William Gray travel writer and photographer


An award-winning travel writer, author and photographer, Will has 30 years' experience in communications – working for magazine publishers, conservation organisations and as a successful freelancer. A zoologist, conservationist and passionate advocate of responsible tourism, his career has been built on a love of the written word – and its ability to move people to take action.


For the last 30 years or so, I've travelled to many of the world's most beautiful wild places, photographing and writing about subjects as diverse as Alaska, the Serengeti, Svalbard, the Coral Sea, India and the Galapagos Islands. My wildlife and travel photographs are represented by AWL and Getty Images.


An experienced speaker and tutor, I was a presenter on the BBC Holiday programme and have given talks on photography to the RSPB, Destinations Travel Show and Royal Photographic Society. My one-to-one photography workshops are held in Cornwall, the Lake District and the Cotswolds.


Exciting travel doesn't automatically make exciting reading. Writing effective and inspiring travel copy is as much about delving into the realms of vocabulary and grammar as it is about exploring landscapes, wildlife and culture. You have to love the written word. Follow the link below for some examples of my published work.


My big five: Galapagos, Serengeti-Mara, Svalbard, Rwanda, Great Barrier Reef


Still want to go to: South Georgia island, Aldabra Atoll, Papua New Guinea

Inspired most by: David Attenborough, Charles Darwin, Frans Lanting, Steve McCurry


I've been lucky enough to win over 20 awards for journalism, including AITO Travel Writer of Year, BGTW Travel Photographer of the Year, Best Feature at the British Travel Press Awards and Best Overseas Feature at the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards. My first book was commended in the Conservation Book Prize.


“William Gray yanks us out of our living rooms and drops us in the middle of a tiger safari, presenting wonderfully rendered sensual details that root us in the scene making us accomplices in the effort to decipher the jungle’s clues.”


"Brilliantly descriptive. Lovely turn of phrase, well structured and evocative and compels you to read until the end."


"Wider-ranging than a blue whale and more densely packed than a butterfly migration... the definitive manual for wildlife-loving travellers."



Everyone needs a lucky break in this business and I had mine in the early 1990s following a stint of volunteer work on the Great Barrier Reef. With a degree in zoology from Durham University, and knowing nothing about publishing, I had this big idea for a book about coral reefs and pitched it to a few publishers in the UK. One of them, David & Charles, called my bluff and commissioned me to write and photograph Coral Reefs & Islands – The Natural History of a Threatened Paradise. The research for the book ignited my wanderlust – taking me from the South Pacific to Belize and the Maldives.


I was thrilled when it was highly commended in the 1993 Conservation Book Prize. Maintaining a focus on wildlife conservation and responsible travel, I started widening the net, writing for newspapers and magazines and selling my photographs through picture libraries. One or two guidebook commissions came my way and I started giving photography talks on cruise ships and at travel shows. 


It was all about building up contacts, slowly but surely. Then we had twins and family travel, well, just sort of happened! I began to break that cardinal rule of business: ‘Never work with children or animals.’

William Gray is an award-winning travel writer, photographer, zoologist and conservationist,

​AITO Travel Writer of the Year

Winner: 2002; Runner-up: 1999, 2003

Travel Writer of the Year

British Guild of Travel Writers Awards Runner-up: 2009

Travel Photographer of the Year 

British Guild of Travel Writers Awards Winner: 2009, 2011

Best Feature

British Travel Press Awards

Winner: 2011

Best Overseas Feature 

British Guild of Travel Writers Awards Winner: 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012​


Best UK Feature 

British Guild of Travel Writers Awards Winner: 2000, 2002, 2009

Best Guidebook 

British Guild of Travel Writers Awards Winner: 2008

Best Foreign Writer 

Sabah Tourism Awards 2003


Travel Writer of the Year    

Bahamas Tourist Board 2003 ​


BBC Wildlife Travel Writing Awards 

Runner-up: 2002​


Sir Peter Kent Conservation Book Prize Highly Commended: 1993


Will’s worldwide collection of landscape, travel and wildlife photographs are represented by AWL Images and Getty Images. An experienced speaker, he was a presenter on the BBC Holiday programme and has given talks to numerous organisations and photography clubs. His new programme of photography workshops, initially covering some of his favourite UK destinations, was launched in 2018.


The author of Wildlife Travel (one of the most comprehensive guides on the subject), Travel with Kids (the definitive guide to family holidays around the world), Europe with KidsBritain with Kids and Cornwall with Kids, Will has also written books on islands, Africa and adventure travel, as well as various ebooks covering subjects ranging from the Northern Lights to How to Write a Travel Article

Voted fourth in the Press Gazette’s Top 50 Travel Journalists, Will has written and photographed hundreds of features for numerous publications, including WanderlustThe Sunday TimesThe Times, Sunday TelegraphNational Geographic Traveler, GuardianThe Sun and Condé Nast Traveller, and has won over 20 awards for journalism, including the coveted AITO Travel Writer of Year and BGTW Travel Photographer of the Year. 

Will has also gained extensive experience as editor of the inspirational 101 Family Holidays website, Travel Africa magazine and the highly acclaimed Kenya Airways inflight magazine, Msafiri. His commercial experience covers all aspects of journalism and content creation, from writing articles, blogs, websites and newsletters to co-ordinating filming trips and undertaking product photography assignments. Former roles have included Senior Content Editor for Discover the World and Head of Communications at World Land Trust, an international conservation charity working to save the world's most threatened habitats to protect biodiversity and fight climate change.



I'd love to hear from you

+44 (0)7511 035563

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While our twins were growing up, we were lucky enough to take them on travels all over the world. These audio diaries (recorded for BBC Radio Oxford) recount some of the more memorable trips and provide a sobering (and often hilarious) insight into what it is like to travel with kids – from babies to toddlers and beyond. Destinations range from Northumberland in the UK to South Island, New Zealand. Scroll through the tracks (there are 20 in total!) And enjoy listening!

Contact Me

will.gray@me.com  |  Tel: +44 (0)1295 780102 | MOBILE: 07511 035563

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