Travelling slowly with Bradt Travel Guides

Hilary Bradt, Bradt Travel Guides, 02 February, 2016
Bradt Travel Guides’ approach is very similar to Inntravel’s: take your time and you’ll discover the true character of the place you’re visiting. Director and co-founder Hilary Bradt MBE explains why she will never travel any way other than slowly.

Bradt’s philosophy has always been Slow. Originally it was by default – you can’t be a super-charged publisher if you are travelling around the world with your first guide (Backpacking along Ancient Ways in Peru & Bolivia) trying to catch up with you, nor when you eschew any idea of a business plan or market research and simply publish what you wish had been available during your own travels.

Now, over forty years later, we have embraced the Slow philosophy as being the best for our readers, the best for our planet, and the best for us. Our readers and our authors want to get under the skin of a country and go where their interests take them rather than to the top tourist sites.

From the beginning our guidebooks have been valued for their comprehensive information and our willingness to give our writers full rein to their enthusiasms. If you love a country, or a region, or just a village, you want to spend time there, travel where possible by public transport, bicycle or on foot, learn a language, enjoy regional food even if it takes longer to prepare, and enjoy the present moment, whatever it chooses to bring to you. That, to me, is the true meaning of Slow. How can anyone travel in any other way?

A bit more about us. Initially, when Bradt was a two-man band, we focused on hiking guides to South America and Africa, only gradually extending coverage to the whole country rather than just the trekking routes, but always preferring to focus on new destinations. This now pretty much defines the choice of new titles in our country guide series, but a few years ago we started discussing how best to cover the British Isles in a way that was both different and fitted our ethos. The Slow Travel series was the result.

As an author of three Slows I can say what an absolute delight it is to research and write these, taking time to chat to people, unearth a village’s history or the treasures in a tiny country church, walking or cycling the footpaths and cycle ways, and just indulging ourselves.

Our readers seem to like the approach as much as we do. Isn’t it wonderful when work and enjoyment come together so seamlessly?


Bradt Travel Guides

Hilary accidentally co-founded Bradt Travel Guides while sailing down a tributary of the Amazon in the mid-1970s. Since then it has become one of the most esteemed travel publishing companies in the world, recognised not only for its pioneering approach, but also for the quality of its writing. >
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