I'll start by confessing that I don't usually review travel guides. With three young children under the age of 10 all of our travelling is usually done within Ontario, and we don't even do that very often. However, when Marsha Moore, the author of the new travel guide 24 Hours London contacted me asking if I would be interested in reviewing her book, I was immediately interested. I've always wanted to visit London, England: in fact, if I could only visit one place in the entire world it would be London. I have hopes of travelling there when the kids are older. I thought that this would give me a chance to "explore" it before I had a chance to get there in person. Add to this the fact that Marsha Moore is originally from Canada (Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I have been) and I was hooked.
Marsha Moore's new London guide is not your average travel guide. It is divided into 24 sections, one for each hour, each of which has several suggestions for things that can be done at that time. Looking for an early breakfast at 7:00 am? This guide tells you where to go. Want to party at 2 am? There's a place for that too. Looking for breakfast before you go to bed after a long night partying? Yup, there's a place for that too. This guide is also home to the most interesting and unique things that you can do while in London, taking you off of the beaten tourist track. There's an activity for the most avid ghost hunters, a description of where to find one of London's original phone booths (you know, the red ones that are in every movie set in London) and even a place to view preserved genitals (yes, you read that right, preserved genitals!). There are places to eat, places to dance, and a place where you can work out at 3 am if the need arises. There are descriptions and information about great sites and hot restaurants (be warned: if you want to eat in Gordon Ramsay's restaurant you have to book two years in advance!). I thoroughly enjoyed visiting London through the power of the written word and when I eventually get there, I hope to visit some of these places in person. I should note as well that after each place description there are icons that tell you if the place has varied or seasonal opening hours, is a restaurant or food outlet, or is especially suitable for families. These will help if you're in London with the kiddies or just absolutely starving.
Marsha Moore's new book is available in Canada at select bookstores and is also available on Amazon. You can also order the book from the publisher, Prospera Publishing, with free shipping from the UK. Interested in touring London from your own home? Check out the book trailer (with some beautiful shots of London) here. Thank-you to Marsha Moore for kindly sending me a copy of this fascinating book. (And stay tuned: Marsha Moore explores Paris, France next!)