23 Apr 2014

Collins new updated 2014 Catalogue

The shiny new summer blue sky Collins 2014 catalogue (updated edition) is hot off the press.  It’s filled with our latest printed atlases, maps, wall maps and books as well as digital apps, eBooks and educational resources.
New updated 2014 Collins Catalogue

General Reference, Atlases and Maps:
General Reference
Railway Publications from The Times and Collins
Collins Astronomy with the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
World Heritage and Natural History
Sport and Recreation
Career Development
Young Adult Reference
Scottish Interest
Scottish Maps and Atlases
British Road Maps and Atlases
European Road Maps and Atlases
London Maps and Atlases
Irish Maps and Atlases
Ramblers Guides and Walking Maps
Ramblers Short Walks
Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides
The Times Maps and Atlases
Collins World Atlases
Educational Maps and Atlases for Ages 4-11
Educational Maps and Atlases for Ages 11+
Children’s Maps and Atlases
Children’s Reference

The 2014 catalogue also has sections for:
Dictionaries, including Children’s Dictionaries
School Ranges and Business
SCRABBLE, Crosswords, Puzzles & Games, Su Doku and Quizzes
Language Learning & ELT
Home Learning

Download the updated Collins 2014 catalogue (4.2MB PDF).

17 Apr 2014

Collins Short Walks - Free Downloads

Spring is finally here, and it’s time to get out for some great walks in the British countryside.

To celebrate the publication of four new editions in the Collins Short Walks series, endorsed by the Ramblers, we’re providing four walks to download for free.

Simply click on the link to the right of the cover image to get your free content:

ISBN 9780007555017
ISBN 9780007555031

ISBN 9780007555024
Yorkshire Dales Walk 9 download.pdf

ISBN 9780007555000
Cotswolds Walk 1 download.pdf

Did you know you can also download some titles in this series as e-books?

Short Walks in The Lake District e-book ISBN 9780007555048

Short Walks in The Peak District e-book ISBN 9780007555062

Short Walks in The Yorkshire Dales e-book ISBN 9780007555055

Short Walks in Cornwall e-book ISBN 9780007451432

Short Walks in Dorset e-book ISBN 9780007451449

Easter Egg Hunt

Win these Collins books
Does anyone fancy a good old-fashioned Easter Egg Hunt (map-based of course!) for the chance to win these great books from Collins?

We’ve replaced the names of 5 Easter-themed places around the UK with an Easter Egg. Can you tell us the names of the places that have been hidden?

Click on each map image to enlarge, then follow the instruction below to enter.
Collins Easter Egg Hunt Place 1

Collins Easter Egg Hunt Place 2

Collins Easter Egg Hunt Place 3

Collins Easter Egg Hunt Place 4

Collins Easter Egg Hunt Place 5

Simply email your answers, with your name and address to collinsmaps@harpercollins.co.uk with the subject line ‘Collins Easter Competition’ by 12 o'clock midnight on Thursday 24th April. We’ll collect all of the correct answers and draw the winner from a hat on Friday 25th April.

Good luck! We hope you find it egg-citing, no need to shell-out on the smashing prizes, unless you crack under pressure, so get your answers rolling-in.  [You thought we’d avoided all the puns, didn’t you!]

Click here for terms and conditions.

