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.

Tickets on sale in September!

Featured Speaker

Sir Chris Bonington (c) Robert Wilson

Chris Bonington CVO, CBE, DL

Chris, the mountaineer, writer, photographer and lecturer, started climbing at the age of 16 in 1951. It has been his passion ever since. He made the first British ascent of the North Wall of the Eiger and led the expedition that made the first ascent of The South Face of Annapurna, the biggest and most difficult climb in the Himalaya at the time. He went on to lead the successful expedition making the first ascent of the South West Face of Everest in 1975 and then reached the summit of Everest himself in 1985 with a Norwegian expedition. He is still active in the mountains climbing with the same enthusiasm as he had at the beginning. He has written 17 books, fronted numerous television programmes and has lectured to the public and corporate audiences all over the world. He received a knighthood in 1996 for services to mountaineering, was president of the Council for National Parks for 8 years and is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Berghaus.

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


Coming Up Next...

Riding High In South America

Anna McNuff - 03/10/2018 19:30

In October 2016, Anna began a journey to cycle along the spine of the largest mountain range in the world: The Andes. By the time she returned home to the UK in May 2017 she had pedalled through some of South America’s most remote and inhospitable regions, through Bolivia, Chile and Argentina and ascended over 100,000 metres on a bike - more than eleven times the height of Everest. Saddle up and join Anna (and her bike called Bernard) for a return journey to the Andes, from the comfort of your adventure armchair.

Journeys in a Biplane – ‘Following the Female Pioneers of the Air’

Tracey Curtis-Taylor - 17/10/2018 19:30

Flying old aeroplanes fostered an interest in the early pioneers and the record-making solo flights of the inter-war period. In 2012 Tracey commissioned the restoration of a 1942 Boeing Stearman for the purpose of re-tracing Lady Heath's flight from Cape Town to England in 1928. Accompanied by a support aircraft and film crew, a documentary called 'The Aviatrix' was made of Tracey's flight in 2013 and was screened by the BBC. This was the forgotten story of Mary Heath, one of the most outstanding pilots of the late 1920's and the first person to fly solo from the Cape of South Africa in a light aircraft.

Continuing with this theme of celebrating the achievements of the female pioneers, in 2015 Tracey followed the route of Amy Johnson's solo flight to Australia which was another world first in 1930. In 2016 Tracey flew across America following the historic airmail route from west coast to east coast which took a second attempt a year later after she crashed in the Arizona Desert with an engine failure. Another documentary about Tracey's flying adventures and the pioneering story is in the final stages of completion.

Tracey's talk is about the story in history and the contribution that these remarkable women made to aviation; the universal dream of flight, and what it's like to fly a vintage aeroplane across five continents in the modern age.

Flight of the Swans

Sacha Dench - 31/10/2018 19:30

Synopsis: Recently, Sacha has become known for the award winning ‘Flight of the Swans’ expedition where she followed the migration of the endangered wild Bewick swans 7,000 km through 11 countries from Arctic Russia to the UK. To enable her to do this, she overcame a fear of flight to fly a paramotor (hanging from a piece of cloth by strings with a big fan on her back). En route her mission was to speak to people – from nomads to farmers and politicians - and find out why so many swans were being lost. The project generated huge amounts of media attention, debate, and a wide range of practical wins for conservation. She is the first woman in over 50 years to be awarded the Britannia Trophy for this feat of aviation.