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

John Pilkington (c) John Pilkington

John Pilkington

John is an old friend of Wilderness Lectures, and this will be his tenth talk for us. He’s often called “one of Britain’s greatest tellers of travellers’ tales”. After starting as an author and journalist he became a broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Radio 4, making travel documentaries and contributing to programmes such as ‘From Our Own Correspondent’. But it’s for his superbly illustrated talks that people know him best. He has spoken to over 1,000 audiences in six countries, and holds the Royal Geographical Society’s much-coveted Ness Award for popularising geography and the wider understanding of the world.

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


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Coming Up Next...

Russia and Europe: What Next?

John Pilkington - 04/10/2017 19:30

Passions are running high in Ukraine and some breakaway parts of Moldova and Georgia. Vladimir Putin’s adventures in Ukraine took the West by surprise, but John thinks in some ways they followed a pattern that goes back more than a century to the time of the Tsars. In 2015 he met people on both sides of the disputed borders, and promises some surprising insights. There’ll be plenty to interest mountain lovers too, from the Carpathians to the Crimean coastal range and the Greater Caucasus.


Running the length of New Zealand (and other silly ideas)

Anna McNuff - 18/10/2017 19:30

Anna was never anything like those ‘real’ runners on telly – all spindly limbs, tiny shorts and split times – but when she read about New Zealand’s 3,000-kilometre-long Te Araroa Trail, she began to wonder… perhaps being a ‘real’ runner was overrated. Maybe she could just run it anyway?

Travelling alone through New Zealand’s backcountry for 148 days, she scrambled through forests, along ridge-lines, over mountain passes, along beaches and across swollen rivers. Running up to 52 kilometres in a day, she slept wild most nights, and was taken into the homes and hearts of the kiwi people in between.

This lecture focuses on Anna's solo journey through the wilds of New Zealand, but also includes tales from her other human powered journeys around the globe. Settle in for adventure stories told with raw honesty, humour and passion - and learn why fear, self-doubt and uncertainty are all part n' parcel of a life well lived.


Don't count the days, make the days count

Nick Butter - 01/11/2017 19:30

In 2018, Nick intends to set a new world record by running a marathon in every country in the world, 196 marathons in 550 days. His aim is to raise £250,000 for Prostate Cancer UK. It will take him 18 months to travel to all 196 countries, spending about 2.5 days per country. There will be war zones, the heat of the Sahara and the extreme cold of Antarctica. He intends to live simply, camping and sleeping in peoples' homes. He'll be leaving on January 6th, 2018. This talk will be about Nick's experiences to date, about time, courage and failure, about perseverance and determination, how to value the time we have on our planet and about how everyone, regardless of age, background, and commitments can excel at anything they put their minds to. Oh yes, and how he plans to achieve this extraordinary feat.