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Five hot smartphone apps put the Best of Britain in the palm of your hand

Forget lugging around heavy guide books or wrestling with massive maps. Today's travellers to Great Britain can get guide books, maps, sightseeing information and a lot more at their fingertips just by downloading a smartphone app.

If you're looking for the best smartphone apps for your trip, here are a few of the hottest ones available for download.

Lonely Planet, London Travel Guide: Available for the iPhone, this app gives you access to Lonely Planet's City Guide right from your phone. It offers GPS tracking an offline maps (letting you avoid costly data roaming charges) and features hundreds of recommended places to visit and things to do. Don't have an iPhone? The Lonely Planet also has a London Compass Android app helps you find the best places to eat, sleep, drink, play, shop and see, displayed on a map, in a list or in an augmented reality camera view.

(iPhone, $4.99; Android: $0.99)

London: Wallpaper* City Guide: Fans of Wallpaper* magazine's cool, urban style will love its iPhone app. It offers a tightly edited list of the best locations in London for the design-conscious traveller. The City Guide lets you see the city at a glance, find out information on the various neighbourhoods, hotels and landmarks and, naturally, provides you with info on the best cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the city. (iPhone, $4.99)

London Tube Map: The London subway system — or "tube" — can be confusing at the best of times. This app, available for both the iPhone and Android, is chock-full of features to help you plan your journey, find stations, check departure times and more. It includes the officially-licenced Tube map from Transport for London, a route planner and station tagging. Best of all? It's absolutely free. (iPhone, free; Android, free)

OutDoors Great Britain: City life not your style? The OutDoors Great Britain app is a complete mapping and GPS app for walkers, runners, cyclists and mountaineers. The app allows you to download a full range of maps directly on to your iPhone and will work anywhere regardless of your iPhone signal. Every path and route across Britain is shown on the app and it has a fast search of 250,000 British place names. (iPhone, $2.99)

The Best of Britain: This free Android app (exclusively for Samsung devices) will help you plan your trip, with instant access to the best things to do, and a simple functionality. The app will give you the best in British cuisine, the best attractions and destinations, plus the ability to search for everything from the finest British tea to the best place to hire a surfboard. Check out the dozens of Top 10 lists to find the best shops, restaurants, bars and activities Britain has to offer. (Android, free)

By Alison Dunn

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