travel theatreDreaming of that deserted beach covered in white sand? Do you hanker after an adventure holiday or the cruise of a lifetime? Perhaps you love a walk in our glorious countryside, watching nature in action or want to learn a foreign language abroad. We know just how to help you plan for your next great escape.

Would you like to hear inspiring talks from authors and experts about a wide range of topics, from health and fitness to building a business

Our Travel & Lifestyle Theatre will feature inspiring talks from experts and explorers who have already struck out in new directions. Let them inspire you to discover new places and experiences.

All of our theatre sessions are free to attend with first-come, first-served seating.

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Harriet Harman

A Woman’s Work – Harriet Harman talks about her 34 years as an MP

29 MAR - 10:45AM - 11:30AM
Harriet Harman was elected as Labour MP for Peckham in 1982. Joining a House of Commons which was 97% male. She has been politics’ most prominent champion for women’s rights, introducing the National Childcare Strategy and the Equality Act, changing the law on domestic violence and increasing female representation; she was also the first woman Labour politician to answer Prime Minister’s Questions. In 2007 Harriet was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and she has served twice as Acting Labour Leader in 2010 and 2015. Harriet is Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and having spent 34 years in the House of Commons is the longest continuously-serving female MP.

Hugh Crawford

Hidden hearing’s top tips to a healthier you

30 MAR - 10:45AM - 11:30AM
Hugh Crawford, Training Team Leader, is a registered Hearing Aid Audiologist and has more than 25 years’ experience in the hearing care industry. He has been working with Hidden Hearing for 22 years, and is now the Team Leader for our Training Team. Hugh has been integral in working with one of our manufacturers, Oticon, introducing new hearing aids into the market in the Middle East, Far East and Egypt for several years. He how heads up the training team at the dedicated training facility in Buxton where he leads new trainees to full registration to Hearing Aid Audiologist with the Health & Care Professions Council. Hugh is passionate about his profession, and about spreading awareness of the hidden issues surrounding hearing loss on general health and wellbeing.

Michael Hatch

GPS - You'll never get lost again!

31 MAR - 10:45AM - 11:30AM
After leaving university with a degree in German & Philosophy,  Michael Hatch spent 20 years as a walking guide and tour manager. His areas of expertise range from large areas of the High Alps to guiding groups of art history students around the Louvre and Vatican Museums. He now works for a leading UK walking and sightseeing tour operator, Adagio Holidays, based in the Hertfordshire countryside. For the last four years he has been responsible for having virtually every walk they do anywhere in the world recorded on a GPS. In this way the company’s walking leaders for such as Ramblers Walking Holidays, are able to prepare for a walk and navigate on it as never before. He believes that using a GPS or equivalent smartphone app  is a skill which can easily be learnt by anyone and is keen to share his insider knowledge with everyone.

Helen Tovey

Discover your family history

01 APR - 10:45AM - 11:30AM

Edwin & Cathy

Supporting women making a difference to their communities

29 MAR - 12:00PM - 12:45PM
Cathy Hipkin Cathy's background is in the public sector. She worked for over 30 years delivering front line Revenues and Benefits services. Her passion was change management, taking on poorly performing services and turning them around into customer focussed top performers. In 2007 she set up her own management consultancy company, working across the public and private sectors. Now semi retired she still continues to do some consultancy work but devotes much of her time to being a Trustee of the Atlantic Whale Foundation, and the recently formed Fair Earth Foundation and during the spring and summer months works at the garden shows selling fair trade products to raise money for the local communities in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar and elsewhere from where the products are sourced. She also writes the funding bids which enable the Foundations to support women in the communities with which we work. Edwin Bentham Ed has spent much of his life in international education and for the past twenty years increasingly in volunteer driven conservation projects around the world. His interest is in experiential learning, the idea that we learn not by ‘listening’ or even ‘seeing’ but, rather, by ‘doing’. Ed develops projects around the world through which people can learn and develop in themselves through the experience of helping others, contributing to the common good. Experience over the years has led him to the conclusion that conservation issues are best addressed through empowering local communities to address their own problems rather than sending in ‘experts’ from outside. He sees locally driven eco-tourism initiatives and fair trading as two key vehicles in helping local communities support themselves. As with most micro financing, he feels effort is best channelled through women in the communities involved. The presentations at the WI Conference are designed to introduce women attending the event to women around the world trying to bring change to their own communities in the hope that ome synergies may develop.      

