Just because you’ve got children doesn’t mean you can’t have tons of fun going to a festival this summer – just make sure you choose the right festival and the whole family will have a fantastic time. Avoid the big names and head for one of the boutique family-oriented festivals which have sprung up across the country. It’s all about getting back to nature, with fantastic food, great music, gorgeous surroundings and sometimes even flushing loos.
From Wales to Somerset, it’s a chance to explore some of the prettier parts of the countryside, and give the kids an experience they’ll never forget; in fact they’ll be bugging you to go back almost straight away…
Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, Wales
A return to more traditional times is advocated at this rustic, fun-filled weekend in Wales organised by Cerys Matthews and Charlie Gladstone. Try your hand at axe-throwing, archery, tree-climbing, leather working, knot tying or bushcraft.
Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire
Littles can enjoy everything from ballet dancing with Matthew Bourne to the mind-expanding science tent. There is top-rate comedy and music all weekend, and the setting is superb.
27th to 30th July
Dick and Dom return to Lulworth Castle for the most popular family festival in the UK (main picture above). Organised by Rob da Bank it’s an ingenious mix of great music for parents and brilliant entertainment for kids of all ages. Increasing numbers of converts return year after year, so early booking is recommended.
Everything goes a little bit Swallows and Amazons at Wilderness, which boasts a dedicated tribe of followers who wax lyrical about the campfires, costume-making, cricket and theatre plus music, fine local food and, praise the lord, nannies.
Vicarage Farm, near Winchester, Hampshire
Expect the unexpected this year from one of the best boutique family festivals out there. Blissfields has grown organically since 2001, and claims it never, ever rains.
26 to 29 May
Pippingford Park, Ashdown Forest
Begun just five years ago, Elderflower Fields is aimed at families who want to fully embrace the outdoors. Try your hand at everything from kayaking and paddleboarding to building your own adventure playground, plus some good, old-fashioned orienteering. Yikes.
Summer festival family survival kit
Do your best to pack light, because distances from the car to your pitch can be considerable. Remember that there are always stalls selling overpriced bits and pieces, which you’ll be grateful for, but make sure you take the basics:
* Cool bag
* Ear defenders
* Inflatable chairs
* ID Bracelets
* First aid kit
* Snacks and water bottles
* Smartphone GPS
* Portable chargers
Read more great stuff to do with the family at www.absolutely-mama.co.uk