|This article does not cite any references or sources. (January 2012)|
The large-scale Guides are mainly intended for people traveling by boat along the river or canal. Generally, each page includes a map of a section of the waterway with features such as bridges, locks, boatyards and services. Each section of the map includes references to nearby pubs, towns and villages, roads and railways.
The Guides were first produced, in the 1970s, by Robert Nicholson Publications and were published by British Waterways. The first edition sold for 75 pence; but by the early 1980s the price had increased to £1.50.
The first edition came out as four Guides:
- 1 South East
- 2 North West
- 3 South West
- 4 North East
A fifth Guide, The Midlands, came out in the early 1980s.
The fifth edition in 1991 included 5 books:
- 1 South
- 2 Central
- 3 North
- River Thames
- Broads & Fens
The 1997/2000/2003/2007 editions were extended to 8 books:
- 1 Grand Union, Oxford & the South East
- 2 Severn, Avon & Birmingham
- 3 Birmingham & the Heart of England
- 4 Four Counties & the Welsh Canals
- 5 North West & the Pennines
- 6 Nottingham, York & the North East
- 7 River Thames & the Southern Waterways
- 8 Scotland, the Highland and Lowland Waterways (only in the 2003 edition)
There are also two small-scale fold-out maps, one covering Great Britain in its entirety, and one of Scottish waterways.