A view of the mountains at the Cairngorm Plateau, Scotland

Join us for our 50th anniversary

Look back at 50 years of travel…

Bradt Guides is turning 50 this year – and we’d love you to join our celebrations!

To mark the occasion, we’ll be at the world-renowned Royal Geographical Society in London for a special event on the evening of Wednesday 18 September 2024

Sharing memories of 50 years of travel will be the co-founder of Bradt Guides, Hilary Bradt; geographer, explorer, author and broadcaster Nicholas Crane; and acclaimed travel writer Colin Thubron

Your ticket gives you…

  • Exclusive access to the Royal Geographical Society for a panel discussion between Hilary Bradt, Nicholas Crane and Colin Thubron
  • Drinks evening with like-minded people and top names in travel media and publishing
  • The opportunity to bid for Bradt memorabilia in a once-in-a-lifetime charity auction
  • An unforgettable evening to celebrate the world of travel
  • PLUS: the chance to win an incredible trip for two to Greenland courtesy of Visit Greenland and Air Greenland

Don’t miss out…

The Royal Geographical Society can only hold a fixed number of people. Once the tickets have gone, they’ve gone.

Book before the end of June to get 20% off the full ticket price.

Just enter the code EARLYBIRD20 at checkout to apply your discount.

How the evening will unfold

Your ticket will give you access to each of the following:

The Lost Art of Getting Lost: How Travel Has Changed Over 50 Years

Enjoy a panel talk with Hilary Bradt, Nicholas Crane and Colin Thubron in the Ondaatje Theatre. All three speakers are recipients of the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing and we are honoured to be able to gather them together in the same room.

Drawing on their individual travel experiences and industry expertise, our three speakers will discuss the changing nature of travel in the 21st century, their mutual love of adventure, the challenges of becoming a travel writer and why getting lost is always a good idea.

The discussion will last approximately one hour and will commence at 7.45pm.

Doors open at 7pm.

Hilary Bradt

 Hilary Bradt, the co-founder of Bradt Guides, is an industry trailblazer with more than 50 years of travel stories.

In 1963, she hitch-hiked to and around the Middle East. In 1969, she spent six months travelling from San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro. With her former husband George, she self-published her first guidebook in 1974 during an extended journey throughout South America, thus founding Bradt Travel Guides.

Travels in Africa in 1974-77 resulted in a backpacking guide to Africa, followed by four more to South America. By 1980, she was established as a publisher, winning IPG/Sunday Times Small Publisher of the Year that decade.

For the first 25 years she combined writing guidebooks and running the company with leading adventure and natural history tours to South America, Africa and Madagascar. Among other major awards, she has recieved an MBE for her services to tourism.

Her engaging memoir Taking the Risk weaves together insightful reflections, hilarious anecdotes and sometimes heart-stopping moments from her serendipitous adventures in travel and publishing. Hilary will be available to sign copies of her book on the night.

‘Hilary Bradt is my inspiration and benchmark for how to make travel really count.’ Kate Humble, Writer and Broadcaster

Nicholas Crane

Nicholas Crane is an award-winning author and broadcaster whose books include Clear Waters Rising, Two Degrees West, Mercator, The Making of the British Landscape, Why Geography Matters and Latitude.

On TV, he is best known as the presenter of the BAFTA-winning BBC series Coast. Other acclaimed BBC series presented by Nick include Map Man, Great British Journeys, Britannia and Town.

Between 2015 and 2018, he served as President of the Royal Geographical Society and in 2021 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

‘Few contemporary travel writers can claim kinship with genuine adventurers, but [Nicholas] Crane is one.’ – Philip Marsden, Travel Writer and Novelist

Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron is an acclaimed travel writer and novelist, and the winner of many prizes and awards.

His travel books concern Russia, China and Central Asia, and include Behind the Wall, In Siberia, Shadow of the Silk Road and most recently The Amur River: between Russia and China. From 2008 to 2017 he served as President of the Royal Society of Literature.

‘Colin Thubron has always written about rarely visited parts of our planet. He writes in a magical way allowing the reader to feel truly immersed in each place he’s visited.’ – Vivien Godfrey, Chair and Chief Executive of Stanfords travel bookshops

The first Bradt guidebook to backpacking ancient ways in Peru and Bolivia

Bradt memorabilia

This exclusive auction will be a chance to bid on rare items from the Bradt archives – from early editions of Bradt books to sketches by Hilary Bradt herself – in aid of a charity close to Hilary’s heart.  

Book signing

Bring your own copies or buy the memoir Taking the Risk on the night and Hilary Bradt will sign them for you.

Drink with us in the Royal Geographical Society Map Room

Enjoy a glass of wine, included in your ticket, and mingle with like-minded travellers and travel writers, as well as members of the Bradt team in the Royal Geographical Society Map Room. It’s a lovely wood-panelled room with a real sense of history.

The evening will conclude at 11pm.

How to book your place

Tickets can be booked online via our Eventbrite page here.

