Writer and Traveller



Stanley Stewart’s travel career has taken him along the Silk Road through the mountains of Central Asia, to the sources of the White Nile in the Mountains of the Moon, and to the brink of disaster in a rather ill-fated canoeing expedition on the Canadian Shield. He has traversed the Northwest Passage on a Russian ice-breaker, crossed India on a wheezing motorcycle and Mongolia on a series of very short horses. He has stowed away on Egyptian barges, been held at gunpoint by bandits in Uganda, and shared champagne with the prostitutes of the Trans-Siberian Express. He has dined on barbecued rat in northern Burma, raw snake in China, crocodile in Australia, and maggots with a remote tribe in the upper Amazon. He has swapped penis anecdotes with the head-hunters of Borneo, tracked down witch doctors in the mountains of southern China, serenaded a conference of plumbers in Puglia, and climbed Kilimanjaro in a pair of deck shoes. He has survived a rebel bombing raid in southern Sudan, a Maasai circumcision party in Kenya, and the bared buttocks of Brazilian beaches. He has eloped with a Mongolian nomad, dined with a Maharajah prayed with monks in an Eritrean monastery and traded very cross words with the Iranian secret police.

Stewart is the author of three highly acclaimed travel books and several hundred articles based on journeys across five continents.  His latest book, In the Empire of Genghis Khan, about a thousand-mile horse ride across Mongolia, has been translated into ten languages, and was the BBC Book of the Week. Stewart has won the Benjamin Franklin Award in the US for In the Empire, and is the only author to have twice won the prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Book Award in the UK for In the Empire of Genghis Khan and Frontiers of Heaven.

Stewart’s work has appeared regularly in travel anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic. His travel journalism has won numerous awards. He has been named Travel Writer of the Year six times and was awarded the Magazine Writer of the Year in 2008. He is a contributing editor of Conde Nast Traveller, and in the UK his work appears regularly in the Sunday Times. He has also contributed to the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, the Independent and the Times. He writes for the National Geographic Traveler in the US, the Sunday Times in South Africa and the Australian. The Times Literary Supplement has described him as ‘among the very first rank of contemporary travel writers.’ In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Stewart was born in Ireland, grew up in Canada, and has spent much of adult life in the UK. He has also lived in the US, China, Egypt, India, and Italy. Peripatetic impulses persist in his domestic arrangements, and he now divides his time between Dorset in the UK and Rome.

25 responses

  1. Each paragraph a gem, Stanley, in your most recent addition to online BBC’s “Travel ” section – Silk Road to the end of China. Thank you very much for your observations and your pen.

    Audubon L. Bakewell IV
    Denali Highway Cabins
    Denali Highway, Alaska
    28 October, 2014

    10/28/2014 at 4:12 pm

  2. Bold

    I like you.

    12/27/2014 at 2:45 pm

  3. John Fisher

    did you grow up in Stratford, Ontario

    02/24/2015 at 9:55 pm

  4. Pippa King

    Absolutely loving Genghis Khan book – would love to see more photographs please?

    02/26/2015 at 1:06 am

  5. Anne Erdenbürger

    Read the German translation of “In the Empire of Genghis Khan”. Enjoid two days of reading and laughing. Remembered my years in Mongolia.
    Thank You very much for sharing Your impression and experience. Best wishes to You from Germany.

    03/26/2015 at 2:36 pm

    • Thanks Anne, glad you enjoyed the book. When were you in Mongolia? SS

      04/10/2015 at 9:49 am

  6. Geoffrey wilkinson

    Your books are a delight to read. Is there going to be another?

    04/19/2015 at 11:25 am

  7. Dear Mr. Stewart
    I’m Antonio from Naples and I would ask you if you Sir have really written the article on the “Thelegraph” about the beauty of my city and above all if the “english most preferred italian city” poll is real. Unfortunately we are continuously victims of a bad press and media opinion here in Italy. And these cause a long and deep distrust in the neapolitans hearts of themselves. I really believe that articles like yours Sir would make a little change like a drop of water in a dried ground. I would seem it’s a too small part of water to make it revives but this is the way to reach it one day. So I hope it’s a real article and if it’s really your article, it could be nice to have it on your website. Thank you very much

    05/20/2015 at 10:34 am

  8. Cheryl Meyers

    It has taken me almost four weeks to read “In the Empire of Genghis Khan” … not because it was a challenging read but because I just didn’t want the journey to end. So I would read just a few pages at a time and kept hoping the journey would not end. Your journey brought back to me my own wonderful memories of my time in Mongolia. Now I am off to Powell’s Books to purchase your other books and continue “the journey”.

