National Trust unveil plans for ‘exciting’ new outdoors festival

PUBLISHED: 18:14 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:14 16 January 2018

The Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James Dobson

The Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James Dobson

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A festival which will encourage people to enjoy the great outdoors has been planned in a West Country village.

The Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James DobsonThe Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James Dobson

The National Trust has decided to organise its own event following the success of the South West Outdoor Festival (SWOF) in Cheddar last September.

The Top Of The Gorge Festival will celebrate the many outdoor adventures and experiences which can be enjoyed in Cheddar and across the Mendip Hills and will take over Cheddar Gorge from June 22-24.

The event will welcome campers and day visitors of all ages and abilities to enjoy trails, tales and adventures as well as a chance to stay overnight in the gorge and sleep under the stars above the iconic Blackrock.

The trust launched the new event after hundreds flocked to the gorge for the SWOF.

The Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James DobsonThe Top Of The Gorge Festival will be held in Cheddar in June. Picture: James Dobson

National Trust’s visitor experience manager Jenny Weston-Siviter said she was ‘excited’ to be part of the new festival.

She added: “After the success of the South West Outdoor Festival last year, it is important we continue to encourage getting active in the outdoors and the gorge is a top site to do just that.

“It is the perfect place for visitors of all abilities to get outdoors and try something new, and a great opportunity to hopefully inspire a passion in adventure sports, an active lifestyle and the landscape and community around the gorge.

“Supporting this festival will also help our team keep the gorge and the Mendip Hills special forever, for everyone. I cannot wait to see new faces in Cheddar.”

It is supported by the Mendip Hills AONB, the Somerset Wildlife Trust, Longleat and local businesses including Yeo Valley.

Guests will be able to try their hand at axe-throwing, guided walks and adventure games as well as listen to some inspirational talks and live music.

Cheddar Parish Council has backed the event, with chairman Peter Colton saying it is a ‘great idea’.

He added: “Without having seen the event in full it is great to promote the outdoor facilities we have here in Cheddar.

“Any promotion like this is very welcome if it brings people to the area and into Cheddar.”

Tickets start at £6 for earlybird day tickets and from £15 for earlybird weekend camping from www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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