North York Moors National Park Authority strides out with second walking festival

Wander in wonder during Spring Bank Holiday’s WalkFest 2016; a series of guided strolls and hikes that shed light on the beauty spots, heritage and wildlife of the North York Moors National Park are in the offing for visitors during a three-day walking festival.

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Following the success of last year’s inaugural WalkFest, the North York Moors National Park Authority has lined up experts to lead 13 guided walks, each with a different theme, over the Spring Bank Holiday from Saturday 28 - Monday 30 May.

Families, sauntering strollers and serious striders can take their pick of walks which range from a minibeast treasure hunt through to strenuous 10.5 mile routes across moorland and along the Cleveland Way National Trail.

There’s a real coastal slant during this year’s Festival. Over half the programme explores the coastline, enabling visitors to travel back in time first to the Bronze Age, then to the 16th century when alum production was its height, before fast forwarding to the 18th century when smuggling was rife.

Tranquil spots that are often overlooked such as Hayburn Wyke where woodland hides a waterfall that cascades onto a pebble beach, are also included in the programme, along with a geocaching treasure hunt at Ravenscar.

Further inland, visitors can listen to the yarns that are associated with the Old Wife’s Walk and learn more about just how the Bridestones, the bizarre sandstone rock sculptures, were formed near Dalby Forest.

Alternatively there’s a ‘steam and scones’ walk striking out along part of the original George Stephenson railway line between Goathland and Grosmont before afternoon tea at Hazelwood House and a return journey on a steam train.

For nature lovers, there’s a stroll across Fylingdales Moor or a longer circular walk from Goathland, both in the company of rangers, exploring the flora, fauna and wildlife en-route. The National Park visitor centres at Sutton Bank and Danby are also holding mammal tracking treasure hunts.

For a more leisurely riverside ramble visitors can join the walk to the hamlet of Ellerburn where they can discover more about the ancient church and head to the Tea Cosy Café for lunch before returning to Thornton le Dale.

Sally Ann Smith, Events and Exhibitions Co-ordinator for the North York Moors National Park says: “Last year’s festival was really successful and so we’re pleased to bring together another feast of walks where people can see even the more familiar locations in a new light as well as simply enjoy the surroundings.

“In addition to the circular walks, it’s also an ideal opportunity for visitors to go on a linear route and complete three great sections of the Cleveland Way National Trail where there’s transport organised to take them to the start.”

The guided walks cost between £3 and £15 (this includes return travel on a steam train) and most include refreshments. To book a place and find out more about WalkFest 2016, go to www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/walkingfestival.

Three week countdown to Bristol Walk Fest 2016

Bristol Walk Fest, the UK’s largest urban walking festival, is set to kick off next month.

Taking place between 1 -31 May 2016, Walk Fest’s packed programme will offer plenty of opportunities to explore Bristol, meet new people and get some fresh air with residents of all ages and abilities.

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Walks are varied and offer a wide range of experiences and opportunities to learn something new – from a singing walk to a foraging trail, architecture tour, map-reading workshop or simply the chance to enjoy Bristol’s Portway without traffic.

With walks taking place every single day in May, the official programme is now available online (www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk) and printed programmes can be found at local libraries and the Tourist Information Centre.

Becky Pollard, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “Bristol has become known as a place that embraces walking not just as a means of physical activity but also a healthy way of life.   Past festivals have shown that it can also be a great way of meeting new people, discovering new places, and seeing the city in a brand new light.”

The festival will launch on Thursday 28 April with a ‘Compass Walk’.  Starting mid-morning from four corners of Bristol, walkers will converge on the City Centre for a celebration and refreshments just after 5pm.

Bristol Walk Fest 2016 is coordinated by Bristol City Council with support from Bristol Ramblers and Stanfords and in association with Bristol University, Destination Bristol and Living Streets. Over 170 walks and events are planned in partnership with 70 local organisations.

For more information and to discover our programme, head to www.bristolwalkingfestival.co.uk.

