14 of the best family-friendly festivals in the South West

Last year the team at Country Mummy enjoyed a fair few of the fantastic family friendly festivals being held across the South-West.

We highly recommend these fun filled adventure weekends, for both young and old alike. They all include a mix of fantastic kids areas, brilliant music, culinary delights and you will be absolutely spoilt for choice for entertainment !

There are really so many to choose from in our beautiful part of the world…take a look at our pick of the best and decide which ones you would like to experience with your family.

1) Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Race Course

3rd – 5th June

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The south west’s first festival of the season, Wychwood Festival returns to Cheltenham Racecourse featuring an eclectic line-up of music, comedy, literature and family entertainment.

Nominated “Best Family Festival” every single year in the UK Festival Awards, this will be its 12th year. It offers something for everyone with over 100 bands on 4 stages, over 100 workshops for all ages, kids Literature Festival, Real Ale Festival, great food and much, much more!

This year’s fantastic line-up includes 10cc, The Waterboys,  Bill Biley, Idlewild, Kate Rusby, Peter Hook & The Light, Craig Charles and Ms. Dynamite  among many others. Returning to Wychwood we cannot forget to mention Justin Fletcher, CBeebies Supestar!

The idyllic campsite sits beneath the Prestbury Hills, complete with areas for caravan, campervans and luxury camping options such as; Tipis and Yurts and pre-erected tents and bell tents.

Facilities for campers include hot showers, a campsite shop, café, and a lock up to store any valuables.

Wychwood continues to offer great value for money – adult weekend tickets are priced at just £135, concessions at £110, 10-15 year olds at £65, 5-9 year olds at £25 and under 5 year olds go free with an adult.

Day tickets are also now on sale, starting at £45 for an adult ticket. Full ticket price breakdown can be found below and as always with Wychwood Festival tickets, all are inclusive, with no additional booking fees and no hidden extras to pay on site. Tickets available here

2) Home Farm Fest, Chilthorne Domer, Somerset

10 – 12th June

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Last year’s festival smashed all previous years, raising a total of £46,000 – nearly £20,000 more than Home Farm Fest 9. With that and the buzz this year’s festival has already received, the organisers from School in a Bag who run Home Farm Fest, have decided to introduce a new stage bringing the total up to five stages. In addition more bars, food vendors and trade stands as well as the activities and attractions will all be on offer.

The music line-up is yet to be announced, but the level of music and the different genres over the five stages is impressive. The Friday night continues with its ‘Posh Wears & Wellies’, encouraging as many people as possible to dress-up in their ‘fineries’ to start the weekend’s festivities and this year also has two big events happening: The UEFA Euro 2016 England V Russia match on the Saturday night and the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations on the Sunday, both of which Home Farm Fest will be including as part of the weekend.

A weekender ticket is £40, children are half price and children 0 – 5 years are free.

To buy your tickets, please visit the Home Farm Fest website: www.homefarmfest.co.uk

 

3) Faery Fest, Torpoint, Cornwall

17th-19th June

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3 Wishes celebrates ten years as the UK’s most unique and original fairy festival! It’s like stepping inside a real-life fairy land.

This festival is all about fun!

You’ll find all manner of fantasy creatures wandering the stunning location of Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, including, Gnomes, Green men, pirates, pixies, faeries and more! 

This year has with the UK debut performance from Corvus Corax, plus 3 Daft Monkeys, Mark Radcliffe’s Galleon Blast, Seas of Mirth, the Dolmen, Professor Elemental, and loads more! There will even be a world record attempt for the most fairies, to be held on Saturday 18th June in front of Mount Edgcumbe House at 3pm.

Once inside the site, you’ll feel as if you have been transported into a ‘real life’ fairyland full of all kinds of magical creatures, with wings, wands, and sparkle!

Tickets are £99 for the full 3 days and nights and include access to camping areas (please note tents are not provided – unless you decide to book a luxury camping experience). Children under 7 are free, and 7 to 17 are £12 per day. Tickets available here 

4) Priddy Folk Festival, Somerset

8th-10th July

This year is the 25th anniversary of the first Priddy Folk Festival and the organisers of this locally-run village event have pulled out all the stops to make the 2016 festival, the most spectacular yet.

Set on the picturesque setting of the Somerset village’s large green, Priddy Folk Festival has, over the years become renowned for being one of the friendliest music and dance events in the country.

