Your guide to the world

Cathy Winston

If you're reading this, chances are you've got a must-visit travel list as long as your arm, and are as happy exploring off the beaten track as lounging on a beach. But if you need any more inspiration, one book is giving you a guide to every country in the world.

Keren Su/Lonely Planet Images

Lonely Planet has published its new version of The Travel Book, a photo-filled jaunt across the globe with a mini guide to 229 countries and destinations. The first edition sold more than half a million copies but has now been completely updated in a 448 page, 4kg coffee table-worthy hardback.

Each section tells you the best time to visit the country, as well as the top things to see and do – plus a random fact to impress other travellers, tips on eating, drinking, and books and films to check out before you go, as well as several stunning photos to persuade you to add it straight to your travel plans.

Covering all 192 of the UN's list of member states, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, there are an extra 11 places of interest picked by Lonely Planet co-founder Tony Wheeler, including the islands of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to Svalbard in Norway's Arctic Circle.

More fun than spinning a globe and sticking a pin in, opening the pages at random is the perfect antidote to the winter blues. And if you're already compiling your Christmas list for Santa, this should head right to the top.

Quick facts: Priced £40, it's available from Lonely Planet, Amazon and bookshops nationwide.