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A festival encouraging people to get outdoors and try something new is making its debut in Durham this spring.

The first Durham Adventure Festival, which takes place from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 April at the city’s Gala Theatre, features ordinary people who have had the determination to get outside and do something different.

Ultra endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont will share stories from his world record breaking feat in 2017, in which he cycled 18,000 miles around the world in under 80 days.

“It is so exciting that Durham now has an Adventure Festival, with so much fantastic terrain on the doorstep in the Pennines and up into Northumberland,” said Mark.

“I look forward to sharing the behind the scenes from my recent ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ cycle race, as well as some of the other short films and photography from the past decade of global expeditions.”

Friday afternoon will provide an opportunity to hear from one of the world’s most distinguished mountaineers Andy Cave, who looks back on his remarkable life and incredible journey from 3,000 feet underground in the Yorkshire coalfields to the summit of some of the world’s highest mountains.

Later that evening, Elise Downing will tell all about her own big British adventure, after spending 301 days running 5,000 miles around the coast of the UK. She will be joined by Dave Cornthwaite, founder of a ‘Say Yes More’ philosophy, who aims to take on a series of 1,000 mile journeys each using a different form of motorised transport.

Saturday promises another action-packed day, with the opportunity to see world-leading BMX rider Pete Catherall and highliner Jediah Doohan perform stunts live on Gala’s stage, while Anna McNuff will tell all about her impressive feats including cycling through all 50 states in the USA.

The event, which is presented in partnership with Kendal Mountain Festival, also boasts a packed film schedule with short films from across the world on topics from paragliding, big tree climbing, free diving and everything in between, including a special family programme.

Robin Byers, Durham County Council’s manager for the Gala Theatre, said: “Tackling the great outdoors has never been more popular, so we set out to create an informal, fun and inspiring event which celebrates adventure, exploration and endurance. 

“Durham is a magnificent county. From wild moors to great beaches; wonderful forests to large Areas of Outstanding National Beauty, we are a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. So we hope people will join us to for this brand new event and that we can inspire everyone to get out and create their own adventures.”

Tickets range in price but to encourage everyone to come along to multiple events, a special offer is in place – for every additional event booked, you will receive another five per cent off the cost of your total booking.

Visit www.durhamadventurefestival.co.uk for more information and to book tickets.

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