Before Butterfield & Robinson had 50 years under our belt, traversed six continents, had affairs with over 80 countries (sorry, Canada) and made more friends than we could count, it was a trio of university students: Toronto law student George Butterfield, his high school roommate Sidney Robinson, and his wife Martha Butterfield (Sidney’s sister, of course). Like all young Europhiles, they had a dogged determination to be abroad, a love for the food, languages and culture, a sense of adventure, and no money.
“We decided the only way we could afford to get back to Europe was to develop a student tour program,” George now admits. “Our idea was to visit great cities, arrange history seminars and spend some time biking and hiking.” It worked, and a company – not to mention an entirely new way to travel – was born.
What doesn’t get said, but bears keeping in mind, is just how damn crazy this idea was in 1966...
To celebrate our 50th year in business, we’ve dipped into the archive to craft new trips for 2016 that revisit some of our favourite corners of the globe.
New Zealand Biking
It’s not just that New Zealand is gorgeous. It’s how such variable, breathtaking landscapes exist so close together.
Our relationship with Patagonia goes back decades; fortunately, neither the people nor the scenery have changed.
Discover Denmark, from the rural roads of Fyn to the heart of Copenhagen’s cosmopolitan cool - you'll understand why the Danish are repeatedly rated the happiest people on Earth!
Dolomites Family Adventure
Explore two gorgeous corners of this incredible region, taking in the silence of the trails, the dramatic, serrated mountain peaks dotting the scenery, and the warm, understated local hospitality.
Experience incredible undulating coastal walks, secluded coves, the smell of citrus everywhere, and remarkable hotels in unforgettable settings.
Bike along this culinary and cultural heartland, where sleepy villages dot a landscape of farmland, cork forests, olive groves, vineyards, and sinewy man-made lakes.
Five Decades of Photos
B&R's brand voice and distinct visual style was established by our co-founder Martha Butterfield, who wrote and oversaw the design of our earliest brochures. (Those distinctive brochure covers are all her doing.) Her passion for good design set the bar incredibly high and continues to permeate all aspects of the company; from our brand identity to our website to the personally tailored bespoke adventures we craft today. Scroll through the covers below to see how our emphasis on design has influenced our brochures over the past 50 years.