BONUS: win a trip to Greenland

By booking a ticket, you will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win an incredible trip for two to Greenland courtesy of Air Greenland and Visit Greenland. The lucky winner will be announced on the night.

What does it include?

The winner (and guest) will be invited on a trip to Greenland to explore the area in and around Ilulissat.

You will be flown to Ilulissat, the capital of icebergs, where big impressions and experiences await just outside the door.

Hotel Arctic sets the scene for a unique extended weekend, with spectacular views of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ilulissat Ice Fjord.

You will also enjoy an overnight stay at Igloo Lodge and five other great excursions:

City walk in Ilulissat 

Sailing at Ilulissat Ice Fjord 

Dog sled trip in Ilulissat

Trip on snowshoes with a view over the Ice Fjord

Northern Lights tour

Buy your ticket now for your chance to win.

For more information about the prize, see the terms and conditions.

What others say

Bradt events are a great opportunity to put names to faces, meet like-minded adventurers and learn more about who we are.

Here are some testimonials from visitors to the 2018 Big Cat Festival…

‘Easy going, friendly atmosphere.’

‘Excellent venue.’

‘Great atmosphere & very interesting.’

Nearly 90% of respondents rated the event ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Good.’

About the venue

The Royal Geographical Society, the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, is an historic venue that combines state-of-the-art events facilities with the character of a Grade II-listed building.

The Main Hall retains many original features including ceramic fireplace tiles and a minstrel’s gallery, while the Map Room – a neo-classical creation from 1930 – is the ideal location for post-event drinks.

Our sponsors


Where will this event take place?

The Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR.

How long will the event last?

Doors will open at 7.00pm on 18 September. The event ends at 11pm.

When will I receive my ticket?

You will be sent an e-ticket via email upon receipt of payment. You will not receive a paper ticket through the post.

There is no need to bring a printed copy of your ticket on the day of the event, although you may wish to. You will need to show a ticket in either paper or electronic form. The choice is yours.

The easiest way to get a copy of your e-ticket on your phone is to screenshot the e-ticket so that you do not need to worry about internet connection on the day.

Can I bring a plus one?

Everyone is welcome to attend the event but entry is strictly subject to one ticket per person. If you would like to bring a guest, they will need to purchase their own ticket.

How do I get to the Royal Geographical Society?

The venue is located on the intersection of Exhibition Road and Kensington Gore. We would highly recommend travelling by public transport – the nearest underground stations are South Kensington (Piccadilly, District and Circle lines) and Knightsbridge (Piccadilly line) which are both approximately a 10-15 minute walk. There is also a bus stop outside the Royal Albert Hall which is served by the following bus routes: 9, 23, 52 and 452.

Will there be parking available?

Unfortunately there is no parking available at the Royal Geographical Society.

Is there a dress code?

The dress code is smart casual.

Will I get to meet the panel speakers?

Hilary Bradt will be available to sign copies of her memoir, Taking the Risk, after her panel talk.

Is the venue accessible?

The Exhibition Road and Kensington Gore entrances are both wheelchair accessible. There are two spaces in the Ondaatje Theatre for wheelchair users, but should you require additional spaces then please do contact us in advance. A ramp can be provided for speakers to access the stage. There are a set of steps on the ground floor of the venue (connecting the Theatre to the ambulatory), but a stair lift is available for wheelchair users.

What happens if I can no longer make it? Can I get a refund?

We are happy to provide a refund up to 14 days after purchase with no questions asked. After that, if something goes wrong for you, please get in touch.

Can I buy a ticket on the door?

Perhaps. We have a fixed number of tickets for this event and cannot go beyond this limit. The safest way to make sure you can attend is to buy your ticket as soon as possible.

Is food and drink included?

Your ticket will include a glass of wine in the Royal Geographical Society Map Room after the panel has concluded their discussion. Food is not part of the event, although there are many lovely restaurants in the nearby area.

Do I need to bring cash?

The Royal Geographical Society will accept both cash and card for those who would like to purchase drinks or books during the event. Copies of Taking the Risk will be available to buy (cashless only) on the night.

Can I pay in another currency?

Only GBP will be accepted on the Eventbrite booking system.

Greenland prize terms and conditions

The winner of the trip to Greenland will receive:

  • Return flights London – Copenhagen
  • Return flights Copenhagen – Nuuk – Ilulissat
  • Transfer between airport and hotel in Greenland
  • 4 nights at Hotel Arctic with private bath and toilet
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic
  • Food and beverages on board the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
  • Welcome meeting with local English-speaking guide
  • Guide service
  • All flight/transportation taxes and fees known to Greenland Travel at the time of publishing
  • 20 kg of checked baggage and 8 kg of cabin baggage on Air Greenland’s flights

This winter trip is available from January to mid-April (before the igloo melts).

Not included: Lunch, dinner and travel insurance.

Conditions: 2 years validity from 18 September 2024. Prizes are not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash.

Now is the time to secure your place…

To join us on 18th September at the Royal Geographical Society, get your ticket here.