Dr Max Gowland

Over 50 or beyond? Then you DO need to supplement

30 MAR - 12:00PM - 12:45PM
Max is Founder and Managing Director of Prime Fifty Ltd, a new Company dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the over 50s.The Company’s focus is to help the over 50s stay active via targeted nutritional supplements, specifically formulated for the ageing metabolism. Max holds a PhD in amino acid chemistry from Nottingham University and kicked off his career initially with Procter & Gamble. He then went on to become European and then Global R&D Director for Reckitt Benckiser. Max then joined the Jeyes Group as their Chief Innovation Officer serving on the Board. Moving back to his family home in Hull, Max then became Managing Director of a sports nutrition Company, after which he then decided to start his own business, Prime Fifty Ltd, dedicated to the health and wellbeing of the over 50s. Prime Fifty is now available in Waitrose, Well Pharmacy Chain, Independent Pharmacies and more recently on QVC television.

Tom Way

Exciting wildlife from around the world

31 MAR - 12:00PM - 12:45PM
Tom is a Professional Award Winning Fine Art Wildlife Photographer based in the UK. He has been awarded in various competitions with his most recent success being awarded in the European Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2016 competition with his image ‘Beauty, Power, Majesty’. His work is widely published and he is a contributor to the BBC Wildlife Magazine. Tom exhibits his images as large framed prints around the UK at art exhibitions and galleries.

Jan Leeming

See the world as a solo traveller

01 APR - 12:00PM - 12:45PM
Although best known as a Television Newsreader, Jan Leeming has had a long and varied career in television and started her working life in theatre. Travel has always been in Jan’s blood, born in Kent she moved ‘down under’ to Australia, where in 1963, while in Sydney, she made history by becoming the first woman newsreader on television. Her theatrical credits included a gruelling seven month tour of New South Wales with a Shakespearean Company called The Young Elizabethans. Jan played Portia in The Merchant of Venice and a witch in Macbeth. On returning to the UK, Jan’s TV career went into overdrive, joining Granada TV as a newsreader, fronting her own show, Women Only, on HTV for six years, presenting Pebble Mill and The Food Programme and reading the BBC news for seven years. Early in 2016, Jan was back on the BBC as she and her fellow celebrities entertained with their exploration of India in the ‘Real Marigold Hotel’. Jan is the Brand Ambassador for Just You, the UK’s single traveller specialist and has travelled on solo adventures to Myanmar and Italy. Jan is a Patron of Fight for Sight; Life Member of the David Shepherd Conservation Foundation and the Born Free Foundation.

Sharon Jervis

The buzz about bees

29 MAR - 01:15PM - 02:00PM

Jenny Bowen

Travelling solo as a women in Africa

30 MAR - 01:15PM - 02:00PM
After graduating as an ecologist from Leeds University Jenny got a job in Zimbabwe – little did I know the importance of this on her life. Since Zimbabwe, she has led expeditions to Africa as well as other far flung places, worked for a game capture unit and set up conservation and community projects in Swaziland. This led to Jenny setting up my own business, Sense Africa, organising specialist holidays to the dark continent. She has a passion for conservation and in-depth knowledge about African wildlife. She also has an obsession with giraffe having spent countless hours monitoring these animals and collecting their poo!"

Malcolm Peasnall

Canadian Railways made Canada a Country

31 MAR - 01:15PM - 02:00PM
Malcolm Peasnall is the product director of the Independent Traveller, a company that has been involved with trips to Canada for close to 40 years. The railway system in Canada is what welded the original provinces into a country 150 years ago this year. Malcolm first went to Canada  49 years ago and has travelled to every province so is perhaps uniquely placed to discuss how train travel can be part of your holiday to Canada. He invites you to join him and ask questions about some of the worlds great train journeys.

Diana Hammill

Be a Natural Beauty - How to make your own toiletries out of wild and garden plants and kitchen cupboard ingredients!

