Join us on Saturday for adventure inspiration
Enjoy a day packed full of adventure stories. Relax and refuel while you listen to tales of adventure and feel inspired for your next challenge.
David Love is an adventurer, mountaineer, expedition leader and Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champ. An Officer in the British Army officer and instructor with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, David made a solo, unguided ascent of Mt Blanc aged 18 and has since climbed some of the world’s most iconic peaks, including the Matterhorn and the Eiger. In 2017, he made the first recorded solo, winter traverse of theTransylvanian Alps; a journey that involved permanent sub-zero temperatures, several nights in an emergency snow hole and a very close encounter with a mountain bear. His true passion, however, is rooted in the hills and mountains of the Great Britain, where he spends much of his time working with young people with the aim of inspiring the next generation to discover their own spirit of adventure.
Mel Nichols is a Paralympian, endurance wheelchair racer, paracyclist and OS Get Outside Champion. Having represented Great Britain at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Games, Mel recently nailed the London Marathon in under two hours, crossing the line as the second British woman home. Now she has her sights set on Tokyo 2020. Mel’s training ground ranges from the lanes and hills of her Cotswolds home, along the coastal climbs of southern England and Wales, right up to the mountain passes of the Scottish Isles.
With her travelling basecamp 'Luna', Mel combines determination and passion for her sports career with her love of the great outdoors and the wilds of the UK. When not training, Mel can be found bikepacking, sea swimming, kayaking, climbing, exploring, and finding any which way to climb a hill or achieve her adventure. She's also a supporter of I'mPossible, and last year Mel launched Beyond Barriers, a health and well-being campaign that aims to encourage and support people facing challenges - including disability, physical and mental health, confidence concerns and gender issues – to get outside and move beyond the barriers.
'As a female role-model I hope to empower girls and women to take that hike, get on their bikes, take on that challenge outdoors, to share openly how being outside and feeling good helps take care of mental health.'
Damian Hall is an outdoor journalist, record-breaking ultramarathon runner and inov8 athlete. Despite having only started running five years ago, Damian has represented Great Britain at the International Trail Running Championships, placed on the podium at the Spine Race, the Dragon's Back Race (5th OA), the UK Ultra Trail Championships,12th at UTMB 2017 and won the Ice Ultra in 2018.
In 2016 he set a Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Britain's longest National Trail, completing the 630-mile South West Coast Path in 10 days and 15 hours.
At Top of the Gorge festival, Damian will be speaking about his life on the hoof in a talk entitled: 'A midlife crisis, a toilet and the power sob: what running long distances has taught me about life, the universe and everything'.
From a near standing start, Elise started running in January 2013, on the back of a New Year's resolution to run a half marathon and soon started to wonder just how far her legs could take her. On 1 November 2015 she set off to run a lap of the British coast in an attempt to find out. 301 days later, she returned to Greenwich, having run 5000 miles self-supported, carrying all her kit on her back. She is the youngest person and only female to have completed the challenge. This adventure however, wasn't about mile splits or Garmin stats. It wasn't about being the fastest or the most athletic. It was about using running as a mode of transport by which to really explore both her home country and her own capabilities. The end result was a great big British adventure, featuring a lot of cake and a terrible fear of cows. Come and hear Elise talk about her continuing adventures at the Top of the Gorge festival.
Presenter, naturalist, adventurer, explorer, OS Get Outside Champion. Born in Jamaica, Dwayne came to the UK aged six. His formative years were spent in inner-city London where, caught up in the world of street gangs, he became a victim of both knife and gun crime.
After a life-threatening incident he made the decision to change his life and embarked on a course that reawakened a love of nature and wildlife he recalled from his early life in the forests and hilltops of Jamaica.
In 2010, Dwayne successfully completed the first of many challenges: becoming the first black Briton to walk over 400 miles to the magnetic North Pole. On his return he was invited to Buckingham Palace, joining other polar explorers and adventurers at a reception to mark the centenary of Scott's expedition to the South Pole.
Since then he has embraced a life full of adventure, en route actively engaging with and inspiring many kids from various backgrounds to explore the outdoors.
Dwayne has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his work with young people, and his mission continues as he attempts to engage citybound youth with the countryside.
At the Top of the Gorge, Dwayne will do a talk about his journey to be different covering his life leading up to and including the expedition to the North Pole.
Recently named as the first ever UK Ambassador for the Girlguide movement, Anna McNuff is a former GB rower. These days Anna is a full-time endurance athlete, adventurer and mischief-maker.
In the last few years she has cycled 11,000 miles across the US, ascended over 100,000 metres (more than 11 times the height of Everest) while pedaling along the spine of the Andes in South America, run New Zealand's 3,057km Te Araroa trail, and legged it along England's Jurassic Coast dressed as a dinosaur.
Introducing our headline speaker for Saturday night of Top of the Gorge festival, Dave Cornthwaite. Dave leads his ‘Yes Tribe’, an adventure cult of 5000 members.
His ongoing project is ‘Expedition 1000’ is an epic quest to complete 25 journeys of 1000 miles or more by non-motorised means. This quest has seen him conquer many a challenge, which included skateboarding across Australia, swimming the length of the Missouri river and riding his scooter across Japan. Join Dave on Friday and Saturday, he’ll be leading talks and workshops.
Build an action packed weekend, or visit for the day.