Celebrating the world's finest travel writing and travel photography


Landmark speakers

Acclaimed adventurer and film-maker. Benedict has spent the last 25 years travelling solo in the world's jungles and deserts, ranging from the Amazon basin to the Skeleton Coast to the Gobi desert. His philosophy is to immerse himself in these extreme locations, often taking part in the rituals of indigenous peoples ­– experiences which have been the subject of six television series and 10 travel books..

Acclaimed photographers of Arican tribes, Carol & Angela have ventured into the remotest parts of the great continent to photograph tribal rituals and costume, for their magisterial illustrated books Africa Adorned and African Ceremonies.

Hilarious author of bestselling travel books such as Driving Over Lemons, Chris has made his life in the remote Alpujarras mountains of Andalucia for two decades, where he impulsively bought a ruined farm. His books describe his life as a sheep-shearer and struggling smallholder in a community of incredulous peasants. Lately he has recounted his equally chaotic adventures at sea, in Three Ways To Capsize A Boat.

One of the world's top landscape photographers. Born in Scotland, Colin spent much of his early life exploring the woods and mountains near his home. These early experiences shaped his art as well as his life. Since then he has travelled over a million miles, taking award-winning pictures of some of the world’s remotest places, and become a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and a founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. But Scotland remains his home.

Among the best-loved characters in travel writing, Dervla is rarely available for public events. She is celebrated for her feisty character as well as for her 20 books – a pioneer of women’s adventurous travel, of journeys made by bicycle, and of green living. Her first book, Full Tilt: From Ireland to India with a Bicycle, was published in 1965. Now in her mid-seventies, Dervla continues to live without a computer, bathe in a stream, and travel the world, happily setting off for the remotest areas alone. She remains passionate about politics, conservation, bicycling and beer.

The world's greatest living photojournalist. Seldom seen on the lecture stage, Don's reportage photography has ranged from the streets of London to the tribes of the Ethiopia, but he is best-known for his powerful and compassionate pictures of war zones, starting with Cyprus in the 1950s, through Vietnam in the 1960s, to Ulster and Lebanon in the 1970s. He came back with some of the most famous images ever taken - and the memories to match. These days Don photographs landscapes and travel, most recently tracing the edges of the ancient Roman Empire.      

Acclaimed foreign correspondent specialising in heartfelt reports from the hardest areas of the world. Born into an Irish literary and theatrical family, Fergal made his name with powerful TV reports from the Rwandan civil war and with the tender Letter To Daniel – a meditation on fatherhood, love and loss addressed to his new-born son. His reporting has been recognised by BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and Amnesty International. His next book is When Empires Collide: the Epic Story of the Battle of Kohima.

One of the great nature photographers of our time. Frans has been a photographer-in-residence for National Geographic, and has spent over 20 years documenting wildlife and man’s relationship with nature, in environments ranging from the Amazon to the Antarctic. His evocative images have appeared in books, magazines and exhibitions around the world – including The Life Project, his lyrical interpretation of life on earth.

The grande dame of travel writing. Now in her eighties, Jan made her name as the journalist who reported the conquest of Everest, and she has travelled the world ever since. Renowned for her ability to capture places and atmospheres, she is the author of six books about cities and countries, volumes of travel essays, and A Writer's World – a collection of her travel writing and reportage from over five decades. Her Pax Britannica trilogy is a standard text on the history of the British Empire, while her most recent book, Contact!, collects a lifetime’s encounters with fascinating people.  

Writers and editors

ANDREW LYCETT is a biographer of Rudyard Kipling and a former foreign correspondent.

ANDREW SANIGAR is the editorial director of Thames and Hudson.

BARNABY ROGERSON is the founder of Eland Books, the leading publishers of classic travel writing, and a writer on Islamic history.

DANIYAL MUEENUDDIN is a Pakistani short story writer, author of In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.

DAN LINSTEAD is the editor of Wanderlust, the UK's leading independent travel magazine.

ED GRENBY is the editor of Sunday Times Travel , the top-selling UK travel magazine.

ELLAH ALLFREY is the deputy editor of literary magazine Granta.

GRAHAM BOYNTON is the travel editor of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph newspapers.

JASON GOODWIN is an acclaimed writer on Turkey, including Lords Of The Lost Horizons: A History of The Ottoman Empire.

JENNIFER BARCLAY is the editorial director of Sumersdale and a travel author.

JUSTINE HARDY is a travel writer and documentary maker who lives between London and India. Bollywood Boy, her book about the Bombay film industry, was a bestseller.

LYN HUGHES is the founder and publisher of Wanderlust magazine, a champion of independent travel.

MARTIN HARTLEY is one of the world's leading expedition photographers.

MARTIN JACQUES is the former editor of Marxism Today and an academic specialising in China.

MARTIN KIMANI is a distinguished African academic specialising in global conflict and security issues.

NEEL MUKHERJEE is an award-winning Indian novelist and contributing editor at the Boston Review.

ROBIN BAYLEY's first book is The Mango Orchard.

ROSE BARING is a director of Eland Books. 

SARAH MILLER is the editor of Conde Nast Traveller, the stylish guide to independent travel.

SIMON MAJUMDAR is a globetrotting food writer whose new book is Eating For Britain.

VESNA MARIC is a broadcaster and author noted for Bluebird, her memoir of life as a Bosnian refugee.

WILLIAM BLACKER has spent much of the past decade living in rural Romania, the subject of his book Along The Enchanted Way.

Photographers and film-makers

ANDREW NEWEY is a landscape, travel and humanitarian photographer.

FRAN HALSALL is a landscape photographer specialising in Britain.

KEITH WILSON is the editor-in-chief of Outdoor Photography magazine, and previously editor of Amateur Photographer.

OLIVIA ARTHUR is a Magnum photographer and winner of the Inge Morath Award.

PAUL HARRIS is a top travel photographer and winner of an RGS award for his pictures of tribal peoples.l.

ROGER HOOPER is a wildlife photographer and founder of Hooper's Gallery.

SIMON REEVE is a presenter of TV travel series including Tropic of Cancer, Simon has reported undercover on spies and militants, and wrote the first book on Al-Qaeda.

Other speakers

ROBIN HANBURY-TENISON is a living legend among professional explorers, Robin is also the founder of Survival International, the charity for tribal peoples.

SIMON BROUGHTON is a world music specialist and editor of Songlines magazine, with a passion for African and Islamic music. 

TRISTAN GOOLEY is an expedition leader and mountaineer, the only person to have both flown and sailed solo across the Atlantic.


"What an enjoyable Saturday that was, so entertaining and informative" – Geoff Dyer, speaker 2009
Dervla Murphy
Jan Morris
Don McCullin
Frans Lanting
Colin Prior
Chris Stewart
Fergal Keane
Benedict Allen
Steve Bloom
Robin Hanbury-Tenison
Simon Reeve
Lyn Hughes
Sara Miller
Dan Linstead
Justine Hardy
Barnaby Rogerson
Keith Wilson
Jason Goodwin
and many others

Image from 2009 festival © Paul Harris. Desert image © Steve Watkins/ Vividplanet.com