"Time Out" Book of Weekend Breaks from London ("Time Out" Guides)

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( 6 ratings by GoodReads )
9780141005829:

Whether your idea of fun is building sand castles or clambering over real castles, yomping through the countryside or slumping by the poolside, this guide picks out the best places to unwind within two hours travel by road or rail from London. Some destinations are cities, others are swathes of country or stretches of seaside and, in addition to a lively introduction to each place, you'll find: the choicest places to stay, from classy b&bs to classic country house hotels; the cream of local eating and drinking options; and the best and most intriguing sights and attractions in the area - all with detailed maps and full listing details.

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Review:

The Time Out series of travel guides has established itself as one of the most valuable series on the market today: unpretentious, sharp-eyed, authoritative and always totally accessible. In fact one runs out of adjectives for a book such as Weekend Breaks from London: anybody who cares to sample a couple of the breaks from this second edition will quickly regard this as the perfect companion to dwellers in the Smoke. The destinations here range from cities to swathes of the countryside or the astonishing beauty of the seaside. But wherever we are pointed, we are guided to the best places to stay, from quality B&Bs to more luxurious country house hotels. Needless to say, the essential sites and attractions of each area are detailed along with pithy, opinionated guides to local eateries and bars. In fact, it's the upfront opinions that distinguish this series: again and again the entries are expertly judged essays on everything from Canterbury Cathedral to "small and perfectly formed" Rutland with its calming reservoir, Rutland Water. And the opinions are very far from the usual fluff that fills such guides--take this description of Stonehenge, for instance:

You now have to pay £4.20 to see these big stones--and you still can't get close. There's also a money-spinning souvenir shop where you can even buy such neolithic memorabilia as Heritage Mustard. Impressive as the stones are, going to see them is a bit like renting your DVD player from the burglar who nicked it.
But while these warnings are valuable, it's the enthusiastic recommendations that make this a joy to use. It goes without saying that the detailed maps are invaluable, and colour photographs evoke some of the most beautiful and characterful sites in Britain. -- Barry Forshaw

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