Articles tagged:

Guidebook

Magazine article

Exploring Europe by rail

by hidden europe

We never planned to write about trains. But it just sort of happened and then we developed a curious niche writing about railway journeys. Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries reflect on a serendipitous opportunity.

Magazine article

The Tyre Man

by hidden europe

With the unreliability of the very first cars, motoring was a stop-go process. Bibendum, the remarkable tyre man from Michelin, was always on hand to give advice in the event of breakdown or an enforced overnight stay.

Magazine article

Exploring Europe on foot

by hidden europe

A new series of guidebooks from Vertebrate Publishing invites readers to explore some of Europe’s great long walks. We review the debut title which focuses on western Europe and the Alps.

Magazine article

Exploring Baedeker's Switzerland

by Nicky Gardner

The Baedeker series of guidebooks showed a remarkable consistency in presentation over many decades from the mid-19th century. But many guides were updated every couple of years, so how far did the content change? We compare two editions of Baedeker’s Switzerland, one from 1881 and the other from 1905, and find that the changes nicely reflect new social and travel pieties.

Magazine article

Admiralty Handbooks: Baedekers with a Twist

by hidden europe
Some of the best academic minds in Britain spent the Second World War writing guidebooks about far-flung places. We explore a clandestine area of professional geographical endeavour which resulted in the Naval Intelligence Guides – often called the Admiralty Handbooks.
Magazine article

Changing Fortunes: Guidebooks and War

by Nicky Gardner
It's hard to imagine these days that any guidebook might ever sell 100,000 copies each month. But 100 years ago, in the second half of 1919, Michelin was managing just that. We explore how guidebooks fared in the years after the end of the First World War. As Baedeker fell into disfavour among English readers, other companies were quick to fill the gap.
Magazine article

Shared High Points

by hidden europe
Germany makes much of its highest mountain, the mighty Zugspitze. The frontier between Austria and Germany bisects the mountain. But in Austria, the Zugspitze hardly counts as a significant peak. We look at the phenomenon of shared summits.
Blog post

New issue: hidden europe 57

We have this year visited the Baltic twice already. It's a region of Europe that's at its best in winter, we find, and sedate Binz was the perfect place to pen the editorial for issue 57 of hidden europe which is published tomorrow. Let's take a look at this new issue of the magazine.

Magazine article

Peaks of the Balkans: Discovering the Lhasa of Europe

by Rudolf Abraham
The Peaks of the Balkans trail is a long-distance hiking route, in the shape of a figure-of-eight, which takes in some of the finest mountain terrain in northern Albania and adjacent parts of Kosovo and Montenegro. Rudolf Abraham describes how the trail opens up international frontiers in a region where crossing borders was until recently rarely easy.
Magazine article

Exploring Europe by Train

by Nicky Gardner
New editions of Mike Ball's European Railway Atlas and our own Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide have just been published. We take a look at these two new additions to the rail traveller's armamentarium.
Magazine article

Bradt Guide to Serbia

by hidden europe
Laurence Mitchell has written a number of Bradt Guides, including titles on Norfolk (where he lives), central Asia and the Balkan region. We have been thumbing through Laurence's latest Bradt book, the 5th edition of his 'Bradt Guide to Serbia', which was published in September 2017.
Magazine article

Imaginary Wanderings: Switzerland in a Box

by Nicky Gardner
The first product from the new Swiss publisher Imaginary Wanderings sets a dauntingly high standard in terms of its look, feel and production values. And the content is equally fine. We explore the Lake Lucerne and Gotthard region in the company of Imaginary Wanderings creators Christina Ljungberg and Barbara Piatti.
Magazine article

South to Sicily

by Nicky Gardner
The latest book from hidden europe editors Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries is Europe by Rail. Catch the flavour of this new edition with our train journey from Rome to Sicily, specially adapted from the book for this issue of the magazine.
Magazine article

Mystical France

by hidden europe

Scottish publisher Findhorn has always had an eye on the offbeat and alternative. Many travellers place great stock on their Camino pilgrimage guides. Now Findhorn has launched a new guide to France. We dip into the pages of Mystical France.

Blog post

Cabrera, a tainted paradise

In the summer of 1812, while Napoleon's Grande Armée was storming east towards Moscow, William Faden's publishing house in London was busy putting the finishing touches to a new guide to Spanish inshore waters. Among the areas covered in the pilot guide is the island of Cabrera, off the south coast of Mallorca.

Magazine article

The makings of a city

by Nicky Gardner

'Skylines' is a book to make you think. This new title by travel writers Yolanda Zappaterra and Jan Fuscoe is a celebration of the iconic buildings which shape the skylines of some of the world's most interesting cities. We take a look at the European skylines which fearture in this new book published by Aurum Press.

Magazine article

All change at Westbahnhof

by Duncan JD Smith

Big changes are afoot at the Westbahnhof in Vienna, a station which these past months has seen crowds of refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Vienna-based writer Duncan JD Smith takes a look at how the station has changed over the years.

Magazine article

In from the cold: Britain’s mountain bothies

A new book by Phoebe Smith celebrates the simple British bothy. It appears as the Mountain Bothies Association marks 50 years of work looking after the bothy network which is so valued by hikers in the mountains of northern England, Scotland and Wales.

