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 available from Stanfords' Bristol shop and their online store. Click our ticket office link

tickets available now

Featured Speaker

Stephen Venables

Steve Venables (c) S. Venables

Stephen Venables is one of our best known mountaineers and was the first Briton to climb Everest without supplementary oxygen and his new route up the huge Kangshung Face was one of many pioneering climbs around the world. He has published twelve books, the first of which, Painted Mountains, won the prestigious Boardman Tasker prize. He also lectures all over the world, always trying to combine tours with some opportunistic rock climbing or skiing. Most of his recent expeditions have been to the Southern Ocean, sailing on Pelagic Australis to South Georgia and Antarctica. Steve is an old friend of Wilderness Lectures and has appeared for us on a number of occasions, usually selling out every seat - be warned!


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coming up next

The Limbless Mountaineer

Jamie Andrew O.B.E. - 10/12/2014 19:30

Jamie Andrew's story is quite simply one of the most gripping and inspiring you will encounter. In January 1999 mountaineer Jamie Andrew and a climbing partner were trapped for five nights on the storm-bound icy summit of a French mountain. The rescue, which was one of the most dramatic in the history of the Alps, came only hours too late to save his partner. Despite suffering hypothermia and appalling frostbite, Jamie survived. Days later all four of his hands and feet were amputated.

For many this fate would have meant the end of all hope, but not for Jamie. Since losing his hands and feet Jamie has achieved some incredible feats. He has learned to walk again, taken up skiing, run marathons and iron-man triathlons, and remarkably, returned to climb once more in the mountains that he loves so much. Jamie's story, recounted with honesty and passion, is nothing short of incredible.

Britain's Secret Islands

Stewart McPherson - 07/01/2015 19:30

The fourteen UK Overseas Territories are Britain's secret wildlife treasure-troves. From remote desert islands to Antarctic wastelands, tropical ocean volcanoes to distant coral reefs and atolls, the territories collectively comprise an area seven times the size of the British Isles and have twenty times the biodiversity of mainland Britain. They are connected to many of the most important characters in British history (Charles Darwin, Ernest Shackleton, William Bligh), and are home to over a quarter of a million British people… Yet few in mainland Britain know that they exist or are connected to our country. Up to now, no one in history has ever visited all fourteen territories, or filmed the extraordinary wildlife that they harbour.

Scattered across the seven seas, the territories are the remnants of the British Empire, but they are often misunderstood today. They are the exact opposite of colonies – mostly self-governing states that democratically chose to remain under British sovereignty instead of independence. They are globally important wildlife centres home to thousands of unique species, as well as many of the world's largest populations of penguins, seals, albatrosses, sea turtles, tropical sea birds and land crabs. But the territories and their unique wildlife are lands under critical threat – exploding volcanoes, devastating hurricanes, declining rainforests, rising coral seas, melting Antarctic ice, retreating glaciers and invasive exotic “alien” species are issues not normally associated with protecting British environments; but across the territories, fighting these and other challenges is a race against time.

In this lecture, Stewart McPherson recounts his travels over the last three years to visit all of the UK Overseas Territories to film their extraordinary wildlife and conservation stories to complete a 4 part wildlife documentary series and accompanying book. Through this account, we discover Britain's greatest natural history heritage, and hear Stewart's personal experiences traveling to many of the most remote inhabited islands on earth, and filming some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife found anywhere on earth.

Back in the USSR: Heroic Adventures in Transnistria

Rory MacLean - 21/01/2015 19:30

Ian Fleming could not have imagined a better place to set his latest thriller: an upstart mini-state at the edge of Europe which looks to Lenin and Stalin for leadership, with a Facebook-savvy Cheryl Cole-lookalike foreign minister, a breathtakingly wealthy football club founded by KGB officers, and a retired general with private zoo and free-roaming anaconda. Is this wild and wacky Cold War fiction? No, it's real, modern day Transnistria. Join Rory as he recounts his and photographer Nick Danziger's remarkable journey to this unrecognised nowhereland — and learn how to hunt wild boar with AK47s.