After a two year covid-inflicted hiatus, Love Trails – the four-day trail running bender that’s quickly becoming our favourite festival – returned with quite the bang. 2,000 runners descended on the stunning coastline of the Gower Peninsula for what can only be described as the most eclectic mix of trail running, camaraderie and partying.
We joined our pals at Outdoors Magic to hit the trails of Gower and have finally had time to decompress from such an epic festival. Now on a bit of an adrenaline come down, here’s a few of our favourite bits to, perhaps, give you an idea as to why this really is a ‘must-do’ festival for all outdoor lovers.
The Miles Come Easy
As is the way for many small independent festivals, Love Trails has quickly built a fantastic community of trail runners who are all there to explore the Welsh coastline, and have a right laugh while doing so.
A huge plus side to this tight-knit community is the camaraderie between runners – both on and off the trails – and this really comes into its own when you’re looking to get some big miles under your belt. Join onto one of the many running events during the day, get chatting to someone and, before you know it, you’ll be 10 kilometres into your run without noticing.
On top of the great day-to-day run chat, the views are also incredible which, we must say, is a great distraction when you’re 28 kilometres deep into your run. Whether it’s your first 5k, 10k, 20k, 30k – or ultra – there really isn’t a better place to push yourself and get some easy, social, miles under your belt with some of the best trails under your feet.
The Experiences Are Pretty Spectacular
From adrenaline fuelled paragliding to zenned-out yoga, there are an almost endless list of activities to get stuck into during the festival with most taking place at the beginning, middle or end of a trail run (which we found offered a great distraction to the sore legs). Our editorial assistant, Milo, dabbled in a bit of coasteering while at the festival. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“Of all the optional add-on activities, ‘Run to Coasteering’ might just be the wildest. Once we’d made it to the coast, donned our wetsuits, and each picked a comically large pair of swim shorts to wear, we scrambled over to the first jump and hurled ourselves into the surprisingly-not-freezing ocean. From there on, it was carnage.
“Our guides took us to higher and higher spots, always lending a hand on the climb and then a friendly (albeit slightly terrifying) “three, two, one, JUMP!” We also got to explore some wicked caves and make a huge splash as we collectively leapt back in for one last swim in nature’s wave pool (or the washing machine, as it was known) before heading back.”
Keep an eye on lovetrailsfestival.co.uk for booking next years’ festival. You can also check out salomonfestival.co.uk to for a similar trail running festival (6-7 August).