What is the South West Outdoor Festival?

Posted by Peter Burnside on 06/09/2017
Sunset over the Mendip Hills in Somerset. Photo: Shutterstock / Ian Redding

It’s only the second ever South West Outdoor Festival, so what can we expect? Aside from all the usual activities, the BMC will be there too with an army of guest speakers and skilled adventure professionals to host talks, skills sessions, and film showings. Find out more:

The South West Outdoor Festival is still a fresh, new event on the festival calendar, returning for its second year on Friday 8 September. Taking place in and around Somerset's stunning (and climbable) Cheddar Gorge, it's perfect for BMC members from all walks of life with a range of adventures suitable for everybody. Don't miss exploring the magical Mendip Hills, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and take part in a medley of activities and events within the festival itself.

Organised by the National Trust, in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor, the South West Outdoor Festival is a true celebration of all things outdoors! Trail running races, cycling challenges, and experiences ranging from climbing and caving with expert guides to making a splash in the reservoir, or even skiing and snowboarding; this festival has it all. Plus the usual live musical merriness will have you popping and bopping from Friday night until Sunday afternoon, when an afternoon of chilled tunes will help you wind-down.

Other activities will be hosted by an array of organisations, including the BMC, and our stand is fortunately perfectly positioned between the beer and cider bars, so come say hi after you’re done refilling. Make sure to also join us for a skills session, film showing, or a captivating talk from one of our guest speakers in the BMC Skills Camp, located by the main gates.  

BMC festival highlights

On the film list are the award-winning BMC TV films, Operation Moffat and The Bothy Project, two unique tales of adventure in the outdoors from the incredibly talented Jen Randall, and we’ll also be showing the winning films from the BMC Women in Adventure film competition.  

Meanwhile, guest speakers include awesome British alpinist Matt Helliker, BMC ambassador and outdoor adventurer Mary-Ann Ochota, medics David Hillebrandt and Lauren Newcomb, Gwilym Starks from Mountain Training, and stalwart of the BMC access team, Mark Coutiour. Here’s what’s on in the BMC tent and when:

Schedule

Friday 8 September

1.00pm Running the world, endurance athlete Nick Butter
2.00pm Climbing in Cheddar Gorge, Mark Courtiour from the BMC access team
5.00pm BMC TV film night shows a selection of films

Saturday 9 September

9.00am Food foraging talk and walk, Adrian Boots
10.00am David Bond introduces Project Wild Thing, plus Q&A
12.30pm Food foraging talk and walk, Adrian Boots
1.30pm Skills for the hills, Gwilym Starks from Mountain Training
2.30pm Climbing in Cheddar Gorge, Mark Courtiour from the BMC access team
3.30pm Trail running skills clinic and run, Sim Benson
4.00pm Crag, hill and mountain medicine with BMC medics
5.00pm The crazy world of cave diving, Christine Grosart
6.00pm BMC TV film night shows a selection of films
7.15pm Matt Helliker, legendary British alpinist, introduces Citadel plus Q&A

Sunday 10 September

9.00am BMC TV film night shows a selection of films
11.00am Matt Helliker, legendary British alpinist, introduces Moonflower plus Q&A
2.00pm Mountaineering for dummies, by BMC ambassador Mary-Ann Ochota
3.00pm Climbing in Cheddar Gorge, Mark Courtiour from the BMC access team
4.00pm Skills for the hills, Gwilym Starks from Mountain Training
5.00pm Crag, hill and mountain medicine with BMC medics


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