Mountain festival to kick off season in style

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One of the UK’s best loved outdoor events is preparing to kick off the 2016 summer festival season in style.

Keswick Mountain Festival will welcome thousands of visitors to the Lake District with a mix of live music, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, camping and family friendly activities.

Crow Park on the shore of Derwentwater in Keswick will provide the main base for this one-of-a-kind event, with the Lakeland fells in the background.

The 10th Keswick Mountain Festival will present the event’s busiest programme yet, with a huge range of activities and attractions from 19-22 May including music from the likes of Bjorn Again and Toploader, speakers including Julia Bradbury and James Cracknell and high energy events for all abilities and ages.

Many events are now sold out, but places are still available on some from www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.

The hub of activity will be the Festival Village on the National Trust’s Crow Park, open 20-22 May, which is free for everyone to enter during the daytime. All of the sporting events will start and finish at the Festival Village, providing a great atmosphere for competitors and spectators alike.

Visitors with festival wristbands can access most of the activities in the village free of charge and can stay on the site to enjoy the live music on the Friday and Saturday evenings.

See below for a full programme of events:

Thursday 19 May

- Wainwright Wander (10:00am) – a route that takes in six great Lakeland fells, including Haystacks, the resting place of Alfred Wainwright’s ashes

- Mini Triathlon (10:00am, 12:00 noon and 4:00pm) – waves of local schoolchildren tackle a short triathlon in the town

- Outdoor Evening in the Theatre by the Lake with household names Monty Halls (6:00pm) and Julia Bradbury (7:30pm).

Friday 20 May

- Julia’s Borrowdale Walk (9:00am and 2:00pm and then on Saturday 21 May at the same times) – a chance to experience the route championed by Julia Bradbury in her latest TV series, and to meet her when she sends Friday’s walkers on their way

- Beginner’s Navigation (10:00am) – an opportunity to learn essential hill skills from the experts (also running at the same time on Saturday 21 May)

- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. den building, climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’, ‘Bike Airbag’) and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Rohan Live music (from 5:15pm) – an eclectic line-up of local, national and international acts on the Lexus Stage, including festival favourites the Peatbog Faeries and world-famous Bjorn Again

- Sports Evening in the Theatre by the Lake with renowned endurance runner Lizzy Hawker (6:00pm) and double Olympic champion James Cracknell (7:30pm)

- Blencathra by Moonlight (7:00pm) – a walk to the summit of one of the Lake District’s best loved fells, as the sun sets and the moon and stars emerge.

- Moonlit Canoeing (8:00pm and at the same time on the Thursday and Saturday) – a paddle on Derwentwater as night falls

Saturday 21 May

- Triathlon – Short Triathlon (8:00am)

- Cycling – Back of Skiddaw 70K sportive (10:30am)

- Running – The Salomon 25K trail race (11:30am)

- Running – The Salomon 5K trail race (3:00pm)

- Stand Up Paddle Boarding (10:00am, 1:00pm and 3:00pm, and at the same times on the Thursday and Sunday) – exploring Derwentwater and trying out one of the fastest growing water sports in the UK Running with Steve Birkinshaw and Berghaus (10:00am, 1:00pm and 4:00pm) – join the fell running legend for a challenging run from the Festival Village and celebrate Berghaus’ 50th birthday

- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. den building, climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’, ‘Bike Airbag’) and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Rohan Hi-Tec Big Dog Walk (1:00pm and at the same time on Sunday 22 May) – an opportunity to enjoy a festival activity with four-legged friends

- Mountain Evening in the Theatre by the Lake with three climbing legends – Alan Hinkes (5:00pm), Simon Yates (6:30pm) and Mick Fowler (8:00pm)

- Live Music (from 5:15pm) – another varied line-up, including successful chart acts Toploader and Scouting for Girls.

Sunday 22 May

- Helvellyn by Sunrise (2:00am) – a very early start is sure to be rewarded with views of a dramatic sunrise from an iconic mountain Via Ferrata: Subterranean Mine (9:30am – also available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday) – all the excitement of trying via ferrata, underground

- The Salomon Ultra 50K trail race (6:00am)

- Long Triathlon (8:00am)

- The Salomon 10K trail race (five start times on the hour from 9:00am)

- Northern Pontoon 3K Swim (11:15am)

- Northern Pontoon 1,500M Swim (2:00pm)

- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. den building, climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’, ‘Bike Airbag’) and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Rohan

- Catamaran sailing (11:00am and 1:00pm, and at the same times on Friday and Saturday) - sailing on Derwentwater in the Calvert Trust’s impressive catamaran.