The South West is set to become the centre of a celebration of alfresco adventures, when the National Trust’s new outdoor festival launches in the Heddon Valley on Exmoor, 23-25 September 2016.
The festival will offer something for everyone from weekend walkers and camping families through to experienced trail runners and mountain bikers. The common denominator is a love of the outdoors and the urge to explore just that little bit more.
“The National Trust in the South West has some of the most amazing locations for being active in the outdoors,” says Rob Joules, General Manager of the North Devon Coast and Countryside. “This festival is a wonderful opportunity to show off the range of activities on offer whatever your ability level is and share together the enjoyment that being in the outdoors gives. There will be opportunity to participate, try new things and be inspired by tales from others.”
“The South West is a Valhalla of outdoor sports. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother travelling overseas, when I’ve got it all on my doorstep!” – Tobias Mews, adventure athlete and writer for Outdoor Fitness & Telegraph Men who is one of the festival ambassadors.
“The South West boasts a diversity of running terrain that’s hard to find elsewhere. With 630 miles of glorious, rugged coast path, trails through lush valleys and tranquil woodland, and the breathtaking, exposed wilds of the moors, it really is an awesome place to run.” Jen Benson, author of the book ‘Wild Running’.
A thrilling weekend of activities is planned, from the screening of adventure films and campfire cooking sessions, through to organised walks, trail runs, cycling and kayaking events, wild-food foraging, outdoor photography clinics and star-gazing experiences.
The festival will be built around a base camp, which will host attractions such as:
- Campfire cooking
- Talks and workshops led by high-profile adventurers
- Screening of adventure films
- Networking and knowledge sessions
- Skills clinics
- Equipment demonstrations
- Taster conservation activities
- Sale of hot and cold regional produce, including locally grown/made food
- Entertainment by local performing artists, musicians, story tellers
- Star gazing in a dark sky reserve
All activities will take place in the wonderfully wild surrounds of the moor and along the coast, but with instruction and inspiration provided by leading experts from across the region, the environment will be safe and enjoyable for all. People will be able to visit for the day, or stay over for the whole weekend, camping in a beautiful riverside setting.
Around the Heddon Valley basecamp, entertainment will be provided by local musicians and artists, presentations and talks will be delivered by well known adventurers and athletes, skills clinics will be conducted by outdoor experts, and locally produced food and drink will be available – please see the website for regular updates.
Heddon Valley will host the inaugural event on the weekend of 23–25 September 2016. Spaces will be limited and excitement levels are high. Visit the festival’s online basecamp for details of how you can book your place at the very first outing of a festival that’s set to become an annual fixture on the UK’s adventure calendar:
If you work in the outdoor industry and you’d like to be involved, please get in touch with the South West Outdoors Festival team. We’re looking for enthusiastic people to make this weekend an adventure to remember. Email Pat or phone 07415 512 631.
The South West Outdoor Festival line-up has now been announced and tickets are available to book.