Five of the Best Travel Coffee Table Books for Christmas

There aren't many safer gifts to give at Christmas than an exquisite travel coffee table book - which is why we’ve put together a few of our favourites...

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BBC Frozen Planet

TV-lover or not, it will have been nearly impossible to have missed David Attenborough’s latest mind-blowing documentaries. The successor to Planet Earth sees the groundbreaking team back to create another series, this time following the stories of polar bears and wolves in the North Pole and penguins and killer whales in the South Pole. Using the latest camera technology, the Frozen Planet book features jaw-dropping photography on every page and is guaranteed to impress anyone (of any age) who picks it up.

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Price: £25; stockist: waterstones.com.

The Grand Bazaar – Istanbul

Liberty is home to so many beautiful books you could while away many a happy hour thumbing through the contents of the shelves. However, when this tome came to our attention, we had to shout about it. Istanbul’s souks may be slightly less well-known than those of Marrakech or Dubai, say, but with its rich 500-year history, the central Grand Bazaar is still a real retail revelation. With over 300 glossy pages of sumptuous fabrics, antique jewellery and just about every objet d’art you could imagine, if this doesn’t inspire a trip we’re not sure what will.

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Price: £160; stockist: Assouline at Liberty - 020 7734 1234.

Ecological Hotels

It’s a bit of a myth that sustainable hotels are all ugly and functional, as this compendium of inspiring ecological hotels from all over the world proves. Without skimping on style or comfort, these beautiful boltholes pave the way for the sort of design and thought that all hoteliers should be aspiring to – and giving you a few ideas to add to the travel wish list while they're about it...

Price: £45; stockist: ribabookshops.com.

36 Hours

Ok, so this blurs the lines a little between a coffee table book and travel guide, but it was just a little too beautiful for us not to include. Hot off the press this week, the book is a collection of 150 North American cities that have all been featured in the 36 hours travel columns of the New York Times. With pieces from some of the most experienced travellers and writers, everything worth knowing about a short trip in America is documented here in detail. Road trip, anyone?

Price: £24.99; stockist: taschen.com.

Helmut Newton Polaroids

Fashion and travel have always gone hand in hand - and nowhere is this more the case than in Helmut Newton’s latest book, Polaroids. Documenting his shoots from all over the world over the course of a period of decades, the now near-obsolete form of photography makes for an inspiring and beautiful coffee table read this Christmas.

Price: £34.99; stockist: taschen.com.

Like our pick of the best travel coffee table books for Christmas, but looking for something a bit more fashion-focused? Then check out our Christmas gift guide.

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