Traveling to London: Art, Ambling, Ales & More

James, Simon R.H. London Movie Guide: Walks, Tours and Locations. Batsford, dist. by Sterling. 2012. c.308p. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 9781849940139. pap. $17.95. TRAV

London has been a popular place to film movies for decades because of its variety of settings, great atmosphere, easy access to a number of picturesque locations, and large pool of professionals and studio space. As a result, film-inspired tourism has grown as travelers seek out sites from their favorite films and television shows. In this handy guide, which updates a 2007 publication and contains locations for 200 additional films, Latin teacher and film buff James methodically takes readers through London, street by street, offering detailed notes on actors, films, and action. Each district of London is given a chapter, with indexes of films and streets so readers can better locate specific details. A tourist wandering through West Brompton can easily detour to Cremorne Wharf, where David Warner, in a gorilla suit, rode a stolen motorbike into the Thames in the 1966 film Morgan. VERDICT An information-packed guide; recommended for film buffs.

Jones, Becky & Clare Lewis. The Bumper Book of London: Everything You Need To Know About London and More. Frances Lincoln, dist. by PGW. 2012. c.280p. illus. index. ISBN 9780711231450. pap. $19.95. TRAV

All eyes are on London for the 2012 summer Olympics, but no matter when they visit, travelers always need a good guidebook. Jones and Lewis (coauthors, London Adventure Walks for Families) have written another kid-accessible guide to London that is a treat for the whole family. This small volume is packed with history, and the authors provide hints about little-known destinations, explanations of many of the mysteries and quirks of London, and even a recipe or two. Readers learn how the postcodes of London, devised to reduce the confusion caused by the number of streets with the same names, define the personality of each district. Biographies of medieval notables Chaucer and Caxton, the lost rivers of London, and football club fan chants are among the unusual topics covered. VERDICT With its colorful, fun look and appealing illustrations, this guidebook is thoroughly enjoyable, even for someone who knows London well. Highly recommended for all travelers, whether in an armchair or on the ground.

Pericoli, Matteo. London Unfurled. Picador. May 2012. c.2p. illus. ISBN 9780330517829. $35. FINE ARTS

Illustrator Pericoli (Manhattan Unfurled) has previously drawn the skylines of Manhattan and a 397-foot panoramic mural at John F. Kennedy Airport. Here, a 37-foot double-sided panoramic view of London unfurls from its case. The panorama can be arranged to mimic the curves of the Thames, and it shows both north and south views. The pen and ink drawings feature details of each bank, its landmarks and buildings, both familiar and unfamiliar, and highlight the crowded skylines of Canary Wharf and the startling outline of the Millennium Dome in North Greenwich. An accompanying booklet provides a key to each frame of the panorama. VERDICT An interesting addition to architecture or art history collections as well as collections on London history.

Tierney-Jones, Adrian. CAMRA’s Great British Pubs. CAMRA, dist. by Trafalgar Square. Jun. 2012. c.296p. photogs. ISBN 9781852492656. pap. $23.95. TRAV

No trip to Great Britain would be complete without a visit to a traditional pub. The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has produced this guide to more than 200 pubs, authored by beer expert Tierney-Jones (1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die), which also ranks real British ales by a number of criteria. The bests include brewpubs, family pubs, food pubs, railway pubs, sporting pubs, and many more. The book also features information on that other common beverage, cider, as well as pubs in fiction and pub walks in London and the Lake District. Well illustrated, the guide plots each best on a map of Great Britain and also provides an index by region, a guide to British beer, and a description of the brewing process. VERDICT A great guide for those looking for traditional ales throughout Britain and especially for devotees of beer-inspired tourism.