Tuesday, 26 January 2010

What's On in London - Travel Shows

It may be Awards Season in Hollywood, but here in London the Travel Show Season is about to kick off. So if you're in the mood for hanging out with other travellers, getting inspiration for that next trip or just seeing what's out there, read on.

"A one-stop shop for anyone planning an off-the-beaten-track travel adventure"

Where: Royal Horticultural Halls, Victoria, London
When: Fri Jan 29th - Sun Jan 31st
Prices: £6 in advance/£10 on the door (under 16s go free)

After an absence in 2009, Adventure Travel is back with a new home, new sponsors and a new programme. Highlights include:
The emphasis is on off-the-beaten track travel with a good mix of tour operators, gear manufacturers and publishers. So can Adventure Travel put itself back on the map in 2010?

For the tired exhibitors and the foot-sore visitors, it's only 4 sleeps from Adventure Travel until the next show:

"Where in the world do you want to go next...?"

Where: Earls Court, London
When: Thurs Feb 4th - Sun Feb 7th
Prices: £10 in advance (£5 late-night Thurs after 5pm)/£12 on the door (under 12s go free)

The matriarch of the travel show clan, Destinations pulls them through the doors every year. The format and the show itself are comfortably predictable, but no less interesting for it.

Destinations is divided into 8 "zones" (7 geographical, plus 1 for Adventure Travel). It's worth getting a map (thoughtfully provided by The Times, who sponsor the show) and sitting down with a cup of coffee to work out where you want to go and who you'd like to see.

Here's a snapshot of what's on:
  • Wanderlust's Travel Photographer of the Year exhibition
  • Meet the Experts theatre. Talks range from Going Solo to Travel Writing to Career Breaks to Sustainable Travel to "In conversation with..." chats with adventurers and explorers.
  • World Entertainment Stage with performances from around the world
(Helpful hint: talks are VERY popular, so get to the theatre early to avoid disappointment)

It's a big show, so allow a decent amount of time. Late night Thurs can be fun, but by Sun pm everybody is usually a bit tired...

Destinations moves to Birmingham on March 5-7th.

If that's whetted your appetite, then you'll want to come along to the 2nd Annual Travellers Tales Festival at the Royal Geographical Society in London on Feb 19th-21st. Come back soon for more details on this!

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