I’m delighted to say that I’ve been added to the line-up of speakers at this year’s South West Outdoor Festival. Organised by the National Trust and the great team behind this year’s Top of the Gorge Festival, the South West Outdoor Festival is a well-established weekend of fun, laughs, great guest speakers, awesome live music and, of course, lots and lots of adventure.
This year, the festival takes place on 5th – 7th October at East Soar, near Salcombe, Devon. In terms of speakers I’ll be joined by, amongst others, TV personality and marine biologist Monty Halls; famed yachtsman Conrad Humphreys, who has a solo, unassisted, non-stop around the world to his name; extreme runner, Ben Smith, who ran 401 marathons in 401 days around Britain; and the awesome Paralympian, endurance wheelchair racer and paracyclist, Mel Nicholls.
For those keen to test themselves physically, there’s a wide variety of trail running and mountain bike challenges taking place over the weekend. With trail running distances beginning at 5km and ramping up all the way to half-marathon distance, there’s something to suit everyone. In addition to this, and if running on its own just doesn’t cut the mustard for you, then the festival also organises a swim run, which combines trail running and wild swimming. Pretty cool, hey?
If muddy fun on two wheels is more your thing, there’s also a really cool mountain bike orienteering challenge around the local tracks, trails and hills, which can be entered solo, as a pair, or even as a family.
Being based on the beautiful Devon coast also means that watersports are high on the agenda at the South West Outdoor Festival. From sea kayaking and surfski, to stand-up paddleboarding and coasteering, I’ve got a feeling I’ll be having some sea-based fun over the course of the weekend.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, there’s climbing, guided walks, yoga, foraging and much, much more. The South West Outdoor Festival is definitely a festival where you’ll grin all day, exhausting yourself into a smugly contented daze as you do, and where you’ll really earn that refreshing, cold beer (from the local Salcombe Brewery) as day turns to night.
Talking of the evening, after a day of adventure what better way to relax and unwind (and prepare yourself for more of the same tomorrow) than with some great, toe-tapping live music. The already eclectic line-up of bands and artists features everything from alt-pop, indie rock and Americano didgryblues, to progressive modern roots music and acoustic sets. I, for one, can’t wait.
So, stick the date in your diary, book your tickets, and head on down for what I am certain will be an awesome weekend of adventure and entertainment. Oh, and stop by the speakers tent and say hi. Whether you want to discuss family adventuring, map work or simply want to recommend me an amazing IPA that you’ve just sampled at the bar, I love chatting to like-minded people at outdoor festivals. For once, I won’t have Nat and the kids with me (which probably makes me much harder to spot) but I will be enjoying the festival with a couple of good mates who’ll more than probably aim to make me have a few ‘just one more’ drinks! We’ll hopefully see you there.