Best Walks in Ireland Paperback – Apr 1996
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About the Author
David Marshall is the author of several walking guides. He has undertaken treks in many parts of the world. Rob Beighton is one of the foremost photographers of wilderness and landscape subjects. He divides his time between the west of Ireland, New Zealand and Cornwall. His other books for Frances Lincoln are Best Walks in Ireland (ISBN 9780711224209) and A Year in the Life of North Cornwall (ISBN 9780711228795). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Of course no one suggests that you should set out on a cross-country mountain hike relying on a 4" by 6" sketch map like the ones in this book. But these maps would be much more helpful in following the text if the junctions and the variations were indicated on them. There is no scale of distance on the maps either. Maps of this size could contain much more detail.
Many of the landmarks are vague or uncertain. Especially without a hint of the distance before you reach it, will I be sure this is the right side trail (are all of them really counted?) "A little south of E you may see a shale heap blighting the line of evergreen trees; this is... your objective." (p. 181) I MAY see this? It seems important that I really WILL be able to see it, since the next instruction is to "walk or swim across the open bog" to to. "Walk OR SWIM?" There is no hint of how deep or how wide the water may be.
Most alarming is the apparent confusion about east versus west (found in Walk 11). Can this be, especially in a second edition? Yet we are going north on R344 in Glen Inagh when we are asked to admire the view of "the Twelve Pins (left/east) and the Maumturks (right/west)..." (p. 177). Surely, when you are facing north, east is on your right. The Twelve Pins are west of the Maumturks, not east. To stay on Walk 11, the directions warn against taking the main Twelve Pins route "east toward Mam na bhFonsai" (p 180) but that mountain is west of the area of Walk 11. So to stay on the right path you SHOULD in fact go east.
Though it would be dangerous to rely on this book for directions in the walks, it contains a good introduction (e.g. on "right of way"), a good selection of really nice places to hike, lots of interesting asides on local history and nature, and really fine photos. I'd actually recommend it as a means to select a place to hike, I'd just be very careful to work out the hike on a real map ahead of time.
What a waste of good information! With better narrative directions and less crude maps, this could be an excellent source.