Seven of the UK's best family-friendly festivals in 2017

by Katie Rowe

Category: Culture vulture
May 1 2014

England is big on festivals. There’s a huge array of shindigs going on throughout the summer, spreading that Friday feeling across an entire weekend. And the great thing is, many of them are child-friendly. In fact, some even dedicate whole areas and festival programmes to children. Here’s our guide to some of the best family-friendly events in the country... 

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Chagstock, Devon (21-22 July)


Just the ticket for first-time festival goers and the budget-conscious, tent camping is free as is admission for children under the age of 12. Chagstock also offers concessions for families with children over 12. Not to mention the free, glorious views over the northern edge of Dartmoor.

Who’s playing? The Shires, Soul II Soul and The Dub Pistols.

Don’t miss… A plethora of child-friendly events and entertainment such as face painting and hat making.

Deer Shed Festival, North Yorkshire (21-23 July)

Deer Shed Festival

Science is cool. That’s why, along with plenty of music, comedy and arts, Deer Shed Festival has heaps of science-related events dedicated to everything from robots to forensics.

Who’s playing? Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest, The Divine Comedy and Arab Strap.

Don’t miss… Water bottle rockets, tree climbing and a giant game of hungry hippos!

Camp Bestival, Dorset (27-30 July)

Camp Bestival, Dorset

A family favourite set in the historical surroundings of Lulworth Castle where kids are king, fun and games is the staple theme and the Jurassic Coast is just on your doorstep.

Who’s playing? All Saints, Brian Wilson and Mark Ronson.

Don’t miss… A special, live performance of the West End hit School of Rock – The Musical.

Standon Calling, Herefordshire (27-30 July)

Standon Calling, Herefordshire

One for the cool kids, Standon Calling has a whole area dedicated to entertaining the younger set during the daytime, right at the heart of the festival. As an added bonus, the festival offers on-site baby sitting in the evenings.

Who’s playing? Orbital, Clean Bandit and Grace Jones.

Don’t miss… Yoga and meditation sessions and the hot tubs on the hill.

Just So Festival, Cheshire (18-20 August)

Just So Festival, Cheshire

Just So puts on an enchanting show for babies and grown-ups alike, with feeding, changing and bath tents for babes, a secret, enchanted fairy city for curious young explorers, arty events for creative kids and yoga and massages for parents in need of TLC.

Who’s playing? Laura Oakes, Bramble Napskins and Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band.

Don’t miss… The Silver Screen glade, where you can jump into interactive cinematically-themed events during the day and snuggle up with a blanket and a classic family film at night.

Shambala Festival, Northamptonshire (24-27 August)

Puppet cabaret, storytelling, thought-provoking workshops and plenty of live music are just a few of the things you’ll experience with the kids at this chilled-out eco-festival.

Who’s playing? 'Line up to follow shortly, so keep those eyes peeled!'

Don’t miss… The crazy bikes, trampolines, hula hooping, break dancing and bubbles of the Playtopia Kids' Field.

The Big Feastival, Oxford (25-27 August)

The Big Feastival, Oxford

A-list chefs rub shoulders with famous musicians at this tummy-tempting family-friendly ‘feastival’. It’s curated by the Jamie Oliver Foundation and takes place on the farm of Blur bassist, Alex James.

Who’s playing? Hacienda Classical, Olly Murs and Madness.

Don’t miss… The NEFF Cookaholics Cookery School, where you can cook up a storm under the guidance of top chefs.

Katie Rowe

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