* Prices may differ from that shown
Yes Loans I today thought I was applying for a loan with Yes Loans - they gave me a figure of £5,500 at a monthly repayment of £127.98. I did not feel happy with this figure so I questioned the operator, he could not give me a definite answer. He was keen to have my card details to pay the fee of £49.50 - which I thought was really odd. I have had many loans but never had to pay an upfront fee! Thought I would check this out through the internet and found your site. Glad I have now - as I will definitely not have a loan with these people. Companies like these pray on vulunerable people who have had bad experiences - should not be allowed to operate.
The UK Ireland section, together with the International Travel section have always been my favourite areas for review writing, and indeed the most useful areas for me when doing my own planning and research for trips. I became guide for the section last September, when the well-travelled Proxam stepped down, and as I was now responsible to ensure I read all reviews in my category, I found it was actually a little less busy than I anticipated which surprised me a little, given the majority of writers are living in the UK and always keen to share their opinion on products and services.
So what exactly CAN you write about in UK/Ireland category. Well there is quite a lot of scope really. The full list is officially "clubs, destinations, hotels, internet cafes, museums, national parks, pubs/bars, restaurants and cafes, shopping, sightseeing, theatre, theme parks, zoos, transport and youth hostels". I must admit there are a few of those I haven't attempted myself, notably clubs as I am past that stage in life...and internet cafes...because there isn't really a lot of scope for review writing there..internet cafes tend to be the means to an end instead of the end in themselves!
I think a lot of the ideas for writing good UK/Ireland reviews applies to many categories overall in fact.
Firstly it is important to begin your review appropriately - it might be ok to write a line or so on why you chose the venue that you did and a background to your family who came with you - but three paragraphs would be pushing it. I think I am one of the few people that welcomes the new "read count" on dooyoo, showing a combined count of member and non member reads. All of a sudden, the reads look very high compared to before - which means that non members are (hopefully) reading, which is our raison d'etre..! Equally it is impossible to write reviews in this category without some reference to one's friends and family, so as long as you keep it in balance.
Secondly, it is important to avoid lists or duplication of other information on the venue's own website. This might apply to price lists for eating houses or hotels, lists of shops in a shopping centre, lists of rides in a theme park or a cut and paste list of opening hours and prices for a museum or other national monument. As the "true" potential customer can quite easily (and has most probably) already looked up most of this information on the internet, then there is no point repeating it. Instead, replace it with your personal experience i.e. your thoughts on value for money, variety of rides, queues, that sort of thing. Keep to paragraphs rather than "dot-points" and lists and you cannot go far wrong.
Many reviews in this category are luxury products and services rather than essentials and most of them will be fairly costly in nature (even a day out to a theme park is a small fortune now). When writing about eateries, hotels, guest houses and the like, I think it is important to recreate the sense of feeling, or emotion. Did it feel indulgent and welcoming? Things like how the food was presented are more important - because this is one of the most important things we care about when eating out, arguably more than just the actual food in a restaurant, as otherwise we would all just eat at home.
I find reviews that capitalise on plenty of adjectives to describe decor/surroundings very well tend to draw the reader in more - it's a bit like describing the food so well that the reader wants to come in and eat it! With hotels, it is beds and bathrooms that are the biggest seducers..so just what did you think when you entered the bedroom..delight, or despair? How appealing and tasteful were the furniture and fittings - tired and jaded or contemporary or warmth?
While it might not be possible for a one off trip, if you want to write about a place you could potentially visit more frequently, then allow yourself the luxury of a few trips before embarking on your review - it will guarantee a much more credible opinion if you know that service is consistently good or bad. Of course - we don't all go back to the same hotels or museums etc, and indeed it does not mean that one off trips are invalid from a review writing point of view - they are still very valuable!
