Kings Place launches first-ever travel festival, 22-23 June 2013
I am delighted to launch the first ever travel festival at Kings Place. Located by the canal and a short walk from King’s Cross and St Pancras, this is the ideal venue to think and dream of different horizons. This is a festival about travel in the widest sense of the word which is why as well as travel writers we also have a pianist, a cartoonist, a comedian, a journalist, a doctor and crime writers. They all take us on different journeys.
Much loved national treasure Michael Palin opens the festival by letting us into his notebooks and research. Over 20 speakers, from Simon Garfield to Sara Wheeler and Rosie Thomas, from Tony Hawks to Jeremy Seal lead us on a journey of the imagination from the Arctic to the Antarctic, from Angola to Anatolia.
Travel is the stuff of holidays and the festival may inspire you to adventure in a canoe (Jeremy Seal down the Meander) or on foot (Hugh Thomson along old English tracks); Steve Richards shows that politicians never seem to get it right; David Hewson, Barbara Nadel and Michael Ridpath reveal the dark side of dream destinations.
Travel takes you out of your comfort zone as Damien Brown recounts in his work with Médecins Sans Frontières. It teaches us about other cultures and ways of doing things as Jay Griffiths explores in The Riddle of the Childscape). It forms an outlet for our crazy side (as in Tony Hawks’ trip around Ireland with a fridge). It sharpens our wit (as in Martin Rowson’s much updated and adapted version of Gulliver’s Travels)
Genuine adventure can start at home, right under our feet, as Andrew Martin shows, in London’s tube.
Travel is an intoxicating experience for all the senses. Pianist Lucy Parham and narrator Henry Goodman explore the life and travels of Debussy. And the deckchair traveller can find refreshment at a guided ‘round the world’ Wine Flight and taste Cocoa Hernando exotic chocolates.
Other highlights include World Bibliotherapy with the Culture Trip, an appearance by Colin Pyle who entered the Guinness Book of Records for his motorcycle trip around China, and browsing opportunities in Stanford’s and Pereine’s pop up bookshops. If your own travels inspire you to write or blog there are Guardian masterclasses on how best to tell your story on paper or online. And there’s always the chance of a bit of farniente by the canal…