From bushcraft to biking, wakeboarding to walking, campfires to craft beer and kayaking to kicking back… The 53 Degrees North Adventure Festival might just be the dream weekend for lovers of the outdoors!

Adventure Festival
Image: 53 Degrees North

Imagine yourself on the shores of a stunning lake. Some tunes from a hot new Irish band drift on the breeze along with the smell of a sizzling BBQ. Your mouth is watering because you’ve seriously worked up an appetite today. You had an epic hike in the hills earlier and then you and your mates had a blast ripping across the calm waters of the lake on wakeboards.

Now you’re blissed out in front of your tent, sipping a well-earned craft beer and trying to decide what gourmet food to order and whether you should head to see that band, just chill at the campfire or head along to the cocktail master class sessions. They will show people how to make cocktails with foraged ingredients. Decisions, decisions!! Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?!

“By day, festival goers will be treated to a tasting and tempting menu of activities, including mountain biking, guided hikes, archery, axe throwing (we reckon this is our path to glory!), wakeboarding, kayaking, bushcraft, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding and lots more.”

But wake up because you can make that fantasy a reality at the new 53 Degrees North Adventure Festival this August bank holiday weekend. Supported by Columbia Sportswear and Wicklow Outdoors, this super-duper, we-can’t-wait-for-it, action-packed event takes place on Sat 4 and Sun 5 August 2018 on the shores of Blessington Lake.

Surrounded by the glorious Wicklow mountains and the calm waters of the lake, there may just be no better place to pitch your tent. By day, festival goers will be treated to a tasting and tempting menu of activities, including mountain biking, guided hikes, archery, axe throwing (we reckon this is our path to glory!), wakeboarding, kayaking, bushcraft, yoga, stand-up paddle boarding and lots more.

Killarney Walking Festival to Take Place this June

And when you feel like you can go no more, you can kick back in front of the campfire and enjoy one of the great Irish bands that will be making an appearance on Saturday night. There’ll be all sorts of culinary goodies to chow down on, including BBQ, burritos, vegetarian and pizza.

And did we mention that O Brother Brewing will be selling an exclusive beer, brewed especially for the festival called ‘The Adventurer’? Or that local company Glendalough Whiskey will run cocktail master classes where they will show people how to make gorgeous concoctions with foraged ingredients?

Festival Fun Wicklow
Festival Map

Little adventurers will also have a blast at the inaugural 53-Degrees North Adventure Festival. Whether they are water babies or creatures of the land, there will be no shortage of opportunities to tire them throughout the day! And if they still have a little energy left come nightfall, they’ll be treated to stories around the campfire as they devour burgers and sausages from the BBQ.

This festival is all about back-to-basics fun – but without the hardship of a traditional camping trip! All of the activities will be led by highly qualified guides and there will even be experts from 53 Degrees North on hand to help you put up your tent. What more could you ask for?!

The Low-Down

Getting there: Blessington is a one hour drive from Dublin. You can also get the 65 bus from the city centre. The festival is a short taxi ride from Blessington village.

Tickets: Early bird weekend camping tickets cost €195 (only 400 early bird tickets available) and include a two-man Vango tent worth €110 that you get to keep, two activities each day and access to all of the on-site talks, activities and entertainment. Regular weekend tickets cost €175 and include two activities each day, access to all of the on-site talks, activities and entertainment.

NB: Some of the activities are named Marquee activities and must be booked before the weekend (because they require more logistics and some are off-site). All of the weekend tickets include bonus entry to the Kendal Festival Film Night, which takes place at the festival site on Friday 3 August at 8 pm. This film night will showcase some of the best adventure movies from across the globe. The campsite will open at 3 pm on Friday. Under 16-weekend tickets cost €80 and a single day tickets costs €75.

To find out more or to buy tickets, visit: 53°N

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By Elsa Anderling

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