Back O’Skiddaw 72K
Sun 18 May 2025 Keswick, Cumbria, UK

Keswick Mountain Festival | Back O’Skiddaw 72K

A great event for cycle sportive enthusiasts looking for a half-day ride that's occasionally furious on the climbs! Includes Full Weekend Festival Ticket in the price!

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  • Sun 18 May 2025
Lakeside, Keswick

Back O’Skiddaw 72K



Age 18 & over

  • 72 km road cycling + 650 m ascent


KMF25 has a new look - it's going to be glorious! You won't want to miss it.

Keswick Mountain Festival delivers a wonderfully immersive experience with an emphasis on outdoor sports, activities, live music, inspirational speakers, and an incredible array of outdoor brands plus top-notch food and drink stalls.

Keswick Mountain Festival

There's a big schedule of sporting events and outdoor activities, including a new adventure race, revised mountain run, two new hikes, a local schools’ duathlon, trail runs once again from 5K to 50K, open water swims, two cycle sportive routes (one of which is new), and three hiking events (two of which are new).

2025 details are to be confirmed.

This event is part of Keswick Mountain Festival.

  • All fitness levels
  • Dogs allowed
  • Event expo
  • Event village
  • Families
  • Newcomers
  • Spectators
  • Teams
  • Traders at event
  • Wheelchair users

Outdoor sports

  • Trail runs
  • Cycle sportives
  • Triathlon
  • Open water swimming
  • Hikes
  • Adventure race
  • Junior sports events (age 10+)

Live and unleashed

music festival
The Big Top Marquee and the Band Stand.

Big Top Marquee

Vacant Weekend | Steel Foxes | Bossyking | Foxtrap | The Northern Threads | State of Satta | Delagrave | Thieving Magpies

Band Stand

Joel Gardner | Clara Pople | Hang Dimension | Ewan Scarlett | Stoney Broke | Jordan Worsfold | J Lewis | Chloe Jane Hirst | Open Folk Session

Each of these stages will see a showcase of incredibly talented, local music acts. Importantly, having two stages will also enable a more continuous live music experience to be delivered from early afternoon till dusk, plus offer protection against any adverse Cumbrian weather. And for the first time, there will also be live music during the day on Sunday at the Band Stand which will be located in the heart of the reimagined food and drink zone.

So, expect chilled out vibes and acoustic sets there, while you unwind after your sporting exertions. Or if you’re feeling the adrenaline, head into the Big Top for some electric performances.


Inspirational speakers

Chrissie Wellington | 3 Dads Walking | Timmy Mallet | Sean Conway | Louise Minchin | James Forrest | Cameron McNeish | Jamie Aarons | Nicky Spinks | Alan Hinkes | Black Trail Runners | Alastair Humphreys | and more

Not only will 3 Dads Walking be leading out the Keswick 3 Peaks Hike, they will also feature in an enhanced, packed programme of speakers which will take place both on Crow Park and in Theatre by the Lake.

Inspiring speakers who will keep you thoroughly entertained over the weekend include Timmy Mallett, Louise Minchin, Sean Conway, Chrissie Wellington, Mel Nicholls, Cameron McNeish, Alan Hinkes, James Forrest, Jamie Aarons, Nicky Spinks, Alastair Humphries, and Black Trail Runners. And that’s not all! There will be more compelling headline speakers added in the coming months.

Festival village

festival village
There will be plenty of activities on Crow Park that everyone can really enjoy, young or old. 

Pump track | Axe Throwing | Caving | Bike Stunt Show | Orienteering | Maze | Climbing Wall | Canoeing | Segway | Standup Paddleboarding | Army Assault Course | Birds of Prey | Treasure Hunt | Yoga | Balance Bike Racing

Party Games | Boules | Space Hopper Racing | Hoopla | Bean Bag Toss | Giant Connect 4 | Giant Jenga | Giant Skittle Alley | Giant Tin Can Alley

Outdoor and Travel Brands Expo | Food and Drink Stalls | Exhibitors

So, if you live in the area, come on down. There is going to be plenty to keep you entertained. Why not have a go at axe throwing, space hopper racing, or even get up close to birds of prey? And there'll be more outdoor and travel brands such as adidas, Acai Outdoorwear, and Craghoppers who will be offering unique festival activities, as well as showcasing their marvellous merch.

  • Bag storage
  • Bar
  • Cafe
  • Camping
  • Entertainment
  • Mountains
  • Music
  • Paid parking
  • Park
  • Rural
  • Showers
  • Toilets

Event HQ

Lake Road
CA12 5DJ

Keswick is located in the heart of the Lake District and is the Outdoor Adventure Capital of the UK. Keswick is very accessible by all means of transport, meaning that you can consider the environment when planning your route to Keswick Mountain Festival.

Festival campsite

The KMF campsite is located at Springs Farm, Springs Road, Keswick CA12 4AN, only a 15 minute walk away from the Festival Village on Crow Park.

festival campsite

Camping is the best way to enjoy the festival, getting back to nature and sleeping in the fields, wake up to the view of Skiddaw – it doesn’t get much better. Facilities include showers, toilets, cafe serving hot food/drinks every day. Tents only, no campervans/motorhomes.

A weekend camping ticket includes 3 nights camping from 10am Thursday to 5pm Sunday and a car parking space.

accessible camping

By car

From the M6 (traveling both North or South) take Junction 40 at Penrith for the North Lakes. From J40, follow the A66 West for approximately 17 miles to Keswick.

By bus

With a timetable, and a little planning, you can reach Keswick Mountain Festival and many other beautiful Lake District places by bus. If you are a walker, you can use the bus to complete a linear walk without the necessity of having to return to where you left the car.

