We are wildly excited to announce the launch of the 2019 Kendal Mountain Literature Festival Programme and it is looking better than ever.

The Literature Festival runs alongside the Kendal Mountain Festival from Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 November 2019 and will feature the foremost authors of nature and mountain literature. We’re honoured to have Robert MacFarlane as our Festival patron.

This year the Literature programme features over 30 events including: spoken-word, photography, poetry, autobiography and illustration from the world of nature, travel and adventure writing. Bringing together writers from all over the world to participate in a series of conversations, debates and performances.

Literature Festival Curator Paul Scully says: "this year’s Festival is ‘a chance to explore and celebrate our relationship and connection with landscape, nature, people, and place. We want to bring all that imagination and experience; whether embodied or virtual, to provoke, inspire, and ensure the survival of wilderness and creativity."

2019 Literature Highlights

We welcome Dierdre Wolownick-Honnold from the USA to share her new memoir The SharpEnd of Life – A Mother’s Story. At fifty-eight, inspired by her son – free-climber Alex Honnold – Dierdre took up rock climbing and became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan.

We’ll fight to save our wild places with Julian Hoffman’s latest book Irreplaceable – a timely reminder of the vital connections between humans and nature.

There will be an evening of high alpine inspiration with photographer Ben Tibbets presenting his spectacular Alpenglow photography from the highest peaks in the European Alps.

Cycling fans are in for a treat with a celebration of the Rough Stuff Fellowship Archive – the oldest off-road cycling club in the world. As well as endurance cyclist Emily Chappell joining us to share her story of transformation from London cycle courier to cross-continental bike racer in her new book Where There’s a Will.

Take a musical journey through the British landscape with author Richard King presenting his new work The Lark Ascending on Saturday morning and join us for a spectacular mountain inspired performance with incredible opera singer Peter Van Hulle and pianist

Michael Cayton taking to the stage on Saturday evening with Mountain and Music.

Delve into the life of the remarkable mountaineer Edmund Hillary presented by Edmund’s close friend for nearly 50 years – Michael Gill.

Help us to make mountain literature more accessible at Open Mountain, where we will showcase five winning works from our open call for submissions from people underrepresented in mountain and outdoor literature.

And of course our Literature programme wouldn’t be complete without the much-anticipated Boardman Tasker Awards evening, which the Festival hosts each year.

Book online through our new website kendalmountainfestival.com/events.


With thanks to our Literature presenting partner Fjallraven and partners Rainbow Tours, Regent Holidays, George Fisher and Cicerone. Our academic partner Lancaster University, our media partners Emergence Magazine and Elementum Journal and our print partner H&H Reeds.