Author, researcher and updater of this compact, hard-hitting guide to Britain, its history, background, quirks, social fabric and more.
This is a 288-page illustrated guide to the best of Britain. It's succinct and selective, picking out the cream and warning readers of tourist traps. It fleshes out the gazetteer with pithy articles on all manner of aspects of Britain - place names, industrial archaeology, landscape artists, and even semi-detached houses...In short what makes Britain special. After writing the England sections and some of the introductory material for the first edition in 1994, I was involved in updating the entire book every two years over the next decade. This has involved exhaustive fact-checking, text tweaking and reappraising what should go in and what should be left out.
The book was written for both British readers, who know their country well, and foreign visitors. The main readership of the guide was American (published as Fodor's Exploring Britain), but like the other Explorer Guides it was translated into several European languages. The Travel Facts section at the back of the book was written in separate versions for British and American readers. I updated five subsequent editions.
Anyone who thinks Britain is dull will have their minds changed by this colorful guide book. Shorter but livelier than Fodor's more traditional guide to Britain ("Fodor's 2000 Great Britain").
"Exploring Britain" has a colour picture or two on every page, clear maps of every region of Britain plus larger cities, and dozens of marginal notes on every topic, from "Waterway Vacations" to "Mountain Safety." The main text opens with a number of introductory topics, such as "The Pub" and "Kings and Queens," and then goes on to provide easy-to-follow touring guides to 10 British regions, including London, Scotland and Wales, as well as England.
The information is provided in a brisker, more personal style than the traditional Fodor's Guides, which tend to be encyclopedic but dry. Most tourism sites described in the book are given ratings, from one to three stars, a time-saver when you have to pick and choose. A condensed guide to accommodations and restaurants rounds out the book, making it a guide that could stand alone, although the traveller needing more information in depth really needs "Fodor's 2000 Great Britain" as well. In short, 'Fodor's Exploring Britain" is compact, colourful, and easy to use, and a good way to whet your appetite for travel to Britain.
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