The Hidden Places of Scotland has been required reading for anyone planning a visit to Scotland since the first edition appeared in 1994. Those who have not seen the book for a while will find that its look and feel is now very different. Early editions tended to be very text based, with black and white line illustrations. The 10th Edition retains the depth of information found in its predecessors, but it has been given a makeover that will help it appeal to the "show me" generation as well as to the "tell me" generation. There are plenty of colour photographs to illustrate the topics being covered and the page layout is divided into columns to make the content more accessible, with additional marginal points of interest on many pages.
In some ways this has made The Hidden Places of Scotland feel more like other mainstream published guides to Scotland, which will probably help it to appeal to a wider market. Yet despite this change it has not lost the approachable and interesting written style that characterised earlier editions, and neither has it lost the attractive sense of living up to its title: popular places and attractions are well covered, but you still get the sense that some effort has been expended seeking out and presenting little known and, indeed, "hidden" places.
The result is that even those of us who feel we know our country very well indeed can unearth places and visitor attractions we'd not come across before as we leaf through the book: places to bear in mind and seek out on our own travels. This is exactly what a guide book should be doing.
An interesting aspect of The Hidden Places of Scotland is the inclusion of a section making up perhaps the final 30% of the book which contains an extensive collection of half page or full page features on specific accommodation providers, restaurants, and places to visit. These are cross referenced from the main body of the book, which is arranged geographically, and the result is that the book can be used to explore in more depth some of the accommodation and dining options available in the areas covered in the main part of the book.