New Age travellers
Vehicles used by New Age travellers
Regions with significant populations
United Kingdom
New Age

New Age Travellers (synonymous with and otherwise known as New Travellers[1]) are people located primarily in the United Kingdom generally espousing New Age beliefs with hippie or Bohemian culture of the 1960s. New Age Travellers used to travel between free music festivals and fairs prior to crackdown in the 1990s. New Traveller also refers to those who are not traditionally of an ethnic nomadic group but who have chosen to pursue a nomadic lifestyle.[2]

There are a variety of New Traveller subcultures which include New Nomads[3] and Digital Nomads[4] facilitated by the digital age, globalisation and worldwide travel.

A New Traveller's transport and home may consist of living in a van, vardo, lorry, bus, car or caravan converted into a mobile home while also making use of an improvised bender tent, tipi or yurt. Some New Travellers and New Nomads may stay in guest bedrooms of hosts, or pay for inexpensive affordable lodgings while living in different locations around the world as part of their New Traveller lifestyle.

"New Age" travellers largely originated in 1980s and early 1990s Britain,[5] when they were briefly known pejoratively as crusties because of the association with "encrusted dirt, dirt as a deliberate embrace of grotesquerie, a statement of resistance against society, proof of nomadic hardship."[6] However, New Travellers can come from all walks of life and socio-economic backgrounds.



The movement originated in the free festivals of the 1960s and 1970s[7] such as the Windsor Free Festival, the early Glastonbury Festivals, Elephant Fayres, and the huge Stonehenge Free Festivals in Great Britain. However, there were longstanding precedents for travelling cultures in Great Britain, including travelling pilgrims, itinerant journeymen and traders, as well as Irish Travellers, Romani groups and others.[8]

Peace convoy

See also: Battle of the Beanfield

In the UK during the 1980s the travellers' mobile homes—generally old vans, trucks and buses (including double-deckers)—moved in convoys. One group of travellers came to be known as the Peace Convoy after visits to Peace camps associated with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).[7] The movement had faced significant opposition from the British government and from mainstream media, epitomised by the authorities' attempts to prevent the Stonehenge Free Festival, and the resultant Battle of the Beanfield in 1985—resulting in what was, according to The Guardian, one of the largest mass arrests of civilians since at least the Second World War,[9] possibly one of the biggest in English legal history.[10]


  1. ^ Frediani, Marcelo (18 December 2017). "On the road: New Travellers and their radical need for space". Espaces et Sociétés. 171 (4): 73–89. doi:10.3917/esp.171.0073.
  2. ^ "Example Definitions of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK".
  3. ^ Marquardt, Felix (2021). The New Nomads (1st ed.). UK: Simon&Schuster. ISBN 9781471177378.
  4. ^ Bearne, Suzanne (2023-11-04). "Digital nomads: rising number of people choose to work remotely". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2023-11-04.
  5. ^ "New Age Travellers - a traveller lifestyle and subculture in Britain".
  6. ^ Fox, Dan (3 April 2018). "24-Hour Party People: How Britain's New Age Traveler movement defined a zeitgeist". World Policy Journal. 35 (1): 3–9. doi:10.1215/07402775-6894684. ISSN 1936-0924. S2CID 158322983.
  7. ^ a b "New Travellers, Old Story" (PDF). The Children's Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  8. ^ Ivakhiv, Adrian (2001). Claiming Sacred Ground: Pilgrims and Politics at Glastonbury and Sedona. Indiana University Press. p. 89. ISBN 0-253-33899-9.
  9. ^ "What happened next?". the Guardian. 2004-02-22. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  10. ^ Stuart Maconie (2014). The People's Songs: The Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records. Ebury Press. pp. 356–. ISBN 978-0-09-193380-7.

Further reading and external links