Database restructuring over the years has led to lots of "XXXXXX in General" type categories on Dooyoo. Sometimes, in our eagerness to get our review published and our views and experiences shared, these become "dumping grounds" for barely related opinions. If you are writing about a specific venue, then please be patient and add the category to the database first.! This is usually done very quickly (there is a bit of a hold up at the moment), and it is MUCH better for the public who can see at a glance whether the ABC Hotel in Aberdeen gets high or low star ratings from its previous guests. Very few of us would make a decision to go (or not go) to a particular place based on one review..we wanted a more rounded opinion.
When you are adding categories however, it is quite common for members to add to the International Category of travel rather than the UK/Ireland part...it is easily done, down there at the bottom of the New Product form, but it will mean your review is technically misplaced..and moving reviews is a tricky thing on dooyoo.
However, if you have gone somewhere in the UK/Ireland on holiday for example, or even want to write about aspects of your own area, then the XXXXX in General categories are ideal - as you do not have to write quite so much on what can be done in the area, but are writing more as a taster and outline for potential visitors.
Travel writing features in many weekend papers and many of us like reading articles, and dreaming about our future plans. Travel reviews on websites tend to be longer than the average review, but they do not necessarily have to be, as many of our best travel writers prove every week in the newspapers. Enthusiasm is one thing, and there are some excellent Travel and UK/Ireland writers on Dooyoo who do write lengthy interesting articles, but it is worth keeping in mind how much you think you can hold the reader - and if in doubt, edit..! You don't HAVE to write a little paragraph on EVERY ride in a theme park - especially if you didn't go on them all - no one will think any less of your review - certainly not me! Read a few travel reviews in newspapers and decide what styles work for you - this is creative swiping - just the same as reading other reviews really! You might find that LESS is definitely MORE in travel - after all, every reader will write their own story in their mind when they visit.
I think it is more of a general point, but it is useful to keep your Advantages and Disadvantages and your star rating relevant/appropriate to the Venue in question and to your experience. For example, if a five star hotel is expensive compared to other five star hotels in the same town, then that would clearly be a disadvantage, but if you say it is expensive purely as your budget is normally three star or Motel/Inn, then the five star isn't necessarily expensive in actual fact..equally if you quote rates, then do a sanity check to see if the rates you quote are the Best Available rates - no point saying the hotel is £200 a night rack rate, when the reality is you can get in there any night you like for £80.
I hope I have given a few thoughts for idea generation here. I love travelling around the UK/Ireland and learning more about our rich culture. I work in the hotel industry too and I love reading about the competition as well as new places to consider for a break..so please get writing and give me something to read! So if you have stepped out of doors lately and visited somewhere new, be sure to tell us about it :)
(Any questions about UK/Ireland related reviews, please feel free to PM me - equally if you feel that your suggestion has not come back in time, let me know and I will do what I can to hurry things along for you!)
How to write a good review in UK and IRELAND travel?
And it should be, if you follow a few, simple rules.
First things first.
1/ We all know about dooyoo's lack of capitals. To fix this, go to * http://www.chuckleweb.co.uk/fix.php * Copy and paste your review, click the button, copy and paste the result onto dooyoo. It's SO simple and your review will look 100x better.
2/ Use a spellcheck. A few spelling and/or grammar mistakes are no big deal, but if it's hard to understand, it's never going to be a 'good' review.
3/ Use paragraphs, and use spaces between paragraphs. Again, if it's difficult to read, it's never going to be 'good'.
4/ Read other reviews. How will you know what's expected if you don't read other examples?
Now, about content...
* PUBS, HOTELS and RESTAURANTS *
A review of a pub should ideally have some information about the decor and the atmosphere. Do they serve food? If so, give us some menu examples and prices, tell us about the quality of it and the service. I'd also expect to read about the price and range of drinks. Is it easy to find? What sort of crowd does it attract?
These are the sort of things I'd look for in a pub review. In fact, a restaurant review would have much the same criteria.
As for hotels: Probably the most important thing for me is a description of the bedrooms. I don't mean that I look for a detailed account of every tiny thing, but how is it furnished? Are the bed(s) comfortable? Tell me how it's decorated - is it clean? And don't forget to write a bit about the bathroom.