Keswick Mountain Festival Village promises three days of fun for the whole family

Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has announced the latest details of its 10th anniversary event.  Open from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 May, the Keswick Mountain Festival Village will be the hub of the festival and home to a wide range of taster activities for adults and children, along with adventure speakers, exhibitors, food and drink, and live music on two nights.  The village will be located in Crow Park in Keswick and by the shore of Derwentwater.

Sponsored by Hi-Tec, Keswick Mountain Festival will run from Thursday 19 to Sunday 22 May.  The full line-up includes 10 sports events, outdoor activities, on site camping, high profile speakers and live music.  The Keswick Mountain Festival Village will host more than ever before, with taster activities available on a pay-as-you-go basis, or free with a wristband.  Access to Crow Park will be free during the day.

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Returning favourites for young visitors will include tree climbing, den building and mud pie making with the National Trust, and the overground caving system.  Due to popular demand and thanks to sponsorship from Cotswold Outdoor, there will be three climbing walls in the village this year, including a clip ’n climb tower.  In addition, making its debut in 2016 is the Freedrop Tower, giving visitors the chance to jump off a cliff or out of a window in the style of a film stunts-person.  Another new attraction will be the Bike Airbag, which will allow cyclists to try outlandish stunts in safety.

Sponsored by Rohan, the Keswick Mountain Festival Adventure Tipi Talks will run all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a wide variety of speakers sharing stories and answering questions (full schedule to be added to the website as it is confirmed).  Elsewhere in the KMF Village, visitors can hire kayaks and canoes, cheer on competitors in the sports events and interact with exhibitors that include some of the biggest names in the outdoor and adventure world, including overall festival sponsor Hi-Tec.  There will be plenty of food and drink on offer and the chance to sit down in the marquee bar and listen to live music.  The entertainment will continue on the Friday and Saturday evenings, when major acts take to the Lexus Stage.

Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments:

“The Keswick Mountain Festival Village always has a fantastic buzz and we’re sure that it’s going to be better than ever this year.  We’ve got more taster activities, a huge variety of exhibitors and refreshments, and some amazing speakers for the Adventure Tipi Talks.  There will be a massive amount to either do or just watch, particularly when you add in two evenings of live music and the fact that our 10 sporting events will all finish in the village.  We welcomed over 17,000 visitors last year and with this line-up, I think we can look forward to even more in 2016.”

Sponsored by Hi-Tec, the 2016 Keswick Mountain Festival will run from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 May, with a line-up of 10 sports events, outdoor activities, on site camping, high profile speakers and live music. 

Visitors can choose from a wide range of ticket options, with individual and family passes available for the festival at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk or by calling See Tickets on 0871 2305537 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras).  To find out more, visit the website, email info@keswickmountainfestival.co.uk or call 03300 555 734.

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Join the Arc’teryx Alpine Academy in Chamonix

After four extremely successful editions, the popular alpine educational event Arc'teryx Alpine Academy is taking place in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc again.

On June 16-19th, Arc´teryx will unite alpine enthusiasts, mountain guides and professional athletes aiming to create a space where beginners and experts alike can gain alpine knowledge through top-notch clinics, experience sharing and respect for the alpine environment.

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Registration starts on Tuesday, March 15th from 11am GMT at chamonix.arcteryxacademy.com

The four-day-event will start on Thursday with the big Mountain Clean-up. Participants can join certified mountains guides and over 20 international Arc´teryx athletes to collect rubbish on the mountain. This initiative is a collaboration between the Arc'teryx Alpine Academy and the Compagnie du Mont-Blanc (CMB) with the goal to help keep our mountains pure.

The Mountain Clean-up is followed by three clinic days on the mountain and side program like seminars, movie night and academy dinner. All workshops are led by professional mountain guides from the ‘Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix’, the ‘British Mountain Guides’ (BMG), Chamex Guides and Arc´teryx Pro Athletes like Ines Papert, Luka Lindič, Stian Hagen and many more.

Nina Caprez will lead the advanced rock climbing course `7+ climbing` with the target to improve the sport climbing technique of her students. Another new clinic down in the valley of Chamonix is bouldering held by Mina-Leslie Wujastyk. She will help to improve climbing and movement skills by looking at various techniques and methods.

