Celebrating Our 50th Anniversary

The Bradt Story

It all began in 1974 on an Amazon river barge. During an 18-month trip through South America, two adventurous young backpackers – Hilary Bradt and her then husband, George – decided to write about the hiking trails they had discovered through the Andes. 

Backpacking Along Ancient Ways Peru & Bolivia included the very first descriptions of the Inca Trail. It was the start of a colourful journey to becoming one of the best-loved travel publishers in the world; you can read about this in more detail on the Our Story page.

Getting There First

Hilary quickly gained a reputation for being a true travel pioneer, and in the 1980s she started to publish guides by other writers to places overlooked by other travel publishers. The Bradt Guides list became a roll call of guidebook ‘firsts’. 

We published the first guide to Madagascar, followed by Mauritius, Czechoslovakia and Vietnam. The 1990s saw the beginning of our extensive coverage of Africa: Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Eritrea. 

Later, post-conflict guides became a feature: Rwanda, Mozambique, Angola and Sierra Leone, as well as the first standalone guides to the Baltic States following the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the first post-war guides to Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania.


50 years later and we are the world’s largest independently-owned guidebook publisher, with over 200 titles in print. However, our ethos is unchanged. Hilary is still involved, and we still get there first: over 70% of our city, region and country guides still have no direct competition from other publishers.

But we don’t just get there first. Our guides are known for being more comprehensive than any other series. We avoid templates and tick-lists. Each guide is a one-of-a-kind expression of an expert author’s interests, knowledge and enthusiasm for telling it like it really is.

Want to know more? Check out the video below.

Our Sponsors

To become an official partner of our anniversary year, email [email protected]


Celebrate 50 Years of Publishing with us in 2024

Our flagship event will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Wednesday 18 September with Hilary Bradt herself.

Find out more about the celebrations here.

Taking the Risk

Hilary’s memoir, Taking the Risk, is published in May 2024. It’s an engaging, insightful, amusing and sometimes alarming account of serendipitous adventures in travel and publishing.

Hilary is speaking at other UK events. Coming up:

Saturday 13 July – Global Birdfair, Rutland
Wednesday 28 August – Waterstones, Canterbury
Thursday 19 September – Chiltern Heritage and Culture Festival
Saturday 21 September – Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival
Saturday 30 November – Cambridge Travel Festival

Keep checking back for more dates and details!

Hilary will also be speaking on board Noble Caledonian’s Hebridean Sky (8-24 November).

NB these events are not organised by Bradt and details may be subject to change – please contact the organisers for more information.

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“This anniversary is a testimony to the values that underpin Bradt, and the continued commitment to quality that it has sustained. I am aware of what it takes to weather the storm, and wholeheartedly salute Bradt for their dedication to staying the course!”

Craig Rix, Travel Africa

Go Deeper…

Content to inspire.

A potted history of Bradt, Part One

A potted history of Bradt, Part Two

A potted history of Bradt, Part Three

A potted history of Bradt, Part Four

The Birth of Bradt

Browse Our Books

With guides to every continent in the world, plus an exciting range of travel literature, we really do have something for everyone.