Would you like to see me throw an axe? Plus win a £100 Cotswold Outdoor Voucher

As a blogger, I get to do lots of interesting things, but I can’t say I ever expected anyone to ask me if I wanted to learn how to throw an axe. To be honest, I’m not even sure why you throw an axe, unless you’re a Viking or something. I imagine them chucking axes about and roaring ferociously.

I have been challenged by the National Trust though, to do something outdoorsy – something that I might not normally think to do, and you get to choose what that is.

NT SWOF Jo Middleton Adventures 1

It’s to celebrate the South West Outdoor Festival, a totally new kind of festival, being held in Devon from September 23 – 25. It’s being hosted by The National Trust, together with Cotswold Outdoor, Panasonic, Exmoor National Park and lots of local outdoor experts. It’s a festival for people who prefer rafting to raving, and who’d rather been foraging for wild food than queuing for a burger.

If you consider yourself the outdoorsy type, the South West Outdoor Festival is definitely one to check out. And if, like me, you don’t particularly, all the more reason to have a look, and push yourself a little bit outside of your comfort zone. The outdoors is pretty nice you know, at not as scary as you think.

NT SWOF Jo Middleton Adventures 2

The festival weekend is a sort of pick and mix of outdoor activities, so you can create your own line up. There are intense things like a full trail marathon, (I won’t be doing this), and gentler activities like family rookpooling, guided walks on Exmoor and coastal kayaking.

Now, I will say first up, that I did veto the wild swimming, as I can’t actually swim. (Fiancé weirdly doesn’t believe this. I think he is under the illusion that anyone can swim if they put their mind to it, and that I’m just being weird. I can get from one side of the pool to another it’s true, but I would drown if you dropped me in a lake, and that’s a pretty drastic thing to do for the sake of blog traffic.)

NT SWOF Jo Middleton Adventures 3

I chatted with The National Trust and we narrowed it down to three options:

  • Cook a meal and popcorn over a camp fire
  • Go rock pooling
  • Throw an axe

I’ve never really done any of these. I once sat in a rock pool when I was very young and on a school trip, to cover up the fact that I had done a wee in my pants, but I don’t think that counts. I’ve toasted a marshmallow, but that’s hardly a meal. I have picked up an axe, but never thrown one, and certainly not in a strategic way.

It’s up to you to decide what adventure you’d like me to have. The power is in your hands.

*dramatic swooshing noise, like on Take Me Out*

nt swof gif

The best bit is that by casting your vote, you automatically get entered into a draw to win £100 voucher from Cotswold Outdoor. You have to leave your details so we can get in touch if you win, but all of the data will be deleted at the end, we promise not to spam you with anything at all. You have until midnight on 31st August to enter, so VOTE NOW! 

Cast your vote now and then go and take a look at the South West Outdoor Festival – outdoor fun for all the family!

In partnership with The National Trust. Full T&Cs.



  1. 27 August, 2016 / 2:26 pm

    What a great idea for a festival! We’re only down the road in Cornwall so we might have to come and give it a visit!

  2. Pat Stubbs
    27 August, 2016 / 4:59 pm

    I think you should throw an axe

  3. Angela Ellis
    27 August, 2016 / 6:25 pm

    Has to be ‘Throw An Axe’. I saw this at a woodcraft festival in Edinburgh a few years ago and it looked great fun although I stood well back from the action just in case!

  4. Sarah Law
    27 August, 2016 / 8:24 pm

    Axe throwing

  5. Ray Dodds
    28 August, 2016 / 9:01 am

    Go rock pooling

  6. Siobhan Wilson
    28 August, 2016 / 11:58 am

    Throw an axe

  7. Yvonne Dimbleby
    30 August, 2016 / 10:36 am

    I think you should give Throwing an Axe a go.

  8. michelle gardner
    30 August, 2016 / 12:38 pm

    I think you should have a go at the axe throwing, that is something you wouldnt get to do normally the other things you can do with your kids

  9. Charlene Keddy
    30 August, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    Cook a meal and popcorn over a camp fire is my vote. Something useful that you can try again on other family trips xx

  10. Pauline Dring
    30 August, 2016 / 11:29 pm


  11. Tamsin Dean
    31 August, 2016 / 9:07 am

    I think Cook a meal and popcorn over a camp fire as it is fun and amazing how much you can make

  12. David Greenhalgh
    31 August, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Has to be throwing an axe

  13. Hazel Rea
    31 August, 2016 / 8:55 pm

    I think you should throw an axe – it’s the most unusual task of the three and it would give you the greatest sense of satisfaction.

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