Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex Photo of Bluebell Woods in Sussex

Hay Festival Reviews

Thanks to everyone who came to my talk at the Hay Festival and to the Festival for inviting me.

The Telegraph, who sponsor Hay Festival, have published some reviews of the talk I gave there about my new book:

Tristan Gooley: The Natural Explorer – Review by Sioned Davies

‘Where would you like go today?’ The rhetorical interrogative which gripped Gooley as a 10-year-old liberated him from the dominance of teachers and parents and was the initial inspiration for his book ‘The Natural Explorer’. All his adventures were no longer fixed; the endless possibilities of a malleable, liquid life.

Gooley explained that it was this thrill which fostered his interest in natural exploration. Having completed a solo flight and sailed single-handedly across the Atlantic he certainly seems exhilarated by the natural world.

Gooley expressed his awe at the way landscapes have been sculpted and the way nature’s patterns NEVER reoccur. His primary concern however was in his ability to use the natural environment alone to explore and navigate; compasses’, maps and sat navs are no longer required. With his inspirational ability to read the natural world with impeccable detail, Gooley has enlightened us to the sheer capacity of nature to marry mankind and the landscape.

Tristan Gooley: The Natural Explorer – Review by Bronwen Hillier

Tristan Gooley’s introduction to his new book, ‘The Natural Explorer’, did feel as he said a little like ‘a Geography lesson’, yet listening to him talk about his passion for the connection we have with the natural world was fascinating. His love for navigation using nature seemed to be infectious and he engaged with the audience – by the end of his speech we had all held hands. Talking about trying to capture the child-like mindset he once had in order to see the less noticeable parts of nature, he recalls being able to “find his way from one beach to the next, simply by the feel of the wind on his face” and wishes us to return to this more appreciative attitude by studying the landscape and our relationship with it. Gooley admitted that the study of plants requires a daunting level of knowledge which he feels he cannot master and so feels “slightly scared” yet states that his interest doesn’t lie in gaining mass knowledge but in a journey of discovery.

Tristan Gooley: The Natural Explorer – Review by Tom Clements

Tristan Gooley, author of Natural Explorer, visits Hay on its twenty-fifth anniversary to discuss his passion for exploring nature.

Initially, Gooley talks of his troubles with “drowning in a mass of knowledge.” Thankfully, his presentation is not tainted with the same curse. With charisma, Gooley Weaves intriguing aspects of history, science and geography into a captivating speech peppered with engrossing facts.

Enhanced by his striking photography, Gooley’s presentation functions as a flash point, illuminating the relationship between contemporary Britain and the volatility of the natural world. At one point, he artistically compares the structure of cracked mud to our urban centres. Gentle whispers emanate from the audience, as one cannot help but acknowledge his superior logic.

At Hay, we are surrounded by nature; Tristan Gooley’s work encourages you to delve into the plump veins of our planet’s glory.

Tristan Gooley: The Natural Explorer – Review by Jac Byrant

Tristan Gooley gave a brilliantly interesting and informative discussion about what we can learn from nature and its minuscule details. He explained the way that he uses the natural world to navigate using details, like where water lies on one type of side of a road to determine where north is and the significance of the type of trees around you and how they can tell us whether there is a river nearby.

Gooley uses his explorer know how: having been the first man to row solo and fly solo across the Atlantic to give a captivating and thorough explanation of how he sees the natural world. He has a very romantic view of landscape and displays a deep passion for his works which in form makes you connect to his work and won’t be involved in exploring and the world outside.

Tristan Gooley gives a remarkably interesting talk explaining his explorations, the importance of the small aspects of nature and how we can enjoy the great British countryside.”

Tristan Gooley: The Natural Explorer – Review by Tamara Price

Tristan Gooley, a man who has flown solo and sailed across the Atlantic, reached the highest point of North Africa and walked sand dunes. Quite some resume.

Taking the audience back to a ‘Geography lesson’ as Gooley called it, the National Explorer gave a detailed, well delivered account on how nature captured him as a young boy. Its individuality, the impossibility to view the same landscape twice, making Gooley visit and study aspects of our World in such detail.

Discussing other groups of people that appreciate and value our landscape, he mentioned photographers, landscape artists and also James Holman, a blind traveller who had a firm belief that ‘in loosing one sense, you gain a great deal from the others,’ exploring the mountains, using ‘mainly his feet.’

Gooley made the point clear that even though the largest of landscapes can be phenomenal, ‘it’s the small things that can be wonderful too.

There is more information about the book on this page.