After adding alpine skiing in 2015 to the list of clinics, winter sport fans can now also go and improve their skills for splitboarding. Arc´teryx athlete José Carron will lead this course and give experienced snowboarders insights into various techniques how to perform in steep skiing environments.

Visit chamonix.arcteryxacademy.com and find out more about all clinics, times, side events and registration!

Suffolk Walking Festival 14th May - 5th June 2016

The 2016 Suffolk Walking Festival kicks off on Saturday, 14th May and continues for three weeks until Sunday, 5th June.

The varied programme of 77 themed walks across the county range in length from a gentle stroll of one mile, to a challenging 60 miles in 24 hours and will take place along Suffolk's glorious coast, through scenic, gently undulating countryside and around our medieval towns and villages.

The annual walking festival is a partnership project supported by all of Suffolk's local authorities and is spearheaded by the Discover Suffolk project at Suffolk County Council. This year's festival launch, which is sponsored by Suffolk Coastal District Council, takes place at RSPB Minsmere on the Suffolk coast. The event will also mark the launch of Suffolk's Year of Walking, which starts in May 2016 and ends in May 2017.

“The Year of Walking will be celebrating two of my very favourite things: walking and Suffolk” says Lesley Dolphin from BBC Radio Suffolk and patron of the festival. “The aim is to inspire people to build more walking into their everyday lives and to discover what fun it is!”

“We are delighted that this year’s walking festival marks the beginning of Suffolk’s Year of Walking” adds Cllr Goldson, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council. “The purpose of the initiative is to celebrate walking in the county, promote walking events and encourage new walking opportunities. The festival does a wonderful job of demonstrating how easy and inclusive walking is, and what a fantastic county Suffolk is to walk in. It is making a very positive contribution to our ambition of becoming the most active county in England.”

There are three lots of challenge walks planned, which have been sponsored by the Suffolk Coast & Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Mega Challenge, for the ultra fit, is a walk which will be undertaken over a 24 hour period, covering 60 miles from Lowestoft to Felixstowe. The Classic Challenge, a firm favourite among regular festival goers, is made up of five walks of between 11 and 14 miles each. As with The Mega Challenge, the route goes from Lowestoft to Felixstowe, but will be at a rather more sedate pace and spread over five days. The Mini Challenge consists of three walks of around nine miles each: Oulton Broad to Beccles, the 'Trimley Loop' and a walk ending with refreshments at the National Trust's Sutton Hoo, near Woodbridge.

Other walks include two stress-relieving mindfulness walks; a 'prambling' walk for parents with prams; photography, birdwatching and Pilates walks; a gentle stroll for sufferers of dementia and their carers, a walk which includes views of early marsh orchids, a speed-dating ramble and the ever-popular 'Horrible History For Families' in Ipswich.

Some include a cream tea or other refreshments and all are an informal and sociable way to explore the county, meet like-minded people and to indulge in a leisure activity which benefits both body and soul.

To view the full walks programme and book tickets, visit the festival website www.suffolkwalkingfestival.co.uk Brochures will be available from Suffolk tourist information centres.

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Alpkit Big Shakeout outdoor festival returns for 2016

The sixth Alpkit Big Shakeout outdoor festival will be held at Thornbridge Outdoors activity centre near Bakewell in the heart of the Peak District, 23 – 25 September 2016.

A weekend of adventure and entertainment, this year’s festival offers a wider range of activities for all ages and abilities than ever before as well as more adventure films, inspirational talks, live music and good food.

Col Stocker, Alpkit co-founder, said: “The Big Shakeout has grown every year and 2016 is set to be the best yet. The festival format is very simple – designed to bring people from all walks of life who love the outdoors together to share the magic of summer’s adventures – it’s all about being active during the day and entertained in a relaxing, sociable environment in the evening.

“With world class rock-climbing, challenging mountain biking, beautiful caves and fine walking terrain all within a 20 minute radius from Thornbridge Outdoors, you can easily take advantage of the location and do your own thing during the day, or try something new on site.”

