About the Author

Brian Smailes

Brian Smailes

About Brian Smailes

Brian Smailes – Author, explorer and professional adventurer runs his own business, Challenge Publications, with over 22 books, some now 5th and 6th editions, covering walking and cycling around the UK which he sells through retailers like Amazon and WHSmith. He has a degree in business management and is a qualified walking guide.

Brian visits many groups, clubs and societies around the country giving talks and lectures, and is a motivational speaker as well as a successful author. Two of his books appearing in the top ten walking and cycling guides in the UK.

Brian holds the record for the fastest 4 and 5 continuous crossings of the Lyke Wake Walk over the North York Moors. He completed the 200 miles over rough terrain on 5 crossings in June 1995 taking 85 hours 50 minutes. In 2019, he completed his 62nd crossing.

In August 2001 Brian cycled unsupported, Land’s End to John O’Groats, a journey of over 910 miles in 6 days 13 hours 18 minutes. This involved carrying food, clothing and tent.

In August 2003, he walked from John O’Groats to Land’s End unsupported in 34 days. Another cycle ride, this time from John O’Groats to Land’s End took place in July 2007 taking 7 days 18 hours. In April 2016, Brian walked from Lands End to John o’ Groats in 26 days 9 hours 15 minutes to take the record for the fastest end to end walk for his age group and complete the end to end crossing both ways for both walking and cycling, all at separate times.

On a 2005 expedition, Brian walked the Inca Trail in Peru, then visited again three months later, this time extending the trip to Lake Titicaca and Bolivia.

Another expedition in 2007 to the Great Wall of China involved walking sections in remote areas along the former borders of Mongolia. A second Great Wall expedition in remote regions of China took place in 2013.

An expedition in 2008 took him to the jungle around Canaima in Venezuela, exploring on foot and by dugout canoe the tributaries of the Rio Carrao up to Angel Falls.

In 2010, Brian was part of a team on an expedition to Chile and the mountains of Patagonia, exploring the flora and fauna and the glacial impact on the region.

In 2011, Brian cycled from Paris to London then later in the year walked the GR20 in Corsica. In 0ctober 2016, Brian walked 52 miles across parts of the Sahara in Morocco in 2 days, enduring searing temperatures, dust and flies to complete the 2 day walk.

December 2017 saw Brian ascending Vesuvius in Italy on a snowy winter ascent walking from Herculaneum to the summit and back. In January 2018, Brian along with a team of 3 others, walked and rafted across Costa Rica from the Pacific to the Caribbean.

March 2019 saw Brian on an expedition to Columbia on a trek to a former lost city in the jungle (Ciudad Perdida). The prospect of the 5- day trek through the mosquito infested jungle there proved irresistible!

His early 2020 expedition took him to Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho route. Later in 2020/21, Brian hopes to visit Iceland to explore the mountains and the infamous volcano crater of the ash cloud of 2012 fame then to Ecuador to walk the Volcano Avenue trek.

Marathon running, canoeing, white water rafting, zip lining and sub- aqua are other sports he enjoys, completing 31 marathons and canoeing the Caledonian Canal 3 times. Brian has dived all around the UK coastline as well as Thailand, Cuba, Venezuela, Egypt, Grenada and Mexico.

You can contact Brian on any aspect of walking, talks or promotions by email at challengepublications@yahoo.co.uk