DISCOVER OUR 2024 UK TOUR SPEAKERS

Athletes, explorers, adventurers and more

These are some of the exciting speakers (Headline Speakers and Community Groups) you'll get to hear from on our UK Tour. More names coming soon...

Headline Speakers

Laura Massey-Pugh & Stevie Massey

Kendal - 7th February + York - 11th April

Kicking off the Tour are the fastest round-the-world tandem cyclists Stevie Massey and Laura Massey-Pugh. On 5th June 2022 husband and wife, Stevie and Laura set off from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on a round-the-world adventure on a bicycle made for two! 180 days later, and after battling monsoons, sickness, border closures and motorcycle collisions they arrived back where they started and set a new mixed tandem circumnavigation Guinness World Record.

Leo Houlding

Sunderland - 8th February + Chester - 27th February

We're excited to welcome climbing legend and our Festival Patron, Leo Houlding, on Tour. Over three decades, Leo has led landmark expeditions around the globe. From rocky outcrops in England to the ends of the Earth; if it’s steep, adventurous and extreme, that’s where you’ll find him. Leo will be sharing his epic life stories as well delving into the untold tales behind The Asgard Project, his expedition to make the first free ascent of the North Face of the incredible Mt Asgard on Baffin Island deep in the Arctic. Hear tales from Leo’s first ascents in all seven continents including camping on the world’s tallest cliffs, skydiving in the Arctic, leading teams to climb giant walls deep in the Amazon, as well as taking his two children around the world on epic climbing adventures!

Becca Harvey

Alnwick - 9th February

Extreme ice swimmer Becca Harvey joins us on Tour in Alnwick. After a three-year delay Becca conquered an ice mile swim in Loch Insh, Scotland - chasing those lower temperatures in the cooling winter, pushing the distance and her body to its limit. In a fascinating and empowering discussion Becca will delve into the challenge of swimming an Ice Mile, the suffering that goes into training, the beauty of swimming, and the relationship swimming has to solitude and community.

Louis Hall

Penrith - 15th February + Cambridge - 14th March

Horseback adventurer and trail setter Louis Hall joins us in Penrith and Cambridge. Aged 18, Louis first discovered the power of the horse while in search of a tribe in northern Mongolia. Since then he has gone on to ride the length of the UK and across Europe in aid of charitable causes. In 2022 Louis created the first conclusive horse trail across the Ligurian Alps, on his way from Siena, Italy to Cape Finisterre in Spain. He now has his eyes set on America and the Silk Road. In 2020 Louis founded The Big Hoof - a charity promoting adventure and wellbeing through long distance rides. So far, his charity has travelled over 4000 km in 5 different countries, raising over £70,000 for causes centred on mental health, wellbeing and child welfare.

Olly Pemberton

Bristol - 22nd February + Oxford - 23rd February

Olly Pemberton is an award-winning director and filmmaker with over a decade of experience filming and operating in wild and remote locations across our planet. Through film and photography Olly strives to harness the stories connected to our wild places. He is passionate about placing a spotlight on individuals and organisations that are deeply intertwined with our natural world, and empowering those who might not otherwise have a voice within it. His latest documentary with Aldo Kane and Exodus Travels, follows the lives of the legendary Bayei polers across the entire length of the Okavango Delta. Olly has also recently returned from filming and directing Season 2 of Beneath the Baobab with Gordon Buchanan documenting the complexities and potential solutions of human/wildlife conflict in rural Southern Africa.

Louise Minchin

Caernarfon - 28th February + Kendal 15th May

Having worked on BBC breakfast for over 20 years, Louise Minchin noticed something… all the adventurers she interviewed were men. Driven to bring more attention to female stories of courage and endeavour, Louise pushed herself to the extreme and embarked on thrilling endurance adventures around the globe with trailblazing women. Louise jons us on Tour to tell the stories of the women who are breaking down barriers, smashing records and challenging stereotypes, as well as her incredible adventures freediving under the ice in the dark in Finland, swimming in the shark infested waters around Alcatraz and cycling across Argentina.

