14th - 17th November 2019


Supported by the Outdoor Swimming Society

Sunday 17th November/ 9.30 am – 11.30 am
Kendal Town Hall, buy tickets

The Kendal Film Festival is back to bring thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe together to share and celebrate the best stories from the world of adventure. Stories of human endurance, breathtaking environments and soul-stirring journeys. The Outdoor Swimming Session, presented by dryrobe, will include film screenings and swimming tales from inspiring characters. New hosts Jonathan Cowie and Ella Foote of Outdoor Swimmer magazine will guide you through a morning of swimming delight.


Lindsey Cole

In 2018, OSS Swim Champ Lindsey swam the length of the Thames dressed as a mermaid. Not only did she find tons of manmade polymers, but she also discovered the wonderful community of outdoor swimming. She was so moved that she decided to meet more wild swimming communities across the country by cycling to the Scottish Cold Water Swimming Champs meeting swimming groups en route. High on adrenaline she decided to carry on, all over Britain – from Shetland to the Isles of Scilly. Wherever she received a swim invite, she went!

Ben Dowman

Ben Dowman is a cyclist and swimmer and who lives in the Lake District. In 2019 he created the UKs ultimate swim-cycle challenge, the Frog Whitton (a cousin to the Frog Graham swim-run challenge). Inspired by the Fred Whitton cycle route, the Frog Whitton is a journey of 102 miles involving 96 miles of cycling over Lakeland passes with 6 miles of swimming in 4 different lakes. Having created the challenge he completed it this summer in a time of 10 hours 48 minutes.

Fenwick Ridley

Fenwick has been coaching swimming for 20 years and runs his own open water swimming business H2oTrails. He introduces people to the water and coaches long distance swimming. He used to marathon swim but is now more of an adventure/ice swimmer. He says “My adventure swimming has taken a strong exciting route and I’m now tackling a list of ideas and goals. My first goal was to swim the whole of the river Tyne from Newcastle to Kielder. Now I have done the north Tyne and early next year I’ll do the south.”

The Outdoor Swimming Session is shaping up to be a must-see at Kendal Mountain Festival, Gideon Bright, dryrobe founder and Director, commented:

“We’re proud to be joining the Kendal Mountain Festival to present the Outdoor Swimming Session – here at dryrobe our mission is to help inspire, enable and improve the experience of an active outdoor lifestyle, for everyone. Kendal embraces and shares this ethos wholeheartedly, which is why we’re excited to be working together with them for 2019. We can’t wait to see the amazing outdoor swimming community at the festival – see you there!”

2018 Winner 'Adventure in the Outdoors' by Hamish Frost


Kendal are seeking entries for their 2019 Photography Competition. Now in its 12th year, the prestigious Kendal Mountain Festival Photography competition has cemented a reputation for discovering new talent and celebrating some of the most captivating imagery from the world of outdoor adventure.

For 2019, the festival theme is openness – a call to the Festival, audiences and adventurers to be open to all people, places and ideas. The competition is open to all, including images taken on smartphones. The goal is to bring together the best images from across the globe that can leave lasting impressions on the viewer.

The winner will receive a £500 holiday voucher to spend at Heart of the Lakes, the perfect opportunity for a photographer to stay in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Lake District and capture the beautiful surroundings. The Grand Prize winner will also receive one of the world-renowned ‘Kendal’ awards, produced by Andy Perkins, this will be presented at the prestigious Festival awards ceremony on Saturday 16 November.

Find out more and enter your photos here!

David Gange, a rough day on the water

If you are attending the Outdoor Swimming Session at the festival, why not make a day of it and catch David Gange talking about his book ‘The Frayed Atlantic Edge’.

Sunday 17 November 2019 / 16:30 – 18:00
Brewery Arts Centre Malt Room, book tickets

He shares his story of a whirlwind trip along Britain’s coasts from Shetland to Cornwall, with each chapter serving as a love letter to a different region of the British coastline.

Travelling by kayak, on foot and at the end of a rope, David encounters wildcats, basking sharks and vast colonies of seabirds, as well as rich and diverse coastal communities. Spending nights in sight of the sea, outdoors and without a tent, the journey crosses hundreds of peaks and millions of waves. Written with literary finesse in an immersive style, and informed by history, this new talent in nature writing takes us on a whirlwind trip with each chapter serving as a love letter to a different region of the British coastline.

The historian and nature writer set out to travel the seaboard in the course of a year. This coastline spans just eight-hundred miles as the crow flies, but the complex folds of its firths and headlands stretch more than ten-thousand. Even those who circumnavigate Britain by kayak tend to follow the shortest route; the purpose of this journey was to discover these coastlines by seeking out the longest.

Got some spare time between films? Why not head for a dip in one of the most spectacular corners of the UK: Kendal wildswim Collection