Travelling slowly with Bradt Travel Guides Hilary Bradt, Bradt Travel Guides | Posted: 02 February 2016
Bradt Slow Travel guides to special areas of the UK
The range of Bradt Travel Guides is wide and varied
Hilary Bradt of Bradt Travel Guides

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.

Further Information

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. Covering destinations across the globe, its publications include full-country travel guides, regional guides, wildlife guides, Slow Travel guides to special areas of Britain (of which Hilary has written three), and works of travel literature. >

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?

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The Marketplace

One way to discover the soul of a place is to visit the local market. After all, this is where producers and craftsmen from miles around gather to sell their wares. Here, we bring a sense of the marketplace to The Slow Lane, featuring a number of artisans and purveyors of goods from our holiday destinations and elsewhere – people and enterprises that we admire, and which you might like too. They will tell you their story and, if you like what you see, you can buy from them direct.