26 Mar 2014

Follow my Leader along the Thames and Severn Way

By Jonathan Mosse, Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides researcher and author.
 Severn, Avon & Birmingham Nicholson Waterways Guide
You might, justifiably, expect a guide to follow on in the footsteps of what it purports to cover. In its coverage of the Cotswold Canals, however, the newly updated Nicholson Waterways Guide – Severn, Avon & Birmingham – takes the lead, whilst it is the Cotswold Canals Trust that follows closely in its wake. But let me explain:
In a slogan coined some years ago, the then British Waterways promoted our canal and river heritage as ‘Waterways for All’ in what was probably a deliberate attempt to widen their appeal beyond the boat-owning brigade. And quite rightly so!
With the walker and cyclist very much in mind, the Nicholson Guides have always pursued a philosophy of detailing canals which, although a long way from being restored to ‘boatable’ condition have, nevertheless, some form of continuous towpath linking one extremity to the other.
Indeed, even some intact navigations (intact, that is, from a boater’s point of view) are lacking that all important ingredient of an end-to-end towpath, meaning that the poor old walker and cyclist is left, metaphorically, hanging in mid air with no option but to turn tail and retrace their steps.
Well, actually, that’s not the case with a Nicholson Waterways Guide. As someone who carries out a great deal of the research and updating by foot, or from the saddle of a bicycle, I can immediately identify with the intrepid waterways enthusiast faced with an eroded river bank or a built-over towpath. In fact I pride myself that every waterway covered by the guides includes a detailed description of the means by which to follow its entire length by boat, bike and boot – even if a deviation from the navigation itself is, from time to time, required.  But I digress.
The Infant Thames near Kemble, 183 miles (and a pair of boots) after departing the Thames Barrier. Photo © Jonathan Mosse
The term ‘Cotswold Canals’ is the umbrella monika of convenience, given to the Stroudwater Navigation and the adjoining Thames & Severn Canal which, between them, link Lechlade on the Thames with the hamlet of Framilode on the River Severn. While there is a very obvious towpath from the latter, east, all the way into Stroud and up over the Cotswold scarp, to the portal of Britain’s second longest canal tunnel (3817 yds) at Sapperton, things become somewhat haphazard on the approach to Kemble.
Indeed, due to the navigation having fallen to various Acts of Abandonment by 1933, the towpath (and its attendant right of way) has, in many places, long since disappeared. So, in order to tick those all important end-to-end walking and cycling boxes – thereby allowing the waterway to qualify for inclusion in the guide – something creative needed to be done.
Coatesfield Bridge on an unrestored section of the Thames & Severn Canal. Photo © Jonathan Mosse
Transposed into Nicholson-speak, this amounted to copious on-the-ground research and, ultimately, the creation of a viable walking link from Kemble through to Lechlade: one that followed statutory footpaths or rights of way while remaining as close to the original navigation as practical.
Thames and Severn Way marker © Cotswold Canals Trust
Much as the Cuckoo Way has done in uniting the two halves of the Chesterfield Canal – severed by a tunnel collapse in Derbyshire – this similar exercise in Gloucestershire has produced a tangible link from Framilode through to Lechlade, in finally giving these two waterways an end-to-end identity. This is rapidly taking the form of the Thames and Severn Way which, glue guns and roundels to the fore, members of the Cotswold Canals Trust are ever now way-marking.
© Jonathan Mosse, March 2014

19 Mar 2014

30% off Nicholson Waterways Guides

Get 30% off the new 2014 editions of our Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides!

Use the discount code when ordering online at Waterstones.com

Click this link for details

Offer ends midday 31/05/2014

Great Canal Journeys on Channel 4

Have you seen Great Canal Journeys yet?

Screenshot from Channel 4 © 2014.

To celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, actors Timothy West and Prunella Scales embark on four spectacular canal journeys, sharing a passion that they've enjoyed for decades.

See http://www.channel4.com/programmes/great-canal-journeys

Catch up on previous episodes via 4oD

@4Viewers  @More4Tweets

18 Mar 2014

Scottish Little Books Competition

 Collins Little Book of Whisky: Malt Whiskies of ScotlandTo celebrate the publication of our Little Books of Scotland, we’re giving you the chance to win all three great (little) books.  These have everything the budding Scotland enthusiast needs to know about Whisky, Clans and Tartans and Scottish History.
We know that you’re a creative bunch, so we’re looking for a limerick that sums up what Scotland really means to you. So whether you’re a resident Scot, or simply a fan of this great country, we want to hear from you!
 Collins Little Book of Scottish History: From Bannockburn to HolyroodSimply email your limerick to collinsmaps@harpercollins.co.uk with the subject ‘Limerick Collins Little Books Scotland’ by Wednesday 26th March. A winner will be chosen on Thursday 27th March.
To get you in the mood, here are a couple of examples from McFreddy, our resident London-based Scot:

On the bonnie bonnie banks of the Clyde,

I found a bottle with a letter inside,
It said, ‘Dear ma and da
I’ve sunk the new car
And now Nessy’s demanding a ride!’

