The Nicholson guides are absolutely invaluable to boaters. The one for the Grand Union Canal is always open on the dashboard while I’m driving.
- They show the route of the canal, which side the towpath is on, the location of locks and winding holes and boatyards and marinas.
- They also list canalside pubs, drinking being something of a hobby for many boaters, especially if the pubs have their own moorings and real ale. Car drivers would, you hope, refrain from going to the pub during a journey but it’s part and parcel of boating.
- The writers of the guides are also a bit church-obsessed and never fail to mention if there’s a nice set of 15th century brasses nearby.
So, great guides. However, if you try to arrange to meet someone they are next to useless. Try telling a car owner with an AA road map that you’ll meet them by bridge number 129, you know, it’s next to lock 38.