I was recently asked if I would write a review for the new Marco Polo Pocket Guide to Devon and Cornwall. I agreed, excited that they wanted my opinion and by the prospect of a free book!
After all my years of travel you might say that I am a bit of a guidebook connoisseur. For me they have to be really practical – getting me from A to B with ease but they also have to be informative and inspire me.
I want to know it all – the history, the insider tips and the off the beaten track places I can discover. Add to all that the fact that I am born and bred in the Cornwall and the new Marco Polo guide book was in for a thorough review!
When the book arrived the first thing I noticed (after the delicious new book smell – just me?) was the sturdy cover. You see I need to be able to shove that guide in my pocket or backpack with no worries I am going to bend or rip it. TICK√
The next thing was that Marco Polo has gone all high tech on me. Along with the book you can also download a free touring app which has the maps and details of the various tours you can take across the two counties. Once you have downloaded the sections you want, it’ll work without Wi-Fi which is pretty important for this part of the world if you intend exploring! √√
As you would expect from Marco Polo the book is clearly laid out in colour-coded, regional sections. Each with a handy intro to what to expect in that area. For a pocket size version this guide has a surprising amount of information for both Devon and Cornwall. From the best places to eat and stay to snapshots of history and loads of days-out ideas.
There were no surprises for me, the guide includes everything that you would expect (speaking from a Cornish perspective), you’ll find all the most popular, picturesque and must see places but I was delighted to find some added extras too.
I particularly liked the Discovery Tours section towards the back of the book, this can be used as is or with the Free Touring App. These tailored routes help you to explore the region by guiding you from one awesome destination to the next. They also include details on cost and how long it should all take you. Some of the routes last a couple of weeks others are just a fun packed day trip.√√√
I also loved the sneaky Insider Tips that pop up throughout the guide highlighting little ideas of how to get more out of your day. I thought the sprinkling of Low Budget boxes and the section on FREE things to do were great too – ideal for families, students or those just feeling less flash with their cash after a visit to the Eden Project!
There are pages dedicated to sports, kids, shopping, food and drink (Gin anyone?) and festivals! See I told you this guide was packing it all in! There is even a page of blogs and useful links where you can get more information – they didn’t seem to include this blog but I am sure that is an oversight!
In conclusion this is a great little guide for anyone planning on visiting Cornwall or Devon on holiday or even if you are living in the area and are looking for some ideas of things to do on your days off. It may even have inspired me to spend a bit more time in Devon! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!
You can buy a copy HERE
NB: this is an independent review, I was not paid to write this!