Meet the adventure family

Jen and Sim Benson, wild runners and family adventurers

The South West is a mecca for families, outdoors enthusiasts and adventurers, and the South West Outdoor Festival brings them together this September in one unique place - Heddon Valley in Exmoor.

The festival is being supported by leading figures in the outdoor world, among them the runners, writers, and family adventurers Jen and Sim Benson, authors of Wild Running: 150 Great Adventures on the Trails and Fells of Britain. Jen and Sim are also Trails Running magazine's gear specialists and write a monthly column for Running Fitness magazine.

Sim is a qualified run leader and has experience in navigation, training, racing and wilderness survival, while Jen is a long distance runner and researcher with more than 50 marathons and ultra-marathons under her belt.

Wild running
Running on St Ives beach
Wild running

Frustrated at spending their days apart and missing their children growing up, Jen and Sim recently moved out of their home and set off to explore Britain with a bell tent, a wood burner, and two children under the age of four. For 12 months they lived wild, discovering the British Isles and living together under canvas.

Meet the family at the South West Outdoor Festival

At the South West Outdoor Festival, Jen and Sim will be leading a guided running session for newcomers to trail running. Accompanied by their children, they will also be hosting a fireside Q&A about how they balance their family life with outdoor adventures.

The free chat will take place in the festival reading area – a quiet spot where festival-goers can chill out, discover inspirational outdoorsy literature and even meet some of the authors.

" A wild running adventure can be as gentle or as testing as you choose to make it, and it can be different every time, but the key ingredients – an adventure somewhere amazing, with great running underfoot – are always present. "
- Jen and Sim Benson