We love a bit of adventure at TMK and we really love it when the whole family can get involved. One of our favourite weekends of the year is the Keswick Mountain Festival which this year runs from 15th – 19th May 2013.


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The Keswick Mountain Festival strives to inspire visitors to get out into the great outdoors and offers a varied range of activities for beginners who are looking to try something new to enthusiasts who are looking for their next challenge. Set in the stunning landscapes of the Lakeland Fells, with activities and challenges that can be enjoyed by everyone, the Festival has something for all ages and abilities.



The 2013 Festival will be the 7th year the event has been running, and it continues to grow and develop  inspiring visitors from across the UK and overseas, and is now one of the largest UK Mountain Festival’s attracting around 20,000 visitors to Keswick.  With over 120 activities throughout the 5 days the festival offers a variety of activities, including MTB coaching days out, Ghyll Scrambling, open water swimming, hands on rock, moonlit canoeing, many hikes, navigation training, as well as the  legendary sporting events, the triathlon’s, latrigg fell race, Borrowdale trail run, Derwent Island swim and so much more!

A massive highlight of the festival for visitors is the Festival Village, open 17th – 19th May, with FREE entry! Located on the shores of Derwentwater at Crow Park, the Festival Village is the heart of the Keswick Mountain Festival and is packed full of displays, demonstrations and taster activities for all ages, abilities and interests.

The Festival Village is the hub from where many of the great adventures begin and the perfect place to get in the mood for outdoor action. And when your activities are done, head back here to meet your mates and share your experiences! The Festival is very family focused, offering a whole section of activities specifically for family fun. Enjoy Adventure days out around Keswick doing Ghyll Scrambling, exploring Derwent Water in canoe by day or by moonlight, gorge scrambling, shelter building, wildfood and campfire cooking and so much more! Whichever adventure you take its guaranteed to be a spectacular, memorable experience for all the family to enjoy. These activities are all bookable events but you don’t have to book onto all of the family fun events happening at Keswick Mountain Festival. There are many family activities in the Festival Village where you can ‘have a go’ (mostly all free). The Dare2b M.A.D bike demo team and the Dare2b Airbag, a popular one with kids and grown ups alike! Slacklining with Real Adventure, Forestry Commission Treasure Hunt, Go Ape Mobile adventure course, Hand Biking with The Calvert Trust, YHA climbing tower, Wonderful Welly fun with Girlguiding , 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ with National Trust, Like A Bike with Cyclewise and more.

All the activities happen under the expert guidance of professional tutors and guides.


The festival encourages everyone to be outdoors and try activities outdoors however there is also a fabulous inspirational speaker programme in the evenings at The Theatre By The Lake. This year we have a 12 speaker line up including Monty Halls, Karen Darke, Andy Kirkpatrick, Chris Bonington, Alan Hinkes, Simon Yates . There is also a separate film evenings section to incorporate the adventure that happens outside of Keswick. 3 film nights at The Alhambra Cinema, 17th – 19th May including Pete Whittaker’s Wide boyz film about Crack Climbing, Bike Night with Silva and a Red Bull evening ‘pushing the limits’.

Truly Madly Kids have a pair of tickets to giveaway to hear Andy and Ella (13) Kirkpatrick talk about climbing together in Yosemite . To win the tickets simply email rosie@trulymadlykids.co.uk with your name and contact details and tell me the year in which the Keswick Mountain Festival began. Winner will be drawn on 26th April.

All photographs in this article are by Dougie Cunningham. He’ll be photographing the festival again this year – give him a wave if you see him at work during your visit to Keswick.