Priddy Folk Festival is at the forefront of promoting young folk talent – each year it funds bursaries for two young folk artists to further their talent – and this year a host of younger folk artists will also take centre stage. Among these are exceptionally gifted Scots duo Laura Beth Salter and Jenn Butterworth, another duo Sam Mabbet and Dylan Cairns Howarth and of course Priddy’s own, The Drystones, who released their second album this year.

Priddy is, of course, a family event so there’s plenty of things for the younger ones in the Children’s Festival and a dance programme that includes some of the best traditional dance performers in the country, with styles ranging from Morris to Rapper.  Combined with a free fringe music event, a craft fair, food from around the world and a local real ales and cider tent, Priddy really does have something for all.

Camping is available close to the festival with facilities for tents, caravans and campers.

Country Mummy contributor Jess had a marvellous time with her family at last year’s Priddy Folk Festival.

‘What a lovely festival! We all had such a great time. The Children’s festival was fantastic with Jasper & Daisy keen to get involved in everything going on. Their favourites were Djembe drums with Eliza Wylie and dancing away in the Kids Ceilidh with Sam from Squeeze, Fiddle, Pluck. We had a wonderful time as a family listening to lots of brilliant music, enjoying some great food and an ale or two!

The highlight for me was the Ceilidh later as part of the dance festival. We all got involved, but I never knew my partner Ben was such a pro at Country Dancing! It was a real giggle! A perfect, relaxed festival with a really friendly atmosphere. We will definitely be returning this year!’

Tickets for the weekend start at £64 for adults, £32 for 11-16 year olds and free to accompanied under 11s. To find out more go to www.priddyfolk.org

5) Larmer Tree, Nr Salisbury

13th-17th July 2016

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Larmer Tree Festival returns this summer, presenting the adventurous, the absorbing and the unforgettable, with an all-new programme of music, comedy, theatre, poetry and more across five days.

Set in Victorian gardens in the stunning landscape of the Cranborne Chase, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty spread across Dorset and Wiltshire, Larmer Tree is the quintessential party; an intimate and eccentric festival perfect for first-timers and experienced festival-goers alike.

The final line-up will appeal to festival-goers of all generations. With five stages and over 80 acts, music forms a major part of the festival bill. The much anticipated 2016 line-up will see Jamie Cullum and Jack Savoretti, already announced, joined by further headline acts Tom Odell, The Stranglers, Calexico and Caro Emerald. Plus, Gabrielle Aplin and Afro Celt Sound System, with many acts still to come.

For the very first time, all children’s tickets for under 10s are free, with prices for youth tickets frozen across all tiers.

2016 sees an exciting special guest for the littlest festival-goers. Pop along and say ‘Ello!’ to Mr Bloom from CBeebies. There’ll be a bundle of veggie stories, gardening games and catchy Nursery songs for Tiddlers and Parents alike.

Larmer Tree are making it easier than ever for families to experience the joy of a summer festival with a bespoke programme of fun for little Larmers. From workshops, puppetry, theatre, disco and more, the festival caters for all ages.

The dedicated Family Lawns provide a welcoming hub for families, but children will find acres of fun to be had across the whole festival site. The festival is pleased to have Odstock Day Nursery returning as a partner for 2016, taking over The Nest for under 5s and providing sensory play and fun for all.

Be sure to check our Country Mummy review of last year’s festival on our blog. We are sure you will see what a brilliant festival it is with children.

Tickets start at £170 per adult. Day tickets are also available. For more information and to buy tickets visit http://larmertreefestival.co.uk/buy-tickets/

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6) Godney Gathering, Near Glastonbury, Somerset

Saturday 16th July 2016

Godney-gathering

Located in the heart of Somerset, on the outskirts of Glastonbury, on an organic farm set upon the Somerset Levels, The Godney Gathering has an iconic view of the world famous Glastonbury Tor.

It has evolved into the perfect gem of a day by keeping the good stuff and making the changes to improve year on year. It prides itself on always offering value for money, with tickets starting from just £20 and accompanied children aged 15 years and under absolutely free.

Children do not need tickets, they are all given a child-safe wristband on arrival, on which their accompanying adult writes their mobile number so they can be reunited should their family become separated, with just a phone-call.

