Rough Guides

Rough Guides Ltd is a British travel guide book and reference publisher, which has been owned by APA Publications since November 2017.[1] In addition to publishing guidebooks, the company also provides a tailor-made trips service based on customers’ individual criteria.[2]

Rough Guides
Parent companyAPA Publications
Founded1982; 39 years ago (1982)
FounderMark Ellingham
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon, England
Nonfiction topicsTravel guidebooks

The Rough Guides travel titles cover more than 200 destinations beginning with the 1982 Rough Guide to Greece,[3] a book conceived by Mark Ellingham, who was dissatisfied with the polarisation of existing guidebooks between cost-obsessed student guides and "heavyweight cultural tomes".

Initially aimed at low-budget backpackers, the guidebooks have incorporated more expensive recommendations since the early 1990s, and are now marketed to travellers on all budgets. Since the late 1990s the books have contained colour printing. Much of the books' travel content is also available online.

Penguin became responsible for sales and distribution in 1992, acquiring a majority stake in 1996 and buying Rough Guides outright in 2002.[4]

In November 2007, after the company had celebrated "25 Rough Years" with a celebratory series of books, Ellingham left Rough Guides to set up a new green and ethical imprint, GreenProfile, at Profile Books.[5] Rough Guides was run from 2003 until later in the decade[when?] by co-founder Martin Dunford and Andrew Lockett, under the aegis of Penguin before their merger with Random House.

In 2017, Rough Guides was sold to APA Publications, parent of Insight Guides.[6] It is now based at APA's offices in Mill Street, Bermondsey, southeast London.

The slogan of Rough Guides is "Make the Most of Your Time on Earth".