01 APR - 01:15PM - 02:00PM
Growing up with her father, a chemist and her grandfather who used traditional plant remedies on her Di was interested in mixing kitchen ingredients and natural chemicals from an early age.  Upon having her own children she became concerned with the toxic ingredients in baby products and started to produce her own alternatives.  Having taught wild food for over a decade she now uses a lot of the plants she discovers on her walks in beauty products too believing food, lifestyle, health and beauty are inseparable and can all be cared for simply from just our gardens and kitchen cupboards - advocating naturally native beauty.

Stephanie Kitchin

Why the Galapagos Islands are known as the 'Enchanted Islands'

29 MAR - 02:30PM - 03:15PM
Stephanie Kitchin spent 7 years in Latin America and in her role as a tour leader she hiked some of the continent’s world famous routes and travelled extensively. In 2009 she set up her own travel company, Into Latin America which is based in Bristol. Her most recent travels took her to the Galapagos islands.

Tom Way

Wildlife on your doorstep

30 MAR - 02:30PM - 03:15PM
Tom is a Professional Award Winning Fine Art Wildlife Photographer based in the UK. He has been awarded in various competitions with his most recent success being awarded in the European Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2016 competition with his image ‘Beauty, Power, Majesty’. His work is widely published and he is a contributor to the BBC Wildlife Magazine. Tom exhibits his images as large framed prints around the UK at art exhibitions and galleries.

Diana Hammill

How modelling nature can help you to reduce labour and cost on your garden

31 MAR - 02:30PM - 03:15PM
Di Hammill qualified as a Permaculture Designer in 2006 and has used it as part of her life since then.  She believes it opens up new perspective in how you view your landscape and it helped her live off-grid as a single parent with three small children. Di has completed courses in Teaching and Biodynamic gardening and last year started teaching Introduction to Permaculture at Wild Harvest School of Self-Reliance near York as well as skills such as wild food foraging and rural crafts. Permaculture is a design system that models nature and can be applied not just to your landscape but to your life.

Gill Stewart

Walking your way to fitness

01 APR - 02:30PM - 03:15PM
An expert in exercise for wellbeing and the older Adult, Gill has over 35 years experience in the creation of fitness programmes. She is part of the team responsible for bringing Nordic Walking to the UK and developing it into one of the fastest growing and most effective exercise solutions available. Gill is the Author of The Complete Guide to Nordic Walking (Bloomsbury Press) and presents regularly about how walking well can change your health, shape and life!

Emma McMillan

The benefits of group travel

29 MAR - 03:45PM - 04:30PM

Moira Chisholm

The Secret Of A Good Night’s Sleep

30 MAR - 03:45PM - 04:30PM
Moira Chisholm has been a magazine journalist for over 36 years and is currently the Health Editor on best-selling woman’s magazine My Weekly. Moira’s own interest in health led to her specialising in this subject and she delights in the fact that she can draw on so many medical experts to put her features together. If there’s a health subject that her readers want to know about, she is more than happy to investigate and pass on the advice of health professionals.

Jim Butress

65 Years in Horticulture

31 MAR - 03:45PM - 04:30PM
Jim Buttress trained at RHS Wisley and worked for the GLC before becoming a Superintendent of the Central Royal Parks, and then Superintendent of Greenwich Royal Park. He has frequently contributed to exhibits at the Chelsea Royal Flower Show, winning the gold medal numerous times. He is a judge at the RHS, and also judged Britain in Bloom for twenty-five years. He has appeared in the television series Save Lullingstone Castle and Return to Lullingstone Castle and more recently in The Big Allotment Challenge. He has been awarded two medals of honour from the RHS: the Associate Medal of Honour and the much-coveted Victoria Medal of Honour.

Sadia Abdi & Margaret Casely-Hayford

Standing Up for Women’s Rights

01 APR - 03:45PM - 04:30PM
Sadia Abdi is the Country Director of ActionAid International Somaliland. She is an activist who is passionate about education, women’s rights and good governance, and has been working in the development sector for the past 20 years. Margaret Casely-Hayford was appointed Chair of international development charity ActionAid UK in 2014. For nine years until July 2014 she was Director of Legal Services for the John Lewis Partnership.  She now advises young entrepreneurs, organisations on governance and those embarking upon board careers.