KENDAL Mountain Festival brought together tens of thousands of people over the weekend with its biggest-ever opening ceremony.

The year's theme was 'joy' and kicked off with spectacular bike stunts, a high-line performance and a jugal performance - a type of Nepalese dance

The event is regarded as one of the most diverse festivals in the UK.

Filmmakers, TV producers, adventurers, top brands, athletes and speakers gathered to take part in the four-day festival.

Highlights included films, talks, books and exhibitions covering all aspects of mountain and adventure sports culture. 

Among the keynote speakers were some big names such as Olympic cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins who spoke at Kendal Leisure Centre on Sunday (November 19).

Other big names that took part speaker events were poet Simon Armitage and BBC Presenters Louise Minchin and Helen Skelton.

World-class adventures were also in attendance such as Norwegian mountaineer Kristin Harila, British rxplorer Levison Wood and British rock climber Leo Houlding.

According to organisers, more than 28,000 people visited the free Basecamp Village over three days and 88 talks in total were held across three stages.

The Westmorland Gazette: Women's FINDRA clothing brand discussing the film 'Women on the Move'Every year, world premieres, feature films and short films are screened at the event's film festival.

This year 150 filmmakers from around the world attended with 180 films screened including Full Circle, Clear on Deer and If The Streets Were On Fire which clinched the Grand Prize at Kendal Mountain Festival 2023.

The Judges' Special Prize award saw two winners this year which included Camp Courage, made by refugees from the war in Ukraine and Freya, about an untypical family holiday in which the Jacksons climb Norway’s National mountain via a 2000ft big wall.

The book festival saw 43 book events which included free children's literature and an appearance from patron and British Travel Writer Robert Macfarlane.

Overall 60 activities were put on including the 1,000 runners participating in the Adidas TerREX 10K to raise money for the Kendal Mountain Rescue.

The Westmorland Gazette: Adidas TERREX 10k Runners outside Kendal Town Hall102 different brands and organisations were in attendance including ambassadors from Helly Hansen, Saltrock and Patagonia.

A dozen parties were held, including HAUS party by Berghuas, and over 1,500 kids took part in free Kendal for Schools sessions with families watching free family adventure films.

Organisers said: "Thank you to everyone who joined us in Kendal, you rocked our town for four wonderful days.

"Thank you to each and every adventurer, filmmaker, enthusiast, and volunteer who made Kendal Mountain Festival 2023 an unforgettable weekend. Until next time, keep exploring, keep curious, and keep the adventure alive.

"Let’s do it all again next year. Save the date 21st - 24th November 2024."

The adventure continues as the Festival heads out on tour in January 2024 with 40 dates across the UK To find out more, visit