Stanfords Travel Writers Festival Line-Up

An incredible line up of authors, TV presenters, journalists and adventurers will share their travel memories and expert advice at the 2017 show. The brand new line-up for the Destinations Show 2017 includes Broadcaster & Actor Michael Palin, TV Presenter & Author Simon Reeve, Author & Film Maker Levison Wood and many more.

See the full list of speakers at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival below.

For the full 2017 timetable please click here.

Entry to all the sessions at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival are included in the show ticket price, which can be purchased on-the-door for £15.


"Michael Palin is not a nice man at all. He’s an ill-tempered lout who sits in bed all day eating fudge. When he can be bothered to make the effort he writes novels, does television documentaries, goes on one-man theatre tours, publishes diaries, writes screenplays, does a bit of acting, makes radio appearances, records narration for the Clangers, drinks strong coffee and works for Monty Python. But that’s about all."


After his talk Michael will be signing copies of his books at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.

TV presenter and author Simon Reeve returns to Stanfords Travel Writers Festival to share tales from more than 110 countries he has travelled to making programmes for the BBC. They include Indian Ocean, Australia, Tropic of Capricorn, Pilgrimage, Sacred Rivers and his latest series Ireland

Simon is a New York Times bestselling author who has written or contributed to numerous books on modern history, travel and international terrorism, including The New Jackals, the first book in the world on Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and One Day in September, which is also an Oscar-winning documentary movie. He has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award and the prestigious 2012 Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society. 

Simon will be signing copies of Tropic of Capricorn and One Day in September at the ‘Signings at Stanfords’ stand after his event.

Levison Wood is a full time explorer and writer. Having spent ten years in the British Army and led expeditions on five continents, he is more than qualified to attempt this feat. He has travelled in over 80 countries and spent a number of years living in the wilds of Africa and Asia. As a photographer and journalist he specialises in documenting people and cultures in remote regions and post-conflict zones. He has worked with various regional and national government departments in promoting access in developing economies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and International Fellow of the Explorers Club.


Following the success of his previous books turned documentary series, Walking the Nile and Walking the Himalayas, his latest book Walking the Americas follows him as he trek 1700 miles along the spine of the Americas from Mexico to Colombia. Levison will be talking about his experiences and his most recent expedition, before signing copies of his new book, Walking the Americas, at the ‘Signings at Stanfords’ stand after his event.

John Simpson is the BBC's World Affairs Editor, and has twice been the Royal Television Society’s Journalist of the Year. He has also won three BAFTAs, including the Richard Dimbleby Award in 1991 and the News and Current Affairs award in 2000 for his coverage of the Kosovo conflict. Join him as he discusses his remarkable life and career.  He has written four bestselling volumes of autobiography, Strange Places, Questionable People, A Mad World, My Masters, News from No Man’s Land and, more recently, Not Quite World's End and We Chose to Speak of War and Strife.

After the talk, John will be signing copies of We Chose to Speak of War and Strife and his other books at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand. 

Nick Crane is the author of eleven books (and co-author of another two).  In recent years, he has become best known for his work on BBC television, presenting the BAFTA-winning BBC2 TV series Coast, Map Man, Great British Journeys, Nicholas Crane’s Britannia and Town  - a BBC / Open University co-production. Since 2004, Nick has been the lead presenter on more than 80 BBC films. The first series of Coast, during which Nick circumnavigated the UK, became a breakout hit for the BBC, with audience figures topping 5 million. Nick is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society and a member of The Royal Society of Literature. In his latest book The Making of the British Landscape, Nicholas Crane presents a fresh view of Britain, explores the deeply rooted story of how we have shaped our habitat and how it has shaped us over 12 millennia, told with pace and flair, taking into account the twin drivers of climate change and population growth. 


After his talk Nicholas will be signing copiesof The Making of the British Landscape and his other books at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.

Colin Thubron has spent a lifetime writing about, and travelling in, Asia.  His early books were explorations of the Middle East, but later he was drawn to the lands which he says his generation was brought up to fear: the Soviet Union and Communist China. His classic travel books – including Among the Russians, Behind the Wall, In Siberia, Shadow of the Silk Road –bring to life their  regions’ histories and landscapes, and the feelings of ordinary people. He has won many prizes and awards, and is currently President of the Royal Society of Literature.


After his talk, Colin will be signing copies of his latest novel Night of Fire and his other books at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.

Sarah Outen is a British adventurer, motivational speaker and author. In November 2015 Sarah completed her London2London: Via the World expedition, which saw her attempt to kayak, cycle and row 25,000 miles around the Northern Hemisphere. Her aim was simple: to circle the globe entirely under her own steam – cycling, kayaking and rowing across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, the Atlantic and eventually home.The journey took 4.5 years and did not turn out exactly as it had been planned. Sarah’s latest book Dare to Do about her London2London expedition is not only an adventure story, but a story about the raw power of nature, about trying and failing and of discovering your inner strength. 


Sarah will be signing copies of Dare to Do at the ‘Signings at Stanfords’ stand after her event.

The presenter of all 1700 editions of "Between the Lines,” the unique daily author interview programme that helped Oneword Radio win two Sony Gold Awards, Paul Blezard has been the books reviewer on BBC Radio 2’s The Green Room with Mariella Frostrup, appeared frequently on BBC Radio 4 and was the literary editor of The Lady magazine. 

Blowfish is the world’s only heavy metal marine biologist, who presents regularly on This Morning and Sunday Brunch . Teamed up with his two fishing buddies Charlie and Jay, the three of them have a mission: to catch the uncatchable in the most entertaining and bizarre ways possible. Hatching plans for the weirdest, most extreme fishing trips imaginable, they head to ten fantastic destinations around the world. Hailing from Yorkshire, Cornwall and Surrey, these three lads combine fishing expertise with survival skills and a wicked sense of humour to make a killer team.


Join Blowfish as he talks about the 10-part series Fishing Impossible and takes you on a journey around the world to see marine life at its most exotic and extraordinary.


John Carter is one of the UK’s best known travel journalists and presenters, having worked for nearly thirty years on programmes such as ITV’s Wish You Were Here…? and the BBC’s Holiday. He has travelled the world for over half a century on behalf of newspapers, magazines, radio and television programmes in a professional life that has been crammed with incidents and encounters, many of which never made it to the printed page or television screen. Now, for the first time, in  Gullible's Travels, he is lifting the lid on the stories that never made it to screen or press, including behind-the-scenes mishaps and uncomfortable encounters with famous names. This collection includes tales from being savaged by a duck at the Pamplona bull-running festival to downing vodka with Walter Kissinger and being thrown out of a Moroccan Royal wedding for photographing the King's mistress…


John Carter will be signing copies of his book after his event at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.