Book Review: DK Eyewitness Travel Ireland
Book Review DK Eyewitness Travel Ireland
Rather than referring to DK Eyewitness books as travel guides, they deserve to be called “travel bibles.” When you pick up DK Eyewitness Travel Ireland you can just feel how solid it is – packed with everything you’re looking for plus a whole lot more you didn’t even know you needed to know. One thing is for sure. The main contributors to this book, Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Tim Perry, really know Ireland inside and out.
When I opened up DK Eyewitness Travel Ireland and turned to the Table of Contents, it brought me back to my visit to Ireland some 20 years ago at my husband’s cousin’s 300-year-old farm in County Wexford. There we were chatting with the family in the kitchen when a goat walked in through the front door, stopped and said “maaaaaa” to us and then marched out the back. Following that we set out to the pasture to help the cousin count sheep; apparently they had been running away from home in record numbers.
Now back to the book…The abundance of photographs in this book really brings each destination to life. The first chapter starts by getting you acquainted with the many regions of the country and a fabulous map. The introductory information about Ireland is such a pleasure, as it is divided into small sections with clear headings. You can find exactly what you are looking for in a hurry.
The Dublin chapter is divided into sections of this great city, and I was so entranced by the information, layout and photographs, that I was unable to skip around. I had to read ALL of it in the order in which it was written. What impressed me most are the 3D drawings of monuments and street layouts. When you arrive in Dublin you will know the exact layouts of important streets and even how to find the entrance to the most impressive attractions. It’s sort of like DK gives you the information you think you could only get from the curator of the museum. With the Dublin Street Finder Index and map you are sure to find your way around the city. There is even a drawing of how Guinness is made. How can you beat that?
Eight additional destination chapters are divided by region, also offering incredible photographs and drawings. You’ll find the best of every county here and the layout makes perfect sense. The towns are highlighted and labeled with numbers, so you can easily find them on the informative maps. (Check out page 160 to see a photo of my dream farmhouse). A chapter on Northern Ireland is also included in the book. And after viewing the illustrations and reading about the Giant’s Causeway, a geological masterpiece of rock caused by volcanic eruptions, I am eager to visit.
In the back of the book is an incredibly comprehensive “Travellers’ Needs” section. Here you can find an extensive list of where to stay, eat, shop and be entertained. If that weren’t enough, there is a practical information section to get you through all the logistics of traveling in Ireland, from flights and currency to safety and transportation. This is all crucial information for any traveler.
The only drawback to this guide is the small print. But when you consider the volume of information that goes into this “travel bible” for its compact size, it’s well worth the effort to put on my reading glasses. If I were off to Ireland tomorrow – and oh how I wish I were after reading this – DK Eyewitness Travel Ireland is the only travel guide I’d need.
Debbie Glade/smartpoodle is the Geography Awareness Editor for Wandering Educators