Magazine article

Exploring Lisbon with Pessoa

by Iain Bamforth

Think of writers who are intimately associated with a particular city: Kafka and Prague, Joyce and Dublin, Svevo and Trieste... or Pessoa and Lisbon. Pessoa did for Lisbon something which few other leading writers have done for their home city. He wrote a guide for tourists visiting the city. With Pessoa to hand, Iain Bamforth sets out to explore the Portuguese capital.

Magazine article

Budapest: Relax in a ruin

by Duncan JD Smith

Duncan JD Smith, author of 'Only in Budapest', takes to the back streets of the Hungarian capital to visit the latest Budapest fad: a pub in a building that comes close to being a ruin. It's cheap, cheerful and lots of fun.

Magazine article

Hitting the buffers

by hidden europe

Does the European Rail Timetable, published by Thomas Cook since 1873, have a future with a new publisher? Plans are afoot for the relaunch of a book that has defined horizons for generations of travellers.

Magazine article

It’s the small things that matter

by Nicky Gardner

Would you believe that a major guide book publisher really suggests that the Rhine runs from north to south through Germany? With tight budgets, some publishers are cutting corners and skimping on detail. For the Rough Guide to Germany, that means focusing in on mainstream destinations, removing from new editions those sections of the book which reflect on smaller communities across Germany. Yet it is the latter that capture much that is so appealing in Germany.

Blog post

West to Reading

The fast trains from London to Reading take a mere twenty-four minutes for the journey. And First Great Western (FGW), successor to Brunel's celebrated Great Western Railway, happily still name some of their trains. Scanning the current FGW timetable for departures from Paddington, we opt for the Cornish Riviera for the ride to Reading.

Magazine article

The lure of the local

by Nicky Gardner

An innovative series of guidebooks to European cities and regions, produced by the Versailles-based publishing house Jonglez, prompts us to reflect on the quest for authenticity in guidebooks.

Blog post

Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers

Readers of our e-brief have often asked us what else we do apart from hidden europe, so please indulge us as we give an example. Last year Thomas Cook Publishing, a company with which we always had enjoyed amiable relations, contracted us to take a long-standing Thomas Cook book and give it an entire new look. The result is 'Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers' which was published last month.

Magazine article

Europe by Rail: Balkan images

by Nicky Gardner

hidden europe editors Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries showcase a new book which they have edited. Europe by Rail: The Definitive Guide for Independent Travellers was published in March 2011. This well-established title from Thomas Cook Publishing now has a very new look, and here the editors present extracts from a Balkan rail journey that features in the book.

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The Baedeker legacy

"Kings and governments may err, but never Mr Baedeker," wrote the English humorist AP Herbert in the libretto for Offenbach's operetta La Vie Parisienne. Baedeker was the brightest star in a constellation of nineteenth-century guidebook publishers that also included such redoubtable names as John Murray and Thomas Cook.

Magazine article

Global versus local: the pursuit of uniqueness

Skip the club sandwich and the frozen margaritas. Remember that the central rite of passage for successful travellers is to escape the prevailing tide of uniformity that engulfs Europe's prime tourist centres. We review a series of guidebooks, all written by Duncan JD Smith, that celebrate that which is unique to various central European cities.

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Across Iceland's interior

Iceland's central highlands are no cakewalk. At least that's the way Andrew Evans puts it in the Bradt Guide to the country. "Iceland's interior feels more a cross between the Gobi desert and Antarctica," writes Andrew. It is that time of year when the highlands, known as Hálendið in Iceland, begin to open up for the season.

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Seasonal diversions

Christmas-tide travellers, if they are lucky, might get a privileged glimpse into the lives of others. The results are not always comforting. Dervla Murphy, writing in Through the Embers of Chaos, recounts an invite to a post-Christmas soirée in Zagreb in late December 1991.

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Designing identity

Albanians have not lost their way with clothes, as anyone walking the streets of Tirana's business district at lunchtime will quickly notice. Forget notions of an obscure Balkan nation, and look more for the same stylish chic that you might see strolling around the Quadrilatero d'Oro in Milan. Albania's changed, and Edith Durham just wouldn't know what to make of it.

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Hav: a novel by Jan Morris

We have, as it happens, just recently read Jan Morris' newly extended edition of Hav. This is travel writing at its very best, calculated to reinvigorate even the most jaded traveller. It is precisely because Hav does not really exist that we approach the place without the usual preconceptions which colour so many of our travels. In Jan Morris' book, we find a clever intermixing of fact and fiction to create a fabulously multicultural port that reminds us of a thousand places we have never visited.

Blog post

Special subscription offer - an improbable Czech memorial

Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic is certainly an unsung spot. hidden europe stopped off here in early April, revisiting a town that first caught our attention three years back when we found an intriguing few lines in The Rough Guide to The Czech & Slovak Republics.

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Sangria in Torrie - advice to travellers in the eighteenth century

Accounts by early travellers make for some of our favourite en route reading, and one of the best is Hans Reichard's Conseils aux touristes (Advice to Tourists), a volume of generic travel wisdom first published in 1793, the same year as Reichard also published his Guide d'Espagne.