Kendal Mountain Festival, online, 18–21 November 2021, free entry - Visit now
A gathering of professional and amateur mountaineers, ramblers, and outdoors types from all around the world, the four-day Kendal Mountain Festival is always packed with exciting activities for everyone from children to pensioners. Happening virtually in 2021, this year’s event is no less of an outdoors extravaganza.
The content is divided into three main areas: film screenings, literature, and talks. Typically, over 200 short to long films are screened at each event, mostly documentaries about amazing locations around the world and the people who explore them, plus heroes of sport, naturism and ecology. Lee Houlding’s film about the ascent of Roraima, a giant mountain in the Brazilian rainforest, is one highlight. Then there’s Totally FKT, the story of John Kelley, the ‘ultra-runner’ who broke the Pennine Way speed record.
Literature offerings include a nature writing workshop by Anita Sethi, and a presentation of Aimee Nnezhukumatathil’s World of Wonders, one of the best-regarded pieces of popular biology in decades. Bonnie Tsui’s book about the deep history of human swimming is another highlight. And that’s only three of the many entries – the books stage hosts non-stop events over all four days. Sam Read’s bookshop runs a fully-featured pop-up shop at the festival, giving literary ramblers a great place to pick up new classics.
Talks have come from the main man of survivalism Ray Mears himself, plus up and coming wilderness heads Aldo Kane and Jason Fox. Elite Triathlon competitors the Brownlee Brothers also put in an appearance. Champion surfer Sophie Hellyer tells the story of surf. Meanwhile naturist Levison Wood informs the audience about the Importance of Elephants, situating the majestic creatures in the ecosystem.
There are features for all age groups, making the Mountain Festival a great event for those who are passionate about the outdoors but also need to keep the kids entertained.
Kendal Mountain Festival, online