Best british travel guides according to redditors

We found 114 Reddit comments discussing the best british travel guides. We ranked the 47 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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British Channel Islands travel guides
Great britain travel guides
Northern Ireland travel guides
Wales travel guides

Top Reddit comments about Great Britain Travel Guides:

u/Brickie78 · 28 pointsr/BritishSuccess

If you liked this, you'll also like "Watching the English" by Kate Fox - same author and sort of inspired by the pub study (and a similar one commissioned by the horse racing people).

u/perpetual_C000009A · 22 pointsr/unitedkingdom

I'm a little late to this party, but I did read a book called Watching The English by Kate Fox. She explains how to determine which 'class' somebody is by the words they use for things, and Settee is one example:
Or you could ask your hosts what they call their furniture. If an upholstered seat for two or more people is called
a settee or a couch, they are no higher than middle-middle.
If it is a sofa, they are upper-middle or above. There
are occasional exceptions to this rule, which is not quite as accurate a class indicator as ‘pardon’. Some younger
upper-middles, influenced by American films and television programmes, might say ‘couch’ – although they are
unlikely to say ‘settee’, except as a joke or to annoy their class-anxious parents.
If you like, you can amuse
yourself by making predictions based on correlations with other class indicators such as those covered later in
the chapter on Home Rules. For example: if the item in question is part of a brand-new matching three-piece
suite, which also matches the curtains, its owners are likely to call it a settee.

u/moremattymattmatt · 19 pointsr/AskUK

Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour might be worth be worth.

u/Allydarvel · 13 pointsr/pics

There's a good book about exactly that. UK and Japan have both developed similar societies independently. Both value privacy, are well mannered, highly structured and lots more. The author claims that it could be because we are both island nations with high populations..It may be called watching the English..It was quite a while ago that I read it

u/cpcallen · 9 pointsr/london

> I'm told that good service is not to be expected. Is that true?

I think it depends on what you mean by "good service". I would say that competent and reasonably prompt service is to be expected, but if by "good service" you mean super friendly/flirtatious or otherwise especially solicitous or overly-familiar service then you will probably be disappointed.

If there are no problems with the service I will usually tip around 10% for restaurant meals (or pay the service charge, typically 12.5%, if it is already on the bill). I have occasionally left a small or no tip if the service was particularly bad. I have refused to pay the service charge on one occasion, when the waiter took each of my three courses away before I had finished eating it (despite there being a very clear cutlery-based signalling system to prevent such incidents)! I can recall no occasion when the service was extraordinary enough to merit a tip of greater than 10%, or a tip on top of an included service charge.

(By the way, speaking of table manners: fork always in the left hand, never the right, with prongs down (stabbing, not shovelling); and napkin on the lap, never tucked into your shirt. There's a lot more rules, but those two and the cutlery-together-when-finished one will be enough to get you through all but the fanciest meals without looking like an uncouth imbecile).

You don't tip the bartender at a pub, not even if buying food, but you could offer to buy them a drink (which they may accept payment for when offered but serve/consume later). This happens rarely, however, and most typically only if someone is a 'regular' at their local.

One additional bit of general advice:

I would very much recommend the Lonely Planet British Phrase Book as a basic introduction to British English for tourists/new arrivals (hint: the things you wear on your legs are trousers, not pants) as well as Kate Fox's Watching the English which is a delightful introduction to English culture from an antropological point of view (it has a whole chapter on how the English behave at the pub, including IIRC some two pages on the subtle protocol for ordering drinks at the bar) - entertaining and fascinating, even in the opinion of many of my actually-British friends.

u/[deleted] · 9 pointsr/AskUK

I have heard good things about Watching the English.

u/stentuff · 8 pointsr/AskReddit

Actually, according to this brilliant book it's a class thing.. Some upper middle class people decided that napkin sounded too much like nappy and it would make them seem lower class, so they started using serviette instead. Now, the funny thing is that the proper posh people didn't give a fuck, and kept saying napkin. It is now a fairly accurate way of spotting middle class people with upwards ambition.

The same goes for the word "pardon" btw. Upper and working class find saying "What?" perfectly acceptable if they need someone to repeat themselves, the middle classes find it crude and have adopted the use of pardon instead.

I'm a Swede living in the UK, and my English boyfriend gave me that book. It's hilarious and incredibly accurate. Class is still very much an issue over here. At least a lot more than what I'm used to.

u/tefster · 7 pointsr/london

George Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London and Jack London's People of the Abyss are good, but more narrative than story.