I'd also like to know what the facilities in the hotel are like. Does it have a restaurant/bar/cafe? What about swimming pool/fitness room/play area for kids? Is it suitable for disabled guests? Some people might be more interested in what's available for business travelers - offices/meeting rooms etc.
Don't forget about the staff and level of service - how was check-in etc. And a little bit of detail about how to get there, parking, the surroundings, and so forth.
* TOWNS and CITIES *
It's hard to know where to start for these. Obviously, if you're writing about a small village there's not nearly so much information to choose from than if you were writing about London. But let's face it, you're never going to be able to fully describe London, so don't even try.
If you're describing a visit to a place, tell us what you did/saw/visited. Try and keep it personal and chatty. A little historical information is fine (as long as it's relevant) but if someone wants a long and dusty historical preamble, they can google it themselves.
Some members write travel reviews as though they're taking the reader for a walk around the place. I think this works extremely well.
By all means give us details: opening hours and prices of attractions etc, but try and intersperse the factual stuff with the personal stuff.
* ATTRACTIONS *
More of the same really.
If it's a Museum, tell us a little about the exhibits or the theme. This is also true of Art Galleries etc.
Again, opening hours and admission prices are important, as is a brief description of location. Above all though, it's your personal impression and opinion that is most important.
There are many more categories that come under the umbrella of UK & IRELAND TRAVEL and to list them all here and how to write a good review for each of them would be ridiculously long-winded and superfluous.
If I could simplify it, I'd say the secret to writing a good review in UK & Ireland Travel is to keep it interesting. Write as though you're describing the place/attraction/whatever to a friend and telling them about your experience.
Of course there should be facts and figures where necessary, but don't just list details that can be found anywhere on the 'net, try and incorporate the relevant details into the body of the review - in the passing, as it were.
Make the reader want to visit...or warn them to avoid, whichever the case may be. Tell the reader of the good things AND the bad things. By that I mean try and keep it balanced. If you've had a horrendous meal in a restaurant, don't just write a rant about how bad it was - tell us WHY it was bad but also tell us if some things about the experience were good. For example: perhaps the food was delicious but the service was terrible.
If possible, try and leave some hints or tips hat could enhance a prospective visitor's experience:
* If you know a site which can offer a good deal on a hotel room, let us know.
* If you know a good place for parking in a city, let us know.
* If you know about any special offers for attractions, let us know.
* If you know the best places to eat/drink in a town, let us know.
This isn't the secret service...share that information!
It shouldn't be hard to write a good review in UK & Ireland.
We all live here (apart from the members who don't...obviously!). I'l
l re-phrase that. The vast majority of us live here and should know about our surroundings well enough be able to describe it adequately.
So, let's see a few more posts in this category - have a browse around, there are literally thousands of towns and attractions that haven't been written about yet, and you must either live close, or have visited, some of them.
In closing, let me give you one last piece of advice. When you write a review in UK & IRELAND (or ANY category for that matter), the most important thing is to enjoy writing it. If you enjoy doing it, you'll put that little extra into it, and it'll show. Above all, have fun!
I'm the guide for UK & IRELAND TRAVEL.
If you have any comments or suggestions about this review, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Similarly, if you have any questions, or need any help or advice regarding The UK & IRELAND category, just ask me.
