Long-haul destinations don’t have a monopoly on the colourful and unfamiliar – the range of cultures and experiences on offer in Europe is as varied as anywhere on earth.
Adrian Phillips, Bradt’s Managing Director and author of guides to Hungary and Budapest
Europe’s umbrella makes room for scorching Mediterranean beaches and icy northern wildernesses; wolves in the Carpathian mountains and polar bears in Svalbard; Spanish gazpacho and Hungarian goulash; the peal of church bells and the muezzin’s call to prayer; slick glass towers and prehistoric stone circles. It’s a continent with countless opportunities to get off the beaten track, whether in countries sitting firmly on the tourist map or in places a little less familiar.
Bradt has over 60 European titles (around a third of our list) offering deeper coverage of many countries and regions than is available from any other travel publisher – and not just to the continent’s more obscure nooks and crannies (although we do cover a fair few of those!). We started in the 1980s with rail guides to Spain, Portugal and Greece, but our first full-country guide was to East Germany – published before German unification, and the only such guide in existence.
It proved a bestseller, and so we continued to look for country ‘firsts’. When the Baltic States became independent of the Soviet Union, we released the first separate guides to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. And this was a springboard for a stronger focus on central and eastern Europe and the Balkans, as we followed up with the first standalone guides to countries like Bosnia, Belarus, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Georgia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Bradt tends to find the world’s only expert about a place.
We looked westwards too, of course. However, rather than producing yet another guide to Italy or France, we instead sought to cover smaller, fascinating regions within western European countries (like Abruzzo and Liguria in Italy, the Peloponnese in Greece, Flanders in Belgium, and Nord-Pas de Calais in France). We were also the first to produce a guide to North Cyprus. This approach allows our expert authors the space to include the sort of detail and advice about those regions that simply isn’t possible within a few short pages of a full-country guide. And it also means that if you’re spending your holiday in Liguria you don’t have to carry around a book to the whole of Italy!
As usual, Bradt can be relied upon to lead the way in guidebook publishing.
Even closer to home our list of British titles continues to grow. The Slow Travel series – featuring uniquely personal guidebooks in which local experts celebrate the regions in which they live, revealing their favourite places to eat, drink and walk – encourages visitors to ease their pace and take time to enjoy some of Britain’s most distinctive corners.
The Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors and Yorkshire Wolds, Devon and Exmoor, South Devon and Dartmoor, Cornwall, Norfolk, Suffolk, the Cotswolds, Dorset, Northumberland and Durham, South Downs and Sussex National Park, and the New Forest have all received the Slow Travel treatment. Beyond that, Bus-Pass Britain and its sequel, Bus-Pass Britain Rides Again, have gathered together the nation’s cherished bus journeys, while 52 Wildlife Weekends provides inspiration for you to get back to nature around the British Isles.