“We travel in style and comfort. I guess we’re known for that. But for me, it’s always
been about the journey.” —George Butterfield (shown above assessing the riding in China circa 1988.)
In 1966, George Butterfield, Martha Butterfield (née Robinson) and her brother Sidney Robinson took some students to Europe for a bike trip. Their idea was to spend each day biking to places they’d discovered on earlier travels, then go out for a great dinner and a bottle of wine. It must have been one hell of a trip, because today Butterfield & Robinson offers more than 100 exhilarating trips all over the world.
A whole new style of travel was born of that first bike trip—as was a new style of travel company. Almost five decades after that first adventure, B&R still holds true to the fundamental values that make us unique and have guided us since the beginning. We’re obsessed with quality, not quantity. As George is fond of saying, “We never wanted to be the biggest travel company, just the best.”
Over the years, we’ve constantly reinvented ourselves—and how we travel. First, we biked Europe. Then we discovered the marvels of great walks. Then we realized there was a big world outside of Europe, and our travellers wanted to explore it, too! First we travelled to New Zealand (long before it was fashionable). By the time the early ’90s rolled around, we were as far as China.
We’ve made many other great discoveries over the decades, far ahead of the pack. Bhutan, Myanmar, the Baltics, Jordan, Colombia… who knew you could travel in comfort and style in these places, and still experience the very essence of where you were?
And what of our founders? George still brings the same enthusiasm and attention to detail to the office every day as he oversees B&R’s creative direction. Martha is a key advisor on all aspects of the business, and together they are constantly seeking out great new places to explore. Sidney? He’s recently retired from being a senior partner at one of Canada’s leading law firms, and plays an important role in shaping B&R strategy. As they say in our office in Beaune, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose!