Who's speaking at #AAF22?
An all-star line up of incredible adventurers and industry experts!
With early bird tickets ending in just two weeks we thought we should run through the line up again for The Armchair Adventure Festival 2022! So here's who to expect! And if you haven't bought those tickets yet - do it now here! Prices go up from £99 to £119 for a weekend festival pass from June 1st.
The speaker line up...
John Hudson - John is the UK military’s chief survival instructor, designing and implementing the training of instructors in Land, Sea, and Extreme Environment Survival. He has penned the joint services survival training manual, revised the RAF’s aide memoir found in all military aircraft survival packs and advised on the UK’s SERE (Survive Evade Resist Extract) training film, watched by all service personnel before deployment overseas. John has been a resident expert on two series of Discovery’s “Dude, You’re Screwed’ (‘Survive That’ in the UK), putting his expertise to the test in some of the planet’s most demanding environments. Amongst others, John has survived the elements in Asian and Central American jungles, the Arctic Circle and the high altitudes of the Atacama Desert. John also appeared in Ed Stafford's latest TV series First Man Out, which aired on Discovery UK, USA and internationally in 2019. He also regularly works as a survival consultant on TV development projects.
Belinda Kirk - Belinda is an explorer, author, speaker, and the leading voice promoting the benefits of adventure on wellbeing. Belinda has led numerous expeditions, biological research missions, and remote filming trips for the BBC. She has walked across Nicaragua, searched for camels in China’s Desert of Death, discovered ancient rock paintings in Lesotho, pioneered inclusive expeditions for people with disabilities, and gained a Guinness World Record for rowing unsupported around Britain.
Conrad Humphreys - Conrad is a triple round the world yachtsman. He competed as the youngest entrant in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race. he led his team to victory in the BT Global Challenge and became the fifth British yachtsman in history to complete the legendary Vendée Globe, single-handed, non-stop around the world. Most recently Conrad sailed 4,000 miles across open ocean in a recreation of Captain Blight's epic story of survival, Mutiny on the Bounty, for Channel 4.
Elspeth Beard - Elspeth is a motorcyclist and award-winning architect. In 1982, at the age of just twenty-three, Elspeth set off on a 35,000 mile solo adventure around the world on her 1974 BMW R60/6, and became one of the first women to motorcycle around the world. Her book 'Lone Rider' is one of the most well known, motorcycle adventure travel books around and is a truly captivating read. Elspeth will be delivering a talk about her trailblazing trip at the festival and if you've not had chance to read Lone Rider before, you'll be able to pick yourself up a signed copy from Elspeth at the event!
Bruce Smart - Bruce is a former metropolitan police officer who left his role of guarding 10 Downing Street to ride his Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike around the world from 2012-2014 to keep a promise he made his mum. Following a long terminal battle with cancer, her immortal words of “Live your life” catapulted Bruce on a journey that would change his life. 74,000 miles, 54 countries and 442 days later, his voyage had only just begun and the brand ‘TeapotOne’ was born. Bruce is now a full time youtuber and podcaster, creating content around motorcycles and travel, meeting people from all walks of life to share their stories and promote his ‘Live Your Life’ ethos.
Steph Jeavons - Steph’s the first person ride a motorcycle on all seven continents while circumnavigating the globe. This whopping around the world trip took 4 years to complete and since then, she has gone on to lead the first all-female team of motorcyclists to Everest Base Camp. Impressive stuff! Steph has just launched a new book about the trip and her life in general called ‘Home By Seven’.
Chris Howard - Chris will be doing a talk about his mammoth walk around Britain, in which he walked the entire length of the coastline of mainland Britain!! We'll hear all about the adventure and how challenging it was. Chris didn't just do it for the blisters though and he will be talking about he raised a whopping £40,000+ for BBC Children in Need too! What an achievement! You'll also get to meet Chris for a group walk around the stunning coastline that the festival is located on - what a fun and rare opportunity to walk a stretch of the UK coast with a man who has walked every inch of it!
Lisa & Simon Thomas - Lisa and Simon first went out to ride around the world in May of 2003 and have since ridden an insane 500,000 miles! They’ve survived a broken neck and malaria in the Amazon, being shot at in Russia, traversed 36 deserts, and were threatened with expulsion having been wrongfully accused of kidnapping a President’s son. After 17 years on the road they've got a few stories to tell.
David Haze - David “I might have gone to prison but I’m not a criminal” David Haze aka The Nomadic Paddler will be taking to The Armchair Adventure Festival stage to tell his inspiring story of turning his life around through adventure and more specifically paddle-boarding adventures. David has transformed his life through paddle-boarding and has gone from being in prison to holding multiple paddle-boarding Guinness World Records and inspiring thousands of other people to reconnect with themselves through adventure. David will actually be joining us after a monster of a challenge this summer in which he's going for 33 Guinness World Records, in 33 countries, in 66 days!!
Tiffany Coates - Tiffany is probably the world’s foremost female motorcycle traveller having ridden over 300,000 miles, crossing every continent, some of them several times. Tiffany not only has an international reputation as a traveller, but she is also a highly qualified and experienced self-defence tutor. She’s taught classes all over the world with a focus on inspiring and enabling others to travel.\
The Sidecar Guys - Armchair Adventure Festival hosts and founders, Matt and Reece, hold the unique Guinness World Record for the longest ever journey by scooter and sidecar. In total, they travelled 34,000 miles through 35 countries and 5 continents all by scooter and sidecar.
Roseann and Jonathan Hanson - Roseann and Jonathan are overlanders who for over 35 years have worked as journalists, conservationists, and expedition leaders all over the world—from Alaska to Ushuaia, Africa coast-to-coast, all six Australian states, and a bit of Europe and a corner of Asia. They are the founders and former owners of the Overland Expo, the world's premiere overland and adventure travel event.
Chris Scott - Better know for his Saharan adventures and overland guidebooks, travel writer Chris has also cut himself a niche as a packboat know-all, specifically inflatable kayaks and packrafts. Easily transportable or even portable, Chris has paddled in a dozen countries from New Zealand to the Australian outback as well as Iceland and the Scottish Highlands. In the last year he’s also produced two packboat guides for Fernhurst Books.
Vix Hill-Ryder - Vix is the founder of The Family Foraging Kitchen. She was due to join us at the last festival but sadly couldn't make it due to Covid but she'll be here this year taking people on an incredible foraging journey! The Family Foraging Kitchen was set up in 2013 to teach people the skills to find free food. They don’t just teach people the skills to find free food, but how to turn it into easy and healthy meals for the family. Join Vix for this incredible session discovering the wild edibles of September.
Richard Pyshorn - Richard is the Managing Director of Survival Wisdom, a Cornish based Survival and Resilience training organisation. He spent 30 years as a Force Protection specialist in the UK Armed Forces; specialising in protection of high value assets in threat environments around the world. Having experience of 10 operational tours of duty, he has survived in environments from the Middle East to Central American jungles; having completed some of the most arduous and toughest courses within the British military. Richard has been a trainer for 30 years and is qualified in numerous areas such as NEBOSH General Tech, IOSH Managing Safely, Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 7, ILM Level 5 in Coaching for Management. Along with many operational awards and citations and in recognition of a very full and rewarding career, he was asked to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2013.
Kim and Robin Grigsby - Kim and Robin have had a travel obsession since the pair met in 2004. Since then, they've worked their way up to a full on expedition vehicle, a Defender 110. In that vehicle they've, so far, visited 52 countries, 4 continents, 3 Oceans, 8 seas and a lot of pubs! Their last trip was 100,000 miles and over 2 years living in the Defender. They know almost all there is to know about International Overlanding and it won't be just them joining us, so will the iconic Defender!
Toby Savage - It had long been the ambition of Toby a few likeminded friends, to drive a pair of old jeeps through the desert retracing the routes used by The Long Range Desert Group in World War Two. Over a few beers, back in 2008, a pact was agreed and a plan put in place. Financial difficulties, the Arab Spring and seemingly endless Egyptian bureaucracy did their best to hamper the plan, but in April 2012 they achieved their goal and drove over 1000 miles through the Sahara Desert, as far south as the The Gilf Kebir, just north of the Sudanese border and then back through The Great Sand Sea - a range of dunes as big as England!
Stephen Marsh - Stephen has been lucky enough to have lectured on cruises about wildlife as a hobby for 15 years, spending a spent a lot of time at sea, traveling the globe and sharing his enthusiasm for his chosen topic both out on deck and on land as a wildlife guide and as a speaker. His journeys around Africa, the Antipodes, South, Central and North America, the Caribbean, Iceland and Norway as well as those closer to home have resulted in a bulging hard drive full of wildlife photos. In this talk he'll share some of the best photos and worst experiences from his travels and as well as a plethora of wildlife factoids, he will throw in some non-technical wildlife photography tips. Marine and terrestrial mammals, birds, reptiles and insects will all feature in this whistlestop tour of some of the best places to see wildlife around the world.
Guy Marot - Guy was the Programme Manager for the Demining Programme Office (DPO) in the Falklands Islands and was responsible for “signing-off” all 123 mined or suspect areas cleared. Guy served for 26 years in the British Army, within the Corps of Royal Engineers, in a wide variety of roles but with the majority in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and IED Search. He had operational tours in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Iraq with many other emergency deployments such as commanding the Joint Service Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment in the Falklands in 1988.
Since leaving the Army he has undertaken numerous and varied projects in the humanitarian, commercial demining and UXO clearance industries. He was the Project Manager for the clearance of part of the last minefields left in Europe from WW2. In 2011, he was the local Head of the Weapon Contamination Unit (WeC) for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) during their deployed operations in Libya throughout the Revolution period. He headed up the ICRC WeC response to a major ammunition accident in the Republic of Congo in 2012. In early 2014 he was again the ICRC WeC Coordinator for operations in response to the outbreak of hostilities in South Sudan. He is now enjoying the occasional consultancy project between bouts of house renovating in Somerset while contemplating yet another adventure.
With still more speakers to be released we hope you agree it's one hell of a line up!
You can meet all of these incredible people in person from 22nd -25th September at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. Just grab your early bird camping pass here, prices go up to £119 from £99 from June 1st.