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Guidebooks to and Travel Writing on Ireland

We are spoilt for choice: Getting a guide book to Ireland is easy - any large bookstore will stock a few and there are dozens more available to order. Travel literature on the Emerald Isle also abounds, as do all sorts of books about Ireland. But which ones come recommended?

Ireland on Review
Ireland on review - no longer a domain of professional writers, on the internet anyone can write about hotels and attractions. But does truth go missing? Or is it just a question of perception?

Buy a Guide Book to Ireland
Getting a guide book to Ireland is easy - any large bookstore will stock a few and there are dozens more available to order. From the mundane and basic to the definitely esoteric. But which one is the best?

Paranormal Ireland
Paranormal Ireland - Irish hauntings in a very special guidebook to Ireland by Dara deFaoite

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly's Guide to South Dublin
South Dublin is, as the authors rightly point out, one of the world's most overlooked holiday destinations - and this book is the definitive guide to it. It will even help you to get by on € 10,000 per day.

"lonely planet Ireland" (2008) by Fionn Davenport and Colleagues
The Lonely Planet guide to Ireland certainly is well worth buying, overall. But its newest incarnation (2008) left me none too enthusiastic. Some blunders stick out and it seems that revision as well as proof-reading was slightly sloppy at times. I also occasionally wondered where the often-praised "honesty" went.

"lonely planet Dublin" (2008) by Fionn Davenport and Colleagues
Lonely Planet guides pride themselves to provide "trustworthy advice", generally this works out all right. But the new 2008 Dublin Guide had me becoming confused several times - who did the editing here? The update from the 2006 edition should have been better.

"Eyewitness Travel Dublin" by Tim Perry
This is the smaller and slightly older brother to the Eyewitness Guide Ireland - and buying both should not really be contemplated. If you are touring Ireland and want to get an Eyewitness, stick with the complete volume. But if you intend to spend only time in and around Dublin, the Eyewitness Guide Dublin is "yer man".

"Eyewitness Travel Ireland" by Lisa Gerard-Sharp and Tim Perry
Admitted there are guides that are stronger on the pure number of facts, but you will be hard pressed to find guidebooks with a pictorial content of such high quality. This is the main attraction of Eyewitness Travel Ireland. And sometimes a problem.

"Fodor's Dublin's 25 Best" by Peter Harbison and Melanie Morris
"Fodor's Dublin's 25 Best" is small enough to slip into nearly every pocket, yet it packs a punch. And with the excellent, almost indistructable map it becomes the ideal companion even on a rainy day.

"Fodor's Exploring Ireland" by Lindsay Hunt
If you want to tour Ireland by car, consider this guidebook - it is colorful and will get you to the point. Though it might prove foolish to rely on this pocket- or glovebox-sized book alone.

"Fodor's Ireland 2007" by Anto Howard and Colleagues
In Fodor's Ireland 2007 you are presented with loads of information in a structured way. Organized by region and theme the guide seems to cater for every taste.

"Fodor's see it Ireland"
The Fodor's See It Ireland is another of the very visual guides I prefer - with a strong emphasis on touring. You get several routes for drives and walks that are worth taking. Making the guide an ideal addition to your glovebox.

Lonely Planet's "Irish Language and Culture" by Francesca Cole (Ed.)
The Irish do not speak a form of English generally understood in New York or York - the language barrier has been constantly raised by Hiberno-English becoming more and more a language in its own right. Lonely Planet's "Irish Language and Culture" wants to help you overcome this barrier.

"Rough Guide Directions Dublin" by Paul Gray and Geoff Wallis
There is no such thing as perfection. But if you are looking for a great City guide and want to experience Dublin, do consider the Rough Guide Directions Dublin. You even get free mini-CD with it.

"The Knights Templar and Ireland" by Michael J. Carroll
Michael J. Carroll has attempted to trace the history of the Knights Templar in Ireland with his latest book. Basically the first attempt at a such a marginal theme. Unfortunately a somehow flawed attempt - the book does neither convice as a piece of historical research nor as a useful guide to Templar relics.

"The Rough Guide to Ireland" by Paul Gray and Geoff Wallis
The Rough Guide to Ireland will give you a lot of information, more than you will need for one vacation. If you can be bothered to lug the hefty volume around with you ... its size is handy, but its weight does not make it the traveler's best friend.

"Statues & Stories - Dublin's Monuments Unveiled" by Muriel Bolger
Muriel Bolger's "Statues & Stories" is a rare example of a guide that concentrates on public art. Unfortunately it is not a prime example, as sloppy mapping, a too narrow selection and some real howlers in the text left me frustrated.

"Walking in Ireland" by Bardwell, Fairbairn and McCormack
Lonely Planet's "Walking in Ireland" could be the only guide to hiking a visitor to the Emerald Isle might ever need. There are tours galore. And the descriptions are crisp and clear. But there are shortfalls - bare!

Experiencing Ireland Like Yesterday
Experiencing Ireland like yesterday might be hard today - but use your imagination and you can be there. By reading alone. Personally, I find that perusing only guide books or travel writing can bring immense fun and satisfaction. Here are some recommended reads from yesterday.

Travel Writing on Ireland - Your Pick of the Best Books to Read
Travel Writing on Ireland - Your Pick of the Best Books to Read

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