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

Col. John Blashford-Snell  (c) John Blashford-Snell

John Blashford-Snell OBE

John Blashford-Snell, one of the world’s most seasoned and legendary explorers, has organised and led over a hundred expeditions to remote corners of the globe. Fascinated by early civilizations, he has explored the sites of ancient harbours off Cyprus and Libya, discovered forgotten settlements in the jungles of South America and deep in the Kalahari and Sahara deserts. Leading the first expedition to descend the fearsome rapids of the Blue Nile in Ethiopia he developed inflatable boats that revolutionized river exploration. In 1974 he led the major exploration of the entire Congo River with giant inflatable craft. He also led the first
crossing of the complete Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia. In South America, his teams tested the theories of the late Dr Thor Heyerdahl using traditional reed boats to show how ancient people could navigate the rivers. He has carried out numerous expeditions in Guyana and done four to help the Wai Wai tribe. In Nepal John discovered giant “mammoth-like” elephants.

From 1978-1992, under the patronage of the Prince of Wales, he organised and led Operations Drake and Raleigh, involving over 10,000 young men and women in the largest youth leadership expedition ever. Today, as President of the Scientific Exploration Society, he organises expeditions for more mature people concentrating on archaeological, environmental, medical and wildlife projects. He is also President of the water charity Just a Drop which provides clean water for remote communities.

Author of fifteen books, he also finds time to work with underprivileged youngsters in Britain’s inner cities.

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


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Coming Up Next...

The 100 days of Darien

John Blashford-Snell OBE - 28/11/2018 19:30

The Pan American Highway running from Alaska to Cape Horn is broken in Panama and Colombia by the infamous Darien Gap. This is the story of how in 1972 a large international team of servicemen and scientists made the first vehicle crossing of the complete gap, carrying out important research en route. A dramatic tale of human endeavour under the most appalling conditions; JBS describes this as his 'toughest project'.


Return to Pena Colorada

Connor Roe - 12/12/2018 19:30

During the Spring of 2018, an international team of cave explorers set out to tackle a remote cave in Southern Mexico, Cueva Pena Colorada. Due to the logistical complexity of its exploration, this spectacular cave has seen less than a handful of visits since the region started to attract cavers.

The team’s primary objective was to place a series of exploration divers in the cave's final sump, something that has not been done since 1984 when the exploration involved Bristol’s Rob Parker, the late founder of the Bristol Climbing Centre. Back then, divers lack ed the advanced equipment that is available to us today and with the aid of modern diving equipment and techniques, the team connected this vast cave to the extensive Huautla system on the mountain above. With a 4km gap between the two systems, making the connection between these two magnificent caves was not an easy feat.


The Adventure Game. More Tall Tales From Filming The Extreme

Keith Partridge - 09/01/2019 19:30

Join one of the world’s most experienced extreme location filmmakers and cameraman on another journey behind the scenes. Camera in hand he has documented expeditions and adventures to some of the harshest places on earth for the past 25 years. This is story-telling with a twist, illustrated with stunning images. Filming is about fun but whether it’s ‘type 1’, ‘type 2’ or even ‘type 3’ fun is any one’s guess!