We’ve come a long way from our beginnings as a tiny start-up, offering a new, personal style of travel from a flat above a post office in Northampton. Vietnam, the first destination we offered trips to, will always hold a soft spot for us — and we’re still in touch with some of our very first clients. Today, we offer trips to destinations worldwide, and have offices in Oxfordshire, London, and Boston, but we still hold to our founding belief that travel means the most when it’s created for you.
Our story starts with a backpack in Vietnam. Craig Burkinshaw’s backpacking journey around Asia brought him to Vietnam, where he fell in love with a destination and its culture. Craig returned home and placed a small ad in The Sunday Times to begin leading his own small-group tours there.
Asian Journeys is formed
Craig joins forces with fellow London School of Economics graduate John Brewer to found Asian Journeys. It paves the way for a new type of travel: individually crafted trips shaped around your interests to show destinations in a different light. With our first specialist joining the team and a brochure sent out into the world, our new approach to travel sees us go from strength to strength.
Uncovering more of Asia
Asian Journeys begins to plan adventurous trips into North and Central Asia for those who want more meaningful, authentic travel experiences beyond the obvious. We also unveil the Indian Subcontinent, choosing experiences that introduce you to the region’s true character.
Audley Travel is born
After moving to the rural Oxfordshire village of Stratton Audley and launching our first website, we add South America to our growing list of destinations. However, this calls for a name change. ‘Audley Travel’ is inspired by the village where the office is based at this time.
A clutch of new destinations
We’re ready to show people more of the world. After touring the destinations ourselves to hand-pick the best experiences, we begin offering trips to North Africa and the Middle East, New Zealand, the Galapagos, and Africa safari destinations. Our passion for travel leads us to receive our first award from Wanderlust magazine.
Our travellers can now explore Australia, enjoying one-off experiences — tried and tested by our team — that take you beyond the highlights. We also celebrate winning a number of travel awards as our reputation widens.
A new home at New Mill
We move to our current headquarters, the New Mill in Witney, Oxfordshire — a large 18th-century converted blanket mill on the banks of the River Windrush. National recognition is growing, and we’re named 'Best Small Tour Operator’ by The Guardian/The Observer.
Uncovering more of the world
Drawing on the first-hand experiences of our specialists, many of whom have lived and worked in their destinations, we start planning trips to some of the world’s furthest corners. Our travellers can now venture to Antarctica and the Arctic, as well as Canada, Alaska, and Madagascar.
Giving something back
We introduce our first Charity of the Year — nominated by our team, the chosen charity receives funding generated from client donations and our own fundraising efforts. We also start giving our travellers the option to carbon-offset their flights.
Trips to the USA
We begin offering trips across the pond, giving our travellers the chance to explore the USA’s varied regions the Audley way, including California, New England, the Rockies, and the Deep South. Our wide range of experiences means you can try everything from epic road trips to traditional ranch stays.
New offices open in Boston and London
As the team — and the breadth of our destinations — grows, we open our first overseas office in Boston, Massachusetts in March and begin offering our same style of highly individual travel to US clients. A few months later, our new London office in Shepherd's Bush opens its doors.
Turkey & the Caribbean
As we reach our 20th anniversary, we continue to help you see more of the world by introducing Turkey and our choice of Caribbean islands, including Saint Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the British Virgin Islands.
La dolce vita
We turn our gaze to Europe. Our first stop? Italy. As with all our destinations, our team hand-pick experiences that show you Italy in a new light, from truffle hunting in Tuscany to e-bike rides through Umbria. We also launch our animal welfare policy to ensure the trips we offer don’t negatively impact wild and captive animals.
We enable our travellers to explore more of Europe by adding Iceland, Sicily, Spain, and Portugal to our offering, as well as launching Israel. Our commitment to responsible travel continues — we hire a Responsible Travel and Sustainability Manager, introduce our child welfare policy, and help set up refillable water bottle schemes in 12 destinations.
Trips closer to home
We strengthen our focus on closer-to-home travel by introducing an even wider collection of European destinations. Our travellers can now visit much of Europe, including Croatia, Scandinavia, and Greece. In early 2020 we became a Travelife partner in recognition of our responsible travel efforts, and by the end of the year we’d published our first annual sustainability report to ensure environmental and social responsibility remains at the forefront of what we do and how we work.
25 years of travel
We celebrate 25 years of creating meaningful travel experiences built around you and connecting you with people and places around the world.