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The Best Family Festivals this summer

It’s the summer holidays, the kids are running wild and you’re looking for the ultimate inclusive activity. Step up, the festival.

These days, many are as little-people loving as they are pleasing to parents. You get treated to amazing ambience, music and food; they get to learn how to ride a unicycle dressed as a sparkly lion – everyone’s a winner!

And if that all sounds too exhausting, why not stay in a cottage for a great night’s sleep before the next fun-filled day!

Cornbury Music Festival, The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire: 7-9 July

cornburyfestival.com

More of a posh, open-air party than a full-on festival, Cornbury describes itself as a ‘country fair with a rock‘n’roll twist!’

All kids’ activities are free, including a toddler disco and a teen tent. Big names are attracted to this beautiful corner of the Cotswolds, and this year Bryan Adams and Kaiser Chiefs top the bill.

Latitude, Henham Park, Southwold, Suffolk: 13-16 July

latitudefestival.co.uk

A big festival which champions new music, Latitude even pleases tricky teenagers by offering bespoke workshops in music, fashion and wildlife survival skills.

Science experiments and pizza-making engage the smaller kids. Parents will love the new Waitrose stall, award-winning loos and the enchanting Sunday sound of Fleet Foxes amongst the Suffolk countryside.

Tiree Music Festival, Inner Hebrides, Scotland: 14-16 July

tireemusicfestival.co.uk

A world famous surfer’s paradise, this tiny island welcomes more than a thousand party-goers each July.

Twice named ‘Best Small Festival in Scotland’, Scouting for Girls headline here this year, alongside eminent Scottish folk and pop performers. Sunny Tiree is nicknamed the ‘Hawaii of the North’, so it’s perfect for a seaside cottage break.

Curious Arts Festival, Pylewell Park, Hampshire: 21-23 July

curiousartsfestival.com

Celebrating art in the New Forest, this boutique festival is a Guardian pick. It’s pretty eccentric...snail racing and an ‘emergency poet’?

But, the kids’ stuff is impressive, including interactive imagination pods, puppetry workshops and a Jabberwocky Hunt. Also expect music, food and conversations with famous authors, including Joanna Trollope!

Camp Bestival, Lulworth Cove, Dorset: 27-30 July

campbestival.net

Famous for its incredible fancy dress parade, Camp Bestival is celebrating its 10th year.

There’s a carnival atmosphere with circus acrobats, theatre shows and a whole ‘art town’ to get creative in. DJs play music for all ages plus Madness and Brian Wilson headline. With Dorset’s Jurassic Coast on your doorstep what better excuse for a mini-break?

Farmfest, Bruton, Somerset: 28-29 July

farmfestival.co.uk

A small, friendly festival in Somerset with green credentials, you can expect locally-sourced food and lashings of cider.

There’s a ‘Kids’ Kingdom’, plus comedy, children’s yoga and craft-making. Farmfest cap the crowds at 5000 to preserve the vibe, but size isn’t everything and they still attract major music-makers...Roots Manuva proves it this year.

Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival, Near Beauly, Inverness: 8-9 August

tartanheartfestival.co.uk

Festivities kick off in this stunning Highland setting with a welcome ceilidh, and the weekend’s music is an eclectic mix of grass roots music and huge Scottish bands such as Franz Ferdinand and The Pretenders.

Unusual children’s activities include construction and sumo wrestling and all under 12s go free.

Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, Wales: 17-20 August

greenman.net

If you like majestic mountain scenery and your little folk like fancy dress, this is the festival for you. There’s a huge parade and activities like archery, giant bubble-blowing and crafting to enjoy.

The site is small enough to stroll between stages, but big enough to attract performances by PJ Harvey and Ryan Adams.

The Just So Festival, Rode Hall Estate, Cheshire, 18-20 August

justsofestival.org.uk

The UK’s only combined arts festival designed solely for families; Just So is an outdoor adventure where children can step into an extraordinary and magical world of stories, music, comedy, theatre in Cheshire’s wild and wonderful woodland surroundings.

Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire: 24-27 August

shambalafestival.org

A relaxed festival in rural East Midlands, Shambala offers an alluring mix of eclectic music, vegetarian fare and a happy, hippy vibe.

There’s a crèche for tots and older children can join the ‘Woodland Tribe.’ For the adults, there are hot tubs and a spa and to add to the mystery, Shambala’s exact location is only released once you’ve bought your tickets.

Off The Tracks, Donington Park, Derbyshire, 1-3 September

offthetracks.co.uk

A small, independent festival escape held in the heart of England.

With a capacity of just 1,500 it’s family-friendly and charity-orientated with diverse music, its very own beer festival, shiatsu and meditation and plenty of children’s play options. It also offers undercover venues should the weather be unkind.

The Good Life Experience, Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales: 15-17 September

thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk

This is a boutique festival curated by BBC Radio 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews. It’s all about stripping things back to the good life.

Yoga classes, music, books and How To... talks for adults combine with axe-throwing (eek!) tree-climbing and a myriad of crafts for youngsters. Everyone will enjoy the vintage fair and campfire cooking with top foodies.

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