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Eyewitness Travel Loire Valley ****

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I always start off with the Eyewitness guide as they have plenty of pictures to whet the appetite and maps have enough detail to use for planning. It breaks up the area into six main section and the pages are colour coded so you can quickly find the section you want. It also includes Loire-Atlantique which isn’t covered by the Rough Guide.

I like the way places of interest are identified by numbers on the main maps. Under each one there is a short section covering other places of interest in the neighbourhood. Many of these are well worth searching out and are not covered by Rough Guide. If you are wanting to get off the usual tourist beat, then this is a good place to start.

The 3D town maps of towns and the châteaux are clever and give an impression of what they are like. Small photographs identify things of particular interest so you know what to look out for.

There is sufficient detail to get you started but not as much information about getting around, accommodation or eating as in Rough Guide in Rough Guide or Michelin. It is however a much more attractive book, and enjoyable to dip into.

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