Walk on the wild side at Gone Wild this summer!

June 3, 2024 | Events | 5 minute read

The UK’s fastest-growing family festival is coming to Holkham this summer, with adventurer Bear Grylls, Sam Ryder and McFly leading a fun weekend of adventure. And with day tickets now back on sale and a few weekend tickets still available, let’s take a look at what it’s all about…

Holkham has always been a place to explore the outdoors and reconnect with nature, and a new summer festival created by Bear Grylls (right) and former Royal Navy pal Oli Mason brings the adventurers’ passion for being active to the estate.

Gone Wild, which takes place from 8th-11th August, aims to bring families together to spend time outside, challenging each other to have a go at something new and
enjoying first-class music from some of pop’s biggest names. Billed as ‘the ultimate family adventure weekend’, the event offers the opportunity to try more than 100 activities including wild swimming in the lake, foraging forest walks and exploring the estate under the guidance of the event’s team.

Holkham is the second venue for the festival’s organisers, who continue to hold the event at Powderham Castle in Devon, and have an ambition to grow and launch Gone Wild overseas.

Having grown up in Norfolk, and spent a short time working at The Victoria himself, Holkham was front of mind for Oli. “From the launch, we knew we had the ability to expand the number of venues for Gone Wild,” he says. “I knew Norfolk was crying out for a family festival as the people here are active and love being outdoors and having fun. Holkham is a premium destination with stunning scenery and has everything Gone Wild needs. The event is all about families coming
together and spending time outdoors being active and getting away from screens.

“The whole idea for Gone Wild came about while I was serving in the Royal Marines. One of my roles was looking after Bear in his position as honorary Colonel. We
were at an event where we had hundreds of Scouts and Cadets building dens, climbing walls, getting wet and muddy. It was brilliant, and we knew we wanted to create something big that brought all of that together.

“We want kids to be adventurous and have a go. We want the odd grazed knee or two, as it builds resilience, but most of all we want them to have fun. We’ll be camping on site and starting the day with swimming in the lake at 7am, morning runs and workouts, yoga on the beach. There’s paint balling, survival skills, sailing at Burnham Overy Staithe, and a climbing wall and obstacle course to tackle,” Oli adds.

Life lessons

“There are so many things that are often not taught in schools today and the kids deemed most successful are usually the sportiest or cleverest, but none of these
things are truly important in life. The key strength is resilience and being able to get knocked down and get back up. That’s the attitude we want to develop in children at Gone Wild – fall often and come back.

“We are happy for kids to not get round the assault course. My own son got to the top of the climbing wall at the Devon event and froze, and the instructor spent three minutes talking him into coming down. It was a real life lesson and forced him to face a terrifying fear and to confront it.

“Gone Wild is a lot of fun and if a family has a brilliant time being outdoors and active, or if one of our speakers inspires a child, then we’ve achieved our goal. Bear will be there and there is something for everyone with scaled versions for all levels of ability. We want visitors to try something new – the hardest thing is to take the plunge and have a go – and to experience fun and adventure in the great outdoors.”

Bear’s big adventure

Why is Gone Wild important to you?

It’s such a special place for families to connect in the outdoors and spend quality time together.

Why is Holkham a great venue for Gone Wild?

It has everything you need for an adventure – woods, a lake, a nature reserve and an incredible beach.

What’s on your list of things to do?

Trying cool survival skills, listening to Sir Ranulph Fiennes and dancing with Scouting for Girls.

Why is outdoor learning important for children?

It gives young people so much, teaches them resilience and how to be smart and positive in adversity. These are key skills in life and are often overlooked in schools.

Find out more on the Gone Wild event page, or book tickets here.


This article is taken from the Holkham Gazette (Spring/Sumner 2024), written and edited by Daska Davis.

Back to Journal Back to Journal

Related journals