The panda in Edinburgh zoo,

 Collins Little Book of Clans and Tartans: Traditional Scottish tartansIs eating all of Scotland’s bamboo!
It’ll have to adapt,
To its new habitat,
Of chips, deep-fried Mars Bar and Irn Bru.

Good luck to everyone, we canny wait!

Click here for
terms and conditions.

Railway Day Trips – Free Spring Trips Downloads

Julian Holland has been a fan of the railways for as long as he can remember. It’s a passion that began with the “musty, stale-smoke smell of carriage compartments, coupled with the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels on the rail joints”, and has never left him. From the swingeing cuts that the railways endured thanks to Dr Beeching’s report in the 1960’s, to the latest debates about the future of the railways in Britain, Julian has remained a passionate supporter of the joys and delights of train travel.

We've collected 6 routes from Julian’s new book, Railway Day Trips, for you to download and experience the same joy that Julian still does. So wherever you are, in Scotland, England or Wales, there is somewhere for you to escape to for the day, this spring, by train.

Click to download the following routes:

Railway Day Trips: 150 classic train journeys around Britain [Paperback] £14.99, is Julian’s fourth book with Collins. Explore the very best that Britain has to offer by rail.
Railway Day Trips [Kindle]

17 Mar 2014

More new Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides

Three new Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides have just been published.
Nicholson’s Waterways Guides have been the trusted companion of inland navigators since 1969. Annotated mapping, handy tips and information make sure you make the most of Britain’s inland canals and waterways.
• Packed with information to help boaters navigate the waterways.
• Highlights the wildlife that thrives alongside our navigable waterways.
• Includes information on local services and places of interest, pubs and restaurants listed with postcodes - ideal for sat-navs.
• Brief history and background to each canal.
• Ordnance Survey® background mapping.
• Includes locks, bridges, tunnels, aqueducts, winding holes, towpaths, waterpoints, sanitary stations, pump out facilities, refuse disposal and boatyards.
• Comprehensive navigational notes including mile markers, milestones, maximum dimensions, low bridges, advice and potential hazards.

Covers the canals and waterways around Birmingham and central England: Ashby Canal, Birmingham Canal Navigations (Main Line), Birmingham & Faxeley Canal, Coventry Canal, Erewash Canal, Grand Union Canal (Main Line, Leicester Section and the River Soar), Oxford Canal, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Stratford-on-Avon Canal, Worcester and Birmingham Canal, Trent & Mersey Canal.

Published 13 Mar 2014, £16.99, A5 210x148, 176 pages, ISBN 9780007538997

Practical and comprehensive guide covering the canals and waterways of the Broads National Park, including the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads and the Rivers Waveney, Yare, Bure, Ant, Thurne and Chet.
The Broads (the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads) are one of Britain's best-known holiday boating areas. They make up Britain's largest and most important protected wetland and are a national park providing a home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the country. A unique and enchanting wetland, with over 125 miles of lock-free, navigable tidal waters, all waiting to be explored.
Published 13 Mar 2014, £9.99, A5 210x148, 96 pages, ISBN 9780007539000

Popular guide covering the canals and waterways around Birmingham and the River Severn: River Avon, Birmingham Canal Navigations (Main Line), Droitwich Canal, Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and the River Severn, Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, Stourbridge and Dudley Canals, Stratford-on-Avon Canal, Worcester & Birmingham Canal.

