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From the Lake District to Switzerland, London, the Dolomites and back to Snowdonia, these are our top five festivals for lovers of the outdoors in 2017.

mountain festival

Kendal Mountain Festival, Lake District

16-19 November, 2017

With over 100 adventure and outdoors films screened from 240+ entries, as well as 12 prestigious 'gongs' up for grabs, the Lake District's 17-year-old Kendal Mountain Festival is building itself a reputation as the 'Oscars of outdoor filmmaking'. There are events, seminars, and workshops for budding filmmakers, as well as Specialist Session 'social summits' for adventure categories such as Climb, Bike, Snowsports, Endurance Sports, Underground (Cave), Adventure & Exploration and Outdoor Swimming, plus talks from adventure luminaries, writers and broadcasters. Apart from the famous Saturday night party, there are plenty of activities to do, such as taking on the country's highest indoor climbing wall and a mass participation 10k trail run. 


The North Face Mountain Festival, Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland

14-17 September, 2017

Overlooked by the iconic 3,970m Eiger and with the cascade of the Staubbach waterfall as its backdrop, this weekend mountain festival in the heart of the Swiss Alps is like no other. A festival ticket will cost you £208 but it includes all organized hikes, trail runs and climbs run by The North Face athletes and local guides, plus camping, hot showers and toilets. Also included is breakfast Friday to Sunday and dinner on Saturday night, served in the huge geodesic banqueting hall. Each evening there will be free talks, live music and movies, plus workshops and talks in the basecamp by experts on all things outdoor adventure, from photography to wilderness cooking, plus a bar. Over 18s only.


Adventure Travel Film Festival, London

11-17 August, 2017

Unlike many big-screen film festivals, which are based around cinema screens in cities, the Adventure Travel Film Festival is based around two days of convivial camping in the 120 acre grounds of Mill Hill School, by the Ridgeway in north London. There is a busy schedule of adventure travel films for all tastes and from all eras, a lineup of short films, film and adventure workshops such as How to Film with a Drone, talks from the likes of Benedict Allen, and sideshows on everything from Bike Tarp Camping, to motorbike test rides, campfire cookery classes and survival skills. Live in Scotland? Then a few weeks later you can enjoy the Scottish iteration of the Adventure Travel Film Festival in Inverewe, Wester Ross on 15-17 September. 


Dolomites Bike Day & Sellaronda Bike Day, Italy

18 June and 25 June, 2017

Although separate events, these two free-to-enter cycling festivals among the towering limestone monoliths of the Italian Dolomites take place over many of the same mountain passes and only a week apart. This year will be the first edition of the Dolomites Bike Day, during which the roads that connect Alta Badia - Arabba and the Falzarego pass will be closed to all traffic except cyclists between 10am and 3pm. You can join the 52km circular route, with 1,370m of vertical ascent at any point, taking on switchback ascents and descents over mountain passes made famous by the Giro d'Italia grand tour. In 2016 over 20,000 riders of all ages took part in the Sellaronda Bike Day, during which the classic 58km circular route around the Sella massif is closed to traffic. You can ride one or all four of its classic passes and start in any of the four main villages its passes through, where you'll find bike festival atmosphere with plenty to see and do., 


Snowdonia Outdoor Festival, Bala Lake, Snowdonia

11-13 August, 2017

Organised by the same people who put on the Lake District's well-established Keswick Mountain Festival in June, the Snowdonia Outdoor Festival will include sporting events, camping, live music, talks and organised outdoor activities aimed at a family audience - all based around a festival village on the banks of Bala Lake. Away from the festival village events there will be guided walks, canoeing, mountain biking, open water swimming, bushcraft and stand up paddle boarding. Mass participation sporting events in the surrounding Snowdonia National Park will include three trail runs, two open water swims, two mountain biking rides and a road sportive. The summer holiday date fits with the new festival's hope to cater particularly for families with 8-14 year olds. 

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