Lee Craigie

Banchory - 9th March

Lee Craigie - mountain bike adventurer and racer, author, outdoor therapist, campaigner for active travel, and champion for women in the outdoors - joins us in Banchory. Lee is one of Scotland’s great bike racers competing internationally in cross-country mountain biking at both the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. In 2016 she became the UK 24-hour MTB champion. After retiring from full-time racing, Lee went on to set records on several self-supported bikepacking races at home and abroad. In 2016, she launched The Adventure Syndicate to offer an alternative female sporting role model. Between 2018 and 2022 she was Scotland’s Active Nation Commissioner.

Jamie Aarons

Edinburgh - 10th March

Adventure racer and record-breaking endurance athlete Jamie Aarons joins us in Edinburgh. In summer 2023 Jamie Aarons broke the record for the fastest self-propelled continuous round of all 282 Scottish Munros, completing the round in 31 days, 10 hours and 27 minutes, beating the previous record by over 12 hours. That’s 817 miles on foot, 516 miles by road bike, 230 miles by mountain bike, 30 miles by gravel bike, and seven miles by kayak.

Ash Bhardwaj

Winchester - 4th April + London Ealing - 19th April

Ash Bhardwaj, one of the country’s top travel writers, joins us on Tour. Ash has penned articles for Condé Nast Traveller and The Times, amongst many others. His broadcast credits include the documentary series 'Expedition Borderlands with Ash Bhardwaj and Levison Wood' for Discovery. Ash's debut book, 'Why We Travel: A Journey into Human Motivation' is published in April and he will be sharing insights from this informative and highly personal new title. In it Ash explores why humans yearn to travel, why we stay motivated and driven to do so, plus what we gain from venturing out into the world. Ash has incorporated many of his own remarkable and emotive journeys into the narrative, ranging from Ukraine to Sudan, and from New Zealand to Nepal. He explores how we can all curate new experiences and make the most of our own differing passions and motivations, both in travel and in life.

Hari Budha Magar

Canterbury - 5th April

Adventurer and mountaineer, Hari Budha Magar joins us in Canterbury to share his incredible story. While serving in Afghanistan with the legendary Gurkha regiment, Hari lost his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device. After struggling to come to terms with his injuries, he wanted to make it his mission to inspire and change perceptions with regards to disability globally. In May 2023, Hari became the first ever double above-knee amputee to climb Mount Everest. He has also completed multiple record-breaking mountaineering challenges, including Ben Nevis, Mont Blanc, Kilimanjaro, Mount Toubkal, Chulu Far East and Mera Peak twice (the only amputee to do so).

Andy Berry

Sheffield - 12th April + Liverpool - 1st May

Alongside the collection of films we’ll be joined by Mountain Ultra runner and Running Coach Andy Berry. Andy will be talking about his journey from a hobby runner/plumber from the North East of England to Lake District 24 hour record holder and Lakeland 100 winner. Having had to build up slowly over time balancing being a partner, father and full time plumber on the building sites of the North East, Andy’s success shows that huge achievements at the biggest records can be achieved by anyone if they are willing to dream big and work hard.

Tristan Gooley

London Hackney - 18th April

Nature’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’, author Tristan Gooley, joins us in London. Do two trees ever appear identical? No, but why? Every small difference is a clue. Each tree we meet is filled with signs that reveal secrets about the life of that tree and the landscape we stand in. The clues are easy to spot when you know what to look for, but remain invisible to most people. Tristan Gooley has been instructing people in the art of reading trees for two decades. Join Tristan on stage to discover the principles that explain the shapes and patterns you can see in trees and what they mean. Once you have learned to see the hidden patterns in trees, it is impossible to unsee them.

