Lee Simpson is the driving force behind the leading and successful outdoor activity specialists, Keswick Adventures Ltd, the Lake District.
Lee took time out to do a Q&A session and he shares some of his journey's highs and lows. We learn how he went from being a cleaner in a Warburtons factory to the founder and owner of Keswick Adventures.
We learn about his addiction and love for travelling and how that helped him become an experienced outdoor adventure guide. Lee sticks to one of his mottos and live every day like it is his last, something he confirms he has done in abundance.
Lee's love and passion for the outdoors and his friends and family, shone through to us during Lee's 'spotlight on' interview and we wish him and his family continued success.
Tell us a little about your background and how you set up your business
I’ve loved the outdoors since I was a child climbing trees and rocks and camping out with my dad. From a very young age I was hunting and tracking animals and identifying birds and most fauna and flora. As I got older I began making my own way and discovered even more interests such as rock climbing, white water kayaking and caving. I still love anything outdoors, whatever the weather: wet, cold, snow, heat, it all makes me feel alive.
Thinking I was destined for a life in the forces, I attended college to become an officer in the RAF. Shortly after the course ended I decided to go travelling into the big wide world and headed off into the desert of the Sinai, Egypt.
This only fed my addiction for travelling, adventure, and discovering new cultures so, once this trip was over, I headed off once more, this time on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime, covering Asia, New Zealand, Australia and more. You get the picture! I climbed, dived, kayaked and kitesurfed my way across the world, sometimes sleeping rough just to watch the sunrise or sunset. Life was good.
When I finally arrived back in the UK I packed my campervan and headed to the Lake District, a place I had come to love after many years visiting with my father. Soon after, I decided to make Keswick my home. I needed to work, so, using my now-many qualifications and my vast experience as an outdoor adventure guide, Keswick Adventures was born.
What do you love most about your job ?
The feeling you get when someone in that adventure setting, achieves their goals or challenges. It is so satisfying we well, when people from all backgrounds come together to appreciate and enjoy the wonderful outdoors. Being able to share all this with friends and those that I love is an incredible feeling.
What was your first job ?
- A cleaner.
- I was up at 4am cleaning factories such as Warburtons.
What are your most memorable experiences (good and bad ones! )?
- The good: Camping out with my father, travelling, my daughter being born and Bali sunsets
- The bad: Separating from my partner, the death of my father
What would you say are the key things that attribute to your success in life ?
It is a lot to do with the people in my life: the loving family I had as a child, the people around me and in my life and my own passion for people. My natural love of the outdoors has also made it easy to love the work I do. And I'm told I'm a bit crazy! That helps me push myself out of my own comfort zone. And go after the things that I want. You only live once!
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Playing out. Whether that is on the water, IN the water, or enjoying the scenery of the Lake District and other places, I'm always out about during my spare time as well as my working day.
Describe yourself in three words:
Loving | Passionate | Driven
Who has had the most influence in your life ? - My daughter Kaylyn
Favourite film or series ?
What can you not live without?
Playing outside and adventures
What is your favourite tipple, wine, vice, tea coffee etc ?
- Whisky and cake. I inherited my sweet tooth from my Grandad.
TIP: What tip/s would you give someone based on your own life experiences?
- Live every day like it is your last
- Treat money like it is made of paper
- In the words of my late father
" Son take every opportunity that comes your way" Boy have I done that