The Big Shakeout 2016 includes an action packed programme of specialist courses with qualified instructors ready to introduce people to new sports or coach those who just want to brush up on their skills. There’ll also be plenty of help on hand for parents to tire out their little explorers and everything in between from wild swimming, fell-running and walking to caving, climbing, biking and bushcraft activities.

Col added: “The Big Shakeout is an all-inclusive festival with a magical atmosphere – everyone is welcome from frost-bitten polar explorers to adrenaline seekers and families who just want to try something new or introduce children to the outdoor life.

“It’s the perfect place to meet like-minded folks, make new friends and catch up with old ones. Come along, join in and be inspired – see you there.”

An individual weekend pass includes camping, free tee-shirt, free mug with free tea and coffee all weekend, onsite activities, live music, lectures, adventure films and more from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon. A family weekend pass is valid for up to 2 adults and 3 kids and includes everything on the individual pass.

Big Shakeout passes are available now at www.alpkit.com/bigshakeout/tickets

Single adult weekend ticket - £60

Single child weekend ticket (12-16) - £20

Under 12 weekend ticket - Free

Family weekend ticket (2 adults, 3 children) - £150

Friends and family ticket (4 adults) - £200

The Big Shakeout is a not-for-profit festival with all proceeds going to the Alpkit Foundation (Charities Commission Registered Number 1162585)

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Keswick Mountain Festival speaker programme announced

Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has unveiled a schedule of high profile speakers who will be entertaining visitors to the Lake District in May.

Some of the biggest names in outdoor adventure, sport and broadcasting will take to the stage in Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 May.  Household names such as Julia Bradbury and James Cracknell will be joined by Monty Halls, Alan Hinkes and Mick Fowler in a varied programme for the 10th anniversary festival.

The 2016 Keswick Mountain Festival will run from Thursday 19 until Sunday 22 May, with its main base being the Festival Village on Crow Park in Keswick, open from Friday 20th.  Located by the entrance to the park, the Theatre by the Lake will host speakers on three nights.

Monty Halls will kick-off the schedule on Thursday 19 May.  For the last three years, Halls has been travelling the world, seeking out the great mysteries and the hidden gems of the planet.  He has led expeditions and explored oceans, caves and jungles, and maintained a high profile on TV with series such as Dive Mysteries and Lost Worlds.  During his talk, Halls will explore whether exploration and true adventure still exist.  He will be followed by Julia Bradbury, one of the best known outdoor enthusiasts in the UK.  Bradbury will share her recent adventures and favourite walks, some of which feature in her new eight part series for ITV, ‘Best Walks with a View’.  With the first episode to be broadcast on Friday 19 February, the series will run for eight weeks and will include a route in and around Keswick.

Friday at Keswick Mountain Festival will see a special evening with double Olympic champion James Cracknell.  After reaching the pinnacle of achievement in rowing, Cracknell has carved a name for himself as a fearless adventurer who is prepared to subject himself to huge physical and mental challenges.  He will give the festival audience an insight into how he has overcome the obstacles that he has faced and dealt with the life changing consequences of his accident in Arizona in 2010.

Mountain adventures will be the theme on Saturday 21 May, as two of the UK’s most accomplished climbers entertain audiences in the Theatre by the Lake.  The evening will begin with Alan Hinkes, the first Brit to climb all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks.  Hinkes will talk about that quest and some of his more recent adventures, in Scotland, Norway and the Arctic.  The speaker programme will conclude with Mick Fowler, a man who epitomises adventure mountaineering and specialises in finding new routes on remote Himalayan peaks.  Twice winner of a coveted Piolet d’Or Award, Fowler is one of the most highly regarded mountaineers on the planet.  He will share details from his latest successful expedition, the first ascent of Gave Ding (6,571m) with Paul Ramsden, via the spectacular north face – completed using his holiday allocation from his full-time job in the tax office.

Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments: “This is a fantastic line up to mark our 10th anniversary.  We have secured some of the best known and most respected names in their fields and we’ll have a distinct theme each night.  I think that this year’s combination of speakers epitomises the amazing breadth and depth of our programme, which is what makes Keswick Mountain Festival such an essential event for so many visitors.”

