, which do after all only waste 7 pages, this is a very thorough guide to Scotland. It was detailed and accurate on the places we know ourselves, and at 516 pages reminds you just how much there is to see and do in Scotland.
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.
Dec 04, 16 12:37 PM
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.
Dec 04, 16 12:20 PM
Beyond London Travel reviews Food Trails, a new guidebook from Lonely Planet for the culinary traveller which helps you plan 52 Perfect Weekends in the world's tastiest destinations.