“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for a truly amazing, inspiring and thought provoking day …I have been thinking non-stop since I left. I will be recommending you to anyone who stands still long enough to hear me wax lyrical!” Lizzie W.
At the end of year two of Element and I’m reflecting on how quickly we are evolving. What a delight it has been to meet people who have come on the courses and workshops and how much good ‘inter-connective energy’, laughter and learning has been created.
2018 was the year of Element events in March being sandwiched between two snowy Beasts From The Easts. That was followed eventually by a super-hot and bumper honey crop of a summer.
At the end of March I took over as Race Director for a long-standing tough fell race in the Black Mountains – not without its weather challenges. In contrast and for the second year running we were blessed with superb weather for Element’s Black Mountains Trail Race in the autumn.
Speaking as part of the Women’s Adventure Expo in Bristol in the autumn was very enjoyable and this event in particular brings together diverse women doing interesting things beyond simply ‘the highest mountain’.
I was struck by the interest in sustainability and climate and that adventure had a purpose beyond self-gratification.
I’m looking forward to speaking at the Brecon Women’s Festival ‘Celebrating Women in the Outdoors’ in March where I’ll be talking about adventure, curiosity and creativity.
The Runner’s Mind and Body was a super new one-day course this last year, which I’ve honed even further with specialist input: the interplay between the mind and body is utterly intriguing as new research comes to light. I’d like to open this out to a wider audience.
Landscape and nature continue to interest me and my book of the year has to be Isabella Tree’s Wilding. For anyone interested in what’s happening to our natural world this is a ground-breaking book and is a well written, fascinating story. On the back of this I’ve booked myself onto a Rewilding Conference in Cambridge in January to gain breadth, depth and wider insight into this.
I’m genuinely excited by 2019 and some of the brand new events that we are offering alongside some of our favourites.
In May and October we have a new event: A Sense Of Place. I’m increasingly interested in adventure, curiosity and creativity and the link and interface between them. This is a fresh, creative alternative for a weekend away in a stunning location. We’ve already had some mother/daughter combos booking – what a lovely thing to do together. Using the inspiring 15th century ancient farmstead of Llwyn Celyn in the Llanthony Valley as our base, this weekend workshop will be rooted in nature and will cover exploration of place and landscape utilising the outdoors, art, photography and literature. It will be developmental, unusual and interesting.
In 2019 we have our first Italy walking trips in the Apuan Alps in June and September. These are stunning wild limestone mountains just north of Pisa that rise straight from the Mediterranean. Superb views with wonderful and exciting terrain. We are cramming a lot into the 4-day trip, which is for the more experienced walker. I had a wonderful 4 days on my own in the hills here last September talking to myself while making copious notes and doing double the distance while trying out route alternatives!
Our Bespoke Weekends are a firm favourite and we love planning these as each one is different. Get in touch and we’ll suggest accommodation, catering options and activities and put a weekend together for your group in line with your budget. We cover everything from varied walking with interesting side-lines to fell and trail running, nature walks, mountain biking, yoga and restorative practices. I have to admit, it’s also a good excuse for me to trial every massage therapist in the area.
The Map Reading and Women Beginning Fell Running one-day courses will continue next year. The feedback on these has been great. Getting out, new challenges and equipping ourselves with more confidence for new challenges is so crucial.
Take a look, be inspired, try something new.
We look forward to seeing you in 2019.