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Stanfords Travel Writers Festival Line-Up

Stanfords Travel Writers Festival

An incredible line-up of authors, TV presenters, journalists and adventurers will share their travel memories and expert advice at the 2018 show. 

The full list of speakers at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival 2018 is published below.

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.


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Stanfords is a proud supporter of Explorers against Extinction, an exciting initiative highlighting the plight faced by some of Africa’s most iconic species while raising vital funds to support the work of conservation partners like Animals Saving Animals. This organisation works alongside wildlife conservancies and National Parks in Africa to assist in the prevention of wildlife crime through providing Anti-Poaching Dogs and training.

Daryll PleasantDaryll Pleasants will be talking about the work Animals Saving Animals does on Sunday 4th February at 3pm. 

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Phoebe Smith is an award-winning travel editor, writer and author. She is editor of Wanderlust, the adventure travel magazine, and has seen her love of dramatic landscapes and wild places take her on adventures all around the world. She is author of several books championing the outdoors and wild camping. Her latest is Britain’s Best Small Hills: A Guide to Short Adventures and Wild Walks with Great Views.

Phoebe SmithPhoebe SmithPhoebe SmithPhoebe Smith will be chairing the conversation with Ash Dykes and Tobias Mews at 11am on Thursday 1st February, and part of the Travelling Solo panel at 11am on Friday 2nd February.  She will also be chairing the Wild Swimming panel on Sunday 4th February at 12noon. After all her events, Phoebe will be signing copies of her books at the at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.

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Christopher Somerville is the walking correspondent of The Times. He is one of Britain’s most respected and prolific travel writers, with thirty-six books, hundreds of newspaper articles and many TV and radio appearances to his name. In his latest book The January Man: A Year of Walking Britain he follows routes that continually bring his father to mind and travels the country describing the history, wildlife, landscapes and people he encounters, down back lanes and old paths, in rain and fair weather.

Christopher SomervilleChristopher Somerville will be on the panel talking about The Joy of Travelling Slowly on Saturday 3rd February at 3pm. After the event, Christopher will be signing copies of his book at the at the 'Signings at Stanfords' stand.

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For cities, New York never disappoints (and on the contrary, always surprises me with something fabulous and new that I never thought I'd end up doing). It's the sheer choice of places to eat, stay, neighbourhoods to wander, plus a slightly rough and ready vibe, still - and it's an incredibly friendly place to travel solo.

In terms of countries, Japan just has that 'wow' factor, really beyond anything I'd pictured. Tokyo was far more traditional and charming in places than you'd expect; the rural scenery is beautiful and unspoilt; and there are plenty of pockets where only locals holiday at present, so you can really go and immerse yourself in the culture. It's safe, people are friendly and helpful, and everything just works.

After the talk. The Sunday Times Travel Magazine Editors will be signing copies of 200 Amazing Places at the Signings at Stanfords stand.

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Julia Wheeler is an experienced journalist and interviewer who has worked for the BBC for more than 15 years, including as the BBC’s Gulf correspondent based in the Middle East between 2000 and 2010.  From Dubai, she covered news, business and sports stories for BBC Radio, TV and Online, both for Newsgathering and more in-depth programmes across the networks.

Julia wrote the award winning book ‘Telling Tales, An Oral History of Dubai’ for which she interviewed senior members of the Emirati community.