A midnight walk up Helvellyn is on the festival programme

A midnight walk up Helvellyn is on the festival programme

A Lake District festival will offer walkers the chance to take a midnight hike up England’s third highest mountain.

The trip, setting off in the middle of the night to tackle Helvellyn, is just one of a range of walks aimed at everyone from beginners to experienced hill baggers during Keswick Mountain Festival.

A festival spokesperson said: “As always, outdoor activities will be at the heart of Keswick Mountain Festival, and this year’s hike programme is extensive.

“For experienced and ambitious walkers, there will be three special walks that will provide perspectives of the Lakes at different times of the day and night.

“Helvellyn by Sunrise will see walkers set off with a professional guide at midnight and reach the summit of the mountain as the sun rises over the Lakeland fells. Meanwhile, Blencathra by the Stars will offer an opportunity to reach the top of the classic fell as darkness falls.

“Finally, walkers on the Cat Bells Evening Wander will set off early in the evening, with the aim of admiring the views of the sunset over Keswick as they reach the summit of the famous fell.

“Other festival visitors with lofty ambitions can tick off 60 of the Wainwrights tops in a series of four guided hikes over consecutive days.

“There will also be opportunities to tackle classic Lakeland routes during the day, thanks to HF Holidays, with professionally guided walks up Scafell Pike, Skiddaw and Blencathra, along with other much loved locations such as Bowder Stone and Cat Bells.

“In addition, HF Holidays will host a series of lower level walks for families. Part of the KMF Family Fun schedule, these walks will give family groups the chance to explore locations like Bowder Stone and Cat Bells. Many of the HF Holidays walks will start from the new Berghaus Adventure Hub in the festival village on Crow Park.”

The May festival also includes Hi-Tec’s Big Walk. The company, which is a headline festival sponsor, has printed thousands of route maps for three classic Keswick walks, starting and finishing in the festival village on Crow Park. At different lengths and levels, the routes are accessible for all walkers. Hikers who complete any of the three Big Walks will have the chance of winning a seven-night adventure walking holiday for a family of four, courtesy of HF Holidays, plus Hi-Tec kit.

Walking is at the centre of the festival, organisers said

Walking is at the centre of the festival, organisers said

Lucy Scrase, Keswick Mountain Festival director, said: “Our hike programme is more extensive than ever this year.

“Working with Hi-Tec, HF Holidays and some great local activity providers, we really believe that we have a range of walks that together offer something for every visitor. Keswick Mountain Festival has always put walking activities front and centre of our event, helping new and returning visitors to explore the truly stunning landscape that surrounds the festival.”

Details and prices for the event, which takes place between 14 and 17 May, can be seen on the Keswick Mountain Festival website.

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