Author Geoff Allan will take Highland Adventure Festival-goers on a photographic journey of his many travels next month.
He will tell them of his travels across the Highlands, sharing his unrivalled knowledge, and boundless enthusiasm for all things bothy.
Geoff is a seasoned travel writer and photographer, and author of The Scottish Bothy Bible, an award winning, best-selling guidebook which celebrates Scotland’s unique network of mountain huts.
The Scottish Bothy Bible is the first complete guide to reveal the country’s unique network of bothies. Geoff spent a great deal of time documenting his experiences as he visited over 100 bothies across Scotland, producing an invaluable guide which has already become a classic reference text.
Bothies are discrete huts in the hills, often abandoned farm cottages or crofts, kept windproof and watertight by dedicated volunteers. Freely available to all, with no booking system or wardens, many have a stove or fireplace, but provide a cosy base for expeditions into Scotland’s spectacular wilderness areas.
At the Highland Adventure Fest, Geoff will encourage attendees to explore these hidden gems, learn about their history, discover recommended routes and learn about why bothies are so great for modern day adventures.
Geoff, who lives in Edinburgh said: ‘From my very first bothy trip I was hooked. I liked the challenge of being self-sufficient in the hills without the need of a tent, and the chance to get away from it all. I spent many enjoyable years seeking out bothies as a hobby.
‘Then, in 2009, when the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) (which looks after the majority of the network) finally published the location of the bothies on their website, it occurred to me that there was the possibility of writing a guide. Prior to this, you needed to be member of the MBA to gain the whereabouts of the bothies, or figure it out by word of mouth.’
Geoff is just one of the inspirational speakers who will appear at the Highland Adventure Festival at Inverness Leisure Centre, 10am-4pm on 24 March.
Aimed at encouraging people to explore the outdoors and embark on their own adventures, the event will include compelling talks, film, over 40 exhibitors and activities.
Some of the other names revealed who are set to give ‘Adventure Talks’ on the day include Margaret Soraya, an award winning professional landscape photographer. Quiet places, solo travel, wild swimming, surfing, SUP, mindfulness through nature and a belief in following your dreams are just a few of her beliefs. Hear her story and enjoy some incredible landscape imagery, time-lapse movies and films along the way.
The Glenmore Lodge team will be sharing a series of talks about discovering adventure at home. From sea kayaking on the Moray Firth to scrambling and trail running in the rugged Highlands.
Qualified International Mountain Leader, Cory Jones will be teaching the basics of outdoor first aid so that you know ‘what to do if it all goes wrong’.
Tom Hech will introduce a film about the Cape Wrath Ultra, a once in a lifetime, 8-day expedition race weaving 400km through the Highlands of Scotland. Plus many more inspirational presentations that are sure to get you excited for your own adventures.
Exhibitors confirmed to date include Cotswold Clothing, True Grit Events, Millets, Gairloch Canoe and Kayak Centre, Ace Adventures Hideaways, Scottish Cycling North, Gael Force Group, Bowhunter Archery, Kayak Summer Isles, Hamlet Mountaineering, Torridon Outdoors, Loch Ness 360, Craggan Outdoors, Skye Highland Adventures, You Fish Scotland, Walkabout Scotland, Liquid footprints, Highland Defenders, Highland Bikes, Explore Highland, Mac and Wild, Highland Campervans, Ffordes Photographic, Mckenzie Mountaineering, New Wave Surf School, Highland Hospice Adventures, Bark and Ride Sports, Go Outdoors, Aigas Nature Days, Scottish Cycling North, Highlife Highland and Cycling UK.
Cyclists are encouraged to arrive on their wheels and join one of the short group rides happening throughout the day. Scottish Cycling North will be hosting a series of taster sessions with their #GoRide coaches. From social rides to racing; cyclocross, road, MBT or BMX, there’s a group of cyclists ready to welcome you. Or perhaps you’d like to find balance in one of the yoga taster sessions, enjoy a swim, stint on the climbing wall or book up some activities such as surfing and kayaking. There’s adventure everywhere and something for everyone.
Katie Masheter, involved in organising the event at Planit Scotland, said: ‘We’re so fortunate to be immersed in such an inspiring Highland setting, surrounded by mountains, lochs and glens that attract people from all over the world seeking Scottish adventures. Yet so many of us don’t appreciate just how amazing it is, we take it for granted. Or sometimes it can seem a little daunting, unfamiliar and without the kit it can be tricky to really get in to the activities.
‘The Highland Adventure Fest is shaping up to be a cracking event and it’s bound to trigger some real interest in the great outdoors, teach people the basic ‘need to knows’ and hopefully inspire some new adventures.’
The Highland Adventure Festival is in its first year, sponsored by Glenmore Lodge and organised by Planit Scotland. Advance tickets are available online at www.highlandadventurefest.co.uk for £4 or can be purchased on the door for £5.