Festivals make great family-friendly mini-breaks. Swap the daily grind for a weekend of discovery of new sounds, tastes, sights and skills..
family-friendly FESTIVALS NOT TO MISS In 2016
1. Cromer & Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival
Norfolk, 21 - 22 May, 2016
Two rival fishing towns go head-to-head at this three-day event, with celebrity and local chefs cooking their favourite lobster and crab recipes. The whole family can take part in the World Pier Crabbing Championships. The festival starts on Friday night with a grand variety concert at the famous Pier Pavillion Theatre, followed by a full weekend of cookery theatre demonstrations, market stalls, heritage events, crab sandwiches, live music and hopefully the sun shining!
Use our campsite finder to search for nearby campsites to Cromer and Sheringham.
2. Alresford Watercress Festival
New Arlesford, Hampshire, Sunday 15 May, 2016
This nationally acclaimed one day festival celebrates the powerful punch of the humble watercress. Over 12,000 visitors attended in 2014 to sample traditional food fare and enjoy some of Britain’s greatest traditions including Morris dancing and falconry. The local farmers market and infusion of jazz means the day goes with a real swing.
Use our campsite finder to search for campsites in the vicinity of Alresford, near Winchester.
3. Elderflower Fields
Pippingford Park, East Sussex, 27 - 30 May 2016
Catered around families and kids first, this festival remains true to its roots of being like a big party and is still run as a non-profit entity. With arts and sports camps giving your kids the chance to get truly creative and try out some unusual sports and games whilst you explore elsewhere, it'll keep everyone happy! Weekend tickets including camping and additional passes for campervans / motorhomes / caravans can be bought.
4. The Fal River Festival
Falmouth, Cornwall, Monday 30 May - Sunday 5 June 2016
A week long celebration, this not-for-profit community festival encompasses over 150 events varying from music & drama, the arts & heritage to gig racing, swimming, walking & lots more.
Stay: Campsites near Falmouth
5. Wychwood Festival
Cheltenham Race Course, Gloucestershire, 3 - 5 June, 2015
Repeatedly nominated ‘Best Family Festival’ in the UK Festival Awards, Wychwood is a significant music festival yet laid back, homely and family friendly. With over 100 bands on 4 stages; 100 + workshops for all ages; a Kids Literature Festival; comedy including Bill Bailey; a Real Ale Festival and great food and idyllic camping on site beneath the Prestbury Hills.
6. Love Supreme Jazz Festival
Glynde, East Sussex, 1 – 3 July, 2016
Fast becoming billed as the jazz equivalent of Glastonbury in the UK, this year's line up includes Grace Jones, Burt Bacharach, Lianne La Havas with many more to be announced... There is a large campsite within the venue at Glynde Place for camping, caravans and motorhomes.
7. Cornbury Music Festival
The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, 8 - 10 July, 2016
Music for all generations of the family amongst the beautiful grounds of the Great Tew Estate. This year's line-up includes Jamie Cullum; Bryan Ferry; Soul II Soul; Corinne Bailey Rae; All Saints; Turin Brakes and more. Weekend passes including free camping and you can purchase campervan/caravan passes as well -- there are even Over 70's passes so you can bring the grand-parents along too!
Please note that vehicles over 7.5m in length need prior arrangement with the ticket office first.
8. Car Fest
C4R-FEST North, Bolesworth Castle, Cheshire 29 - 31 July 2016
C4R-FEST South, Laverstoke Park, Hampshire, 26 - 28 August 2016
Petrol head DJ Chris Evan’s dream to raise money for children in need by mixing his passions came to fruition with the creation of C4R-FEST a few years ago. A super family friendly event (located in both the North and South of England so no one misses out) kids and adults are entertained to their heart’s content by cars, music, plays, books, engines – well anything really. Tickets sell fast so check the website for availability.
9. Tartan Heart Festival
By Beauly, Inverness, Scotland, 4 - 6 August, 2016
The Tartan Heart Festival or ‘Belladrum’ as it is also known is a well kept Scottish secret which attracts some very big names. Performing in 2016 is Madness; The Darkness; Arrested Development; Alabama 3; The Orb and Two Door Cinema Club. Camping, caravans and campervans and multiple glamping options all catered for on site.
Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, 4 - 7 August, 2016
Born out of the idea of celebrating the arts and the outdoors this festival takes place in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside. Culture and the arts has more prominence than at other festivals and includes things like a V&A learning workshop; theatre group; enchanted tree and storystock for children.
11. Wild Heart Gathering
WildHeart is an exclusive and inspired magical festival, a conscious celebration of life from sun up to sun down. A gorgeous weekend to meet new friends, try something new, dance, reconnect with life and celebrate. Camping, campervans and caravans all accommodated.
12. SUN AND MOON FESTIVAL
Plumpton, near Brighton, 14 - 21 August, 2016
The Sun and Moon festival calls itself a 'family wellbeing festival'. Based in Plumpton College on the South Downs, over the week there will be in the region of 400 activities, classes and workshops this can be more like a family activity holiday than a weekend festival whilst being an agricultural college, this remains a very rural and natural setting. There is an animal care center with birds of prey, reptiles and all sorts of animals – something the children coming to the festival will be able to enjoy hugely - plus the organisers aim for at least 20 different things for children to do each day.
The festival and camping for a week comes in at only £160 and campervans are also welcome. You can win a family ticket to this festival by entering our competition here.
13. The Big Feastival
Alex Jame's Farm, The Cotswolds, 26 - 28 August, 2016
Founded by Jamie Oliver and Alex James of Blur, this is a family-friendly music, food and drink festival. With Mark Ronson, the Kaiser Chiefs, Roisin Murphy and Ella Henderson to choose on the music front you also have an array of chefs including Jamie Oliver, Raymond Blanc, Tom Kerridge and Gizzi Erskine to name but a few ... Campervans, caravans welcome as well as normal and boutique camping.
14. Festival No 6
Portmeirion, Wales, 1 - 4 September, 2016
Famous as the setting for "The Prisoner" this is billed as the UK's most unique festival. 2016 line-up includes Super Furry Animals, Broken Social Scene, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Hot Chip. There are a myriad of boutique glamping options on site but for those who want to take their own leisure vehicle you may need to look further afield try: Tyddyn Llwyn camping, caravan and touring park
15. The Good Life Experience
Hawarden Estate, Flintshire, Wales, 16 - 18 September, 2016
Founded by Cerys Matthews amongst others this festival is a mini cornucopia of food, music, books and the great outdoors. Billed as a voyage of discovery and fun for all the family, you’ll learn how to cook fabulous things on a campfire, survive and thrive in the environment and make and do a few things that are fun with entertainment thrown in. Camping included in tickets and although campervan/caravan tickets on-site often sell out they do have various recommended nearby sites to try.
16. deer shed festival
Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, 22 - 24 July, 2016
A three day festival for all the family. This festival is aimed at providing entertainment for every ages. It features live music, arts, science, a literary tent and workshops. This year's theme is making a movie titled 'Monsters VS. Machines' which will be made with the help of festival goers. Find sites nearby.
17. lodestar festival
Lode, Cambridge, 2 - 4 September, 2016
'For lovers of life' this festival is set on a family farm in the heart of East Anglia in 200 acres of great British countryside. The event boasts live music, family fun, top entertainment, crafts, theatre, comedy and more. Make the most of it by pitching up at these great sites.
A few other highly recommended festivals, suggested by readers:
For those that the journey there is half the adventure:
Fun, food, music in the ever crowd-pleasing Lakes:
Billed as a family weekend adventure beyond your wildest dreams:
Want to go to a festival in a leisure vehicle ? See below for links to get you started: