Walking, Hiking & Trail Running

Five Things We Loved About Love Trails 2022

Here's five things we love about the four day trail running bender that is Love Trails

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.

Credit: Tanya Raab

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.

Credit: Tanya Raab

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 for booking next years’ festival. You can also check out to for a similar trail running festival (6-7 August).

Credit: Tanya Raab
Credit: Tanya Raab

The Music Is Banging

Although trail running and outdoor adventures are at the heart of Love Trails, it’s fair to say that the event crew really did knock it out of the park with the 2022 music lineup. Wrapping up an epic day of running on Friday was the king of reggae and dancehall, Mr David Rodigan, while the likes of BBC Introducing selection, Porij warmed up the Saturday artist selection before Dr Meaker, the Run Dem Crew ‘Block Party’ and JFB upped the tempo.

If a chilled out vibe is more your cup of tea, then the likes of Welsh soul-folk jazz artist, Kizzy Crawford; nomadic musicians, Cave Paintings; and the tribal sounds of The Turbans would’ve been right up your street. As you can see, the artistic selection for Love Trails is always a right old eclectic mix of musicians, and the ideal soundtrack to wind down a day of running.

Credit: Tanya Raab

Wales Is Beautiful

We’ve already suggested it once or twice in this piece already, but it deserves its own paragraph as the Gower Peninsula is, quite simply, one of the most stunning areas of the U.K. Famed for its stretch of the Welsh Coastline path, Gower (the first place in the U.K. to be marked an ‘area of outstanding national beauty’) offers the ideal location to stomp out some high-mileage runs as you explore 500 acres of landscaped parkland.

The area is home to award-wining sandy beaches, dramatic limestone cliffs and rolling sand dunes, while the hills of Cefn Bryn and Rhossili Down add a few hundred metres of ascent to your daily runs.

Credit: Tanya Raab

Calorie Consumption Is A Necessity

Not only are you going to you make your thousands of Strava followers extremely jealous with all the KMs you’ve just logged, but you’re also going burn a bucket load of calories as you cover all those trails. Luckily for you (but unluckily for your bank account), Love Trails have brought in a range of food stands to help keep you topped up without having to stuff your face with yet another greasy burger and chips.

Cheese-loaded French delicacy, protein-loaded oats and vegan KFC-style chicken – Love Trails ‘22 had a fantastic range of food stands that pleased all kinds of tastes and diets. When it came to washing all that grub down with yet more calories (beer), Love Trails also hosted various drink-fuelled running events, such as their signature Pub Crawl Run and world famous Beer Mile Relay World Championships. Never have we ever felt so guilt-free eating and drinking the weekly recommended intake over a weekend.

Keep an eye on for booking next years’ festival. You can also check out to for a similar trail running festival (6-7 August).

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