Summer in the UK: home grown festivals

In Festivals, Travel Inspiration by KirstiLeave a Comment

Festivals. They are a big part of summer celebrations across the world and every year many of us will jet off to what are often warmer climes to enjoy everything from famous festivals like South by South-West in Austin to what is often talked about as Europe’s best festival destination, Croatia; where you can enjoy events like the Fresh Island Festival, now in it’s second year. But as we will find out, Britain has some stellar festivals of its own. This weeks guest blogger Kirsti Banyard whisks us around the UK stopping off at this summers best festival destinations.

So pack a tent, stick on your wellies and take the family off to one of the summers best family friendly festivals.

picture by mat_walker Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival: Photo: Mat_walker

Across Europe there are many famous festivals, each year thousands of people leave the UK to enjoy the fun of a festival. Having just come back from a three day festival with my family I wanted to share our festival experience and look at the variety of UK festivals that take place each year. Why bother with flights and ferries when you can jump in your car or on a train and enjoy three or four days of fun right here in the UK.

Last Christmas my two boys gave my husband tickets for Camp Bestival which is held at Lulworth Castle, we decided to go for the full three days, if you take the corporate decision of booking a lovely cottage somewhere like the rural Dorset countryside you can enjoy the best of both worlds, days at the festival and nights in a snugly warm dry bed. Camp Bestival is a festival that is, aimed at all of the family great music, theatre, circus, loads of children’s activities and really good food. I was very impressed with the range of activities and thought that goes into putting this festival together. On the last night there was a fantastic fire work display that animated the castle, and was captivating for us all. Our friends also had tickets for the three days so between us we had five children ranging in age from 5 to 13 and I can’t think of one time that they were not all occupied and extremely happy. You can find rentals for Camp Bestival and Lulworth Castle in our selection of lovely family cottages in Dorset.

Takes place in August at Lulworth Castle Dorset

Children under 10 go free

Family fun at Easton Farm Park  Photo: Julian Tysoe

Family fun at Easton Farm Park
Photo: Julian Tysoe

You may think you need to go further afield to enjoy some good old country and western music but the Maverick festival is a real celebration of Americana held here in the UK in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Maverick is child and dog friendly so the whole family can enjoy the fabulous music, comedy, dance and workshops that all take place over the 3 day extravaganza. You will find a wide selection of good food vendors including cupcakes and milkshakes for any little festival goers. Maverick takes place at Easton Farm in Suffolk and is just 2 hours from London. This wonderfully friendly festival appeared on The Times top fifty festival list and the Guardians best festival list.

Takes place in July at Easton Farm Suffolk

Children under 10 go free

picture by Louisiana Travel - Louisiana jazz fest

Louisiana Jazz fest Photo: Louisiana Travel

Maybe you’re more of a Jazz fan? Originating from New Orleans around 100 years ago Jazz is enjoyed all over the world, here in the UK there is an up and coming Jazz festival that takes place in Rye, Sussex – a perfect location for elongating your stay and enjoying the local area after the festival is over. The festival is a fantastic mix of Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk and more. This year saw Clint Eastwoods’ son bassist Kyle Eastwood, Melissa James who performs a unique blend of rhythms and Herbie Flowers performing to name but a few of the talented musician’s taking to the stage.

Takes place in August in selected venues across Rye

2000trees festival picture by Ollie Harridge

2000trees festival Photo: Ollie Harridge

The UK produces some of the world’s greatest bands why travel anywhere else to enjoy live music and discover new talent – 2000trees festival is a fiesta of new UK bands; it is relatively small and is a great festival to introduce children to the festival spirit and live music. Be one of the first to hear what’s up and coming on the UK band circuit. You will get good food here along with local ales and ciders for the adults. For the kids there is plenty of entertainment on each of the days that the festival runs including face painting, musical instrument making and juggling. Happy children, happy adults! 2000trees is very organic starting out as just a group of friends getting together and the festival has retained its friendly feel. Located in the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside at Upcote farm,this festival should definitely be on your festival list, The Grass Roots festival awards agree, it won a UK festival award in 2010.

Takes place in July at Upcote Farm Gloucestershire

Festivals take place throughout the year across the UK, catering and celebrating many tastes, passions and interests take a look at

HomeAway expert on pet friendly holidays and contributor to the Homeaway Blog. Kirsti Banyard lives in Hampshire and loves nothing more than spending time with her two sons and husband whether exploring Cornwall or perhaps further afield to enjoying a roast meal on a Sunday.

We hope you have found out a lot about taking your summer in the UK through our series of guest posts by some of the UK’s best travel bloggers; but before you rush away to one of the great festivals we still have a few more tips and tricks coming up for your summer in the UK.



KirstiSummer in the UK: home grown festivals

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