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

Paula McGuire

Trier, speaker, author and, some days, trainee astronaut, Paula McGuire is the world’s least likely adventurer, with the world’s most inspiring adventure story.

For thirty years Paula lived under a rock, somewhere on the outskirts of every social situation, suffering crippling anxiety that would eventually rob her of even the most basic freedoms. Adventure became Paula’s personal therapy in 2012, when she became Paula Must Try Harder, trying the 17 Commonwealth sports, exposing her to constant risk and enabling her to fight her way back into the world.

Ever since, Paula has terrified herself daily in the name of recovery, challenging herself to wild exploits and encouraging others to allow a little fear into their days. From life modelling and flying a jet to going shopping on her own, Paula’s adventures have covered the bizarre and the banal, and demonstrate the importance of risk-taking for a healthy – and adventurous – life.

In April 2018, Paula will take on her biggest challenge yet, as she attempts to become the first person ever to swim around the entire coast of mainland Britain.

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


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Coming Up Next...

Choose Your Own Adventure

Paula McGuire - 21/02/2018 19:30

Adventure: it’s not a word we use too loosely. It’s one we use not quite loosely enough.

When you struggle to leave your house, and the telephone ringing is enough to top out your heart rate, you don’t have to go far for an adrenaline rush. Fear is everywhere – but so is the potential for adventure.

Battling her way out of debilitating social anxiety, Paula learned to embrace terror as she rejoined the world at high speed, and proved that adventure is everywhere, everyday and for everyone.

Climb far away mountains, if you fancy. Trek the world, if that’s your thing. But if you believe that adventure is only out there, beyond your horizons, this lecture will undoubtedly convince you otherwise.


Four Mums in a Boat

The Yorkshire Rows: Janette Benaddi - 07/03/2018 19:30

Yorkshire Rows is a team of four formidable mums from Yorkshire who are the first women to row across the North Sea and who also hold a world record for rowing across the Atlantic. First impressions of these courageous women is that they are not professional sports women, rather they are ordinary working mums who "dared to dream". The women, all from Yorkshire, took up rowing at a local club 4 years ago. Each week after taking their children to school they would venture out onto the river Ouse and learn to row, rounded off with tea and cakes and then straight back to work in the afternoon. In January 2013 they decided to take on the herculean task of entering the world's toughest rowing race, the 3000 nautical miles from The Canaries to Antigua. It took almost 3 years to plan and prepare for the voyage. Their story is incredible, inspiring, motivating, humbling and funny. Janette is typically “Yorkshire” she tells the story with honesty and passion whilst sharing valuable life lessons and a convincing pitch that anyone no matter who you are can have an adventure. You will leave this lecture wanting to cross your own ocean


In the air

Alex Coltman - 21/03/2018 19:30

Alex has had some magical moments in and above cloud, outrunning gust fronts, flying with rain streaming down his lines and has had to throw his reserve parachute while competing in Portugal. He says he 'wants to share the addiction' and will be talking about both Cross Country flying and Competition flying. He'll be trying to explain the lure of free flight by sharing technical details, some interesting observations and talking through some of his more memorable flights - some of which lasted less than 30 minutes and some over 8 hours.

He hopes that those non-pilots in the audience leave with a better understanding of the sport and, hopefully, enough interest to give it a go.