Even if you have never been to France before, you will be aware that France is a country that offers a lot to visitors, especially from the UK. France has centuries of cultural heritage to share and is literally full of museums, galleries, architecture and beautiful cities to visit. If it is the natural side of things that interest you more, then France also offers stunning scenery, ski slopes, sandy beaches, castles and beautiful farm lands where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere. Whatever you plan on doing in France, you are bound to get more out of your visit if you spend a little time planning your trip.
There are many ways to plan a trip to France, and these range from doing some research online before you go, to asking friends who have already been there for some pointers on what to see, to paying a professional tour operator or trip planner to do this work for you. However, by far the most tried and trusted way of planning a trip, and the method that will suit the vast majority of UK visitors to France, will be to use a guide book of France.
Guide books on France are very easy to find in all bookshops that have a travel section, and you will probably be surprised at the number of options that you will have when you browse the shelves. There will be guidebooks on specific regions and cities, especially Paris, but other areas also, there will also be guidebooks focusing on specific activities such as hill walking, camping, cycling, beaches and even shopping. There are also books that will detail restaurants in France, finding hotels, renting a cottage or even buying a property in France. Otherwise, probably what you will want to look at are general guidebooks that aim to cover everything. Examples of such books from good publishers would be the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet.
These guide books are relatively inexpensive, costing usually a little over £10 but they have the potential to completely transform you visit to France. For one thing, you will be able to decide what you want to see and what you will have to skip based on the fullest amount of information available. This means that you will not have to miss something important because you never heard of it, or heard of it only when it was too late to fit it into your plans. For any first time visitor to France, and even for the veteran traveller, a good guidebook is simply a must if you want to get as much out of your trip as possible.