10 things to do at the South West Outdoor Festival

Kayaker with SWOF branding

With towering cliffs, ancient woodland, a fast-flowing river and grassy meadows, the beautiful Heddon Valley, in Exmoor, is the perfect place to host an event dedicated to outdoor activities.

That is why we're taking our first ever South West Outdoor Festival there in September. It will be a fun-packed weekend of activities suitable for anyone who loves the outdoors, is willing to have a go and take on a new challenge.

So whether you are an adrenalin junkie or enjoy gentler activities, here are ten of the many pursuits on offer, five on the water and five land-based:

For lovers of the sea

Family rockpooling at St Helens Duver
Childern discovering a crab in a rockpool
Family rockpooling at St Helens Duver
  1. Discover hidden beaches and coves and look out for marine wildlife as you explore the beautiful North Devon coastline on a wild swim safari.
  2. Another coastal exploration and adventure day on (and occasionally off) a sit-on-top kayak. There are some ambitious coasteering jumps for the brave-hearted.
  3. Learn essential stand-up paddleboarding techniques while playing games in the surf. A rapidly-growing pursuit, it’s superb for core fitness and balance.
  4. Master the essentials of paddling and catch some waves during a fun and friendly family-rafting session.
  5. Discover the huge variety of fascinating creatures that exist in North Devon's rockpools and learn how they have adapted to live here.


For countryside enthusiasts

Family moments toasting marshmallows over the fire
A family huddles around a camp fire toasting marshmallows on sticks
Family moments toasting marshmallows over the fire
  1. From open moorland to the highest sea cliffs in England, explore Exmoor and learn about its history and wildlife from local experts on a series of guided walks.
  2. Choose between a taster-session of guided mountain biking; an off-road sportive for all levels; or a super-scenic, but tough, 100 mile road-cycling challenge.
  3. Experience the thrills and learn the core techniques involved in outdoor climbing while drinking in the fantastic views from the top of the rocks.
  4. Try trail running with either a demanding but rewarding world-class trail marathon; or a shorter 6km taster race, both traversing some of the UK’s most stunning terrain.
  5. Acquire the essential skills required for surviving in the wilderness, from foraging for food in nature’s larder to lighting and cooking on a campfire.

Places are limited so booking is essential: www.national trust.org.uk/swof.