Best family festivals in the UK
1/6 Camp Bestival
Consider trying out a family-friendly festival such as Camp Bestival, which will provide your family with a weekend of music, madness and merriment!
You and your kids can enjoy old-fashioned merry-go-rounds, hula hooping, skipping rope or practicing your best moves in a dance tent. Of course, because it is a festival, there will also be plenty of family-friendly live music and entertainment to sit back and enjoy.
Once your bellies start rumbling, you can eat out at the varied and delicious food options. Camp Bestival offers lines of stalls everywhere, offering food from every corner of the globe. There are stone-baked pizzas, English breakfasts, exotic fruit smoothies, perfect paellas and enough curries and vegetarian dishes to keep everyone smiling.
Dates: End of July (see website for dates)
Location: Lulworth Castle, Dorset
Price: Weekend tickets cost £195 for adults and from £20 to £113 for children; under-fours go free
More information: campbestival.net
2/6 Elderflower Fields Festival
This small independent festival is tucked away in a quiet corner of the Pippingford Park estate in Sussex, just 30 miles south of London and 18 miles outside Brighton. Elderflower fields started with kids and families first, and everything else was built around them, so it won’t surprise you to find camp crafts, storytelling and adventure trails, alongside folk, swing, rock and dance acts.
This year, its fourth, the organisers are promising a perfect mix of eclectic music, delicious local food and drink and stacks of stuff to keep the whole family happy. Don’t forget to take drinks and blankets at 1pm on the Sunday to the Dragonfly Hill, for the picnic highlight of the weekend.
Dates: End of May (see website for dates)
Location: Ashdown Forest, Sussex
Price: Weekend tickets cost £105 for adults and £50 for children (five to sixteen); under-fives go free
More information: elderflowerfields.co.uk
3/6 Larmer Tree Festival
Some say it’s the happiest, friendliest, quirkiest festival in the land. Add to that the fact that it’s won the Best Toilets award from festival-goers and that the legendary Tom Jones is performing for two nights, and you can’t go wrong! You and kids will boogey to the brilliant Magic Numbers, the ska sensations The Beat, and many more in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens.
The dedicated Children’s Area is designed espeically for kids aged 0-10, and is a lively spot buzzing with dance, mini-gigs, puppetry and even a bubble disco! Kids can try their hands at craft workshops, dance lessons and even special kids’ yoga. Under 5s have their very own area, The Nest, where they can play and party safely. Baby changing toilets are nearby, making things fun and easy for parents too.
This year, to mark the 25th anniversary of the Larmer Tree Festival, the party will start on Tuesday night – making the festival a whopping six-night extravaganza!
Dates: Mid July (see website for dates)
Location: Salisbury, Wiltshire
Price: Three-day tickets cost £174 for adults, £113 for children aged 11 to 17, £63 for five- to ten-year olds; under-fives go free
More information: larmertreefestival.co.uk
Takes place on acres of beautiful farmland on the edge of Dartmoor. The organisers keep it small, with a mere 5,000 capacity and promise to deliver good energy and entertainment for all the family.
The Chagstock arena has an area dedicated especially to kids. In The Green, little festival-goers will find storytelling, bubbles, a reptile petting zoo, vintage swingboats and even the opportunity to try water zorbing! This is definitely one for families who want to try something a bit different.
Dates: Mid July (see website for dates)
Location: Whiddon Down, Devon
Price: Weekend tickets cost £85 for adults, £55 for under-18s; under-12s go free. A family ticket for two adults and two under-18s costs £240.
More information: chagstock.info
5/6 Deer Shed Festival
Now in its sixth year, this child- and family-frienly music, arts and science festival is set in 90 acres of rolling parkland. Definitely one to put in the diary, little ones can look forward to eight tons of sand to play with, as well as games of rounders, a sports field to burn off energy and a soft play area.
Deer Shed makes festivals a dream for families, with high chairs, milk-warming stations and trolleys to help you lug your stuff to your campsite. For active families, there’s even a track marked out for your Sunday morning run (are you insane?) The route leads you through the wooded areas of Baldersby Park that you might not have explored before. Tempted?
Dates: Mid to end-July (see website for dates)
Location: Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire
Price: Weekend tickets cost £129 for adults and £35 for children (aged six to 15); three-fives are £5, and unders threes go free
More information: deershedfestival.com
6/6 Just So Festival
Run by a not-for-profit social enterprise, Just So want to give you and your family a magical weekend of creative adventures. Parents and kids are invited to play and get creative together, and enjoy breathtaking dance, music and theatre,
All of this is wrapped up in a beautiful woodland landscape – a safe, natural and truly magical setting. Tucked away in hidden glades and pretry clearings you’ll find a mind-boggling array of different ways to get creative.
Even the tiniest visitors are well caterd for. Peekaboo is the area to head to with 0-4 year olds. You’ll find fun opportunities for playing, painting, blowing bubbles and making dens. There will be stories, songs – and generally allthe things babies adore – as well as a baby feeding boudoir, a baby change tent and baby baths. Bliss!
Dates: Mid to end- August
Location: Green, Cheshire
Price: Weekend tickets (including camping) cost £110 for adults and £50 for children aged three to 18; under-threes go free
More information: justsofestival.org.uk