Outdoor activities at the South West Outdoor Festival

Padddleboarding at South West Outdoor Festival

Group sessions will be taking place at different times on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with highly qualified outdoor education instructors and guides

Take part in a range of activities and adventures over the weekend – there is something here to suit all levels of skill, experience and fitness (or lack thereof!), only requirement is to be willing to give it a go.

Festival activity partners

Channel Adventure

Exmoor-based experts offering a diverse range of adventurous activities, outdoor education and personal development programmes.

Exmoor Adventure

West Somerset’s leading outdoor specialists for a range of adventurous activities and courses within the Exmoor National Park.

The Slow Adventure Company

An independent travel company that crafts slow-paced, human-powered adventures in Exmoor & across North Devon.

Yoga with Jemima

Jemima is a South West-based Yoga Alliance-certified Multi-Style Yoga Instructor, specialising in providing all inclusive yoga classes for mixed ability groups, especially in outdoor spaces; the natural world informs and inspires her classes, complimenting other outdoor activities such as walking, climbing, and surfing.

Yoga is a practice for the body, for the mind, and promotes health, awareness, and gratitude. Novice or expert Yogi, join Jemima at the South West Outdoor Festival to experience Yoga and celebrate the beautiful natural environment of the UK. Namaste.

Yoga at the South West Outdoor Festival
Yoga at the South West Outdoor Festival

Small-group activities

Group sessions will be taking place at different times on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with highly qualified outdoor education instructors and guides imparting their knowledge, and teaching the essential skills required for all sorts of pursuits including:

  • rock climbing
  • rafting
  • stand-up paddleboarding
  • kayaking
  • rockpooling
  • coasteering
  • mountain biking
  • wild swimming
  • guided walks

The above activities need to be booked in advance (on-the-day bookings will only be taken if availability remains), while others are walk-up-and-try experiences.    

Channel Training
Channel Training

Walk-up activities

Not every activity has to be booked in advance, you can seize the day and have a go at all sorts of challenges and experiences across the weekend.

Walk-up and have-a-go activities – many of them free – will include the following:

  • slacklining
  • tree climbing
  • axe and knife throwing
  • bush craft
  • fire lighting
  • stick- and leaf-boat racing
  • star gazing
  • food foraging
  • beach art
  • drystone wall making
  • camp cooking
Tree climbing at the South West Outdoor Festival
Tree climbing at the South West Outdoor Festival

 
For kids

The festival will be completely family friendly, and we encourage all parents to bring their children and introduce them to the wild wonders of outdoor adventure and exploration.

Almost all of the small-group activities on offer can cater for children above a certain age, but the following pursuits and experiences are particularly well suited for young families and junior adventurers:

  • family rafting
  • rock pooling & beach exploration
  • stick- and leaf-boat racing
  • axe and knife throwing
  • tree climbing
  • wildlife wanders
  • bushcraft
  • star gazing
  • story telling
  • guided food foraging
  • 50 Things
  • Adventuring with Children Q&A with Jen and Sim Benson

Cotswold Outdoor Knowledge Centre 

 
South West Outdoor Festival partners Cotswold Outdoor will be operating a Knowledge Centre at the festival site, with product experts and athletes conducting a series of informative and interactive sessions, demonstrating how to get the very best out of your gear and providing top tips on how to choose the right outdoor equipment for your personal requirements. Please note, all of these seminars and sessions are free to attend, and there is no requirement to purchase anything (in fact, Cotswold Outdoor will not have a shop at the festival, so please make sure you come with everything you need for the activities you are taking part in over the weekend, including energy bars and gels, and spare tubes and tools if you're taking part in cycling event).
 

The Knowledge Centre will include the following

 

Roll-up Bike Workshop

If you're taking part in a cycling event during the festival and you've detected a strangle rattle or hum coming from your bike, get it checked out by the qualified mechanics before you hit the trails/lanes. And, if you're looking for some top tips about pre and post-ride bike maintenance, they will be imparting their hard earned knowledge about this too. Drop (or roll) in at any time over the weekend to ask bike tech-related questions.
 
Bike clinic at the South West Outdoor Festival
Bike clinic at the South West Outdoor Festival

Walk-in Footwear Clinic

Feet. We use them every day, but do we treat them properly? Sadly, often the answer is no. If you're experiencing problems with your hooves, come and consult the feet agony aunts and uncles here. The team of experts will walk you through the best way to select the running shoes and walking boots that perfectly suit you, and the pursuits you want to do. Topics covered during group and individual discussions will include footwear biomechanics, gait analysis, pronation, barefoot theory, stretches and warm ups.  
 
Footwear clinic at the South West Outdoor Festival
Footwear clinic at the South West Outdoor Festival

Cooking Sessions

Camp cooking is an integral part of the outdoor experience, but with such a wealth of stoves available, which one suits your requirements best. Come and have a play with a range of options here, and decide for yourself, with some brilliant advice from highly experienced al fresco experts – people who have spent years making brews and cooking up a storm in campsites and on beaches, at the top of peaks and the bottom of crags, and in remote corners of the outdoor world in all kinds of conditions. There will be demonstrations showing which stoves can boil water the quickest, which ones offer the best simmer controls, and which are the lightest to carry around, plus tips on such subjects as dehydrated food and how to spice up your camp cooking life.
 

Rucksack Clinic

Rule number one: a bag is not just a bag. Whether you're hitting the trails for a few hours or setting out on a multiday mission, the backpack you select for any given outdoor activity will have a direct bearing on how much you enjoy the experience. How you go about packing that bag is also crucially important – more so than you might believe until you see and feel it demonstrated here during a series of interactive sessions. Come and hear experts explaining how to choose the right rucksack for you, and how to fill it correctly.     
Backback clinic at the South West
Backback clinic at the South West

 

Sport Science Clinic

Baffled by talk of electrolytes and energy bars? Confused by the range of technical fabrics being used in outdoor apparel these days, and all their various claims about keeping you warm, dry and looking good? The technical experts in this corner of the knowledge centre can bring you up to speed with what you actually need – demonstrating how modern materials work and encouraging people to take a hands-on approach to feeling the difference. 
 

Panasonic

Bringing their visionary expertise to the party, Panasonic will be hosting a Roadshow at Heddon Valley during the festival, with pro photographers, field experts and brand ambassadors sharing their knowledge and tips on how to capture those perfect outdoor moments in still and video format. Come and have a play with the latest cameras and see footage captured out on the trails during the weekend.    
 
 

Exmoor National Park

Along with the National Trust the local custodians of this terrific terrain are the Exmoor National Park authority. But these guys are so much more than simply nature's caretakers, they're a font of knowledge about everything that happens here, from the wildlife we'll be sharing the valley with, to the stars that form a kaleidoscopic night ceiling above Exmoor, Europe's first official Dark Sky Reserve.
 
National Park rangers will be be holding one of their legendary Big Adventure experiences over the whole weekend, with free activities including guided food foraging walks, campfire cooking sessions, fire lighting and bush craft activities, stick- and leaf-boat racing, and beach activities heading out from the Lime Kiln at Heddon’s Mouth, such as scavenger hunts, make the tallest stone tower and creating big beach art.   

Festival activity partners