Tickets for all 2016 Keswick Mountain Festival events are available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk or by calling See Tickets on 0871 2305537 (calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras).  To find out more, visit the website, email info@keswickmountainfestival.co.uk or call 03300 555 734.

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Snowdonia's biggest party returns for 2016

Last March saw the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival (LLAMFF) relaunch with huge success, selling nearly 1,000 tickets. Over 40 different films were shown at three local venues over three fantastic festival evenings, and all facilitated by an energetic team of local volunteers.

This year the festival is back, bigger and better than ever. Kicking it all off on Friday 4th March is key guest speaker Kenton Cool, British Mountain Guide and 11 times Everest summiteer. Kenton will tell of his experiences on the 8000m peaks of Nepal, and of fresh adventures even further afield. This is followed by the UK festival premiere of the Discovery UK film Sherpa - a tale of the Himalayan guides that have spent decades supporting foreign mountaineering teams, and the tensions loosed by the tragic death of 16 Sherpas in the Khumbu Icefall in 2014.

On Saturday the line up of speakers is headed by Leo Houlding, who made is mark locally as a youngster climbing some of North Wales hardest routes in a summer a kin to the climbing equivalent of the ‘endless summer’.  This time talking about his more recent endeavors in Greenland on the incredible 25 pitch 1200m big wall route Mirror Wall.  Across other venues you can meet climbers, paddlers and adventurers from across the globe.   Sunday see our popular panel evening showcasing “Adventure for All” with a fantastic line up of speakers including double amputee Simon Harmer, young female adventurer Sophie Radcliffe and the inspirational Iranian female climber Shirin Shabestari.

Other superb films range from home grown talent showcasing the local area's natural beauty such as Crib Goch – The Red Ridge, through to Damavand, which chronicles an all female team of Iranian climbers as they challenge stereotypes and tradition to climb the highest mountain in Iran, as well as some big names in the outdoor world such as Hot Aches' Transitions, Coldhouse Collectives All Roads Lead to Scotland and the touching Denali.

And that's just the start... because a three-day feast of speakers, filmmakers, outdoor professionals and bespoke events for lovers of the UK hills is on offer too.  Based in the "party HQ" of Llanberis, and with plenty of post-film delights to be sampled and mingling to be done, this is undoubtedly the greatest festival ever to hit North Wales.

Tickets start from £5 and range up to £40 for the VIP opening event. Details and tickets can be found at www.llamff.co.uk

The film and speaker program starts daily from 17:00 across the three venues of Electric Mountain, Caban Cyf and the Beacon Climbing Centre.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE...

- Kenton Cool, kentoncool.com

- Leo Houlding, leohoulding.com

- Neil Gresham, neilgresham.com

- Ian Parnell, ianparnell.com

- Sophie Radcliffe, challengesophie.com

- Heather Geluk, peopleyoumeetalongtheway.blogspot.ca

- Simon Harmer, tinyurl.com/simonharmer

- Shirin Shabestari, tinyurl.com/shirinshabestari

- and many more.

FILMS INCLUDE...

- Sherpa

- Operation Moffat

- All Roads Lead to Scotland

- Damavand

- Transition

- Crib Goch – The Red Ridge

OTHER ATTRACTIONS INCLUDE...

- The UK's largest outdoor kit boot fair will take place on Sunday. Buy! Sell! Support Mountain Rescue! All entrance fees will go directly to support their work.

- Climbing and skills sessions from Association of Mountaineering Instructors.

- Outdoor photography workshop from British Mountain Guide Andy Teasdale.

- A treasure trail will be run by local charity Menter Fachwen in conjunction with key sponsors Ordnance Survey.

- After parties on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with live music, raffles and a truck load of fun for all.  This year we are working with local community interest company CEG who were set up by songwriters Sera Owen and Roger Hughes to provide a platform for musicians in north west Wales by engaging with interesting events and projects.  Come along and see them in action.

For more information visit www.llamff

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The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show returns to London in February 2016

The UK’s largest outdoor and adventure show will return to ExCeL London this February, running from Thursday 11th – Sunday 14th.

