By Sinead O’Mahony

Steve Scott, Director of Kendal Mountain Festival, kindly reflected on his trip to Killarney for Killarney Mountain Festival 2018 and has given his top tip for anyone planning a trip to Killarney Mountain Festival 2019.  Killarney and Kendal in Cumbria are twinned destinations and the inspiration behind creating Killarney Mountain Festival stemmed from the hugely successful Kendal Mountain Festival, which has been running for seventeen years! I’m very excited to be experiencing Kendal Mountain Festival myself this coming November – check out the Kendal Mountain Festival website here.

What was your favourite spot in Killarney during your visit?

I loved the Basecamp tent and really feel that the ‘Irish Adventure Village’ element of the Festival could be a real key element of ‘Killarney’ going forwards. It’s also a perfect venue for the evening programme of festivities!

Basecamp Furnishings at Killarney Mountain Festival. Photo: Sinead O’Mahony


What did you learn about Ireland and Irish culture while visiting Killarney Mountain Festival?

It was excellent to gain some historic context of climbing and mountaineering in Ireland with an understanding of the role that the ‘Reeks’ and the National Park has played in developing some incredible adventurers, explorers and outdoor creatives over the years.


What guest speaker talk did you most enjoy?

All the presentations were of the highest calibre! A real favourite was Andy Cave – his talk documents his incredible achievements from a life in the coal mines of Northern England to the highs of being one of the world’s most respected climbers.

Andy Cave speaking at The Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa at Killarney Mountain Festival 2018


What was the highlight moment of Killarney Mountain Festival 2018 for you?

For me a key highlight was to see the small team pull together and deliver the whole event! No mean feat, as I have a true insight into the work required to deliver such a rich and diverse programme of content to the public.


What’s your top tip for anyone attending Killarney Mountain Festival 2019?

I would suggest, like any Festival, pre-planning of your weekend itinerary is crucial. Of course try and fit in some hiking or activity in the National Park too, as that would be an opportunity missed.

Steve Scott

Director – Kendal Mountain Festival