    07/18/2015 at 11:28 pm

  9. Hi, if you are who wrote on Telepgraph about Napoli, I want to say thank you!

    11/01/2015 at 7:55 pm

  10. Helena Flynn

    Hi Stewart. I am currently reading, and whole heartedly enjoying your book ” Into the empire of Gengis Khan ” right now. Can I ask a couple of technical questions:
    1. What type of saddle did you use?
    2. How did you organise your contacts in Mongolia i.e guides?
    Thank you in advance for your reply, and for your fantastic book. I am loving every page!
    Kind regards, Helena (From North Wales, U.K. )

    03/08/2016 at 3:05 pm

  11. Akila

    Hello, I just read your article in BBC today about the travel to south India and the sage you met. It feels amazing that you have recreated the experience through words, I long going to south Indian temples as well.

    04/25/2016 at 2:13 pm

  12. Thank you for your wonderful travel writing! I’ve just finished In the Empire of Genghis Khan and loved it!! Do you have any plans to go to Peru to write about the Andes?

    08/07/2016 at 6:38 pm

  13. Chris Shackleford

    Loved the book.How times have changed! Last summer in Murun, a dreary small town in Mongolia I was surprised to find fancy German chocolates in the shops and they were much cheaper than in Los Angeles. One of the herders asked already photo fees.

    01/20/2017 at 8:11 am

  14. Really enjoyed your article on Haridwar. Wonderful writing. Is there a way to know when your writing gets published?

    Anubhav Rohatgi

    02/08/2017 at 4:14 am

  15. Hi, I’m currently reading “in the empire of Ghengis Khan”. A throroughly enjoyable tale which brings the reader along on the journey.
    I’ve been walking for the last 3 years, and writing a blog (you can find the link on my wordpress blog) .
    I was hoping I might be able to schedule a meeting with you, as I’m currently in the UK organising the next stage of my journey through Iran and onwards. I am also hoping to travel by horseback, and I’d love to pick your brains a little and get some suggestions and a few writers tips as well.
    All the best, David

    02/08/2017 at 11:26 pm

  16. Concetta Scavuzzo

    Mr Stewart,
    I just finished reading your fabulous article on Naples which embodies all my same thoughts on this incredible city.

    I live in Naples and although I am not Neapolitan I can’t think of anywhere else I would rather live.

    Did you know that this region also produces many wonderful wines? I know some of the best wineries and their owners and would like to invite you on a wine tour in the region, so you could perhaps do a follow-on article for your readers. It is also uncanny how the wines of the Campania region are so unknown to the world and yet so incredibly deliscious. If you are interested I will send you the names of some of the wineries we can visit.
    Concetta Scavuzzo

    01/12/2019 at 1:05 pm

  17. Eric Hickmott

    Would this be the Stan Stewart who used to put up the Bubble Theatre tent back in the 80’s?

    06/21/2020 at 6:15 pm

  18. H F Yen

    Hell Stanley- you are such an excellent travel writer. Such a joy to red your books more than once each.

    Thank you

    Best wishes

    H F Yen

    06/10/2021 at 8:36 am

  19. H F Yen

    Hello Stanley

    My sincere and heartfelt apology for not checking the spelling of “HELLO” and leaving it as ‘ Hell’.

    06/10/2021 at 8:39 am

  20. Nancy Meade

    I am a fan of good travel writers. I have enjoyed Paul There and read most if not all of his travel books. I am also enjoying Richard Grant at the moment. Fortunately, I just finished the article you wrote on Rome in Conde’ Nast Traveler. I was quite deliciously surprised at the wonderful writing. Until then, I was not familiar with you. I shall immediately order your “Empire” book. I would enjoy reading more of your published articles, but do not know how I can access them, for instance the Dorset article. Anyhow, glad to have finally discovered your writing. Nancy Meade, Los Angeles, CA

    10/07/2021 at 10:08 pm

  21. Nancy Meade

    That is Paul Theroux.

    10/07/2021 at 10:09 pm

  22. Nancy Meade

    I don’t know what happened to my comment earlier; it seems to have disappeared. I will just say that I so enjoyed your Conde Nast Traveler article on Rome and I thought your writing magnificent. I read other travel writers, particularly Paul Theroux, and now I look forward to buying some of your books. I would love to have access to your travel articles also, but I shall have to see if I can find an avenue to read them as well, like the one on Dorset. Thank you.

    10/08/2021 at 12:14 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s