This year’s Show will be bringing a vast array of features, special guests and the latest gear from leading outdoor brands to appeal to explorers of all ages. 

Whether passionate about walking, climbing, hiking, watersports, photography, adventure travel or extreme challenges, the Show will allow visitors to get inspired, meet with experts and get stuck in with the action. 

Back by popular demand, the SuperBloc climbing wall is a must-see attraction. On the opening day of the Show, over 100 athletes from the Army, Navy and RAF will compete in the Armed Forces Bouldering Champs. New this year is the Superbloc Student Championship, which will see students compete on Friday. On the Saturday and Sunday, The Arch SuperBloc Open competition will feature some of the best climbers across the UK & Europe battle it out with an opportunity for amateurs to enter and get involved as well. An expert team will also be on-site to offer free masterclasses on lead climbing and bouldering across all four days of the event. 

Adventure seekers should be sure to visit the Wild Britain Zone, where they can learn bushcraft and survival skills with ‘A’ Squadron experts including ex-SAS recruit Bob Podesta. They can also hear from some of the world’s most intrepid explorers at the Discovery Stage, who will share their tips and thrilling experiences. For those looking for a more extreme challenge, The Adventure Theatre in association with Paramo will host speakers as they tell stories of visiting the most remote and hostile environments on Earth. This year, ‘Walking the Nile’ star Levison Wood returns to the stage as he talks about his recent adventures in the Himalayas. Previous speakers include the greatest living explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes; Steve Backshall and Kenton Cool. The full line-up of speakers will be announced on the website in the coming weeks.

Speakers currently confirmed to speak in The Adventure Theatre sponsored by Páramo include:

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Levison Wood

The best selling author, explorer and photographer has covered stories and events around the world for over a decade. In 2014 he completed an expedition walking the length of the Nile and in 2015 he walked the length of the Himalayas.Wood has documented his latest adventure in a new TV-series and book, due to come out this month.

Mark Beaumont

Record breaking long distance British cyclist, adventurer, broadcaster and author, who came to prominence when he broke the Guinness World Record for cycling 18,000 miles around the world in 2008. And recently he smashed the 7000-mile Cairo to Cape Town World Record. Beaumont has also taken on a number of epic challenges off the bike including rowing through the high Arctic and surviving capsize whilst rowing the Atlantic.

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Tim Jarvis

Environmental scientist, public speaker and explorer. His expeditions include the North and South Poles, across the Great Victoria Desert and retracing the polar journey of Sir Douglas Mawson using 100-year- old equipment and rations. Jarvis has just completed the 25zero project, which involved Jarvis and his team climbing the twenty-five mountains situated along the equator where glaciers still remain on the mountains. Due to climate change at the current rate, in twenty-five years these glaciers will have disappeared.

Jerry Gore

Internationally acclaimed climber and one of Britain’s most prolific expedition leaders, who has excelled on rock, ice and high-altitude peaks in his 35-year climbing career. Diagnosed as a Type 1 insulin dependent diabetic back in 2001, Gore continues to ‘push his limits’ in climbing and tirelessly raising money for a number of international diabetic charities. In 2012, Gore became the first Briton to complete three of the hardest routes in the Alps.

Read a Q&A on climbing with Jerry Gore here...

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Jacki Hill-Murphy

A British teacher, explorer, author, filmmaker and speaker, Jacki’s first major expedition was in 1988 when she crossed Africa via the Sahara Desert and West Africa. Her current project is “Recreating the Journeys of the Early Women Explorers”, which will culminate in a book as she traces the steps of expeditions of amazing women explorers in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century.

Belinda Kirk

An expedition leader and award winning adventure film director, Belinda Kirk has over twenty years experience in expedition management. Kirk has worked on such series as Ray Mears Bushcraft, Living With Gorillas and BBC Coast. In 2010 she skippered a crew of four to become the first women to row non-stop around Britain, setting a new World Record

Gerda Pauler

Gerda Pauler has made countless trips to the Himalaya and Central Asia. In 2012, she set out to walk the length of the Great Himalaya Trail to raise awareness of autism in Nepal. Travelling across the country and visiting isolated villages, she interviewed some of the inhabitants of the Dolpo region, which inspired her new book Dolpo: People and Landscape, published November 2015.

