Love Trail is a trail running festival in Gower, Wales and is nothing short of amazing! With a combination of running activities like the Beer Mile, Run To Beach Clean-up, Wild Trail Running and a whole host of activities like kayaking, surfing, yoga, climbing and more. This festival packs a punch for the active outdoorsy types and balances it all out with plenty music, beer and scenic sunsets!
I first heard about this unusual, but highly intriguing, festival from photographer Anna Rachel who has previously worked at their event.
After going to a few London based festivals I felt quite disappointed by the experience as a whole. These events are massive and very impressive, but often lack the scope for keeping things personal and clean. My biggest dislike of big London festivals is the litter problem. I was shocked at the level of litter that is left everywhere with nowhere to sit except for on the floor in the trash. I know that this gets cleaned up by crews the next day, but I find it off putting and it’s just not my cup of tea!
I come from South Africa where festivals are generally smaller, there is better care for the space and things are generally a lot more chilled and environmentally friendly.
So when I heard about Love Trails my interest was piqued! An outdoor running and music festival in one of my favourite parts of England – I had to go! I managed to convince Woody (who doesn’t really run much) to come despite his lack of enthusiasm for running in general. And with very little pre-festival training we set off for Wales on the Thursday evening…
I’m going to admit here that we could have been better prepared, but in true London-style we left in a flurry and didn’t really do enough training beforehand or check our gear. So when we arrived at 11pm to set up our tent we discovered that it was rusted shut!! We hadn’t used it in just under two years and completely forgot to check it!
We had to improvise and find a place to stay for the night and landed up at the sweetest little hotel called Parc Le Breos a short drive away. This place was so lovely we were almost tempted to stay there and just drive back and forth to the festival, but we decided we wanted to be in the thick of it. We had a hearty Welsh brekkie the next day and set off in the morning to get a new tent and setup camp!
We started our Friday by planning out our weekend and getting familiar with the space and people. Love Trails is a fresh festival and this was it’s third year running. There were around 2000 people this year and in previous years there has been 800 and 500 people in attendance.
With so much to do we were a tad overwhelmed by choices and options, but here is little lowdown of what we got up to…
- Hot tubs – this was the perfect end to the day and was where we landed up meeting some fun folks who we kept bumping into over the weekend!
- Run to swim – this was the long run that we did and was incredible. We ran 10Km along the coast to the sea, had a swim and then ran another 6km more to a pub for some serious grub. Proving that trail running is so fun it can make even Woody go the extra distance!
- Surfing – we booked this, but unfortunately the surf was non-existent so we never got on a board in the end. Next year I will be trying coasteering and kayaking for sure, and with a little luck the surfing too!
- Yoga – I made sure I went to one yoga class a day. With lots of classes scattered throughout the day it really wasn’t hard to catch at least one.
- Talks – there are a huge host of talks to choose from and we caught some really interesting ones like working on running technique for hills, micro dosing and running, and women in adventure sports to name a few.
These were my main highlights as well as being able to meet such a wide array of wonderful (mostly London based) people who are keen on the outdoors, running, staying fit and having fun – all in a beautiful part of England.
We loved it so much that we have already bought our tickets for next year!
Hopefully we’ll see you there!