Any plans this weekend? How about a hybrid music and trail running festival…

Here's why this hybrid festival is our favourite event of the year

The wild hills of gower love trails

by Milo Wilson |
Published on

In 2017, Love Trails finally upgraded its status from a handful of friends in a soggy Welsh field to an actual bonafide festival. Music acts performed in the evening, routes were fully marked and guided runs were scheduled. Perhaps most crucially, Love Trails co-founder – Theo Larn-Jones – quit his job to work on the festival full-time.

The event sold 270 tickets. This year, there’s going to be around 4,000 of us.

What we loved about love trails
©Live for the outdoors

Now, let me be clear: this ain’t a sponsored article. I’m writing it as the head of LFTO’s trail running section because this will be my third consecutive trip to Love Trails and I genuinely could not recommend it any harder. So grab favourite pair of trail running shoes, your maddest fancy dress outfit, and for goodness sake grab some suncream, and let's dive into why this festival is becoming many runners' summer staple.

What’s on?

So here’s the conceit of the whole festival – you run all day and party all night. There’s also sleeping somewhere in there, be it in a tent, camper van, or glamping pod. But mostly it’s all about the running and partying.

Throughout the weekend, attendees have a choice of guided trail runs and hikes around the country’s oldest area of the natural beauty – the Gower peninsular. It’s a luscious coastal area that manages to have big green hills as well as tightly packed sandy flats. If you want to go at your own pace, the routes are also free to view online.

The music at love trails
©Richard Tilney-Bassett

And then comes the kicker – as the sun descends over Weobly Castle, the entire festival ground undergoes a metamorphosis into a mini Glasto, and suddenly you find yourself in the rave tent throwing shapes to a live drum and bass DJ – or better yet, the Riot Jazz Brass Band, who are taking the main stage this Saturday.

The Talks

In addition to live music and scenic runs, Love Trails hosts a series of talks across the weekend, including interviews with renowned authors of trail running books, inspiring stories from daring athletes, and practical guides to skills from the tip top of advanced skyrunning to the very beginner level.

Expert talks at love trails festival
©Live for the Outdoors

Friend of LFTO, Simon James will be giving four talks across the weekend, mostly about multi-day runs and exploring the alps. The talks at Love Trails are a fantastic resource for anyone looking to dive deeper into the world of trail running and get inspired!

The Workshops

Here’s where we find my favourite element of the festival: just how many gosh darn yoga and movement classes there are! Literally, from 6am through til the late afternoon, there is always something going on in the Flex tent that you can attend for exactly no money and no commitment.

Yoga at love trails
©Richard Tilney-Bassett

Last month, I shilled out almost forty quid to try out Yoga At The Sky Garden in London. It was a pretty view, but also a pretty basic class with very little on offer for those of us who could already touch our toes. If you have any interest at all in yoga, movement work, breathwork, or strength and conditioning training, then the entry price to this festival alone is worth the staggering number of free classes available to all.

The Beer Mile

running at love trails festival in Gower

There’s one event that everyone takes very seriously each year – and it’s the relay-style chug-a-beer-before-you-run race of a lifetime. Teams of four are timed on how fast they can run a mile after each downing a can of beer (non-alc available, bubbles still a real problem). In relay style, the first runner must chug their beer and run 400 meters, tagging the next runner who can then start drinking. The beer must be finished before you start running.

The Beach

the beautiful Gower peninsular at love trails
©Richard Tilney-Bassett

It’s sunny, there’s an excellent running route to a beautiful sandy beach. Literally what else do you need to hear?

The Bar

There’s also a great bar.

My Point

Is made.

LT is a fantastic event and we’re thrilled to see the organisers grow and improve it year-on-year. There are still a handful of tickets up for grabs, and if you’re unsure, we hope to have swayed you.

Milo Wilson Running to the pub at love trails
©Live for the outdoors

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