top of page


Our first ever Countrystride Live – the Amblestride – was held in Ambleside in November, 2023 featuring a range of walks, talks, food, drink, music and Countrystride bonhomie. 

We sold out, and we had a blast. As a consequence we're back with two events in 2024 – both more intimate, and both with the usual Countrystride passion for Cumbria, walking, landscape and heritage.


The first is our summer gathering – see below – held in collaboration with Kelsick Assembly / Force Café in Ambleside. Tickets NOW ON SALE.


The second is a festive Christmas get-together – details coming soon. 

To be first in line for tickets, please sign up to our newsletter (it's mid-way down the page).

Summer gathering - 2024

Kelsick Assembly, Ambleside, Thurs 19 September, 2024, 5.45 – 9.30pm.


Mark and Dave will be delighted to welcome you to our first ever dinner and talks summer gathering, based in the rooms of Kelsick Assembly / Force Café, with its fabulous views across Ambleside.

6–7pm: TALK 1


Tom McNally – What lies beneath: Lost mines of the Lake District 

There are more than 1,400 abandoned mining sites in Cumbria, some dating back to the late Stone Age. Beneath the fells lies a sprawling network of spectacular spaces; hewn, blasted and carved by hand. Hundreds of miles of caverns and tunnels serve as epic abandoned monuments to the miners who created them.

In this illustrated talk, acclaimed adventure photographer and author Tom McNally takes us deep underground, showing dozens of evocative images from his award-winning What lies beneath project – some six years in the making – to shine a light on locations many of us never see, and the pivotal role mining played in shaping contemporary Lakeland landscape and culture.


Talk followed by Q&A.


7.15–8pm: SUPPER 

Fully inclusive evening meal from The Force's fab cooking team. All diets catered for. Paid-for bar.

8–9pm: TALK 2

Phoebe Smith: Wayfarer - Love, loss and life on Britain’s ancient paths

Our keynote summer speaker is author, adventurer, Sustainability Travel Writer of the Year 2024 and Long Distance Walkers Association president Phoebe Smith.


Phoebe will be talking about her life on the hills, and specifically her new book: Wayfarer – A woman’s tale of the transformative power of walking Britain’s ancient pilgrim paths.


On an assignment to walk the most famous pilgrimage in the world – the Camino de Santiago – Phoebe lost her way.

Having spent a lifetime exploring unfamiliar places, she quit her dream job, ended her long-term relationship and headed home to North Wales to discover the point to… everything. In her search for answers she found herself walking some of Britain’s oldest pilgrim paths. By following these old ways, she ended up confronting past traumas.


From losing her mother as a teenager to surviving toxic relationships, Phoebe offers an unflinchingly honest look at her battle with an eating disorder, depression, and the pitfalls of newfound singledom, and reveals how nature and place can heal past wounds in the great British landscapes.


In an open discussion with Countrystride producer Dave Felton, we’ll also talk with Phoebe about her long-standing relationship with Cumbria and the Lake District; about her love of Wild Ennerdale; about a wild-weather camp atop Scafell Pike on Christmas Eve; and about and how a night spent in a farmer's ditch near Bowness-on-Solway changed her life. We may even throw in a few quickfire questions...


Talk followed by Q&A.

9pm – Drinks & chat in the bar


Join Mark, Dave and our guests in the Force bar as we watch sunset (or rainclouds gather) over Loughrigg.

Tickets cost £24 each and can be purchased at

Phoebe Smith.jpg
bottom of page