19 February 2016

only in london book review

Only in London 
A Guide to Unique Locations, Hidden Corners and Unusual Objects

One of travel's great challenges is finding the unusual, the unique or just plan bizarre. Travel writer Duncan J D. Smith is the inspiration behind these unique travel guides that help to unlock some of these mysteries and Sketches has been given the opportunity to review his London edition. So with M in tow we picked out our locations and with book in hand we headed up to London to take the guide through its paces.

Only in London
Our guide for the day
Up the Monument
The guidebook works through the attractions and locations by the London postal codes, for example W, WC, EC etc..We chose a small corner of the EC area to take in a couple of major locations and attractions. It felt a nice way to give the book the justice it deserves. There are so many places to visit! That doing more than a handful of them wouldn't allow us to take everything in. The book is packed full of history and interesting facts, that need mulling over and discussing. This makes it an accessory to take on every trip to the capital, not just as a one-off visit. So wherever you may be, take a quick look at the guide and there's no doubt that something of interest will be nearby. 

For our trip we started with the Monument. The memorial to the Great Fire of London. The book gives you an in-depth account of the reasons for its being and also the number of steps! Very handy. Oh, 311 steps if you're wondering.

Great Fire of London Memorial
The views at the top are fantastic and I hope the pictures below do justice? It's a tight squeeze up top but the landmarks on show more than make up for that fact. As long as you don't mind the spirally steps then its a London attraction that's well worth a visit. Be mindful though that during school holidays the queues can be long. 

view from the monument
Towards Canary Wharf

skyscrapers of London
London's changing skyline

St Pauls Cathedral
Towards St Pauls
Onto the Museum
We headed onto our next destination - The Museum of London. We could have stopped at other suggestions on the way but time was a little against us. Bank of England museum anyone? Walking through the city, you can imagine Duncan wondering around the streets, pen in hand as he observes all that's around him. Such is the in-depth research he must have conducted and that is evident throughout the book. The handy map on the inside front page came in useful to highlight our way, and the book once again gave us details about the museum and its exhibits. (I'll be doing a Museum of London post very soon).

Museum of London
Only In...
The Only In London guide provides you with information from unusual museums to crazy cafes, majestic, opulent homes to ghost underground stations. They are books to dive in and out of at your pleasure. Good enough for using when visiting multiple locations or if you're just passing by and notice one. Duncan clearly spends a lot of time on these and that labour of love is well rewarded. The Only In London guide will be travelling with me on every trip to the big city, ready to educate and inform me on the bizarre to the magical. There can be no greater praise than that? If you are interested in this book or want to know about any other of his Only In... series then please visit the following site - www.onlyinguides.com

If you have any questions on the guide or have been to any of the locations featured then why not drop us a comment. Would be great to hear from you. Thank you Duncan for welcoming me into his travel world. I hope you will join us? 

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