wilderness LECTURES

A winter series of public lectures in Bristol the theme of which is world-wide adventure.

Our lecturers are well known explorers, mountaineers, travel writers, TV personalities, adventure sports personalities or anyone who has an epic story to tell and can enthral our audience with a rattling good yarn. The talks are invariably illustrated with slides and/or film.

Featured Speaker

(c) Laura Stone

Laura Stone

Laura was always the last to be picked in PE at school so when she discovered she could ride a bicycle uphill, take in the views, eat sandwiches while exercising and chat away while others were turning puce she decided that travel by bicycle was the best and has never looked back. She read Classics at Cambridge University (where she perfected eating sandwiches while cycling) then became a Map Buyer at Stanfords Map and Travel Bookshop in London’s Covent Garden. This led to becoming a writer and photographer for Rough Guides where she did all her research trips by bike. In the winter of 2002 she broke her arm in three places in a bike accident and while she was bored and in plaster she began dreaming of a really epic trip… She spent the best part of the next three years riding solo from Pakistan to Bhutan researching ‘Himalaya by Bike’ for Trailblazer Guides, and has headed back to the Himalayas whenever possible ever since. In 2013 she got married and in 2014 had a daughter. Indie’s first Himalayan trip was going to be this summer but it turns out there’s another sibling on the way so the yaks will have to wait!

Please check our Whats On to see this season's line-up.


Coming Up Next...

Himalaya by Bike

Laura Stone - 02/11/2016 19:30

Himalaya by Bike will be a west to east gambol along the Himalayas from the Karakoram Highway, between Pakistan and China, to Arunachal Pradesh in India’s far northeastern states, which have only recently opened up to foreign tourists. Along the way we’ll visit Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal with a mix of history, food and culture. Laura will pick out her favourite cycling routes and share her top tips (and epic fails) for cycle touring at altitude, travelling solo and writing a guidebook.

Paddling the Mississippi & Swimming the Severn

Kev Brady - 16/11/2016 19:30

Kev will be telling the story of two outrageous journeys. On September 23rd 2015, he set out to be the first person in history to swim the longest river in the UK, the River Severn, from its source in Mid Wales, 220 miles to Severn beach. That's the equivalent of 10 English Channel swims or over 14,000 lengths of a 25m pool but neither Channel nor pool swimmers have to contend with swimming past dead sheep! During the 31 days of swimming he raised £18,000 towards 'Archie's Chance To Dance', helping a young lad with cerebal palsy get an operation he needs. Two years earlier, with only one weekend's preparation on the Wye, he set out alone to paddle the length of the Mississippi River from its source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota. After enduring the coldest winter on record, he arrived successfully in the Gulf of Mexico 146 days and 2500 miles later.

Brit Rock

Brit Rock Tour - 23/11/2016 19:30

'Blocheads' (which had a former working title, ‘Stone Age Boomers') is produced and filmed by Alastair Lee - it's an hour-long all action cinematic spectacular revelling in the UK’s current golden age of bouldering. Boomers takes us on a revealing tour visiting some of the UK's finest bouldering venues from the South-West, the Lakes, North Wales, Scotland, Yorkshire and the North-East through to exploring some of the country's newest and most recently developed areas like Murlough Bay and Fairhead, in Northern Ireland. The documentary focuses on the current generation who emerge stronger than ever from the indoor walls unearthing new lines and expanding what's possible on the rock. The adventurous spirit is alive and well as we follow the Boomers in search of the immaculate problem with this unique form of expression in human movement. It includes numerous first ascents, the search for new lines and hair-raising high balls. The sumptuous production is wrapped with historical garnish from pioneer Jerry Peel (UK’s first V9 in 1976) and entertaining interludes such as the 'experts guide to spotting' & ‘1001 bouldering pad uses’. 'The Quarrymen': Charming short by Neil Heart following Neil Pearson's recent ascent of the famous route in the Welsh slate quarries. Included archive footage of the original quarrymen and commentary from the legendary Johnny Dawes and stunning aerial shots of the route. 'Tribute to Ken Wilson and Hard Rock': A BMC TV production by renowned climbing film maker Paul Diffly. 'Divide and Conquer': Current trad masters James McHaffie and Ryan Pascal battle it out for a coveted ascent of the spectacular John Dunne route 'Divided Years' in Northern Ireland's Mourne Mountains. There's a trailer for Blocheads here: https://vimeo.com/176312517