Who we are

Rough Guides is a leading travel publisher known for its “tell it like it is” attitude, accurate, up-to-date content and authoritative contemporary writing.

How it all began

In the summer of 1981, Mark Ellingham, just graduated from Bristol University, was travelling around Greece and couldn’t find a guidebook that remotely met his needs. It was here that he met Martin Dunford, who was in Greece teaching English at the time. On their return to the UK, in a bid to avoid getting “real jobs”, Mark, Martin and a small group of writers set about creating their own guidebook series; a series that aimed to combine a journalistic approach to description with a practical approach to travellers’ needs.

Published in 1982, the first Rough Guide – to Greece – became a publishing phenomenon. The immediate success of the book spawned a series that rapidly covered dozens of destinations, and acquired a broad readership that relished Rough Guides’ wit and inquisitiveness as much as their enthusiastic, critical approach.

Rough Guides today

These days, Rough Guides publishes books covering more than 120 destinations around the globe, produces an ever-growing series of ebooks and a range of reference titles, and has an award-winning website.

  • Travel guides to more than 120 worldwide destinations
  • Website featuring inspirational features, articles and travel information
  • Dictionary phrasebooks for 18 major languages
  • Full-colour inspirational guides such as Best Day on Earth
  • Travel specials including First-Time guides
  • Reference books on topics from Economics to Mindfulness
  • Rough Guides ebooks from across our travel range

Rough Guides is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help British travellers stay safe overseas. On their website, Know Before You Go, you’ll find travel advice, essential tips and up-to-date country-specific information.

In November 2017, Rough Guides was bought by the Apa Publications Group with its headquarters in London, the ownership of the website moving to Apa Digital AG,  Switzerland.

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