The Photographer's Guide to The Lake District, E. Bowness
Let’s start with the size of this book. Unlike many location guide books, the photographers guide to the lake district is the ideal size to fit into a jacket pocket or backpack. It’s not too heavy that it will weigh you down or make you want to leave it behind.
Once you open the book you find the locations have been organised into eight separate sections. These sections logically group the locations so that you can concentrate on an area, helping you minimise driving time. Each section then has at least five locations within it with the book having fifty-six in total. The contents page at the front of the book references each, making it easy to find what you are looking for. There is a limited index at the rear of the book, but the well-designed contents page means you probably won’t need the index.
If you look at the start of each section in the book, you will find a map showing the position of each location. This is a great help to finding the location as well as possible parking. In terms of the locations covered by the book, there is a good mix with most if not all the well-known ones included. As I regularly visit the Lake District, I have been to all the listed locations and I’m satisfied the information for each is of a high standard. I do know of other locations in the Lake District but not ones that are easily accessible without some serious hill walking.
This brings me onto a feature of the book that I really like, which is the summary table at the rear. This lists all the locations covered by the book giving two critical pieces of information, “difficulty of walk” and “time from car park”. When you have never visited a location before you need to know this detail. I haven’t seen many books include this detail. Whilst everyone’s idea of an easy walk is different, once you’ve tried a few locations you will be able to better judge the information.
For each of the locations there’s a summary, together with a picture that gives you an idea of what to expect. Be sure to read these carefully as although brief, they contain vital information such as the best time of day to visit. In an area such as the Lake District where there are many mountains, knowing the best time to visit is vital. The hills and mountains can often block the light.
The other information for the location includes how to get there. This provides descriptive directions including tips on where to park. For those of you with a GPS (or map reading skills) the book includes grid references.
There isn’t much really. That could improve this book Being very picky, you might ask for additional information, although everything is well covered. The brevity also makes the guide quick to read and use in the field.
I would like to have seen a table of distances and times to drive between some of the locations. For example, the drive from Ambleside to Wasdale may look short on a map but by the time you have negotiated Wrynose and Hardknott Pass it will likely take you an hour. Having said this, you can easy check Google.
Another addition would be to include best time of day information in the summary table at the rear of the guide. There are few locations that are good for sunsets and sunrises in the lake district and you don’t want to be hunting through the text of the book to find these when you are in a hurry.
Despite these suggestions, "The Photographers Guide to the Lake District" an excellent guide book and great value for money. Next to having a local expert with you, you can’t beat this book. Highly recommended, possibly essential.
Personal rating 10/10