The smaller, more independent festivals popping up around the UK this Summer offer much more than just child-friendly activities. Whether it’s interactive folk bands, African dance workshops, sampling food from around the globe, hair braiding, face painting or poetry reciting, the UK plays host to so many superb family day and weekend events. Here’s our guide to three of the best.
Where: Barnsley, Yorkshire
When: 21st-23rd July
Organised by award-winning folk singer, Kate Rusby, this festival is now in its fourth year. Celebrating everything from traditional British music to the American Deep South via India and beyond, one of the headliners this year is chart-topping Newton Faulkner and, of course, Rusby herself.
With street theatre, storytelling, circus skills and art installations, there are also plenty of crafty workshops and opportunities for little hands to join in – from Tai Chi to clog dancing. The festival itself is hosted on Cannon Hill Farm, so visiting the animals is also a must for children.
Where: Lymington, Hampshire
When: 21st-23rd July
Something between a literary festival, a comedy club and a music gig, this event – hosted in the stunning grounds of Pylewell Park on the South coast – has a bit of everything. From readings by poets, playwrights and writers, plus demonstrations by illustrators, to midnight bat walks, a jabberwocky hunt and snail racing, all the family will find something to love.
You can also further your art skills with life drawing, photography masterclasses, or learn to make the perfect gin and tonic – there’s even a spa tent to wind-down if it all gets a bit much.
Where: Moseley, Birmingham
When: 1st-3rd September
For a final farewell to Summer before the start of the new school year, this festival is a treat for all family members. Its central location means it’s ideal for festival-goers from across the UK to reach, and its varied programme makes a full weekend ticket well worth the money.
With a stellar musical line-up – Laura Marling, Amy Macdonald, Jose Gonzalez, Fairport Convention – not to mention plenty of world music and indie performers, the outdoor stages and numerous tents are always vibrant. There are also craft displays, workshops and activities throughout the weekend and you won’t want to miss the delicious food stalls, offering Caribbean fare to crepes and Thali.
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