Thanks for reading
How to write a good UK/Ireland opinion what a task, the category is so diverse you could be writing about a pub, hotel, restaurant, town, city, beauty spot, museum, theatre, piece of public art or numerous other topics so where do you begin and what qualifies me to offer advice? I’m not a category guide, I don’t consider myself to be one of the great dooyoo writers and I’m certainly not a prolific opinion writer, I’ve been around for nine month and this is only my forty-third opinion. Well after marandina and jillmurphy suggested in my comment thread that they would like to read my thoughts on this topic, I thought I might as well give it a go; I have written ten UK/Ireland opinions, all rated very useful and eight have crowns so I’ll try to explain the format I use without being too long or boring. I try to write about an attraction/town/ city/hostelry I either know well or that has had a real impact on me whether it is good or bad, although I do find it easier to write a positive rather than negative opinion. I’ll try and break this category down into different areas. Pubs. Hotels, Restaurants If I were reading an opinion with a view to visiting a certain pub, hotel or restaurant I would want to know what the parking was like or how easy is it to reach by public transport. Another important point would be the ambience, is it boisterous, or dull, is there music playing and if so what kind, are the staff friendly and attentive, is it warm, clean and welcoming? What is the standard of food like and the portions given, are children welcome, you don’t have to have a child with you to know this just look around, are there any children sitting around, are there any high chairs available, do they have a children’s menu? If it’s a hotel what are the bedrooms like? I don’t need a break down of every item of furniture but I do want to now if they were clean and comfort
able. I also like to now whether the bathroom has a bath or shower and if the towels are changed daily. You can get a good idea about a place by the cleanliness of public places and especially public toilets so I would like to know about these. I would also like to know about other facilities both inside and outside, such as pool tables, any children’s play area, beer garden and what the building is next to, has it got an interesting view? Villages, Towns and Cities There is so much helpful information you can give here, what are the links with other towns and cities like, what are the shopping areas like, are there any parks and recreation areas, what is the nightlife like and which age groups does it appeal to, are there any museums, cinemas, art galleries and are there any areas of historical value? You don’t need to go into great detail about any of the above but they are what makes the village, town or city what it is and everywhere no matter how small has something to offer a visitor, it could be the picturesque village church, the beautiful park in the little town or the brilliant nightlife of the big city. Museums and Art Galleries What is of particular interest here and is it a place for all age groups? When you visited the museum or art gallery what stood out for you and why? What age groups were there, were there families there with children and if so did the children look bored or were they interested, perhaps even excited about certain things? Was there an entrance fee and if so did you think it was value for money? Were there guides or attendants around willing to give you further information about an exhibit if required and was the building accessible and user friendly for the disabled? What are the opening times, do you think a certain time of day is best to visit and are they closed on bank holidays? Theatres and Cinemas Here I would be interested in access to public transpor
t or car parking facilities, what the auditorium is like, approximate width of aisles, access to fire exits, what the disabled facilities are like, what the service in the bar was like during the interval, are there any restaurants or coffee bars and what are the prices like? Public Art Thanks to Lottery Funding and the regeneration of inner city areas new pieces of public art are springing up all over. What does it say to you and what does it say to other people who view it? as they say one man's meat is another man's poison. Tell us about the piece of art, who the artist is and a little information about the artist, tell us what the local response to the public art was initially and has this changed, what does the sculpture say to you, do you understand it? Try to explain what the artist was trying to achieve and what the local authority was hoping to portray. Local Beauty Spots When I write about a local beauty spot I like to sit and take in the area, I think about the views, the aromas, the noises around, is it a colourful place and how safe is it for children. I look at shops and kiosks in the area, what facilities are there for refreshments, what the public toilets are like and are there any other amenities available. If I’m writing about a coastal area I look at what the beach is like, whether it consists of sand or pebbles, is the sea safe to paddle in, does the beach shelve gently into the sea or drop away steeply. I like to know whether the beauty spot is well cared for and kept clean, are there picnic areas with benches and waste bins, are there areas for family games and can children run around safely, if dogs are allowed to run wild or are they welcome on a lead? What is the main attraction of the beauty spot and does it offer anything else to the visitor and how do you get to it? To Sum Up Think about your local area, places you have probably visited over a
nd over again for years, places you take for granted, visit them again and really look at them. Most people forget about what is on their own doorstep and yet locals know so much about the places of interest in their area, what improvements have been made, memories you have and local myths and legends, they are all of interest to visitors. If you are writing about an attraction you visited on holiday did you talk to any of the locals about it and if so did they have an interesting story to tell? No matter what your opinion is about also tell us what is special for you or what you disliked, put something of yourself into your opinion and try to give as vivid a picture as possible but be truthful, in effect the reader is blind to the attraction you are reviewing and you have to paint a mental view for us. Well as I said at the start I’m no expert, everyone has different ideas of what makes a good opinion and there are no hard and fast rules, I have tried to outline how I write in this category and the type of opinions I find very useful without going on too long, this obviously does not cover every topic but I hope it is of some help.
