The Bike List

Buxton Adventure Festival Weekend

BAF Backers Derby Univesity Buxton Open new outdoor pursuits centre to kick off Buxton adventure festival weekend

Heason Events are proud to announce that Buxton Adventure Festival backers the University of Derby Buxton are hosting a double celebration to mark both the formal opening of their new 58 acre outdoor pursuits centre and the launch of the town's latest festival.

On Friday 19th October - the evening before the festival starts - Kenton Cool, one of the world's best climbers who has summited Everest a remarkable ten times, will be the University's guest of honour at a joint reception at Oaklands Manor.

Dr Peter Dewhurst, Dean of the University of Derby Buxton, said: "All of the improvements to Oaklands Manor and its 58 acres of surrounding land will be unveiled as we officially open the centre with help from a very big name in the adventure world, Kenton Cool."

"A great deal of work has been going on at our new outdoor pursuits centre over the summer to make sure it's in fantastic shape for our Adventure, Countryside and Outdoor Management students returning to Buxton or starting their studies with us in September.  We hope that many of our students and members of the Buxton community will join us on Friday 19th of October to celebrate."

Peak District events consultant Matt Heason, Heason Events, the team behind the annual Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) and who co-organise Sheffield's summer outdoors festival Cliffhanger, says he's been bowled over by Buxton's enthusiastic response to the town's brand new festival:  

Matt Heason says:  "It's overwhelming just how much support we've had.  We were originally planning a low key event to test the water and have been delighted with the positive reaction from the University and HighPeak Borough Council, as well as from our new patron Mike Tomlinson and all our sponsors.  The facilities at the Oaklands Outdoors Centre are superb and will allow us to put on a brilliant afternoon of activities for our younger audience inspired by our Young Adventurers' morning sessions."

Leader of High Peak Borough Council, Cllr Caitlin Bisknell says they are keen to harness the festival's visitor potential, especially in light of the future transformation of the Crescent into a five star hotel spa.  She says:  "The festival will strengthen Buxton's reputation as a festival town and cement our credentials as a major adventure destination in the heart of the Peak District.  The festival's timing couldn't be better as it helps to extend the tourist season and fits well with council plans to attract retailers specialising in outdoor sports and leisure equipment, as part of a wider campaign to bring a range of new shops into Buxton."    


  • The University of Derby Buxton came on board with a three year title sponsorship deal as soon as they heard about the new festival.  
  • Visit Peak District and Derbyshire are running a new two-day walking festival with a dozen walks around the Peak.  
  • Derbyshire Village Games will be supporting the University of Derby to provide activities for families and children in the afternoons.  Details tba.
  • Local outdoor clothing and equipment company Rab have already signed up as Event Sponsors and sponsor our speaker adventurer Squash Falcolner.
  • The Old Hall Hotel is an event sponsor providing speaker accommodation.
  • The Buxton Advertiser and High Peak Radio are our media partners as Event Sponsors.
  • Mike Tomlinson, trustee of Jane's Appeal, who launched their Peak District Walk for All in the spring, readily agreed to be the festival's first patron. 
  • Retail sponsor is outdoor clothing company Hawkshead who will be opening a new store in Buxton.
  • Programme sponsors are the John Muir Trust, Trek and Mountain magazine and Osprey Packs.
  • Thanks to the team at Hammer Web for our logo and for their continued support.

The festival programme of illustrated lectures followed by short films will be packed with speakers from the world of adventure, travel, photography and sport.  Headline speakers include downhill mountain bike World Champion Danny Hart (interviewed by ITV Cycle Show presenter Anna Glowinski) and the Queen's Olympic Opening Ceremony stunt-double Gary Connery who this summer became the first person to jump from a helicopter without a parachute.  

The weekend feature some of Derbyshire's finest adventurers and athletes including Derby born adventurer Squash Falcolner who climbed Everest and was the first British woman to paraglide from the top of Mont Blanc.  There'll be talks from Bamford's internationally renowned travel photographer John Beatty and Belper writer Gordon Stainforth - who'll be talking about his latest book 'Fiva - An Adventure that Went Wrong' chronicling he and his twin brother's brush with death on a teenage climbing expedition.  Other speakers include author of cult fell running book 'Feet in the Clouds' Richard Askwith (interviewed by adventure sports writer Nik Cook); Director of the Outdoors Swimming Society, Kate Rew; and award-winning cave-diver and film-maker Gavin Newman.

And on Saturday and Sunday mornings they'll be two special Young Adventurer sessions with stunt mountain biker Danny Butlerand Castleton's very own 17 year old Paralympic basketballer Maddie Thompson, fresh back from the 2012 Games, followed by an afternoon of activities.