The Keswick Mountain Festival is taking place from Thursday 8th June until Sunday 11th June. It’s a one-stop shop for all things outdoors, with great music and speakers thrown into the mix. Best of all, you don’t need to book onto the entire festival to take part in some of the activities, as many of the events have individual ticket options, though weekend tickets with camping are available.

Now in its 11th year, the festival brings around 20,000 visitors to the small lakeside town of Keswick, and celebrates everything there is to love about the great outdoors. This year, there is live music from some well-known acts, a huge range of guided outdoor activities that can be booked onto, competitive events in various disciplines, talks from well-known mountaineering figures, plus delicious food and plenty of goods to buy in the festival village. We’ve picked out some of the highlights of this year’s festival that you won’t want to miss.

Live Music – Cast & KT Tunstall

Music Festival

Whilst the focus of the festival might be all of the amazing outdoor activities that are on offer, there is still plenty of time in the three days for some great entertainment. This year the festival will see 1990’s British indie-rock group, Cast, play on the main stage on Friday evening. The band reformed in 2012 and have recently released a new album.

On Saturday night, Scottish singer-songwriter, KT Tunstall, takes to the main stage. Tunstall has won numerous awards for her music with upbeat hits such as, "Suddenly I See", that have been featured on various movie and TV soundtracks. Tunstall will be preceded by the Christians, a late 80s / early 90s pop band from Liverpool, who had international hits with songs, such as "Harvest for the World" and "Ferry Across the Mersey".

All three acts are supported by various local groups who will provide a mix of music styles. Concert-only tickets have sold out but you can still purchase weekend festival tickets that will give you access to the village where the acts will be performing.

Sir Chris Bonnington – In His Own Words

Sir Chris Bonnington

Sir Chris Bonnington (thecreativegrid / Wikipedia.org)

Mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington is one of guest speakers at the Keswick Mountain Festival. He will be speaking to an audience at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake on Saturday 10th June at 6.30pm. Sir Bonnington has had a long career on the mountains, with 19 expeditions to the Himalayas that included one ascent of Everest, and is living proof that age is no barrier to fitness, having climbed The Old Man of Hoy in Orkney in 2014 to celebrate his 80th birthday. His talk will feature images and clips from his times on the mountains. Tickets are available to book directly from the Theatre by the Lake.

Great Gable at Sunset

Great Gable at Sunset

Great Gable at Sunset

One of the main features of the Keswick Mountain Festival is the great selection of guided walks that are available during the three day celebration. You can book into these guided walks separately, with prices ranging between £20 and £50 per hike. There is a great range to choose from, whether it be the family friendly Cat Bells walk or the ascent up England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike. However, it’s the Great Gable at Sunset walk that we think is particularly spectacular with a chance to ascend this iconic fell and watch the sun go down over the Ennerdale valley. You must book your place in advance and a full list of the equipment you will need is available online.

Blacksticks Blue Triathlon

Trail Running

Are you ready to face one of the toughest triathlons in the UK? On Sunday 11th June the festival is hosting the Blacksticks Blue Triathlon. It starts with a 1500 metre swim in the icy waters of Derwent Water, followed by a 36km cycle ride over two mountain passes, and then finishes with a 10km run up Walla Crag and through Borrowdale. If that seems a little too much, then a shorter version is also available, as well as a junior version. You can book onto the events online, and entry fees apply. 

Moonlit Canoeing on Derwent Water

Moonlit Canoe

The Keswick Mountain Festival is a great opportunity for you to try out a new sport, and there are plenty of taster sessions that you can book onto, including Dinghy Sailing, Rock Climbing, Ghyll Scrambling, and Ice Climbing. We’re particularly enthralled with the idea of Moonlit Canoeing, that takes place on Derwent Water during the evenings of Friday 9th and Saturday 10th June. See Derwent Water differently with this tour of the lake that starts at sunset, costing £30 per person. Booking is available online

For full details of all the events that are taking place as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival, or to book tickets, visit: www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.