telegraph outdoor showWe spent the weekend in London with some good friends attending the Telegraph Outdoor Adventure and Travel Show at Excel. It was our first visit to the show and we had a brilliant time.

The show is a good mix of exhibitors selling their wares, activities, talks from adventurers and strategically placed bars.

It was clearly right up our street and we completely immersed ourselves in it for the entire day.

The exhibitors catered for a wide range of tastes – you could buy a new set of crampons at one, turn the corner and sign up for the Gurkha Trail Walker challenge at another before stocking up on Snowdonia cheese at another.

In addition to this were exhibitors promoting various parts of the UK and assorted areas and activities around the globe.

Amy asked if it might be something that Go Cotswolds would exhibit at in years to come but – having thought about it – I think we’re probably a bit niche to be exhibiting at such a broad show.

However, should Shakespeare’s England or The Cotswolds DMO* choose to attend then it’s something I’d certainly consider supporting them in as it’s a good platform for publicising the variety of outdoor offerings available in the respective areas.

Me (in the GB top) watching Sean Conway as captured by the official Telegraph Outdoors Show Twitter feed

Me (in the GB top) watching Sean Conway as captured by the official Telegraph Outdoors Show Twitter feed

The event speakers were the undoubted highlight of the show though. We got to see five (and they’re all worth a follow if you’re on Twitter – see links below):

Luke Waterson (@BritInSlovakia) – a traveller and Lonley Planet writer who talked about his travels off the beaten track in Amazonia.

Brian Newham (@coldestjourney) – member of the Coldest Journey team that attempted the first ever winter crossing of Antarctica in 2013.

Vladimir Donkov (@Verticalshot) – Bulgarian photographer who spent 60 days alone in Greenland.

Sean Conway (@Conway_Sean) – sports a wonderful ginger beard and is the only person to swim the length of Great Britain.

Tobias Mews (@TobiasMews) – journalist enlisted to take part in pretty much every endurance race in the world ranging from the Marathon des Sables (five & a half marathons in 6 days) to the Marathon du Medoc (a marathon where you visit 60 Châteauxs and drink 20 glasses of wine en route)

They were all really entertaining, inspiring and optimised the spirit of adventure. They also made my own personal travels look pretty insignificant!

What I found interesting with them all was that they faced unexpected challenges either leading up to or during their respective trips be it financial, physical, mental or logistical but all had the determination to see them through.

A positive and inspiring outlook that really struck a chord with all of us.

The show cost £14 to enter and at just under £3 per speaker that alone represented excellent value for money.

The only minor niggles for us were the extortionate prices of the food and beer and the fact you had to buy a copy of the Daily Telegraph for £2 to get hard copy of the show guide (something we declined to do as lugging an enormous newspaper around with us all day from the minute we walked in was not something that greatly appealed to us!)

But it was an excellent day and I’ll be massively surprised if we’re not in attendance next year.

Twitter handles

Gurkha Trailwalker 2014 –
Snowdonia Cheese –
Marathon des Sables –
Marathon du Medoc –
Luke Waterson –
Brian Newham –
Sean Conway –
Tobias Mews –
Vladimir Donkov –
Telegraph Outdoor Show –
Shakespeare’s England –
The Cotswolds –

*Destination Management Organisation