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Keswick Mountain Festival 2020 launches with biggest ever sports and outdoor events programme

Cyclists in action at the inaugural Keswick Town Trials – photo by Dougie Cunningham

Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has unveiled its biggest ever programme of sports and outdoor events, as tickets for 2020 go on sale today.

The schedule includes 18 running, cycling, swimming, multi-sport and hiking events over three days, with options designed to appeal to all ages and abilities. KMF will be held from 15-17 May next year and places on the sporting events and festival tickets can now be booked at

Keswick Mountain Festival will kick off the 2020 summer festival season, taking over the town of Keswick with its unique mix of live music, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family.

Founded in 2007, KMF is now one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting 20,000 visits every year to the iconic fells and lakes of Cumbria. The heart of the event will be the Festival Village in Crow Park on the shore of Derwentwater, where most of the sports and outdoor events will start and finish. The site is owned by The National Trust, which is KMF’s official charity partner. For 2020, many of the festival’s most popular sports and outdoor events return, including the adidas TERREX 5K, 10K, 25K and 50K Trail Races on the Saturday and Sunday, offering distances for all ages, abilities and levels of experience.

The Fjallraven Hike programme is expanding for 2020 and has been boosted by support from Hanwag. The Fjallraven Three Peaks Challenge is now one of the festival’s most popular events. After selling out this year, visitors in 2020 will be able to tackle this 18-mile hike around Derwentwater on each day of KMF. Taking in three classic fells – Catbells, Walla Crag and Latrigg – walkers will set off between 7:30am and 9:00am and will be challenged to finish within eight hours.

To cater for even more walking enthusiasts, KMF has added two new events for 2020. The Fjallraven Coledale Challenge is for experienced hikers, taking participants on a stunning but tough 16-mile route, with over 4,000 feet of ascent and some tricky terrain.

In contrast, the Fjallraven Walla Crag Family Challenge is a hike for all of the family, during which teams will have to solve puzzles as they make their way along a course that leads them to the top of the nearby fell. All of the events in the Hike programme will be supported by Hanwag, as part of the leading outdoor footwear brand’s centenary celebrations.

Another new event for 2020 will be the Derwentwater Point to Point open water swim. Swimmers will be taken across Derwentwater to Brandlehow on the Keswick Launch and will then swim back around 3,600m to the KMF Festival Village. Meanwhile, the popular 1,500m swim will return and a new 750m event has been added for newcomers to open water swimming.

Once again, KMF will offer plenty of opportunities for cyclists to explore the Lakeland scenery. The challenging Back o’ Skiddaw Sportive and Cocker Hoop Sportive both return and at 18K, the new Derwentwater Sportive is a shorter ride that is open to everyone and is ideal for less confident cyclists and junior riders. For multi-sports enthusiasts of all ages, the festival offers either the KMF Sprint Triathlon or one of the KMF Junior Aquathons. The Keswick Conqueror also returns, challenging athletes to complete the Derwentwater Point to Point and adidas TERREX 25K Trail Race on Saturday, and then the Cocker Hoop sportive on the Sunday.

After a successful debut this year, the Keswick Town Trials will once again take the KMF 2020 sports schedule into the heart of the town on the afternoon of Friday 15 May. Taking place in and around Keswick’s Market Square, the Town Trials will be a series of fun running and cycling obstacle races for adults and children, who will be set off in waves of up to 30 people.

Festival director Nicola Meadley comments: “Keswick Mountain Festival has always aimed to deliver sports and outdoor experiences that offer something for everyone and I think we’ve pulled together our best ever line-up for 2020.

“Plenty of favourites are returning and we’ve added some very exciting new events. Whether someone is a seasoned hiker or a first-time trail runner, we have an adventure that will suit them, and our programme allows individuals and families to plan a full weekend of different types of activity. The icing on the cake is that every single event takes visitors into this beautiful part of the Lake District where we are fortunate enough to be able to hold our festival.”

The rest of the line-up of live music, speakers and other activities and attractions for the 2020 Keswick Mountain Festival will be revealed over the coming months. As well as sponsorship for the sports and outdoor events from adidas TERREX, Fjallraven and Hanwag, Yorkshire-based brewery Timothy Taylor’s will return with the Lakeside and Mountain Hut bars providing refreshments, including a range of their award-winning ales, to all visitors to the Festival Village, whether they’re participating in a sports or outdoor event, supporting someone who is, or simply there to enjoy the entertainment and setting. The KMF team is also working with Sustainable Keswick and other stakeholders to develop initiatives that will help reduce the environmental impact of the festival, details of which will be confirmed in due course.

To find out more about KMF, visit, email [email protected], find the event on Facebook, or follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram.

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