I also found London Under London interesting, that one is more a true-fact than true-story though.

u/fucksocks · 7 pointsr/AskReddit

Kate Fox did precisely this as part of her social experiments. She said queue jumping was the most painful experience of her life. "Watching The English" is her book about English social norms:

u/lgf92 · 7 pointsr/AskEurope

I recommend this book to you. I'm reading it for the first time and, as someone English, it's making me realise that a lot of the stuff we do and the way we think is really really weird.

u/nothingtoseehere____ · 7 pointsr/AskUK

If you want a whole book on these kind of differences, I'd recommend Watching the English: by Kate Fox It's a great book which is a easy-to-read explanation of some of the linchpins of English culture, and will help you understand how people act differently in the UK compared to the US (one short thing the book explains in alot more detail: it is never the wrong moment to make a joke about something)

u/cut-it · 7 pointsr/london


This is a good book on this kind of stuff

u/strolls · 6 pointsr/MapPorn

The map creation was later than that, anyway.

The second edition was published in 1975, but the authors, Moncreiffe and Pottinger were teenagers in the 1930's.

The submission screamed 80's to me, recollecting vividly the touristic tat available in gift shops and newsagents when we visited my gran's holiday place in Scotland when I was a kid.

u/Sean_O_Neagan · 5 pointsr/unitedkingdom

Highly recommend London Under London if you needs more of This Kind Of Thing.

u/EllaTheCat · 5 pointsr/unitedkingdom

Kate Fox's book:

It gets better reviews on - she understands us, and helps non-English people understand our wacky ways.

u/abodyweightquestion · 5 pointsr/london

> From Luton Airport to South Croydon, is it better to take a cab,

Between four adults, yes. A train ticket would be roughly twenty quid each anyway, so just get a cab.

>How exactly do the Oyster cards work, in terms of limits?

It's all here, in great depth:

>Would it be better to get these or Travelcards? Or would the Oyster card be more cheaper? Crayton seems to be in the travel zone 5, so with Travel cards, you'll be forced to buy 1-5 zone tickets,

Because you're staying Zone 5, but all the tourist bits are Zone 1/2, you'd be best off putting a certain amount on your oyster and let the capping do its work. Pay as you go, as explained above.

>What would be the best 'starting point' for every day? Mostly getting from Crayton to this spot, and then move about to different locations. Just so you would have something concrete to start with everyday. Considering most basic tourism happens in zone 1-2?

>What would be the best 'starting point' for every day? Mostly getting from Crayton to this spot, and then move about to different locations. Just so you would have something concrete to start with everyday. Considering most basic tourism happens in zone 1-2?

London Bridge train station would be a good starting point, as the trains go from South Croydon to London Bridge.

>Are there any 'preplanned' days available online (or some similar app), that give you a rough outline on where to go when, and basically just guide you through things and show you costs, etc.

I get in trouble for suggesting this but, including here, it seems like people genuinely just turn up without doing any research: buy a guidebook. Read it on the plane on your way here. There is a wealth of information written in every language about London, especially for tourists who haven't a clue what they're doing. Everything I've written above will be detailed at great length in a book that will cost less than a tenner. If this post is your only research into coming to London, you'll get into trouble very quickly. Don't rely on an app, unless you want your phone stolen out of your hand.

Budget: £600 for how long? Each, or between you?

u/vln · 5 pointsr/AskUK
  1. Detergent is detergent. The extras are packaging, including which stores it's stocked in, and perfume.

  2. Staples is your best option, although branches tend to be in retail parks. For town centres, look for Rymans and, perhaps, WH Smith.

  3. No idea. Ask a doctor. It may be that one or more of those are not available "over the counter", i.e. without prescription, here.

  4. and

  5. Depends, both on whether it's a chain or an independent place, and on what you're ordering.

    If it's a chain, then tell them what you need, and let them figure out what they can do without their bosses being arseholes.

    If it's independent, then tell them what you're after, and see what happens!
u/Amuro_Ray · 4 pointsr/britishproblems

Today actually. A BBC podcast by David Mitchell touches on it a little and Kate Fox's book Watching the English does as well neither are serious but they sing to the same tune about this.

u/FrenchyFungus · 3 pointsr/bicycling

I'm from Scotland, but haven't actually done anything like this myself, so I can only provide some preliminary information.

The main distillery regions are Speyside and the Western Isles. You should look at the Speyside Way - - which is about 80 miles long, passes quite a few distilleries and will provide a decent starting point for your route.

The Western Isles are also a popular cycling holiday destination, but will require a bit more planning. There will be plenty of guide books on cycling there, though, which you may want to take a look at. I know Lesley Riddoch wrote one - - although I think it's more a memoir style book than a guide book.