Preet Chandi

London Brixton - 20th April + Nottingham - 2nd May

Endurance athlete Preet Chandi, MBE, joins us on Tour. As a British Army Officer, world-record-breaking explorer, and inspirational speaker, Preet embodies the values of determination, courage, and social responsibility. Her story is not just one of personal triumph but serves as a beacon of what’s possible for all, regardless of background, gender, or colour. Preet’s many achievements include breaking two Guinness World Records in 2023, for both the longest solo unsupported one-way polar ski journey for a woman and also overall. Beyond Antarctica, Preet has conquered three 4,000m mountains, including Mont Blanc, and has participated in multiple ultramarathons, notably the 156- mile Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert. May 2023 sees the launch of her debut book (for young people) “The Explorers Guide to Going Wild: Find Adventure Anywhere”.

Yvette Tetteh

Southampton - 24th April + Brighton - 25th April

Adventure swimmer and activist Yvette Tetteh will be sharing tales of astonishing feats of human endurance both in and out of the water. Ghanaian-British agribusiness entrepreneur and athlete Yvette Tetteh is the first person to swim across the Volta River, completing the longest documented swim in Ghanaian history. Covering 450-km, Yvette conducted research and raised awareness for textile pollution alongside her support boat, The Woman Who Does Not Fear.

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

Worcester - 8th May

Award-winning travel writer Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent joins us on tour to share tales of her incredible journeys through remote regions. Her love of extreme travel has seen her trek across the Eastern Himalayas in search of Shangri-La, follow the remains of the Ho Chi Minh Trail on a tiny motorcycle and interview Naga rebel commanders high in the mountains of the Indo-Myanmar border. Her book, Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains was Shortlisted for the 2018 Stanford's Adventure Travel Book of the Year. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Royal Geographical Society's prestigious Neville Shulman Challenge Award.

Jonty Warneken

Penrith - 10th May

Jonty Warneken joins us in Penrith to share tales of his remarkable swimming achievements. Jonty has represented Team GB multiple times at the Ice Swimming World Championships and was the first para swimmer to swim the International Ice Swimming Association (IISA) Ice Mile swim. In 2022 he was a member of “Team Bits Missing”, the 1st Para relay team to swim the North Channel (from Scotland to Northern Ireland) and last year he took it one step further, becoming the first disabled person to complete the North Channel swim.

Community Groups

Mind Over Mountains

Kendal - 7th February

Mind Over Mountains is a charity offering professional mental health support through therapeutic outdoor experiences. They deliver events throughout the UK, with bursaries available to those with the most challenging lives. They believe this time in nature, coupled with professional support is a powerful way to build resilience, talk without pressure and re-find stillness.

Girls Who Walk Sunderland

Sunderland - 8th February

Girls Who Walk Sunderland is a walking group focusing on helping those in Sunderland and the surrounding North East to build connections while keeping active. They run walks, social events, charity events and more.

Earth Sea Love

Alnwick - 9th February

Earth Sea Love offers opportunities in nature for People of Colour in the North-East of England. As a social enterprise, Earth Sea Love also offers anti-racism training and education to individuals, groups and organisations within the natural environment, where difficult and challenging conversations can happen with more ease and real growth and understanding develops.

Stomping Ground

Penrith - 15th February

Stomping Ground work with communities, charities and companies in Cumbria and North Lancashire to make space for people to come together, create and play.

The Bristol Bike Project

Bristol - 22nd February

The Bristol Bike Project is a member-led co-operative repairing and rehoming bicycles within the local community. They aim to help people from all walks of life get out on two wheels and for it to be an inclusive and empowering experience.

Healing in the Outdoors

Oxford - 23rd February

Healing in the Outdoors is a collaborative project with Refugee Resource that’s creating opportunities for refugees and asylum seekers in Oxfordshire to experience the healing power of nature and build community.

Chester Frosties

Chester - 27th February

Chester Frosties is an informal, free to join, group of people who aim to swim in open water at least once a week, 52 weeks a year, regardless of the weather.

The Outdoor Partnership

Caernarfon - 28th February

The Outdoor Partnership work to support the people of Wales and other UK areas to take up outdoor activities as a life-long pursuit. Their aim is to change lives and inspire local people to become involved in outdoor activities through participation, education, volunteering, and employment to improve health, social and economic well-being.

© Kendal Mountain Tour 2022
Top