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.

Tickets are sold on the door and in advance from Stanfords' Bristol shop and their online store. Click our ticket office link

tickets available now

Featured Speaker

Dervla Murphy

Dervla and Wurzel, 2011, Paddy Barker, (c) The Irish  Examiner.

Dervla Murphy was born in Lismore, Co. Waterford in 1931 where she still lives when not travelling. She is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. She followed this with volunteer work helping Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal and trekking with a mule through Ethiopia.

Dervla took a break from travel writing following the birth of her daughter, and then wrote about her travels with Rachel in India, Pakistan, South America, Madagascar and Cameroon. She later wrote about her solo trips through Romania, Africa, Laos, the states of the former Yugoslavia, and Siberia. She has normally travelled alone and unaided; she is now is now 83.

Her daughter, Rachel, and three young grand-daughters live in Italy and have joined Dervla on her travels when possible.


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

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coming up next

Dervla Murphy in Conversation with Hugh Thomson

Dervla Murphy - 07/10/2015 19:30

Rather than a lecture, this is an opportunity to listen in to a conversation between two travellers, Hugh Thomson and Dervla Murphy. They will discuss her extraordinary life and travels.

Hugh Thomson is the author of a series of travel books, a regular book reviewer for The Independent and has contributed many feature length articles to newspapers and magazines. His recent book "The Green Road into the Trees: A Walk through England," won the inaugural Wainwright Prize for Best Nature and Travel Writing 2014.

The event will be the 2015 Ginette Harrison Memorial Lecture

Last Man Walking: Australian Desert Exploration

Andrew Harper - 21/10/2015 19:30

Andrew's lecture is centred on the extensive desert sections of his 4,600 km solo walk across Australia along the Tropic of Capricorn, a crossing that involved traversing the Pilbara, and Little Sandy, Gibson and Simpson Deserts - collectively one of the world's great arid wildernesses. He relates this journey and his subsequent explorations to the providence of the grand 19th Century desert expeditions. In 2002 with colleague Kieran Kelly, he embarked on the 720 km Tanami Expedition, to join the historical routes of two of Australia's greatest land navigators Augustus Gregory and John Stuart. The historical challenge for their expedition was to connect Gregory's failed attempt in 1856 to cross the Tanami from the west with Stuart's unsuccessful attempt in 1860 to cross from the east, as separately they tried to discover the location of the great inland sea. Andrew draws on his knowledge for exploration history to contend that essentially true desert exploration methodology has changed little in 150 years.

Reel Rock Tour 10

Reel Rock Tour - 28/10/2015 19:30

The final line-up for the 2015 tour has just been confirmed. We'll be showing 'A Line Across the Sky' the film about Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold’s first ascent of the Fitz Traverse involving the 7 major summits of the Patagonian range; 'High and Mighty' - a film featuring Daniel Woods about highball bouldering; 'Showdown at Horseshoe Hell; about the 24 Hours annual endurance rock climbing competition; a Tribute to Dean Potter, the free climber, alpinist, BASE jumper and highliner who died recently in a wingsuit accident in Yosemite; and a teaser for the film of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson's stunning ascent of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan.