The Bradt Story
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 which they were embarking on 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 on a river barge floating down a tributary of the Amazon. Since then, the company has grown slowly but consistently – each title adding something new and worthwhile to the ever-increasing range of guides available.
Today Bradt has a reputation as a pioneer in tackling ‘unusual’ destinations, for championing the causes of sustainable travel (we call it ‘Travelling Positively’), and for the high quality of its writing. Our books are as much travelogues as travel guides. Each is a one-of-a-kind expression of the author’s interests, personality, expertise and passion for telling it how it really is.
We now have an impressive portfolio of country, regional, UK and wildlife guides. In 2012 we launched our new series of travel narratives including the revival of the wildlife classic, The Marsh Lions and the tale of a journey around Ireland by our very own Hilary Bradt, Connemara Mollie.
Our attention to quality has brought many awards including:
- Sunday Times Small Publisher of the Year Award 1997
- Gold award in the Wanderlust Best Guidebook Awards in 2009 and 2011
- Best guidebook series 2010 - The Oldie
- Trade Publisher of the Year Commendation 2011 - Independent Publishers’ Guild
- Top recommended travel guide publisher 2011 Which? magazine survey
- BGTW best article - on Hungary, by Bradt Publishing Director Adrian Phillips, in the Independent on Sunday
- BGTW best guidebook – for Yukon by Polly Evans
- LATA Travel Writer of the Year 2010 - Mike Unwin (author of 100 Bizarre Animals, editor of Pantanal Wildlife)
- Best Guidebook, Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism (USA) – Iceland by Andrew Evans
In 2008 Hilary Bradt was awarded an MBE.
The Bradt Team
There are 13 of us based at head office in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, England. The Bradt board consists of:
Hilary Bradt MBE, Founder
Hilary trained as an occupational therapist, working in the USA in the 1960s to fund her first trip to South America. In 1969 she travelled alone from Colombia to Peru, and then down the Amazon to Brazil. She returned to South America in 1973 for an 18-month ‘honeymoon’, during which she and George travelled the length of the continent, discovering en route that the Andes rivalled the Himalayas for trekking but no-one knew where to go. Their Little Yellow Book, Backpacking along ancient ways in Peru and Bolivia, was written on a river barge moving slowly down one of the more obscure Bolivian tributaries of the Amazon, typed up in the small town of Trinidad, printed in Boston, and sold for $1.95.
Since 1979 Hilary has combined writing and publishing with tour-leading to South America, Africa and, more recently, Madagascar, getting to know tourists’ interests, values and foibles first hand – invaluable experience for a travel publisher.
Donald Greig, Managing Director
Donald Greig has spent much of his life travelling for one reason or another. As the son of Scottish and Australian parents who had met in Canada, his childhood was distinctly nomadic and he grew up in a range of countries from the UK to Hong Kong and several places in between. While reading English at university in Scotland he started travel writing for publishers, magazines and newspapers, before embarking on a career in-house with a number of well known international and domestic travel publishers in the UK, including Berlitz, Jarrold Publishing, Dorling Kindersley and Thomas Cook Publishing.
A career break in 2004 offered time to indulge in a prolonged period of travel around the world, including a 10-day passage on a cargo ship from Singapore to Sydney. By chance a job in Australia then afforded the opportunity to spend a further year as Publisher with Steve Parish Publishing in Brisbane.
After returning to the UK, Donald was delighted to join Bradt as Publishing Director, before taking over from Hilary Bradt as Managing Director in April 2007.
Donald is a keen watersports and outdoors enthusiast and likes to spend as much time as possible sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and walking. He can often be found exploring wild places with his faithful companion, Haggis, who he describes as ‘a dog of very uncertain pedigree’.
Peter Jay, Financial Director & Chairman
Peter qualified as a chartered accountant in 1979 and followed a successful career in public practice. He particularly enjoyed the opportunities this provided to gain knowledge and experience of the commercial issues and strategies applicable to a wide variety of businesses which informed the advice he was able to give to his clients.
He first became involved with Bradt when Hilary became a client over 20 years ago. An increasingly close association with the company led to appointment as non- executive director in 2003. In 2008 after over 30 years in the accountancy profession he decided that it was time to change direction and was very pleased to be able to take the opportunity to become executive finance director for Bradt.
Adrian Phillips, Publishing Director
Adrian is well acquainted with sojourns off the beaten track; unfortunately – thanks to a staggeringly poor sense of direction – these are often unintended and taken within a short distance of his own house. Nevertheless, accidentally or otherwise, he has always travelled in the ‘Bradt way’, and fate determined that he should join the company in 2001, after completing a PhD in English Literature.
Having spent two years getting a view of things from the publishing side of the fence, Adrian tried on the author’s cap by taking a sabbatical to write Bradt guides to Budapest and Hungary. The latter won the ‘Best Guidebook of the Year’ award from the British Guild of Travel Writers. In addition to guidebooks, he writes regularly for national newspapers and magazines (including The Express, The Independent and Wanderlust). After a stint working as an editorial and press consultant, Adrian returned to Bradt full-time as Editorial Director in April 2007. He has served as Publishing Director since May 2009.
The rest of the team is split between Editorial/Production and Sales and Marketing as follows:
Advertising and Special Sales Executive