ldner #144 madoc theipland secret adventures

Re-igniting your love for adventure, right here on your door-step. This week’s LDNR Madoc Threipland, is the founder of Secret Adventures, a London-based travel company with a twist. Offering people the chance to sign up for day and weekend adventures in undisclosed wild places, hidden in and around London. It’s time to get your wanderlust on.

Tell us where you live in London and what you love about that area?

I live in Islington, off the main street, Upper Street. I’ve lived there (and a farm in wales) all of my life. It’s great for any sort of food you can think of and there are some great theatres too. It’s a little lacking in green space, but I love Highbury Fields. Did you know you can have BBQ’s there? This means that we sometimes take our fire bowl there and have a proper old fashioned campfire, cooking sausages and drinking Captain Morgan’s rum. Also, Secret Adventures’ HQ is near London Fields, which has a beautiful heated outdoor lido which is open all year round. We go for full moon swims there (and lakes all over London) and then round-off the evening with campfires on London Fields too…

Tell us more about Secret Adventures, what inspired you to launch?

I had come back from leading some trekking groups around the Southern Highlands of Tanzania and I was still in adventure mode. So I gathered some people together and inspired by the adventurer Alistair Humphreys, we cycled out of London through the canals under the M25 and North circular, had dinner in a pub, hid our bikes in some bushes and under cover of darkness, swam over to an island to wild camp around a fire. (We were floating all our stuff with us in waterproof bags!). Then we swam back the next morning for a slap up breakfast. This was too much fun not to continue and we have been trying to find adventure here in London and beyond ever since.

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What’s your most exhilarating travel adventure?

Weirdly one of the most exciting and special ones was an urban exploration adventure right here in central London. We entered a very special space under a building via canoe, had a dinner party on the floor of the space with candles and flame lanterns. Some of the adventurers were professional musicians (Strangefruit and Merlin and Cosmo Sheldrake) and they performed a mini acoustic concert by candle light. It was magical. Coming back under the building to central London felt like returning from some secret and special place.

What’s on the travel bucket list for this year?

The Isles of Scilly. Planning on taking the sleeper train to Penzance and then the ferry. The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall. I’ve always wanted to go there. Also I would like to find more special little places here in the UK. And I’m planning a wild camp on a secret beach this spring/summer with a beach campfire, night swimming under the stars and sausages on a stick…

What would be your perfect day in London?

Cycling to Hampstead Heath for a swim in the beautiful lakes there. The mixed lake has a really cool atmosphere and people talk to each other…quite unusual in London! Then a walk through the Heath to Kenwood house and a picnic. Later a campfire with friends. If i could borrow someones dog for the day that would be even better.