Over the past 40 years, Bradt has developed a range of award-winning guide books, each tailored to the needs and interests of different types of traveller and reader – from full-country guides and wildlife companions to regional guides and special interest titles. In 2016, they won the prestigious Wanderlust Gold Award for Best Guidebook Series (beating DK Eyewitness and Lonely Planet into second and third place respectively).
Bradt has a reputation as a pioneer in tackling ‘unusual’ destinations, for championing the causes of sustainable travel, and for the high quality of its writing. Their books are intended to be as entertaining to read as they are useful reservoirs of tourist information. And they have personality. Each guide comprises original content written from scratch by expert authors, which ensures that every book is as well crafted as possible and it also guarantees a consistency of voice and perspective, both of which are hallmarks of a carefully curated list.
A great many Bradt guides have been ‘firsts’ – they published the first real guide to Africa in 1977, the first to East Germany before re-unification, the first standalone guides to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia when the Baltic States became independent of the Soviet Union, the first individual guides to countries of the Balkans following the break-up of Yugoslavia, the first guide to the ‘new’ South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, the first guide to Rwanda following the genocide.
Today, over 60% of Bradtʼs guides have no direct competition in English.
Other travel series either donʼt cover these destinations at all or they include them as a small part of a larger region whereas Bradt have dedicated, standalone guides.
Country guides have been at the heart of Bradt’s ethos since day one and they remain a key focus of their range – Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, North America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Antartica are all part of their extensive range. Some regions of the world deserve more in-depth coverage than they would receive in a country guide. Bradt also publishes an eclectic mix of titles ranging from otherwise unpublished regions. Curious corners of Europe, snow-covered Canadian provinces, wildlife-rich parts of Africa and treks in South America are all part of the regional series.
Who are Bradt?
Bradt Travel Guides pride themselves on being at the forefront of publishing guides to unusual destinations – or more colourful guides to mainstream places. When Hilary Bradt and her then husband George set out on their travels in South America in 1973, little could they have realised that the journey they were embarking upon would lead to the creation of what has become one of the most esteemed travel publishing companies in the world. Hilary and George wrote their first guide (Backpacking along Ancient Ways in Peru and Bolivia) over 40 years ago on a river barge floating down a tributary of the Amazon, and thus, Bradt Travel Guides was born. They are the largest wholly independent travel guide publisher in the UK, publishing over 200 titles, covering the globe, from southern Chile to the Arctic Circle.