A FESTIVAL dedicated to adventure film-makers and mountain enthusiasts was hailed as a tremendous success after thousands of people from across the country made a beeline to Kendal for a celebration of the outdoors.

More than 18,000 people donned their down-filled jackets and beanie hats for the Kendal Mountain Festival (KMF) last weekend.

Festival-goers were welcomed with a wide range of activities, from taking part in wild outdoor excursions in the heart of the Lakes to sitting back and watching films in a cosy cinema and listening to influential speakers.

This year’s festival theme was “openness”, and organisers said it “embodied and ensured freedom and creativity” in the outdoors.

The festival began on Thursday evening with the opening ceremony on Greenside, near the Riflemans Arms pub, with plenty of performers entertaining the crowds.

Hundreds then followed the “Alpine Descent” parade down Captain French Lane waving flags and shaking cowbells all the way to the Basecamp Village, at the Brewery Arts Centre.

Throughout the four-day event film lovers were spoilt for choice. From an entry of nearly 300 films, 90 were screened at the Brewery Arts Centre as part of the International Film Competition.

The winners were announced at a ceremony held at the Shackleton Tent on Saturday night.

Kendal born filmmaker Daniel Brereton received the Best Short Film Award for his feature Fear of the Unknown, which explored the subject of mental health.

Other winning films included Alistair Lee’s Climbing Blind feature, which received the Grand Prize Film Award, and The Home for Broken Toys, which won the People’s Choice accolade.

More than 206 events were held across the town, including at Kendal Town Hall and Kendal Leisure Centre.

This year also saw a record number of runners take part in the classic 10km Terrex trail race. The town was packed as spectators gathered to watch around 800 athletes compete in the event, racing over Scout Scar and Cunswick Scar before sprinting to the finish line in the centre of Kendal.

The winners were Tom Adams (38:15) and Emma Clayton (44:09). In second place overall was Chris Richards (39:00), with Ambleside’s Jack Wright (40:33) in third.

Other highlights of the event included the newly-expanded Literature Festival which hosted a wide selection of authors, poets and artists.

From spoken word to photography, poetry and illustration the festival was bursting with creativity.

Literature festival director Paul Scully said the event was a chance for people to “explore and celebrate their relationship and connection with landscape and nature”.

KMF will return in 2020 from November 19 to 22.