Published 13 Mar 2014, £16.99, A5 210x148, 196 pages, ISBN 9780007538980

New Waterways Guides, published 13 February 2014:

See also:

13 Mar 2014

New Collins Maps Publications for March 2014

Today we have seventeen new publications coming out.
These cover railways, roads, waterways, history, whisky, clans and tartans across Scotland, England, Ireland, Britain and the World.
To find out more about these publications see:
Collins Maps Facebook https://www.facebook.com/collinsmaps

Collins Maps Twitter feed https://twitter.com/collinsmaps

Our Latest Publications slideshow in this blog

New March Publications
Railway Day Trips: 150 classic train journeys around Britain, printed and ePub editions
Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides — Birmingham & the Heart of England
Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides — Norfolk Broads
Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides — Severn, Avon & Birmingham
Collins Little Books — Scottish History: From Bannockburn to Holyrood, printed and ePub editions
Collins Little Books — Clans and Tartans: Traditional Scottish tartans, printed and ePub editions
Collins Little Books — Whisky: Malt Whiskies of Scotland, printed and ePub editions
Ireland Road Atlas, Touring edition
Ireland Touring Map
Handy Map Ireland
Scotland Pocket Map
Scotland Touring Map
Collins World Atlas, Paperback Edition

5 Mar 2014

Researching and writing the Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides

By Jonathan Mosse, Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides researcher and author.
Photo © Callum Frew
Until 2012 the main guides in the Collins Nicholson Waterways series were updated every three years, which meant that a small team of writers, researchers and editors mobilised for about nine months before publication.  There was little time for forward planning and even less for contemplation, with the result that my ‘wish list’ for the inclusion of ‘new’ waterways remained tantalisingly out of reach of realisation.
And then at the behest of the lead publisher in Collins’ Glasgow office, a schedule was devised which saw a programme of annual updating, involving just three guides, on a rotational basis. This, of course, still amounted to each book receiving a full update every three years, but lay within the grasp of a single writer and researcher, ably supported by the Glasgow editorial team. And, equally important, there was now enough temporal slack in the system to start looking at my ‘wish list’, and prevent it becoming an unrealisable ‘bucket list’.
Collins Nicholson Waterways Guides and Map

Working my way round the waterways system of Britain by boot, bike and boat has always been a delight and one that I never cease to tire of. It provides a constant reminder of just what a beautiful and topographically diverse country we live in.  I never cease to marvel at this variety. On those occasions when it is not actually raining (see
Halfie blog posts for August and Jonathan Mosse fixes it for Nicholson's), the diversity of the climate can also be a source of wonder!
However, the best part of the job undoubtedly lies in writing about a new waterway for insertion into the guides for the very first time. Having that wee bit of space for contemplation identifies those waterways worthy of inclusion, while there is also time to work the necessary additional research into the schedule.
Grantham Canal
photo © Jonathan Mosse
First off has been the Grantham Canal which, sitting as it does virtually in the heart of the country, is surprisingly easy to miss simply by virtue of the fact that the three main north – south routes (the M1, A1 and M6) neatly bracket this navigation, offering little opportunity for pause and enjoyment. It truly is a magical waterway, seemingly lost in a time warp, as it meanders its languid way through undisturbed countryside, overlooked throughout much of its length by the fairy-tale Belvoir Castle. Now, Nicholson’s Nottingham, York & the North East Waterways Guide reveals all.

Cotswolds Canal Stroudwater
Navigation, photo © Jonathan  Mosse
In contrast, the Cotswold Canals (a moniker of convenience embracing the Stroudwater Navigation – running pretty well due east from the Severn to Stroud – together with the Thames & Severn Canal, which extends the waterway another 29 miles, soaring over the Cotswold Scarp, making a junction with the Thames at Lechlade) is somewhat more ‘no-nonsense’ but in no way less attractive than its Midlands’ cousin. Just as I did, you can enjoy all 36 miles of this multi-faceted waterway, documented in 24 pages of the new Severn, Avon & Birmingham Waterways Guide. It certainly makes for a bracing walk!
© Jonathan Mosse, Feb 2014

If you have comments on any aspect of our guides, please email nicholson@harpercollins.co.uk