These are the services to consider:

  • Penrith to Workington – Service X4, X5
  • Lakeslink – Service 554, 555
  • The Honister Rambler – Service 77, 77A
  • The Caldbeck Rambler – Service 73, 73A
  • The Borrowdale Rambler – Service 78
  • Keswick to Patterdale Ullswater Connexion – Service 208

By rail

Penrith, Carlisle and Kendal (via Oxenholme) are served by the West Coast Main Line – a fast, frequent and easily accessible service from all over the country. The nearest railway station to Keswick is Penrith, a distance of 17 miles. A bus service (journey of approx 40 minutes) connects Penrith railway station with Keswick Bus Station. Alternatively you can pre-book a taxi from Penrith train station to Keswick.

The historic Settle to Carlisle line brings passengers from Yorkshire via the Eden Valley.

The West Coast line is operated by Virgin Trains.

By plane

Manchester Airport and Newcastle Airport both offer convenient access to the North of the UK. Manchester serves more domestic destinations than any UK airport which, together with its first class road and rail link make it an ideal gateway to Cumbria.

Manchester Airport has its own railway station, with direct links to Oxenholme – the Lake District, Kendal, Windermere and the West Coast Main Line. Newcastle Airport also has good road links to Cumbria and the Lake District.

Local taxis

  • Davies Taxis – 01768 772 676
  • Iain’s Taxis – 01768 736 333
  • Derwent Taxis – 01768 775 585
  • Keswick Cab Co – 07961 589 003

  • First aid
  • Food stations
  • Hilly
  • Marshals
  • Water stations

Event location

The Festival Village is located adjacent to The Theatre By The Lake close to Derwentwater.

Route description

The Back Oโ€™Skiddaw 72K sportive is graded as 2 out of 5 in the British Cycling sportive grading system, making it a moderately hilly half-day road ride in the Lake District. This ride has approximately 650 metres of ascent with an expected completion time of between 2.5 and 5 hours.

The course is fully tarmac, ranging from steeply undulating narrow single track, gated farm roads, to the quieter B and A roads in the area. If youโ€™re new to cycling events then this is a great place to start but this sportive can also be enjoyed by cycling enthusiasts looking for a great day out.

Please note there are 6 gates on route that may require opening and closing. 

Bike type

This ride is open to electric and adapted bikes.


As a potential participant you must study the ride information carefully and be confident that you can complete this ride comfortably before entering.

Doing good

KMF is on a mission to do some good. A mission to make the festival more sustainable, accessible, inclusive and diverse, as well delivering a positive impact for the people of Keswick.

Alongside National Trust, the charity partner, a new sustainable legacy project with Fix the Fells. Everyone who is coming to the Festival is invited to help on that journey. The aim is to raise £10,000 per year, which will cover the annual cost for the Catbells conservation work. You’ll be able to donate at checkout on the website when buying your tickets. Please do so if you can. Catbells provides the stunning festival backdrop and helping to preserve this national, natural treasure is a wonderful thing to be part of.

The Festival works with venues and stakeholders in Keswick, to integrate aspects of the festival into the town, especially the evening programme. So, when the live music stops on Crow Park at 9:00pm on the Friday and Saturday, the ‘after party’ can continue in restaurants and bars throughout Keswick, boosting the benefits for the local economy.

  • Chip timing
  • Race photo
  • T-shirt


  • This event entry includes Full Weekend Festival Ticket in the price! That's access to Big Top Live Music, daytime Tent Talks, and all activities ALL WEEKEND (Friday to Sunday)
  • Free photograph
  • Electronic chip timing
  • 1 x feed station
  • Event t-shirt (unless you choose to donate cost of T Shirt to our Catbells Conservation project with Fix the Fells)
  • Hydration will be provided

  • Age 18 & over
  • Entries open
  • Enter online
  • Event merch available
Enter now

Your athlete guide will be emailed to you approximately 2 weeks before the event date.

Entry fees

Entry fee


Valid to 31/01/2024

Entry fee


Valid from 31/01/2024

Had a ball. Thank you all. Be there next year. Yipeeeee. Jenny

top reviews

We had an absolute blast this weekend. So well organised, friendly people, amazing setting, just perfect thank you. Yoga

Such a great festival, superbly organised - wonderful atmosphere. Joanne

Had an awesome weekend - already looking forward to the next. Thanks to all involved. James

Awesome event! Will definitely be back. Joanne

We met lots of lovely people in a beautiful part of the world. We did the Back O Skiddaw which was clearly marked and marshalled with the medic man just around the corner. Thank you. Eugenia

Our first Keswick Mountain Festival and we all had a fab weekend! Thank you! Claire

It's been worth the wait, BRILLIANT weekend. Rick

Brilliant festival. Thank you! Campsite was great and point to point swim really well organised. Carl

Had a fab time, thank you! See you next year! Sue

A message from the Festival Director:

It was a big call to take a break from the full multi-sport festival, but it gave us the ideal opportunity to take a deep look at what we want this event to be in the longer term. Keswick Mountain Festival is very special to us and to many of you who share our love of this wonderful part of the world and the outdoors in general. We took the time to reflect on all of that and on the changing nature of big events.

There are now new and very different challenges involved in delivering a festival like ours in a responsible and sustainable way. We’re really excited about how we’re tackling those head on, in a way that still offers all of the aspects that our regular visitors tell us they love so much, and more. It’s going to be a vibrant, multi-faceted and inclusive event for everyone, and we can’t wait to welcome you all back in May. Nicola Meadley

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1.5K Swim



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750M Swim



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Back O’Skiddaw 100K



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  • 100 km road cycling + 1625 m ascent
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OPEN 5 Adventure Race



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Keswick 8 Peaks



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Keswick 2 Peaks



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Festival Only Tickets



All ages

  • 3 days