The best family friendly UK festivals this summer revealed, from a kite-themed extravaganza in Yorkshire to the New Forest’s quirky ‘Dogstival’
- Giant inflatable kites will be on display at Bridlington Kite Festival, East Yorkshire
- Family pets are the stars of the show at Dogstival in the New Forest
- July brings the last chance to visit Cornbury Music Festival in Oxfordshire
Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at a brilliant holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: festivals for all the family.
Festival-lovers will be spoiled for choice this summer with capacity crowds welcomed back to big-name locations such as Glastonbury, Latitude and Camp Bestival.
A host of smaller, family-friendly events are also planned across the country, with the fun starting later this month.
Crowd-pleaser: Families soak up the sun at the Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire’s Great Tew Park
On May 21 to 22, some of the biggest inflatable kites in the world will be on display at the free Bridlington Kite Festival in East Yorkshire. Aerial experts will fly everything from huge, colourful dragons to frogs over the town’s cliffs and beaches. Visitors can take the reins in flying lessons or simply enjoy the funfair and food stalls. bridlingtonkitefestival.co.uk
Book-lovers will gather for the Wild Words Festival at Colesdale Farm in Hertfordshire from June 3 to 5. There are plenty of family-focused events, such as write your own stories and make your own comic. Also on offer are guided nature walks and silent discos.
Day tickets start at £35, or stay the weekend in a glamping tent or campervan pitch (late-night hot chocolate and early-morning coffee included). wildwordsfest.com
Family pets aren’t just welcome to some festivals this summer – at Dogstival in the New Forest they’re the stars of the show.
On June 4 to 5, everything from puppies to ‘golden oldies’ can strut around the show ring in competitions, or head to the paddling pool for dog-diving, a ‘Barking Mad’ comedy show, pampering, grooming sessions and a chill-out doggy den. Locally sourced food and drink stalls will be there for owners. Tickets from £9. dogstival.co.uk
July brings the last chance to visit a hugely popular, family-friendly festival – as it’s set to be the final Cornbury event from July 8 to 10 in Oxfordshire’s Great Tew Park.
Wacky: Bridlington Kite Festival will see aerial experts fly everything from huge, colourful dragons to frogs over the town’s cliffs and beaches
Headliners include James Blunt, Bryan Adams and Jools Holland, while circus school, samba drumming sessions, storytelling, discos and yoga await youngsters. Arts and crafts sessions are also big, with everything from willow-weaving to screen-printing on offer.
The last few camping, glamping and campervan pitches are on sale now. Day passes from £99, weekend camping from £367. cornburyfestival.com
Something different runs from July 15 to 17 with the tenth Beverley Puppet Festival, where puppet-masters from around the world show off their art. There’s a mix of indoor shows, outdoor street theatre, puppet-making workshops and more. The likely highlight? Puppet performances of the Eurovision Sock Contest at East Riding Theatre. Tickets and prices being released soon. beverleypuppetfestival.com
Freebie: Expect quirky comedy and seaside silliness at the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts in Great Yarmouth
Dance, art, comedy, health and fitness are all on the set list at the quirky Campo Sancho festival in the gardens of Hertfordshire’s Walkern Hall on July 30 to 31. There are bush crafts, den-building and a kids’ disco, plus plenty of events for too-cool-for-school teens. Food and drink ranges from craft beer and cocktails to curries, paella and toasties.
Camp for the weekend and you’re promised hot showers and smart eco-loos. Three-day tickets cost £139. sanchopanza.org
Prefer a free festival where you don’t have to sleep in a tent? Great Yarmouth hosts the Out There International Festival of Circus and Street Arts from September 16 to 18. Expect quirky comedy and seaside silliness across town, indoors and out. outtherearts.org.uk