The launch of a new and exciting road bike session is just one of the many exciting things that will be happening at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival (KMF).

With nearly 20,000 people expected to descend on the town for the annual gathering of the outdoor community, the four-day event is due to be packed with events that celebrate the world of adventure. 

From tales of human endurance and soul-stirring journeys, this year’s festival will explore an international programme of films, literature, specialist sessions and talks. 

The event, which runs from today to Sunday, has venues spread across the town including Kendal Town Hall, Kendal Leisure Centre, Ye Olde Fleece Inn with the heart of the action being at The Brewery Arts Centre. 

As well as launching an all new road bike session, which includes special guest World Tour pro Lachlan Morton, the festival has expanded to encompass not just films but also embrace the literature and the arts. 

This year’s Kendal Mountain Literature Festival will run alongside the KMF. 

The literature programme will feature more than 30 events, including spoken-word, poetry and illustration from the world of nature, travel and adventure writing. 

The theme for this year’s festival is Openness. 

“To be open to the world is an ethical - even political - stance, as well as an aesthetic one,” said Kendal Mountain Literature Festival Patron Robert Macfarlane

“At a time when borders are being reinforced, positions hardened, prejudices deepened, when walls are literally being built between communities and nation-states, openness becomes vital. These are some of the qualities celebrated by our rich, diverse programme. Now, more than ever, we must keep our minds and our mountains open.” 

The Harvey Maps Fell Running Session is once again a sell-out event with talks from Kendal mum of two Mhairi Helme on her Classic Rock challenge and funny anecdotes from Darren Fishwick. 

Trek Bike night also returns due to popular demand along with the BMC Breakfast Club and the Petzl Underground Night.