It is always exciting when a new book arrives through the post! But I was particularly pleased to receive my copy of the Independent Guide to London 2022, hot off the printing press, as I’m currently planning a visit to coincide with the finals of the UK Blog Awards.
Independent Guidebooks are publishers of theme park and world city travel guides. All of their books are written by independent writers, who know the city or theme park well.
The London book is a new release, but all Independent Guidebooks are constantly updated throughout the year and printed on demand, so they are always completely up to date. This unique feature means that when you buy the book you will get the very latest version available.
This contrasts with other leading guidebook brands, that tend to publish a new issue every two to three years and produce large runs.
With Independent Guides, you get the most up to date information available. This is particularly useful for the seasonal events calendar at the back of the book, but also ensures opening hours for attractions and prices for goods and services are all up to date.
Independent Guide to London 2022
The Independent Guide to London 2016 is written by a life-long Londoner, who clearly knows the city well.
I particularly like the way the book is divided up in to neighbourhood guides. This is a great way to break down a large city, and makes more sense than using the antiquated names of London boroughs, which may not be familiar to international visitors.
The transport section is invaluable, as this can be the hardest part of a new city. This includes information on how to negotiate the 150 year old underground train network, as well as information on oyster cards, driving rules, cycling, and contactless travel.
I would add a word of caution on cycling in London. I personally think that, unless you are a really competent cyclist, you should steer clear of cycling in the capital. If you do decide to cycle in the city, be aware that heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) present a particular danger to cyclists, especially in London where around 20% of cyclist fatalities involve an HGV.
I found the etiquette section quite amusing! It is really useful to put this kind of information in, and I love the fact that the author felt the need to explain that Londoners aren’t as chatty as people in other parts of the UK, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are rude:
“Londoners are friendly and sociable people. It’s just that most Londoners work long hours and have such long commutes that they aren’t always smiling.”
Coming from the UK, but outside of London, I’m not sure people from the capital have the monopoly on hard work, so I was slightly unconvinced by this explanation.
The etiquette section also covers topics of conversation, and sensibly steers visitors away from talking about money, sex, politics and age. There is some brief information on language, including cockney rhyming slang, but I would have liked to see more on this.
My favourite sections of the book were the ‘Top 10 Attractions’ (which were spot on) and the ‘Saving Money in London’ section, which is very useful in this expensive world city.
The nightlife section could be expanded to do London justice, and I was surprised not to see a separate LGBT London section, but otherwise all of the key information is present and correct.
The book is well laid out and easy to read. In the hard copy of the book the photos are in black and white (to keep costs down) so if colour pictures are important to you I recommend going for the eBook.
It wasn’t clear whether the book was printed on recycled paper, or whether vegetable-based inks had been used. If these are key considerations for you, again I recommend the eBook.
Priced at just £5.99 for a hard copy and £2.99 for a Kindle copy, the Independent Guide to London 2016 is great value for money and a really useful resource. I definitely recommend checking it out.
Other books available in the series include Independent Guides to:
Walt Disney World
I will definitely search out Independent Guidebooks in future. The Independent Guide to London 2016 is a great little book for travellers, especially those on a budget.
For more information visit Independent Guidebooks.
Giveaway – Enter Now!
To celebrate the release of this latest book from Independent Guidebooks, I am hosting a giveaway on Amanda’s Wanderlust.
You could win your own copy of the Independent Guide to London 2022, plus a host of other travel goodies, including an Ocean Film Festival Buff, a travel journal with scratch-off travel maps, a document wallet, luggage tag, and a Sea to Summit dry bag.
To be in with a chance of winning, please enter at the link below:
A Rafflecopter Giveaway
Thank you to Independent Guidebooks for the review copy of this book and for providing an additional copy for the giveaway. As always, all views in this post are my own.
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