The UK and Ireland guide section of this site is my favourite place to add opinions to, I love to pass on my knowledge of places to go and things to do and it's something of a catrhartic exercise from time to time; you can point to the places you've loved and pass on the recommendation and you can share your experiences of places you have hated and, hopefully, keep someone else from making the same mistakes you made! What it's all about: -------------------- Well, first and foremost, this section of the site is all about places of interest and locations within the UK and Ireland (obvious from the title but there you go). This includes everything form entire cities and towns ("in general" as the phrase goes) to specific cafes and pubs in the towns/cities/villages. Nightlife, picnic areas etc. they're all there and, if not, put in a suggestion - it's as easy as that. So onto the tips... ------------------- And these are just tips by the way, always remember that there's no "bible" to writing on Dooyoo, it's a personal thing but pointers can be a help to even the most seasoned veteran :) 1. Know your stuff! -------------------- The obvious pointer for any Dooyoo opinion really but this is the category that it really shows when you know very little. I tend to choose the subject on the grounds that the place I'm about to write on has made a big impression on me, I've visited recently or I've had a long standing relationship with so I'm able to pass on a lot of useful information and help others to decide to go or not (as the case may be). 2. Start with the basics. -------------------------- Where, when, how to get there (eg: local transport, basic routes etc.), opening times and best times to visit. These details will help to give something to expand on when you get into the main body of the op, simple headers to bu
ild on and give loads of helpful info about - the facts are there, all you need to do then is justify the reasons for them to be so and you'll be well on your way to a great opinion. 3. Expand. ----------- The best time of year to visit becuse... The preferred area of the restaurant because... The trains are not the best way to go because... And so on and so forth, I tend to make tyhis part the main section of my opinion, the details are personal and helpful to describe the experience that you've had and will explain the reason you called your op "The worst hotel in the World...Ever" or "Oh yes, we love to see the doggies running" (I wrote about Walthamstow Dog track.) We get a personal interpretation of the place of interest and it is always a joy to read about peoples' days out and meals out when they've been touched in some way by the experience. 4. Drop-down-boxes: -------------------- Well, I've said it before and I'll say it again - having a string of "no comment" at the bottom of an opinion is a real disappointment, if you've taken all that time to describe the place, interior, exterior, service, local transport, that little show that comes to town once a year and the smell that came off the sea when you walked hand-in-hand aty midnight, why not just go that extra mile and use the drop-downs? They give just a little info and take next to no time to do. Easy and they make the op look so much better (in my opinion, of course). 5. Summarise: -------------- I always do this at the end of an op, it just finishes it off nicely. A quick "I think that everyone should go here as I had a wonderful time" or "Stay away, the food is foul" does no harm and sums up your feelings overall. Well, that's my 5 steps to writing a UK and Ireland guide (see how I summarise - practic
e what you preach :¬)) hope some of you are tempted to write about your home towns and the pubs from hell, I'll be watching out. Cheers for reading. Boon :)
As I have written a number of opinions in this category, I thought I would share with you some of the things I always try to include, in order to give the maximum amount of information. The majority of my opinions have been about hotels and B&Bs that we have stayed in, so I am going to concentrate on this aspect of what I think is necessary for writing a good opinion about these. WHERE TO PUT THE OP Firstly you will need to decide exactly where you want your opinion to go. This may sound simple, but on at least three occasions I have had to fill in a suggestion form to get Dooyoo to create a suitable space. For example, when writing about a B&B in Derbyshire, I wanted to put it into Derbyshire in General, but it wouldn't let me! I was faced with just three options: B&Bs in Derby, B&Bs in Ashbourne and B&Bs in Buxton. As the lodging place I was reviewing was in Matlock, none of these were obviously suitable! I simply clicked on the suggestions link at the bottom of the page, and filled in the form. You need the address of the place, a picture if