Travel Advice

The best travel books of 2024 (so far)

From climbing Scotland’s smallest mountains to tracing the stories behind the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, these new titles will get your feet itching…

Team Wanderlust
11 May 2024

Readers get 10% off any of these books by using the code ‘WANDERING’ on the Stanfords website.

Wanderlust Club members can get 25% off any of these books, plus 15% off everything else on the Stanfords website. Click here to get the code.

Save Me from the Waves

By Jessica Hepburn

Stanfords Book of the Month for March 2024

Claiming to be the first woman to have completed the ‘Sea, Street, Summit Challenge’ – swim the English Channel, run the London Marathon and climb Mount Everest – Jessica’s tale of how it happened falls into classic ‘unlikely hero’ territory. With humour and wit, she charts her journey from reluctant athlete to mentality monster, and in doing so gives life and character to the settings for her achievements.

Get now

Wayfarer

By Phoebe Smith

Former Wanderlust editor Phoebe Smith swaps globetrotting for a story closer to home – both emotionally and geographically. Against a backdrop of Britain’s pilgrim paths, she retreads her own tale of trauma and loss, weaving it with those of past travellers. Along the way, she shows that the UK wilderness has restorative powers far beyond an invigorating view.

Get now

Why We Travel

By Ash Bhardwaj

Journalist and broadcaster Ash Bhardwaj dives into the thing we’re all looking for: travel motivation. But as you might expect from a man who has met the Dalai Lama and walked 800km across India, this is no breezy self-help book. Instead, he ponders how a pastime that used to be associated with relaxation became all about what we can gain.

Get now

Paddling France

By Anna Richards

Beyond the delights of the Riviera or the winery-speckled banks of the Dordogne, France’s coast, rivers and lakes aren’t sung about often enough. But there are marvels here. From the gorges of the Ardèche to the islands of Finistère, avid paddler Anna Richards tests 40 places for a canoe, kayak or SUP escape in France.

Get now

Around the World in 80 Years

By Ranulph Fiennes

There is little extreme activity that Sir Ranulph Fiennes hasn’t done, from running seven marathons on seven continents to hauling loaded sledges across both polar ice caps. His latest read is a bit of a retrospective – as the redoubtable explorer turns 80 – gathering celebs and colleagues to review a life relentlessly well led.

Get now

Foodie Places

By Sarah Baxter

The latest entry in the long-running, and delightfully illustrated, ‘Places’ series sees Sarah Baxter (another writer formerly of this parish) delve into 25 culinary capitals. Chosen with trademark good taste, these include tried-and-true foodie havens as well as some more surprising spots with their own world-class delicacies. We can feel our stomachs rumbling just thinking about it.

Get Now

Screenshot

The Half Bird

By Susan Smillie

We love an against-all-odds adventure that evolves into something grander. This tale of one woman’s solo sail from Land’s End to the shores of Greece has all the hallmarks of the genre, as the author quits her job to follow her dream and somehow stretches it out into a three-year voyage. With only the basics onboard, this soon turns into a thoughtful meditation on solitude, resilience and the irresistible lure of the sea.

Get now

Local

By Alastair Humphreys

After years of expeditions all over the planet, British explorer Alastair Humphreys turns his gaze on the area in which he lives. In doing so, he ends up learning more about the natural world than in all his years of travelling. The resulting story prompts a revelation we can all relate to: that the wildlife around us needs protecting.

Get now

Saudi Arabia

By Grace Edwards

This book is perhaps most notable for being the first English-language guide from a major travel publisher written exclusively on Saudi. It will surely be one of many to come and offers great advice on a remarkable region that travellers are still just learning about.

Get now

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

By Bettany Hughes

While all but Egypt’s Great Pyramid have been lost to history, the Seven Wonders of the old world still enthral us today. Historian Bettany Hughes brings her trademark intelligence and enthusiasm to bear as she traces their stories and realises that they all share one thing: humanity’s capacity to dream big.

Get now

Terrible Maps

By Michael Howe

Drawing on the popular social media feed of the same name, this book sits firmly on the side of the editorial fence labelled geographical dad jokes. But we love cartography in any form, especially if it points out how similar the shape of Oklahoma is to a thumbs-up.

Get now

Love from Venice: A Golden Summer on the Grand Canal

By Gill Johnson

Charting a summer of rebellion in 1950s Venice, this memoir recalls a time when the author swapped a comfy gig at London’s National Gallery for teaching English to an aristocratic Italian family, drawing on the letters she sent to her admirer. In embedding herself in the city’s high society, she also bears witness to the dying days of the Grand Tour, when Europe’s young socialites ran wild across its old cities.

Get now

Black Ghosts: A Journey Into the Lives of Africans in China

By Noo Saro-Wiwa

Author Noo Saro-Wiwa looks beyond the usual historical or political subjects that take the focus of most books on China and instead looks at what she calls ‘Black ghosts’: the large numbers of African economic migrants living there. In doing so, she explores a little-documented world, meeting everyone from drug dealers to cardiac surgeons, and looks at how these often cloistered communities intersect with the wider Chinese society.

Get now

Walking Scotland’s Best Small Mountains

By Kirstie Shirra

The popularity of munro-bagging – climbing all the mountains in Scotland over 914m – has meant that many of the country’s smaller peaks are often overlooked. This book proves that what they lack in stature, they more than make up for in character, offering a series of routes that are aimed at providing day walks with ascents accessible to non-climbers.

Get now

Explore More

More Articles