Off the Beaten Track takes us on an exhilarating journey through three centuries of travel, in the company of such women voyagers as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Vita Sackville-West, Isabella Bird and Rebecca West. Not only did women from the West travel to the Americas, Russia and Turkey, Arabia and the Middle East, Africa and South-east Asia, but women from all corners of the globe also visited the West. This book records their experiences and reveals where they travelled, what they looked like, how they described new landscapes and cultures in both words and images, and what they brought back with them. The common link between these women traveller is that their lives are celebrated in London's National Portrait Gallery collection. While they all travelled for different reasons, collectively they reveal something about the West's relationship with other cultures and challenge our assumptions about women's achievements.