possible, an email address and any website connected to the accommodation. Within two or three days, in each case, a new slot has been created, so you are then ready to go. HOW DID YOU FIND THIS PLACE One of the first things I try and include is how and why we chose this particular place. If you used a website, include information about this. Into this section, try and include why you picked this place above any others. Were you impressed by a picture, facilities, position, did someone else recommend it to you, or even did you find it reviewed on Dooyoo? EASE OF BOOKING In this section, try and include any different options you had to make the booking. Was it done through a travel agent? Did you simply phone and book? We have found recently that most of our reservations have been done by Email, and we have almost established friendships with
the proprietors before we've even met them. We've certainly been on first name terms by the time the third or fourth mail has been sent! Also, in this part, were you required to send a deposit? If so, how much and by what method? If you used a credit card, was the method selected secure? HOW TO GET THERE Always give directions for at least two alternative methods of transport. Most websites used for locating accommodation will also have routes from main trunk roads if people are travelling by car. I tend to copy and paste this bit from the site, and then state which site it came from. Remember that not everyone will be travelling by car, so alternative methods from train stations or airports are vital. Is there a good bus service? Would it be better by taxi? Some people offering B&B will also offer to pick folk up from a nearby station or bus stop, and it's worth noting that here too. Distances are handy to have in this section too. And don't forget that some places will be virtually inaccessible without a car (as we found in Derbyshire!) so if you have found this to be the case, do mention it. WHAT IT WAS LIKE WHEN YOU GOT THERE? Here, a brief description of the whole house, and your first impressions can make or break a recommendation. Maybe it wasn't a bit like you expected it to be. Then say so. Describe your room and facilities. Was it clean/shabby/outstandingly ornate/tiny etc. Be honest. There is no point in waxing lyrical if it was really a grotty dive! Sometimes, if you have a fabulous view from your window, a description of this can make a big difference. On the other hand, if you were facing a brick wall, then you could suggest that room ** might be best avoided, but that room**, although being slightly smaller, had the most breath-taking view imaginable. THE FOOD Always a favourite section of my ops! But then, I love food! Describe th
e choices for breakfast. Were the portions adequate? How tasty was it? If it was a plate of grease, then say so! Also in this section, include local eating places if you are only staying on a B&B basis. People will need an evening meal, so if you found somewhere that you felt was a cut above the rest, include it here. Try and include some with different price ranges, and say whether they were pubs or restaurants, and whether there were children's facilities etc. THINGS TO DO ROUNDABOUT I always try to include at least half a dozen local attractions when writing my ops. They only need to be brief mentions, but it is helpful to say whether or not you found them enjoyable, and about how long it would take to get to them. THE PRICE Possibly the most important section! If possible, give prices per person or per room per night, and a weekly tariff if different. Is the price the same in high and low season? Is there a special 3 night break price, or a reduction for children? State here how the proprietor prefers payment. Some people will only accept cheques with a guarantee card, so if the bill is more than the card guarantees, then another method will have to be used. Are credit cards acceptable? YOUR OWN OPINION OF THE PLACE In this final section, you need to sum up how you, personally, found the accommodation. Did you think it was worth what you paid? Was it vastly overpriced? Maybe you could include a short piece here, on the proprietors themselves. Probably one of the most important aspects of this section would be to state if you would return again. Would you recommend it? Is it suitable for everyone, or are there some sections of the community (e.g. disabled with wheelchairs) who would find access difficult? FINALLY This is my opinion on what makes a good opinion about accommodation in the UK and Ireland. I've successfully used variations of this format on a number of
occasions. It may be that some people find the layout a bit too formal, but it works for me. And it also gives the maximum information about a place to give an informed choice when looking for somewhere to stay. Give it a try.