Guidebooks were once the sole source of interpretation offered at many heritage sites in Britain. Increasingly, visitors must pay for entry to sites and this can cause them to be resistant to paying extra for a guidebook when other forms of interpretation appear to be included in the entry fee. The hope is that information from this initial survey will help guidebook compilers to place the function of a guidebook in a visitor context which will bring a firmer understanding of the use and place of a guidebook during and after a visit. A postal survey was made of 300 members of English Heritage who lived within reach of six particular English Heritage sites. Fifty members were randomly selected from each locality. English Heritage members pay an annual subscription in return for privileges such as reduced entry fees and a member's magazine. Those in the sample indicated interplay of reasons for keeping their guidebooks.