The Bottom Line
Let’s Go London is a great book for researching London before you go on your vacation and is a good guidebook to keep at your hotel but it’s probably not the one you will want to lug round with you all day.
- Whopping 400 pages
- Lots of tips
- Easy to dip into
- Clear layout
- Too much ‘global’ info and not London-specific
- Too many inaccuracies
- Too heavy to carry around every day
- Let’s Go London is a good book to dip into for ideas on where to stay, what to do, and it has some useful tips.
- Let’s Go London is a 400-page guide to London on a budget; best-suited to students and budget travelers.
- It is not clear how often this book will be updated so beware of buying an old edition.
Guide Review – Let’s Go London on a Budget
Let’s Go is a series of guides to destinations around the world and I felt a lot of the information in Let’s Go London was ‘global’ and to be used in multiple destination books and not really specific to London, e.g. Spring Break in April does not exist in the UK but is mentioned in the London book.
Let’s Go London is littered with US colloquial language which sometimes made it inaccessible to me as a Brit. This probably works well for the target US market but does not translate for international sales.
I found quite a few points in Let’s Go London that I disagree with. These often stem from the need for a travel guide to be updated regularly or because the writers didn’t check their facts thoroughly:
- “You should carry US dollars”
Why? We use pounds sterling.
- “Never tip bartenders”
Not in pubs, but it’s becoming expected in bars.
- “Kensington and Chelsea are the most densely populated areas”
Not true – try Tower Hamlets or Hackney in east London
- “Kebab stands are like hot dog vendors”
What?! They don’t exist. Kebabs are popular but are never sold on the streets.
- “Nightclubs ordering cabs for you”
- “Leaving newspapers on the tube is not considered littering”
Wrong! Take all trash off the tube.
- In the food section the references to “stewed eels” seem ridiculous. Jellied Eels is a local dish once popular in the east end of London but rarely seen these days. The Let’s Go writers would have you believe we eat it every day.
Even though I’ve listed these failings, all is not lost as Let’s Go London does have a lot of fine information and very useful neighborhood descriptions. There are many tips throughout the books and I whole-heartedly agree with the advice to tell your credit card company you are traveling overseas so they don’t stop your card while you’re away — this has happened to me!