Advantages Quality of the writing
As one of the most underrated publishers, I feel that their books deserve a good review. ..Cadogan books focus mainly on travel guides though there are lesser known chess books as well. Based in London, they have been providing quality guides for over 20 years by a dedicated team who will not compromise on quality of the writing despite the recent trends for snappy, quick and vague reviews in other guide books.
The quality of the writing is very high and I find myself immersed in some tid bit of historical information which no matter how dull, the authors always seem to make it fascinating! One can really see the level of research that has gone into writing these guides and the level of expertise and experience of the authors. My other favourite guides are the Rough Guides but i would never buy Lonely planet and the like, they just skim over the essentials and seem more concerned with design and listings, or like DK books which just fill the guieds with photos. Dull....The style of the guides, no matter the country, is an depth appreciation of the history, culture, arts written in an interesting and often humourous tone. The emphasis lies in helping the reader to understand the country they are in and providing a base of knowledge to appreciate the sites and museums that will be visited.
So much of the guide if focused on all this that the sections relevant to where to eat, accomodation, shopping etc...are often shortened and brief. However, they are accurate and cover the needs of all travellers (financial situation, gay, children, disabled etc...). I buy these guides because I find that restaurants and other activities such as shopping sections not particularly necessary and can be found by myself once I am there, its the joy of travelling...being able to discover hidden gems by yourself and not relying totally on a guide. If the locals pile in there for dinner, it must be good! All the "where to stay "and "where to eat" sections are divided up by price and by area so you can see at a glance what you can afford.The books aften have a few coloured photos in the front which capture the essence of the country/region and put you in the mood before you travel there! Some of the guides also have themed sections which can be useful such as marked walks around a neighborhood in Lyon to see the architecture or a romantic day out in Paris with appropriate sights, restaurants and cafes.
The maps in the book are mostly in colour and detailed with many of the sights in the books marked on it so that you can find them easily. As the books themselves are divided into the different geographical regions, a local map at the beginning of each section makes planning what to do easy and quick.
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