3. December 2012 09:30
He's trekked to the North and South Poles, traversed the Sahara Desert and climbed the Himalayas. But despite visiting all seven continents, there was one glaring omission on Michael Palin's visited-countries map: Brazil. So why had it slipped through the net for so long?
"I can't think how I managed to miss the fifth-biggest country in the world," Michael says, "and I wasn't really planning to do another series after New Europe. We'd done all seven continents and thought that was a fair place to stop. But then everybody started talking about Brazil, partly because the World Cup is going to be there in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, then there's the huge economic boom that has put its economy above the UK's."
Brazil was fast becoming one of the most talked-about countries in the world, but what provided the spark for the comedian-turned-explorer's latest trip, one that would inspire a book and a four-part BBC TV series? More...
26. October 2012 08:55
The backlash against digital maps is underway. Whether people are conscious of it or not, increasing numbers of us want to travel back in time to see how things were in the days before Google Maps and sat navs.
This is according to cartography enthusiast and author Simon Garfield, who visited Stanfords to sign copies of his new book On The Map; a work that explores maps' influence in our understanding of the world.
"I think there's a greater appreciation of the beauty of maps; a nostalgia for the way antique maps look," he says. "And not just maps that you hang on the wall. There's a line in the book about Stanfords, where you can buy pencils with antique maps wrapped around them. You can't use them as maps, but they're beautiful things to have."
While the significance of paper maps as primary navigation tools has eroded, Garfield believes that a great love exists for old-style maps and traditional cartography. "People are absolutely devoted to them," he explains, "not only because they help you find your way but because they're very beautiful things.
"Cartography is a great British tradition More...
22. March 2012 17:01
Jaspal Jandu is an acclaimed British photographer who travels extensively around the world in search of the perfect combination of timing and light. With a renowned passion for natural conservation, his latest release – Natural Wonders: A Panoramic Vision – presents awe-inspiring photography from over 20 of the world’s precious natural wonders.
What is your background?
Through various studies and jobs, I have been involved in and surrounded by fine art and music throughout my life. Apparently, it is often said, that playing music creates new pathways in your brain that stimulate creativity.
More formally, I majored in economics and it’s something which I still enjoy to this day. There's a great quote from Leonardo da Vinci which states that one should aim to "...study the science of art and the art of science". I guess in this vein, it's healthy keeping one part of my brain active with photography and the other with something completely More...
22. March 2012 16:10
Paddy Dillon is one of Britain’s most prolific outdoor writers, with over 30 guidebooks to his name. He has walked and written about every county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, and has hiked all 19 National Trails at least twice. His latest book, The National Trails, has just been published.
Paddy visited our stores in Bristol and London to give a fascinating slideshow and talk on the trails. He stopped for a chat with our web editor Rachel Ricks, revealing an enviable life of country walking, sunny isles and the value of a dinky, now-extinct computer…
How did it all begin – did you like hiking when you were a child?
When I was a kid, my Mum and Dad were always keen on walks in the park on a Sunday, but I was always keen to have an ice cream, and More...
22. March 2012 15:35
Ward remained silent on the events of that race, telling no one what he had been through - not Hollywood when they came knocking or even his family. After 27 years, he was finally able to lay down his story in the visceral account, Left for Dead.
He came to Stanfords to sign copies of his book and we caught up with him to talk about his life before and after the incident.
Your father introduced you to the world of sailing as a child. Why did you then fall in love with it and did you know it would play such an important role in your life?
I had no choice really because in Hamble you either played hockey or you went sailing. I did both but sailing was the major sport of mine. More...
22. March 2012 14:30
James Innes Williams went to Marrakech in the company of Travellers’ Tales, the travel writing and photography training company. Exploring the souks of the medina and the vibrant Jemaa El Fna, they then travelled up and over the High Atlas, and made in roads to the desert, all the time practising their writing and photography techniques.
At the end of the week James caught up with the three tutors, Jon Lorie the director and ex-editor of Traveller magazine; distinguished travel and history writer Anthony Sattin and the force behind the BBC Unforgettable series, photographer Steve Watkins.
Here, in the second of a series of interviews he talks with Steve Watkins.
How did you get into travel photography and what was the motivation to do it? More...
20. November 2011 17:16
Ted Simon is a British journalist turned author best known for travelling the world twice by motorcycle. Sponsored by The Sunday Times, Simon spent four years travelling the globe on a Triumph motorcycle which he later detailed in his bestseller‘Jupiter’s Travels’.
Twenty-eight years later, at the age of sixty-nine, Simon embarked on a new motorcycle adventure (this time on a BMW) following a similar route as described in his later book, ‘Dreaming of Jupiter’. Simon’s second trip took two and a half years and he discovered that much had changed in the world.
Describing his experience as a journey of self discovery on which ‘you find out what is real and what society has attached to you’; his experience has clearly had a profound impact on his life.Having given a fascinating talk in Stanfords Travel bookstore in Covent Garden, Ted Simon answered some questions for us.
How different was it doing the trip a second time around? Did you prefer either trip over the other? More...
6. July 2011 17:18
What can walking the London Underground network above-ground actually tell us about the capital city? To celebrate the release of Walk the Lines, Mark Mason's new book on London as portrayed by the mapping of its tube lines, Stanfords had a few questions to ask...
1.Walk the Lines offers the reader a different perspective on London and it’s a refreshing addition to the shelves of travel literature on the capital. What inspired you to embark on such a venture?
I’d always loved walking round London – it’s the only way to really get to know a city. (One of the reasons Los Angeles, for instance, can never really be called a city – you have to drive everywhere.) I wanted a project that would ‘capture’ the city, let me examine its appeal – I wanted to cover all of it without having to walk every street, which would clearly be impossible. Looking at the Tube map one day I realised that was the answer – walk the whole network, overground. The book relates what happened – one line per chapter, reporting what I saw and felt, plus lots of history and trivia about the areas I passed through. Also the thoughts that occurred to me as I tried to understand why people love London so much. More...
30. July 2007 15:57
Lyn Hughes and her late husband Paul Morrison launched Wanderlust magazine in 1993 having thought out the project on a flight to Ecuador. It has since gone on to become the UK's leading publication for independent travellers, and one for which Bill Bryson claimed, “There simply isn’t a better magazine for the serious traveller."
Since then the couple were also involved in the relaunch of Songlines, the world music magazine, covering everything from traditional and More...
14. July 2007 17:43
When Charlie Connelly came to Stanfords to sign copies of his hugely successful Attention All Shipping just prior to the launch of his next book, In Search of Elvis, James Innes Williams was there to catch up his latest exploits including singing Elvis songs live on Uzbek television and being pulled up for being sleazy in his first attempt at romantic fiction.
What are your fondest memories of travel from your childhood?
Not so much a memory but I’m told that the first family holiday we had, when I was really, really tiny we drove to Devon and I thought every animal was a teddy bear. So, we’d go past a few of the cows and apparently I was going, “Teddies, Teddies.” My mum reminds me every time I bring a new girlfriend home. I was always a really shy traveller as a child, so I don’t know how come I ended up doing this kind of thing.
What were your first influences on you in the way you write? The biography on your website mentions Douglas Adams… More...