As the year draws to a close, we’ve been looking back over our favourite stories and features of 2015. We published over five hundred articles, news reports, quizzes, videos, photoblogs and more this year, working with authors and photographers from around the world.

Here, we’ve collected our favourites. A huge thanks to our brilliant team of freelancers and editors and – of course – you, our readers, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Here’s to another great year of travel.

Longform: A night on the Caledonian Sleeper

Ben Lerwill sold us on the romance of rail travel with this story about travelling from London to Edinburgh on the famous 140-year-old Caledonian Sleeper service. Join him for a night of whisky and haggis on the tracks.

Night train London – Edinburgh

Video: 10 things everyone learns travelling solo

If we ever needed proof that Rough Guides readers are passionate about solo travel, this video was it. It was watched by more than 7 million people on Facebook, racking up more than 30,000 likes along the way.

Interview: 26 countries in 501 days: an epic culinary adventure

Editor Olivia Rawes met Tom Perkins, who cycled 20,000km through 26 countries, immersing himself in new cultures through food. They spoke about the highlights and challenges of his trip, and the cookbook it inspired, Spices and Spandex.

Spices and Spandex, bike

Opinion piece: Want to support Nepal? Go there on your next trip

In the wake of the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal this spring, Shafik Meghji, co-author of the Rough Guide to Nepal, told us why it was more important than ever to support the country through tourism.

Photo story: Venice Carnival in pictures

We were entranced by these mesmerising pictures of the 2015 Venice carnival, captured by Rough Guides author and photographer Kiki Deere in February.

Venice Carnival 2015, Italy, Europe – copyright Kiki Deere

Image by Kiki Deere

Destination spotlight: The Andaman Islands – India’s far-flung string of pearls

Few visitors to India venture over 1000 kilometres into the Bay of Bengal to visit the Andaman Islands – and many don’t even know of their existence. Nick Edwards, co-author of the Rough Guide to India, told us about the joys of their natural splendour and relative isolation.

Humour: 14 lessons you learn on your first backpacking trip

Steve Vickers had chuckling at our desks with his astute and amusing observations about life on the road. If you’ve been backpacking this year, some of these lessons will certainly strike a chord.

backpacker

News story: A robot hotel has opened in Japan

We’re always on a quest to find the weird and unusual, and strange news stories don’t get much better than the opening of this robot hotel in Japan. Editor Rebecca Hallett discovered more.

Quiz: Can you identify the country from its outline?

Our cartographer Ed Wright flummoxed over 7000 of you with this tricky geographical quiz. Still think you’re a cartographic clever-clogs? 68% is the average score to beat. Be warned – there are some tricky questions in there.

Island sunset

Reader-voted: 25 of the best reasons to travel

When we asked you to share your motivation to travel on social media, we never expected this response. “I love to travel because it broadens the mind and feeds the soul” was just one of the great reasons you came up with.

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