Project manager for the award-winning Slow Guides, designing the entire approach to this Bradt series of guidebooks to regions of Britain.
The key to the series is the ‘Slow’ approach: taking time to savour the details and seek out the qualities we call sense of place, and recording conversations with local people. A lot of it celebrates the small-scale and dwells in the present rather than a rosy-hued image of the past. There are no ‘top ten must-see lists’ and the writing style is personal and thoughtful. Some of the authors have never written a book before, so I have been on hand to guide them through every stage without dictating to them too much, as I believe the voice of the author is paramount.
The style is personal and journalistic, far removed from a standard guidebook tone. The text includes interviews with local personalities and experts - organic farmers, naturalists and archaeologists among them.
Bradt Slow Guides tune in with several emerging trends:
- Concerns with the environment and with the carbon footprints of air travel
- The desire for ‘real’ experiences when on holiday: real food, wellness, meeting local people
- An awareness that children need to enjoy their childhoods and be aware of their surroundings
- A reaction against ‘clone town’ Britain
- An awakening interest in the concept of Britishness (in the best sense) and heritage
For this series, I came up with a concept for Bradt to take to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and created a hugely detailed brief. The first series of Slow Guides was a collaborative publishing venture with Sawday's Guides, but since then it has been solely published by Bradt Travel Guides.
Here is a selection of Slow Guides from the Bradt series:
During autumn 2013 I edited the second edition of the first series, which have now been made into smaller titles covering less area but in even more detail: under the heading 'Slow Travel in...': South Devon & Dartmoor, Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorkshire Dales, and Yorkshire Moors & Wolds. These were published in 2014.
I edited Slow Travel in Cornwall in 2014 and in 2015 edited titles to the Peak District and Shropshire, which were published in 2016.
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