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The South West Outdoor Festival Comes to Cornwall

The South West Outdoor Festival Comes to Cornwall

Cornwall will host the South West Outdoor Festival for the first time next weekend, welcoming outdoor athletes, adventurers, explorers, authors and visitors for a celebration of the great outdoors.

Taking place at a picturesque pop-up activity adventure site at the National Trust Penrose estate, between Helston and Porthleven, the programme of activities brings a new full and half marathon to the county, as well as many other activities.

For the first time in the history of the festival, local primary school children will be part of a special two-day event in the lead up to the weekend with over 300 young people from the Helston and Lizard area taking part in outdoor activities and discovery.

Supported by the Tanner Trust, the programme for the children includes archery, climbing, campfire cooking, bushcraft, beekeeping and a Barefoot walk to round it all off.

Running South West Outdoor Festival

The main weekend takes place from 27–29 September, kicking off from 4pm on the Friday, and will include world record–holding expedition runners, cyclists, kayakers and hikers, plus ocean rowers, planet-looping sailors, wild swimmers, rock climbers and even a mermaid.

Mike Hardy, Lead Ranger for the National Trust said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone to Penrose, it’s a beautiful spot to come and camp for the weekend and enjoy everything that’s great about the outdoors in the South West.”

Highlights include the chance to meet Jamie MacDonald, a multiple world-record holder who recently returned from running 5,500 miles (210 consecutive marathons), coast-to-coast across the United States; an expedition he immediately followed by setting a new world record for distance run on a treadmill in 7 days (524.4 miles).

Also speaking during the weekend is Cornwall’s own Laura Penhaul, team leader of the all-female Coxless Crew who set two World Records when they rowed 9,000km unsupported across the Pacific.

Surfing South West Outdoor Festival

Author Xan Brooks is this year’s Writer in Residence, and he will be launching and reading from an original piece of work written specifically for the festival and set on the banks of the Loe Pool, where the South West Outdoor Festival is taking place.

In addition, wildlife experts will deliver talks on the animals that call the Cornish coast and countryside home, from bees to seals; professional storyteller Mark Harrandon will be waxing lyrical around the campfire on Friday and Saturday evening, telling tales for young and old; and comedy Cornish Rappers Hedluv and Passman will take to the Sharp’s Brewery Offshore Pilsner Stage on Saturday as part of a line-up of live music that will be announced in full soon.

All talks, films and bands are free for ticket-holding festival-goers, as are a multitude of on-site activities ranging from food foraging walks, campfire cooking and stargazing through to yoga, archery and axe throwing.

Other adventures such as trail running, mountain biking, rock climbing, surfing, sea kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and more can be booked on the website along with camping pitches.

Biking South West Outdoor Festival

SWOF is organised by the National Trust, in partnership with Cotswold Outdoor and Sharp’s Brewery. The event welcomes everyone from accomplished outdoor experts through to adventure-curious beginners and active families. There will be a range of pursuits to suit every age group and level of fitness.

Parking will be available on-site for day visitors and campers. Spaces are limited so book your tickets as soon as possible at

Photos by Chris Lacey / National Trust

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