Our first glimmer of summer sunshine can only mean one thing; festival time! We’ve selected some of the crème de la crème events from the festival world; something to keep everyone happy. Get your diaries at the ready!
Larmer Tree Festival, 17th – 21st July 2013, Larmer Tree Gardens nr Salisbury
If your weekends are normally spent running the kids to football / dance class / never-ending children’s birthday parties, then you are probably a bit daunted by the length of the summer holidays and how to fill the days. Fear not, a family festival could be a welcome break that everyone can enjoy.
The Larmer Tree Festival caters for all age groups, from toddlers through to teens as well as adding a few musical legends (like Van Morrison) for the parents and older folks. The kids can get involved in fancy dress, face painting, watch some shows and street theatre and explore the magical gardens. There is also an area called the Youth Zone dedicated to 11-17 year olds to keep the notoriously tough to please teenagers satisfied.
Pack the family tent and leave the computer games at home this summer!
Best For…Outdoor Enthusiasts
Wild Lochaber Festival, 18th – 25th May, Lochaber Region
Keswick Mountain Festival, 15th – 19th May, Keswick, Cumbria
If you are looking for something off the beaten track from your festival, then why not try some of the amazing events going on around the stunningly scenic Lochaber. From red deer safaris, to sea kayaking, fishing and historical walks, there is something for every age group. Kids will love going on a butterfly hunt or trying to spot otters and water voles. A great family event in some of the most beautiful surroundings Scotland has to offer.
For the sporty outdoor types, the Keswick Mountain Festival is a good choice. This 4 day event encompasses walking, climbing, running, cycling and paddling events as well as talks, film nights and lessons in outdoor life. Another spectacular spot of natural beauty for a festival, where all the family can have a go!
Winchcombe Cotswolds Walking Festival, 17th – 19th May, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
The majority of walking festivals have just taken place or are happening this month, before the bugs and temperatures get too much. The Winchcombe Cotswold Walking Festival takes places in lovely surroundings and offers plenty in the way of local history as well as exercise. Not to mention the odd cream tea thrown in for good measure. Prices are very reasonable for the walks and well worth a visit.
Best For…Comedy Fans
Edinburgh Festival Fringe, 2nd – 26th August, Edinburgh
Latitude, 18th – 21st July, Henham Park, Suffolk
Aside from the standard comedy festivals hosted over a couple weeks in various locations, there is not a great deal of choice when it comes to outdoor comedy festivals. That said the Edinburgh Fringe just can’t be overlooked. It’s the largest arts festival in the world, and it’s where comedians flock to cut their teeth as well as maintain their reputation. Taking place in August in the Scottish capital, the event sees thousands of international tourists walk the streets finding something happening in every nook and cranny.
For outdoor comedy, the Latitude festival is a great option with headliners such as Sean Lock, Dylan Moran and Russell Kane. A great collection of 8 Out of 10 Cat’s regulars like Katherine Ryan and Holly Walsh also join the line-up. Of course it’s not just about laughs, there are plenty of great music, theatre and dance performances too! Bloc Party, Hot Chip and Kraftwerk are among the headliners at this year’s event.
Wilderness, 8th – 11th August, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire
Described as ‘gourmet gastronomy’, this kooky festival has a programme of banquets, feasts and workshops to excite the foodie types amongst us. With a host of renowned chefs and restaurateurs covering a delectable range of cuisines, including the Thyme Cookery School which lauds the benefits of seasonal local produce, it is sure to appeal to your taste buds. The Wilderness festival is also home to an array of indie and folk music, with a laid back and inherently cool atmosphere.
Best For…Beer Drinkers
Tockwith Beer Festival, 18th May, Tockwith, York
Let’s be honest a good portion of festival fun can be attributed to alcohol. So with that in mind, we think the Tockwith Beer Festival sounds excellent! Revellers can choose from a large selection of ales and ciders with names like ‘The Dog Father’ and plenty more. To go with your beer, there’s a saliva-inducing hog roast and lots of locally sourced goodies. There’s a spot of music and activities for the whole family too, so it’s not all about the drinking!