About the Blue Guides

Award winning maps | Detailed floorplans | Architectural drawings | Expert glossaries | Reliable recommendations

The classic guide book series for history, art and architecture.  Beautifully presented, meticulously researched, clearly laid out.

“designed for the traveller who desires to understand more fully what he or she sees”
Stuart Rossiter, Blue Guides editor-in-chief 1963-1973

“really devoted more than anything else to art, architecture and archaeology; to dates, facts and scholarly history – and all in thoroughly readable form.” Harry Mount in the Daily Telegraph

“often plagiarised by other guide writers, Blue Guides have always been a gold standard for accuracy and depth” Daily Telegraph

“guidebooks in the grand tradition of thoroughness and objectivity.”
Ron Smith in The Georgia Review

“ideal for cultural exploration” Observer

“a lot of us rely on guide books, and if we had to make a suggestion, we’d say GO BLUE” … “well-researched, they’ll let you make what you will of a city”
Monocle 24 Radio

The BLUE GUIDES have been published continuously since 1918.  Following the acquisition of the series in 2004, Somerset Books continues to invest heavily in publishing the best-researched, best-presented cultural guide books in the English language:

  • strong focus on maintaining the Blue Guides as the leading, most comprehensive travel guides covering history, art, architecture and, where relevant, archaeology;
  • illustrations to inform rather than to decorate: award-winning maps, diagrams, floor plans, architectural details, photographs;
  • improved access to information and navigability with cross-referencing, excellent indexing, maps, floor plans and intelligent layout;
  • selective listings of restaurants and accommodation informed by the belief that good practical recommendations will contribute to the visitor’s enjoyment.

“Thank you for reissuing the Blue Guides; they are invaluable.”
Dr. John Wilson, Director of Curatorial Affairs Joslyn Art Museum

“packed with the high standard of information we expect from Blue Guides but with a modern touch; thank goodness that doesn’t mean you have ‘dumbed down’.”
Jane Maw Cornish

“I like the new expanded format that marks a transition from a book merely to be consulted to one which offers greater pleasure of extended browsing.”
Jonathan P. Brown

“My wife and I are long-time enthusiasts of the Blue Guide series, having carried several volumes to Italy in the early eighties, but it was not until this month that we had the opportunity to experience the Guide in its new incarnation during our travels in Sicily. Of the many volumes we had in hand, the Blue Guide towered above all.”
Kevin Walsh