22 May 2015

It’s the UK’s biggest outdoor festival, and is set to take place once again this July in Sheffield’s Millhouses Park.

But while the Reward Health Cliffhanger is undoubtedly popular with climbers, stunt bikers, kayakers, freerunners, and even those who just want to enjoy the beer garden and trade stalls, there’s fun for younger members of the family too.

This year, activities for children will include zorbing in giant water balls; cycling on a purpose-built cycleway; a state-of-the-art water play area; climbing; a high ropes bridge; fairground rides and duck racing, organised by the Friends of Millhouses Park.

There will also be a story tent, with fabulous tales of escapes and adventures performed by Sheffield-based outdoor enthusiast Robert Beard, as well as the myriad delights of Millhouses Park itself, which is an ideal environment for children to explore.

Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for business, skills and development at Sheffield City Council, said: “People come to Sheffield from across the UK each year for Cliffhanger, an action-packed weekend which perfectly showcases Sheffield’s excellence as the UK’s Outdoor City.

“The festival is about inspiring people to test their limits and to try new activities from orienteering and bouldering through to kayaking and free-running, all set within the landscape of Millhouses Park.

“But what is especially important about Cliffhanger is that it’s an event for all the family, at which children can be introduced to a huge range of exciting activities which will, hopefully, give them an interest in the outdoors that will stay with them for life.”

One of the highlights of the festival will undoubtedly be the British Bouldering Championships, where festival-goers can see the very best climbers in the UK compete.

More than 90 per cent of the activities at Cliffhanger are free. Activities and demonstrations that are completely free to get involved in include angling, bike polo, bowling, caving, climbing, the Crag X pull-up competition, duck racing, golf, kiting, kayaking, an obstacle course, parkour, scuba diving, tennis and a zip line.

For the first time this year, Growtheatre will also be involved with the event, bringing outdoor theatre, bushcraft and forest school sessions. On both days, Growtheatre will be running a programme including crafts, drama workshops and games, suitable for all the family.

Cliffhanger is organised by Sheffield City Council in conjunction with Heason Events. Sponsors this year are Reward Health, XScape, Skydive Hibaldstowe, Haybrook, Heart and Decathlon, and the event – now in its ninth year – will run on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12.

Sheffield-based Reward Health provides insurance cover for active and healthy people. The organisation will also build its own event village within the festival providing fun activities and offers for families visiting the show.

Meanwhile, sports retailer Decathlon will build a mini store in the park, along with a multitude of other retailers, specialists, clubs, charities and health providers, as well as an eclectic range of unusual caterers.

Coun Bramall added: “This year is developing into a bumper year for Sheffield’s status as an Outdoor City, with nationally and internationally-renowned events such as the Climbing Works International Masters, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, the Steel City Downhill, the International Adventure Conference and the European Outdoor Summit.

“As the largest festival of its type for outdoor people, Cliffhanger is undoubtedly an important part of this, and I look forward to seeing young and old alike being inspired by what they see, do, and try out over the weekend.”

Anyone interested in exhibiting at Reward Health Cliffhanger should email info@cliff-hanger.co.uk for further details as soon as possible.

Tickets for this year’s event will cost £6 for adults and accompanied children aged under 16 can enter for free.

For more information visit www.cliff-hanger.co.uk