I'd suggest figuring out which distilleries you most want to visit, figure out a route between them, and then stop at a few others on the way.

u/citysnake · 3 pointsr/LifeProTips

This book would interest you. 'What' is used by upper and lower/lower-middle classes, the latter with a glottal stop. 'Pardon' is used by the class conscious middle. 'Sorry' by upper-middles.

u/Acrolith · 3 pointsr/funny

Yeah, people make jokes when they're uncomfortable. I read a book by an anthropologist who was investigating British social codes and norms, and in the chapter about sex, she wrote with amused exasperation about how every time she mentioned that particular subtopic of her research to anyone, they always made a joke, and always the same joke: something about "helping her with the practical research".

u/illustrated--lady · 3 pointsr/AskSocialScience
u/FleshEmoji · 3 pointsr/AskEurope

Shopping at Waitrose.
Painting your house in Farrow and Ball paints.
Having a large gun dog rather than a small fluffy one in a bag.
Old Volvo rather than brand new BMW

Watching the English is good on this class thing.

u/maby66 · 3 pointsr/london

This has helped me out with my children. It breaks down each area by Free, Big Days Out and major highlights. Very useful for picking an area and understanding not just the well known things, but also lesser know destinations or activities that go on such as markets/viewings/activity days.

Footprint travel guide

u/kjdhgggg · 3 pointsr/vancouver

I know, it's a camaraderie thing, and a whole bunch more besides. It can sure feel hostile if your not used to it - the Brits are a complex lot.

u/litheye · 3 pointsr/BritishTV

There was a programme on recently called Posh & Posher about this, but I didn't think much of it:

To be honest, the best analysis of that kind of thing that I've come across is this book, which I highly recommend even for British people, it's fascinating.

u/ironyinabucket · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I'm currently reading A Game of Thrones, the first in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Big fan of the tv show, books are good but I'm finding them hard to read because I already know the plotlines. You ALL still have Zoidberg!


u/dreamstretch · 2 pointsr/unitedkingdom

Watching the English by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist and entertaining writer.

u/noradrenaline · 2 pointsr/london

Also post in the stickied thread at the top of the subreddit, where you'll have a really helpful first post with lots of links to our wiki. You'll find a guidebook helpful too - something like Lonely Planet London and the Pocket edition for quick reference while you're out and about. You'll probably find most of your questions (how to get around, how to see the big sights, what to do/not do about tipping etc) are answered in there.

u/Larph · 2 pointsr/london

Sounded interesting so I did some quick googling: think I found the book.

u/arist0geiton · 2 pointsr/monarchism

> I guess I'm just trying to hold these people to higher standards. They're really falling into the constitutional monarchy trap where since they have no power they don't take themselves very seriously.

No English person takes themselves seriously though. It is the secret of Englishness. This book was recommended to me by an English person, and it explains it:

Edit: And the higher up the social ladder you are, the less seriously you have to take yourself.

Edit 2: Glad you like the song though!

u/jamescoleuk · 2 pointsr/literature

After reading Watching the English I became very aware of class, where before I was pretty much oblivious. Because class is such an obvious and daily thing in England I thought about it some more, initially out of intellectual curiosity, and now my levels of class awareness are pretty high, and chronic. My life is worse for it.

u/brightcarvings · 2 pointsr/writing

I that case you might be interested in the following books:

u/markvauxhall · 2 pointsr/london

I'd suggest buying a book such as this one and flicking through for inspiration:

u/scotfot · 2 pointsr/geology

Yes, its an amazing place! I did my undergrad mapping project there. Here is the guidebook we are hoping to convert to Earthwise articles:

u/alltorndown · 2 pointsr/london

I work in a popular indie bookshop that is also a bit of a tourist destination in London. if you came into my shop an asked this question, i would suggest these two new books on londons rivers: 1 and 2. Same title, but both different and very good books. Also secret london. I've been a londoner for 15 years, and my parents both are from here, but most of the places in this book i had never come across. My better half, who is training to be a city of london tour guide, and I, have been using the book to get to know our city better for the last few months. Another awesome way to look at the city is through lost london an awesome (an reasonably priced) coffee table book of historic photographs of the city, illuminating for any londoner. If you are looking for any other sort of book on the city (novel, history of a particular period, esoteric guide, etc...), let me know. It's what I do.

P.S. While i have linked to amazon above, if you can afford to, buy from your local independent bookshop! you'll miss us if we go!

u/problemsdog · 2 pointsr/tipofmytongue

Not by an American, but could it be Watching the English?

u/absw · 2 pointsr/reading

It was listed in this book I bought, else I wouldn't know it was there!

u/threesquares · 2 pointsr/AskUK

Class is sort of hard to define over here, because it's more of an innate knowledge of what's high class/low class rather than anything that actually affects your life. It's more about the papers you read, the school you went to, and the way you talk than anything else. Oh, and probably the way you vote. I'd argue that it some sense it's still tied to occupation for the lower classes, but once you get to middle/upper middle the lines are blurred a lot more.