Richard Harpham

Richard Harpham is an adventurer who has travelled over 7,600 miles by canoe, kayak and bike. Some of his amazing expeditions have seen him cycle part of the Sahara by fat bike and kayak from Vancouver Island to Alaska. Harpham is a published writer and sought after speaker.

Dr Gareth Mottram

Dr Gareth Mottram is a climber, explorer and published academic. Gaining his PhD in 2009 for his work using satellites to investigate the spread and impact of wildfires in Canada and Russia. Dr. Mottram has also taken part in mountaineering expeditions to Kyrgyzstan and was part of a team that was the first ever to climb some of these peaks, allowing them to officially name the mountain.

Olie Hunter Smart

Olie Hunter Smart left his job in advertising in 2013 to rekindle his passion for adventure and travel. He started an overland journey taking the Trans-Siberian train from Russia to Beijing before heading south through Asia, Australia, New Zealand and then onto to South America. Hunter-Smart has also recently completed the ‘Amazon River Run’, a 6,500km two man unsupported journey from the river’s source in the Peruvian Andes to its mouth in Brazil.

For those keen to develop their eye for photography, the Outdoor Photographer of the Year Exhibition allows visitors to marvel at the astounding images taken by some of the world’s best outdoor photographers. In addition, the Outdoor Photography Photobox will give them an opportunity to develop their own skills and get advice from some of the UK and Europe's best outdoor and adventure photographers, who will share their tricks and tips for getting the best shot.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also get the opportunity to check out the latest innovations from brands such as Salomon, Berghaus and Suunto as part of the Outdoor Industry Awards showcase. Those in need of new apparel will not be disappointed with the likes of Paramo, Alpkit, OEX and Fjallraven providing gear, clothing and accessories. This is all in addition to the number of tourism boards and travel companies on-site to offer practical advice, travel offers and destination ideas for every corner of the globe. 

A ticket to The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show will also gain visitors entry into three other events that are running simultaneously; The London Bike Show; The Triathlon Show: London powered by Honda and the London International Dive Show (Saturday & Sunday only).

Adult tickets for the Thursday or Friday cost £15 each including booking fee, with concession tickets at £9 including booking fee, children 8 and under are free and 9-16 year olds cost £3 including booking fee.

Adult tickets for the Saturday or Sunday are available at £18 per adult, £12 for concessions and 9-16 year olds £4, all including booking fee. Children under 8 can again attended for free

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: www.telegraphoutdoorshow.co.uk

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Keep to new year’s resolutions with a visit to Keswick Mountain Festival

The team behind Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has revealed more details of plans to make 2016 the event’s biggest and best year yet.

The 10th anniversary festival is now five months away and KMF has added to its growing programme of sporting events and outdoor activities.  With trail runs, open water swims, triathlons, a cycle sportive and walks at all levels, KMF has more than ever for anyone who needs some inspiration to help them stick to a new year’s resolution to be more active and get outdoors.  The latest activities to be announced include guided walks, wild camping and a new longer open water swim.

Keswick Mountain Festival, sponsored by Hi-Tec, has grown into one of the biggest and best loved outdoor events in the UK, with more than 17,000 visitors in 2015, including over 2,000 who took part in the sporting events.  KMF 2016 will run from 19-22 May and along with sports and outdoor activities, will offer live music, high profile speakers and a wide range of other attractions from its Festival Village base in Crow Park on the outskirts of Keswick.

New for KMF 2016 is a 3km open water swim on Sunday 22 May, the longest to ever feature during the festival.  A deep-water start will take swimmers across to the shores of Derwent Isle, before they make their way along the shore of Derwentwater.  Swimmers will finish back at the Festival Village, where family and friends can cheer them home.

