Ben Fogle speaking at the Adventure Travel ShowAfter years of intending to go to the Telegraph Adventure Travel Show, I finally decided I should just stop talking about it and take the not exactly arduous step of booking the ticket and catching the coach down to London… which I ended up changing as Ben Fogle was originally scheduled to talk on Saturday but two weeks before the event I noticed that this had been rescheduled for Sunday!

So my first tip would be to keep checking the schedules if there’s a particular speaker you really want to see- there’s nothing more annoying than travelling down only to find that they are now speaking the next day! Although the web site does warn that the talks are subject to change so it is up to you to check…

The Adventure Travel Show is the only exhibition solely dedicated to adventures that are off the beaten track- including treks and epic endurance challenges- and had attracted all kinds of exhibitors, from established and well known companies such as Explore and Exodus, offering treks around the world, to companies I had not yet heard of, such as the Bear Grylls Survival Academy (very hardcore!) and Panoramic Journeys, offering tailor made trips to Mongolia, Bhutan and Burma, who had erected a traditional Mongolian Yurt in the exhibition hall.

Take a sturdy bag or three with you as you will pick up a whole forest worth of information and inspiration for future treks! I certainly did… I’m sitting here reading leaflets on the most awesome adventures such as climbing Aconcagua or Island Peak and trying desperately to work out how I can afford to go!

Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to chat to the exhibitors- they are all very passionate about what they offer and are a wealth of information for those future adventures you are planning.

Talks take place in one of four theatres- The Telegraph Adventure Theatre, which was the largest, the Incredible Journeys Theatre, the Discover Africa Theatre and the World of Adventure Theatre.

Another tip I would share is if you intend seeing a speaker who is likely to be very popular (as Ben Fogle and James Cracknell both understandably were) go in to see the speaker just before them and just stay in your seat! Even if the talk isn’t one you intended to see you may find yourself pleasantly surprised and your horizons expanded- I caught Geoff Hill’s talk on motorcycling from Chile to Alaska along the Pan-American Highway, and although motorcycling is not my thing I was spell bound by the adventures he had experienced.

The exhibition is served by two snack bars offering sandwiches, cakes, crisps, soft drinks and tea/ coffee, although I took my own sandwiches made specially for me by Mr Morrison.

There are also a couple of workshops on travel photography and travel writing which are not free and must be pre-booked (this year they were £65 each)- if this interests you for next year, take a look at the Telegraph’s site beforehand as they are likely to do a special deal for booking both seminars together.

Tickets were £10 per day at the door, but The Telegraph and many large adventure travel companies offer half price tickets when pre-booked. You either buy a 1 day ticket, which can be used Saturday or Sunday, or a two day ticket.

The exhibition is held at Olympia, and is easy to get to. I walked from London Victoria but if you are a normal person the tube will get you there much quicker- you need the Kensington (Olympia) stop on the London Overground- one stop from Shepherd’s Bush on the Central Line or West Brompton on the District Line.

So, I’ll maybe see you there next year- just come with an empty bucket list and expect to have it well and truly filled by the end of the day!

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