“It’s for people who don’t want to queue for easyJet at 4am,” says Flic Everett, co-founder of RoadRailandSea.co.uk, a site dedicated to overland travel across Europe from the UK. “It’s for people who want to enjoy the journey.”
Everett set up the site with her photographer husband Simon Buckley, after struggling to find the information they needed for a driving trip through France and Italy. Like many, they loved Seat61.com for its extensive detail on rail travel (see below), but wanted a simple, quick-reference guide with a magazine feel. They also wanted to include road and boat routes.
Their travel site came to life in September 2012 and stands out for its vintage feel, with inspiration from 1930s railway posters and old postcards. The aim was to “conjure up the golden age of travel and make it exciting”. Overlanding is still often seen as the “roughing it” option – even though there is little glamour to be found on a red-eye flight with a budget airline.
The site – which they set up with web programmer Andrew Leask – features various itineraries, plus recommendations for restaurants, hotels, views and pit stops. They are not a travel agency, but work on a commission basis with various affiliate partners, although it also make a good resource for fully independent travellers.
The sea page currently looks a little bare, but this is to be their next focus. Let’s see if they can keep it looking so clean and fresh as the content builds.
Other overland travel sites worth bookmarking
Seat61.com: If you love train travel and haven’t bookmarked this yet, where have you been? Maybe living outside the UK, because the Man in Seat 61, aka Mark Smith, focused mainly on the British market until recently. Now he is expanding across Europe, with city-to-city coverage between major destinations: Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna and onward.
GreenTraveller.co.uk: Another longstanding favourite for many eco-aware travellers, this site is packed with information for people who don’t want to fly. It offers guides to travelling by public transport and train. There are plenty of listings for green accommodation and it’s all well-organised. So if you want to stay in a treehouse in France and get there by rail, you can find all you need to know in a couple of clicks.
HiddenEurope.co.uk: With a focus on slow and off-the-beaten-track travel, this print magazine and website is worth a look. Stories are geared towards those using ferries or trains. You can get an idea of what they cover from the website: visiting old synagogues in Georgia, island-hopping around the Balearics by ferry and calling in on an unsung railway station on the outskirts of Berlin.