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Family-friendly festivals

Music, magic and sleeping under the stars, whether you’re into glamping or basic camping, there are festivals galore to keep the whole family entertained. These events are within a two-hour radius, so whether you just want a day out or a weekend away, take your pick


You'll have to be quick, but there is still time for these ones...

Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle 25-28
The very best of child-friendly festivals and a wonderland for little ones with bouncy castles, go-carts, fairgrounds, face painting, sandpits and glitter. There’s even a Breastival Mother and Baby Chill Out spot for the newest mums. The Upper Kids’ Garden on the lawn behind the castle is home to the world’s biggest bouncy castle and much-loved characters such as the Gruffalo and PJ Masks will be paying a visit. There are also family shows and entertainment, including from Mr Tumble, Mister Maker & Big Fish Little Fish. Oldies can enjoy Nile Rogers + Chic, Jess Glynne and The Human League to name but a few.
www.campbestival.net (87 miles – 1h48m)

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Malmesbury 25-28
Acts include Ziggy Marley, Nadine Shah and Salif Keita. A celebration of world music, multiculturalism, zero crime, and mutual respect
www.womad.co.uk (42miles 55minutes)

Starry Skies, NP15 1HS, Gwehelog, Usk
July 31-August 4
Let your kids run free at Starry Skies – if they run off and play in the woods they might find an audio looping wheelie bin or a thrilling zip wire. Den building can produce a giant pirate ship, and why just roll down a grassy slope when you can spend joyful hours on a massive soapy hillside slide? A huge lungful of fresh air for the whole family.
www.starry-skies.net (92miles 1h41m)


Wickham Festival, Fareham 1-4
A four-day music & arts festival held in a stunningly beautiful rural location near the historic village of Wickham. With live music on four stages plus a host of other entertainment, Wickham is rated by many as one of the safest, most relaxed and family-friendly festivals in the UK. Line-up includes The Proclaimers, Level 42 and Gilbert O’Sullivan.
www.wickhamfestival.co.uk (41.4miles 1h2m)

Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park 1-4
A sophisticated culture festival that includes wild swimming in a lake. Posh dining, cocktails and plenty of smart glamping options. Line-up includes Tom Odell, Groove Armada and Robyn, alongside Sadlers Wells, The Royal Academy of Arts and Rambert. A good festival for celeb spotting.
www.wildernessfestival.com (43 miles 54 minutes)

Valley Fest, Chew Valley Lake, Bristol 2-4
The fest website says you will get generous helpings of nonsense, lashings of lazy lakeside lushness, a cup of spirit and sparkle, marinated with melodies, fresh beats and some choice meat and a sprinkling of sumptuous vocals. Prepare yourselves for hedge-to-hedge Somerset style and sizzle. Luke Hasell set up the event in 2014, in honour of his parents who both died within a short time of each other.
www.valleyfest.co.uk (73 miles 1h38m)

Boomtown, Winchester 7-11
The only choice for the coolest kids in town. Kidztown is the place to check out, with The Sandcastle Stage hosting child-friendly acts all weekend. Junior Jungle , FUNDMC and Big Fish Little Fish will help to prove that the family that raves together, stays together, with musical styles including ragga-jungle to hip-hop to club classics. All this and more, at one of the most hotly-anticipated events on the festival calendar for 2019.
www.boomtownfair.co.uk (29miles – 37 minutes)

Green Man, Brecon Beacons 12-18
Green Man is a beautiful festival nestled at the foot of the Black Mountains. You can buy an additional Settler’s Pass ticket, which allows you to stay for seven days, park near your tent and come and go as you please. This gives you the chance to explore the beauty of Wales and do an extra shop for food supplies at Crickhowell. Apart from the carefully curated music programme (Four Tet, Father John Misty and Idles headlining), there is loads for children to do and see, including the Little Folk area, science field, aerial displays and chilling out in the giant Green Man sculpture.
www.greenman.net (111miles 1h56m)

Stockfest, Stockcross 14-18
A local community festival with classic cars, jazz, opera, brass, children’s entertainment and family quizzes
www.stockfest.co.uk (3.5miles 10m)

Rewind South 16-18
Expect a weekend of iconic performance from musical legends, themed venues, pop-up performers and an unrivalled festival atmosphere. Musical performers include Michael Bolton and the Four Tops. Comedy from Tom Allen and Joel Dommett
www.south.rewindfestival.com (20miles 40m)

Shambala, secret location in Northamptonshire, 22-25
Anti-corporate, pro-creativity event, with bushcraft sessions and floating yoga lessons as important as the bands. Leads the way in sustainability initiatives in energy, recycling and eradicating plastic use. Went completely meat-free in 2016, and even had a stall selling insect street food. A vast array of workshops in subjects include sustainability, community and permaculture. And for families there are wood-fired baby baths, a family camp fire, family hot tubs, mini-golf, an overnight bush camp and onsite creche.

Big Feastival, Kingham, Oxfordshire 23-25
Held on founder and Blur star Alex James’ farm, the Big Feastival features a host of big names in family-friendly entertainment. This year’s line-up is yet to be announced, but previous years have featured everyone including Justin Fletcher and Andy & the Odd Socks of CBeebies fame to Peppa Pig, the Gruffalo and Paddington.
www.thebigfeastival.com (51 miles 1h8m)

Reading Festival 23-25
Maybe not for the whole family but a rite of passage for many teens. Headline acts include Foo Fighters and Bastille.
www.readingfestival.com (20miles 40m)

Curious Arts Festival, Pippingford Park, East Sussex 23-26
An arts and music festival with a range of child-led activities to entertain the little ones. From children’s poetry
and film workshops to classic cartoons and bedtime stories, you can take it in turns to find entertainment and cultural stimulation in this beautiful setting.
www.curiousartsfestival.com (88 miles 1h51m)

CarFest, Laverstoke
CarFest South Festival Dates: 23 – 25
Headliners at this year’s split-location CarFest event in aid of BBC Children in Need include Jools Holland, The Jacksons and The Human League. There’s plenty on offer for kids, including the Vintage Village, where they can step back in time and visit the vintage market, tea rooms and sweet shops, and discover cars from the 30s through to the 70s. There’s also the Farm-Olympics, kids theatre and the Car-Nival.
www.carfest.org/welcome/welcome-to-carfest-south (14miles 23minutes)

Victorious, Portsmouth, 23-25
Victorious is a family-friendly festival for music lovers, a stone’s throw from the sea. It’s a day festival located on the picturesque Southsea Seafront and takes place over August Bank Holiday Weekend. There are plenty of places to stay locally, including Victorious Festival’s Offsite Campsite. Performers include New Order, Rudimental and Clean Bandit
www.victoriousfestival.co.uk (57miles 1h18m)

Bunkfest, Wallingford, 30-September 1
A community event showcasing broad-appeal musical talent from around the world, as well as street entertainment, family fun, craft fair and, of course, the Cholsey and Wallingford Railway.
www.bunkfest.co.uk (22miles 36m)


Down at the Abbey festival, Reading Abbey ruins, Reading, September 7
Top of the bill is off-kilter dream popster Rozi Plain. Eclectic lineup also includes indie stalwart Darren Hayman, Rachel Dad and the Aldworth Philharmonic Soloists - an off-shoot of Reading’s esteemed Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra, who blew away crowds at Are You Listening? Festival in April and were awarded a Cultural Award for their public performance ‘Schumann at the Station’ last year. The award-winning Siren Craft Brew will be running the main Festival Bar, and there will be a number of pop-up bars and mouth-watering street food stalls to festival goers happy on the day. Third Tier Adult & Child Tickets are on sale now at www.heavypop.co.uk

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