WiltonFest 2019 - Lancashire's best kept secret

Posted by Rob Dyer on 05/08/2019
Enjoying the delights of Wilton 3 on Crooked Crack (VS) and Mo (HS) at last year's WiltonFest. Photo: Rob Dyer
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The ever popular WiltonFest is back for its seventh year in 2019 and as always we’ve got plenty of fun stuff for everyone to get involved with.

With thanks to Bolton Rifle & Pistol Club, who are once again allowing us to base the festival on their land, we will be kicking things off in Wilton 2 at 11am on Saturday 31st August. This year all proceeds will be split equally between two great charities – the Woodland Trust (who own nearby Brownstones and surrounding land) and our old friends Climbers Against Cancer.

What to bring?

As well as your climbing gear and a bucket load of enthusiasm, don’t forget to bring:

  • a mug or cup for drinks –please bring your own and help us reduce our use of single use plastics
  • a cake to donate to the bake sale
  • a seat for the evening slideshow
  • your wallet to buy food, raffle tickets and take advantage of special festival deals
  • any water donations to keep the tea stall running greatly appreciated

What’s on?

As always there’s plenty to do from just turning up as independent climbers and sampling some of the finest quarried gritstone on offer in the UK, through to getting involved with courses and other organised activities. 




Climbing taster sessions with RockOver Climbing instructors. Under 18’s must be with a parent or guardian. FREE


Preparing for your first lead. Run by John Kettle and aimed at new or aspirant trad leaders with minimal experience. (Only 8 places available – book your place here)


Warmup yoga session with yoga teacher Nathan Rostron. FREE


Trail Run with Never Stop Manchester. FREE


Bouldering tour (up to font 6b/V3-4) of the Wilton Quarries with Tim Greenhalgh. FREE


Dealing with mind games & relaxing on lead. Run by John Kettle and aimed at anyone looking to improve the mental side of their climbing - for all experience levels. (Only 8 places available – book your place here)


Hike with Never Stop Manchester. FREE


BMC BBQ and beer donated by Rockover Climbing




Film night – unfortuantely Dan Turner has had to cancel his talk, but instead we'll be bringing a selection of the best local and BMC films for your viewing pleasure. FREE but bring your own seat!


As well as the above organised activities, there will be lots happening throughout the day in the basecamp area:

Boreal boot demo: try out the latest Boreal shoes on real rock.

Check and test your gear: got some old or abused kit you’re not sure is still ok to use? Stuart Holmes will be on hand to give any gear you’re unsure about a free gear MOT, and will also have the BMC pull tester to break any retired gear you want to test to destruction.

BMC Shop: the shop will be back again this year selling  WiltonFest t-shirts in an exciting new colour and plenty of festival only deals on guidebooks, maps, clothing and more.

Kids orienteering course: short course for kids around Wilton 2, no previous experience needed.

Charity bake sale: buy delicious cakes all day from the cake sale stand run by CAC and the LMC and help raise funds for two great charities (CAC and the Woodland Trust). Please bring along your favourite baked goods to add to the stall – there will be a prize for best cake.

Refreshments: tea, coffee and squash will be available all day for a small donation to charity.

The Sunshine Pizza Oven: will be on site during the day providing tasty pizzas to refuel between routes. (Payment by cash or card)

Hills 2 Oceans litter pick: bags and litter pickers will be available all day from the BMC stand – help support this great campaign to remove plastic and other litter from our uplands.

Sports therapy: with Jane Jackson who will be giving advice on recovery and wellbeing, as well as selling sports therapy products

Basecamp stalls: a host of brands will be joining us in the basecamp area including DMM, Campcraft, Crusher, Climbers Against Cancer, Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, Active Nation Chorley and Cockerel Books.


WATCH a short film of the 2016 WiltonFest on BMC TV:


How do I get there?

The Wilton quarries are just behind the Wilton Arms (BL1 7BT), just north of Bolton off the A675 Bolton – Preston road.

Neverstop Manchester are kindly putting on a coach from Deansgate to the festival for anyone travelling in from Manchester. Spaces on the coach are free but you do need to book a place through their event page.

For those who are driving, Wilton 2 & 4 will be open for parking, as well as the laybys just off Scout Road and the BMC car park next to the Wilton Arms.

Wilton 2 is base camp as usual. Come here for all stalls, refreshments, courses and info.

See you on Saturday 31st August!

We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.

Did you know that we've just launched a new U27 membership offer for just £1 / month? And with full membership from £1.66 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: 


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I am travelling to this and camping over the weekend. Is there camping available or a campsite in the area?
Anonymous User
Camping is available in Wilton 1 but no facilities or my back garden )
Anonymous User
There’s no mention of the bbq above. I trust there will be one this year?
Anonymous User
BMC BBQ and beer donated by Rockover Climbing
Anonymous User
Can you bring dogs to this event?
Anonymous User
What climbing gear will I need thanks
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