The Best Travel Books to Inspire Your Next Holiday

Being a book worm is one of the greatest ways to learn new things, source inspiration for your next adventure, and escape to a place far away, all from the comfort of your home or pitch. Here you’ll find our top travel book recommendations, from new releases to timeless classics and even some to keep kids entertained.

Best travel books of all time

1. The Beach by Alex Garland

The Beach by Alex Garland Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

This cult classic follows the story of Richard, a backpacker in Thailand. He follows a map promising a secret island, and when he finds what he’s been seeking, it’s more eye-opening, enjoyable, and frightening than he could ever have imagined. How long does paradise ever really last? Discover the answer in this enthralling novel.
Buy it here from £8.99

2. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

In this much-loved adventure novel, Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson narrates a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Follow the journey of Jim Hawkins as he follows a map to the fabled treasure, what he finds, and who he faces along the way will spark your imagination.
Buy it here from £6.99

3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Moby Dick Copyright Penguin Random House

CREDIT: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Captain Ahab swore vengeance on a giant white whale that took his leg. Follow him on his crew on his mad and obsessive quest.
Buy it here from £5.99

4. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Around the World in Eighty Days Copyright Penguin Random House

CREDIT: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

A favourite of all generations, this classic by Jules Verne is a great read for all ages. The protagonist, Phileas Fogg, bets his friends that he can travel around the entire world in 80 days. Follow his journey as he attempts to do just that, passing through plenty of adventure on his way.
Buy it here from £7.99

5. The Journey to the End of the World by Henning Mankell

Journey to the End of the World Copyright Penguin Random House

CREDIT: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

This classic coming of age novel follows Joel Gustafson, his dreams of becoming a sailor and an emotional reunion that threatens to resurface old wounds.
Buy it here from £6.99

6. Neither Here nor There by Bill Bryson

Neither Here, Nor There Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

Follow Bill Bryson and his well-known humour as he journeys from Hammerfest in Norway, to Istanbul on the cusp of Asia. With his brilliant observations on the culture and people in each place he visits, this offers a great escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Buy it here from £9.99

Best travel books of 2020

7. Hidden Places: An Inspired Traveller's Guide by Sarah Baxter

Hidden Places Copyright White Lion Publishing

CREDIT: WHITE LION PUBLISHING

This is the ideal book for inspiring your next adventure, Sarah Baxter uncovers 25 obscure places that you’ll never have thought about visiting before. Forgotten cities, ancient gateways and remote locations are all bought to life in the wonderfully illustrated guide.
Buy it here from £14.99

8. Under the Stars by Matt Gaw

Under the Stars Copyright Elliot & Thompson Ltd

CREDIT: ELLIOT & THOMPSON LTD

In this new release for 2020, journalist and naturalist, Matt Gaw shares his explorations into light pollution. From the polluted skies of London to the darkest depths of Dartmoor, Gaw shared the joys of the night sky in this beautifully written novel.
Buy it here from £12.99

9. The Good Pub Guide 2020 by Fiona Stapley

Good Pub Guide Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

Buy the 38th edition of this bestselling travel guide, organised county by county with only the best pubs in the UK making the final cut. This book is a great one to have on hand during your adventures up and down the UK.
Buy it here from £15.99

10. In Her Footsteps by Lonely Planet

In_Her_Footsteps Copyright Lonely Planet

CREDIT: LONELY PLANET

This book from Lonely Planet tells the story of amazing activists, artists and icons from across the globe, both from days gone by and present day. In Her Footsteps is both a celebration of incredible women and a travel guide to where they lived, studied and reigned. Some of the women included are Jane Austin, Marie Curie, Michelle Obama, Rosa Parks and Greta Thunberg. A real inspirational hit.
Buy it here from £17.99

Inspirational travel books

11. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before by Patricia Schultz

1,000 places to see before you die Copyright Workman Publishing

CREDIT: WORKMAN PUBLISHING

I challenge anyone that picks up this photographic celebration of the world not want to immediately jump on a plane and go on your next adventure. Patricia Schultz has, over 544 pages, curated some of the finest beauty and wonder of the world. From masked dancers in the Himalayas to majestic elephants grazing in a volcanic area in Tanzania, there’s so much inspiration. This would make a fantastic coffee table book and gift for any traveller.
Buy it here from £40