KMF has also revealed details of its Hike schedule for this year (more information in Note to Editors below).  The programme includes hikes up some of the Lake District’s most iconic fells, with a scramble on Helvellyn, a sunset walk on Skiddaw, moonlit hike on Blencathra, two hikes on Scafell Pike, and a second chance to visit Helvellyn, in time for sunrise.  In addition, the festival will host four navigation sessions for beginners, and a wild camping adventure.  The programme has been devised to deliver a mix of levels of walking and offer something that is suitable for everyone.

Lucy Scrase, KMF sports director, comments: “Every year, we resolve to make Keswick Mountain Festival bigger and better.  I think that this line up of events will provide something to work towards for anyone whose own new year’s resolution is to get more active.  That’s particularly important this year and we really hope that people will get behind these events and help Keswick to bounce back in a big way after the terrible flooding last month.

“2016 is going to be critical for tourism in the Lake District and it’s already a very big year for Keswick Mountain Festival.  We will be holding our 10th festival and we have come a long way in that time.  The event has always contributed to the local economy, by bringing in large numbers of visitors and this year we are building a programme that has the capacity to attract more than ever.  Given recent events, we hope that we can play a big part in bringing people back for some amazing experiences in this incredible part of the world.”

More details about the wider programme will be released in the near future, including other outdoor activities, a full schedule of speakers and the concert line up.  To find out more about KMF, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.

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Find Love in the Lakes at YHA Hawkshead

YHA is offering singletons the opportunity to find love over a paintbrush at a one-off dating event that combines speed dating with giving a Youth Hostel a much-needed spruce up.

Speed dating, painting, general maintenance, food, gardening, dancing and drinking aims to bring sociable singletons with a passion for volunteering and the great outdoors together to help them to couple up in Cumbria.

The two-day ‘Love in the Lakes’ event is being held at YHA Hawkshead in the Lake District and is being organised by the youth hostelling charity YHA (England and Wales). Taking place on 5th – 7th February, accommodation and meals are provided and it costs just £25 per person – never has watching paint drying been more interesting!

As well as helping singletons find love it will also give the much-loved Youth Hostel a makeover ahead of the summer season.

The event is the brainchild of Katie Smith, Volunteer Business Partner at YHA (England and Wales) she said: “We are saying ditch the digital with our Love in the Lakes event!  Online dating isn’t for everyone. Swiping left and right based on looks and “shopping” for the perfect partner isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned dating? This event is for those who enjoy meeting new people, like getting stuck in to practical tasks and enjoy being in a rural environment. Volunteers are vital to the YHA network and ensure we are financially viable.”

The event will begin on Friday evening with an informal social, mulled wine and a buffet. Saturday begins with volunteering tasks from 9am until 4pm, followed by an evening meal and a speed dating activity with a twist. The rest of the evening will be spent enjoying the Hawkshead House Party and a live Ceilidh band. We will be throwing in some optional fun activities throughout the weekend to make you feel at ease and help you to get chatting to other volunteers. The £25 ticket price includes accommodation and meals, and will give people the chance to meet new people face-to-face, rather than through a dating site.”

Volunteers are vital to ensuring that YHA is financially viable and its network of 160 Youth Hostels can continue to operate and provide accommodation and activities for the many young people and their families that stay each year. 

Because of the unique way YHA (England Wales) was established and its charitable status, it relies heavily on volunteers to ensure its network is sustainable, particularly the smaller properties or those that don’t have restaurants or bars, like YHA Beverley Friary in East Yorkshire.

In 2014 2,400 volunteers contributed 176,000 hours of support worth more than £1million of support. The support of volunteers is enabling YHA to invest in its network of properties. Since 2010, YHA has invested more than £31m refurbishing Youth Hostels and opening brand new ones at Castleton in Derbyshire, Cardiff, Brighton and the South Downs.

A £10 deposit per person is requested in advance to reserve a place on the event. Full payment will be requested on arrival at YHA Hawkshead. Bring a friend and get a discount- 10% of total booking price. Accommodation is provided on a single sex dormitory basis. However, group bookings will be accommodated in a private room (a group booking is defined as three people plus)

For further information and booking details please email katiesmith@yha.org.uk or call on 01629 592 562 to book.