A really good book to read that might help you get a better idea of how we work would be Kate Fox's Watching The English.

u/webauteur · 1 pointr/books

There is a book for that! Book Lovers' London

u/JeremyKaisle · 1 pointr/london

I do not own and have never read this book for the obvious reason that I live here, but I've never felt let down by another Lonely Planet book so I suspect it's good.

u/himejirocks · 1 pointr/doctorwho

I read Watching the English . There are so many times I "got it" because of that book.

u/thomasthetanker · 1 pointr/wikipedia

Watching the English is a fantastic read.
Its written like an anthropologist would study cannibals from the jungles of Borneo except it focuses on headhunters from Epsom.

u/amazon-converter-bot · 1 pointr/FreeEBOOKS

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u/Findiglay · 1 pointr/Scotland

If you really care then read this book -

Its worth the read then and mabye it will change your mind and convince you of a different path for Scotland?

u/PurpleWomat · 1 pointr/ireland

How about a pub or food guide?

u/nat_pryce · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you want to understand English (not all British) mentality, read this book

It's a pop-science book written by an anthropologist who studies the English. If foreign, it'll explain a lot of wierd/mysterious stuff: queueing, how queues work in pubs, why English people don't tell you their name, why saying goodbye can drag on for ages, and more... Foreigners living in London have told me it's been the most useful book they've read and they wish they'd read it as soon as they arrived. As an English person it's eye-opening/shocking/depressing how much of our behaviour is determined by our culture.

u/Plasmaman · 1 pointr/sheffield

Asia's quite a big place, where abouts are you from?

It looks like other commenters have kept you informed about most of your questions, but, as a student here for quite a while, I'd say most people walk everywhere!
The weather's been really rather mild this year, and the summer, if it matches last year, will be absolutely lovely. You shouldn't have to worry about anything but a rain coat/umbrella if you're coming over during the summer.

If you're curious about British customs, a lot of my friends from overseas have waxed rhapsodic about this book which gives a bit of an insight into British (particularly English) culture. The biggest shock for most is the necessity of verbal politeness and queuing. We queue for everything.

u/jerub · 1 pointr/london

I moved here 8 months ago from Australia, and work for a tech company in the city - nothing related to your area of study I'm afraid.

After you get here I'd be happy to introduce you to one of our many excellent drinking establishments and natter about how everything's different to back home.

I can even lend you a copy of Watching The English which I was given by a french coworker after I arrived.

u/Zergling_Supermodel · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Watching The English is the book you are looking for.

u/Sparu · 1 pointr/CasualUK

Try reading Watching the English by Kate Fox. It’s a brilliant book, and it sheds a lot of light on our culture and traditions.

u/Gusfoo · 0 pointsr/unitedkingdom

Read Watching The English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour by Kate Fox. It is unerringly accurate.

Edit: Really? Minus one`d for a book suggestion? Gosh.

u/shoes_of_mackerel · 0 pointsr/todayilearned

A generalisation, not an assumption - based on the findings of social anthropology ( this is a good read if you're interested). Again, this isn't a dig at Americans or saying that they are incapable of using sarcasm, but that Brits and Americans (and indeed every other culture) have different normal modes of communication. Brits rely on understanding implicit meanings a lot in day to day conversation, while Americans tend to be more "straight talking". It's not that Brits are "better" at sarcasm, just that they're more used to it.

u/bibbade · 0 pointsr/ukpolitics

I get that we have a shared history. But we have a shared European history. We have a shared history with the commonwealth. We have a shared world history. The built environment is very different across different parts of the country and even within cities the contrast can be stark.

I would probably have more things in common with someone who lives in Paris, Warsaw, or even Istanbul of a similar class than I would with someone who lives in rural England.

My life would not compare to say someone on benefits or to a millionaire.

Specific English-ness does not really bind us together. I read Watching the English by Kate Fox not too long ago. She spent,I believe, a year basically researching our culture. The main points I remember is that we say sorry regardless of fault when she intentionally bumped into them. And that we queue instinctively. I don't remember reading that much else which we all shared.

u/Lewis77 · -4 pointsr/AskReddit

Never eat English food. Just stick to Indian/Chinese etc. and you'll do just fine.

Try to see Fatboy Slim live at some festival or other; go clubbing in general. The UK scene is great!

Being self-deprecating (especially when joking) will go a long way towards making British people accept you.

Finally, read this book before you go. Godspeed you good Redditor!

EDIT: lol I had no idea that English food would inspire such... passions. All hail the mighty shepherd's pie then!