12. Secret Gardens: of the National Trust by Claire Masset

Secret Gardens of the National Trust Copyright Pavillion Books

CREDIT: PAVILLION BOOKS

Discover some of the most beautiful National Trust owned gardens in this photographic book, accompanied by fascinating text highlighting botanical and historical details. Lost gardens, delicate pixie houses and wonderful orchards are all beautifully displayed. This is the perfect book for planning your next UK camping trip! Read our round-up of the best gardens in the UK.
Buy it here from £14.99

13. Scottish Bothy Walks: Scotland's 28 best bothy adventures by Geoff Allan

Scottish Bothy Walks Copyright Wild Things Publishing

CREDIT: WILD THINGS PUBLISHING

If you love exploring Scotland and are an avid walker, this is the book for you, offering a mix of day walks and routes spanning over several days. Geoff Allan takes you to his favourite bothies and highlights some of the breath-taking landscapes and culture you’ll find along the way. A great read when planning your next adventure in Scotland.
Buy it here from £16.99

14. One Man and His Bike by Mike Carter

One Man and His Bike Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

Mike Carter spent five months cycling an incredible 5,000 miles around the entire British coastline and has documented his tale in this funny and inspiring book. Follow Mike on his journey to discover the kindness and generosity of people he met along the way. Read the stories of fellow travellers building a different type of future to the norm and all about the funny characters he met on his journey cycling around the nation.
Buy it here from £9.99

15. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

The Salt Path Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

Follow the remarkable journey of Raynor and Moth, her terminally ill husband as they impulsively decide to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. With limited funds and only the essentials for survival, this story tells the tale of home and how it can be built in unexpected ways.
Buy it here from £9.99

16. Wherever You Go: A Guide to Mindful, Sustainable, and Life-Changing Travel by Daniel Houghton

wherever-you-Copyright Simon and Schuster Publishing

CREDIT: SCHUSTER PUBLISHING

Digging deep into how travel can be life-changing and transformative, former CEO of Lonely Planet, Daniel Houghton has produced this guide which may just change the way you travel. This book covers how to be more mindful of your carbon footprint, other cultures and time spent with others. Read travel stories from Airbnb founder, Brian Chesky, former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama and many more who relay how travel has become more than just discovering new places.
Buy it here from £11.99

17. The Art of Looking Up by Catherine McCormack

The Art of Looking Up Copyright White Lion Publishing

CREDIT: WHITE LION PUBLISHING

This is a book of fine art and a brilliant reminder that only ever looking in one direction will limit the amount of beauty you see in the world. Featuring 40 spectacular ceilings from around the world, you’ll be in awe of the skill and passion poured into some of the most stunning creations on this planet. You may recognise some of the images, including the Vatican Palace, Blenheim Palace and the Louvre.
Buy it here from £35

18. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

Wild Copyright Penguin Books Ltd

CREDIT: PENGUIN BOOKS LTD

American author Cheryl Strayed memoirs her solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, just after her mum suddenly died from cancer. Her story is full of sadness, bravery and spirit.
Buy it here from £8.99

Best travel books for kids

19. The Famous Five by Enid Blyton

The Famous Five Copyright Hachette

CREDIT: HACHETTE

The adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog were first published in 1942 and have never been out of publication since. Follow the characters as they embark on thrilling adventures, exploring and uncovering plenty of secrets along the way. A great series to remind us all that a little courage and determination will help you to achieve fantastic things.
Buy it here from £19.99

20. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies Copyright Faber and Faber

CREDIT: FABER AND FABER

Given the plot of this dystopian classic, it’s one for older kids to enjoy. Lord of the Flies follows a group of schoolboys who are the only survivors of a plane crash on a desert island. The boys explore the islands beautiful beaches and fascinating wildlife by day but come night have to deal with nightmares of a primitive beast. A great read for any young teen book worms.
Buy it here from £8.99

21. The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé

TinTin Copyright Egmont Publishing

CREDIT: EGMONT PUBLISHING

A household name, Tintin, is well known for his many adventures with his dog Snowy. The travelling reporter embarks on extraordinary quests spanning many historical and political events. The first Tintin comic was published in 1929, and his adventures are just as popular today.
Buy it here from £14.99

22. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Gullivers Travels Copyright Penguin Random House

CREDIT: PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

Follow this classic story of the shipwrecked Lemuel Gulliver who finds himself on some of the strangest lands on the planet. It tells the tale of a man who, through experiencing different cultures and ways of life, comes to the realisation that his own homeland is doing it all wrong.
Buy it here from £5.99

For more travel inspiration, be sure to check out our holiday ideas which include everything from the best camping recipes to the best mountains to climb in the UK.