While the festival is primarily music based the organisers put great emphasis on a family friendly festival. As well as the four live band stages and silent disco dome, which always proves popular with the young and old alike,

Godney also boasts a very popular and enjoyable designated childrens’ area which includes circus and dance workshops, craft tent and their very own stage with acts such as Crazy Kev and Dinky Dino (humorous ventriloquist), Cuthbert the Clown with his wacky, mad magic show and balloon modelling, set alongside the traditional childrens’ favourite of Punch and Judy.

While the festival is a single day event Gatherers have access to the adjacent camping and caravan site which has proved a very popular asset to the festival, being run and managed by the owners of the festival site itself. This allows our festival goers to enjoy the town of Glastonbury and the local vibrant ambiance either on the Friday before or the Sunday after before heading home. For further information and full line up details please visit

www.thegodneygathering.com.  

7) Chagstock, Devon

22nd – 23rd July

chagstock

Chagstock Festival is one of the Westcountry’s best-loved festivals. Set in 70 acres of farmland on the edge of Dartmoor, Chagstock is renowned for its stunning location, diverse line-up of artists and non-corporate, family friendly atmosphere.

The line-up is really starting to take shape now, with the Friday night headliner announced as Donovan and Saturday night The Stranglers as well as Easy All Stars and the Blockheads.

The festival also has a special family and kids area. Chagstock Green has many activities to keep kids busy and safe during the festival with many activities planned as well as face painting, bouncy castle/ slide and a climbing tower.

There is also a quiet camping field for families available and all children under 12 get in free.

Adult weekend tickets are £85

For tickets go to www.chagstock.info  Day tickets will be available closer to the festival.

 

8) Farm Fest, Bruton, Somerset

29th & 30th July

farm-fest

Farm Fest’s ethos is great music from across the board, cool stuff to do when ears need a rest, a relaxed atmosphere where everyone is welcome, to be able to dance the night away and wake up to a hearty breakfast, sip on a thirst quenching local cider and start all over again.

They promise all these things at a price that is not extortionate, and for you to enjoy them in a beautiful setting in glorious countryside.

Young Fathers, Gilles Peterson, GoGo Penguin, The Hot 8 Brass Band and Bentley Rhythm Ace are among the first acts to be confirmed for Farmfestival 2016.

People of all ages are well catered for at Farmfest, especially the young ones. They have built up a large family audience with a chilled out and relaxed atmosphere in the daytime and by providing a range of games, activities and workshops for them to get involved with.

All ages are welcome, the small size and single field arena layout of the festival helps create an all-inclusive community atmosphere.

The famous kids tent is forever bursting at the seams with arts and crafts activities for toddlers to tweenies; make farm animal friend puppets in ‘make and take’ sessions, create musical instruments from recyclable materials and join in song and dance workshops.

In 2016 they’ll be joined by Malcolm the Magician, Quantum Bob and his Kung Fu Warrior Class (not nearly as dangerous as it sounds!), Usifu Jalloh and his African storytelling and dance classes with Robyn Howe. And, topping it all off they have The Duhig Family Disco, Farmfest’s resident children’s DJ. With much more to be announced the full programme will be revealed closer to the festival weekend.

Family camping is situated at the top of the site,complete with its own team of stewards responsible for ensuring the comfort and needs of the family campers are met. It’s not far from the children’s and family entertainment area and comfortably away from the main music area, but kids are welcome anywhere on site and are encouraged to go and have a dance too!

An adult weekend ticket is now available at £76. 13 – 17 years are £57 and children under 13 years are free.

For more information and tickets visit

http://www.farmfestival.co.uk/home/

Farm-fest

 9) Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle

July 28th – 31st

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The intrepid Camp Bestival crew have been travelling through the universe in search of the very best space-based entertainment to thrill and enthral one and all when they head in to Outer Space this July. With a cavalcade of cosmic treats that will keep rocketeers and space people dancing all weekend long at Lulworth Castle, it’s sure to be a party out of this world!

With their big-banging beats, astronomical headliners will send you into orbit at warp speed! The magnitudinal Fatboy Slim, the ultimate party starter and king selector will be taking the audience in Outer Space for Saturday’s intergalactic action. Astronutters Tears for Fears who helped define the sound of the 80s will be taking you into orbit on Sunday night, and a bona fide superstar in the making, you will be joining Jess Glynne beyond the stratosphere headlining Friday night at Camp Bestival!

Plus lunaterrific sound from Katy B, KT Tunstall, Squeeze, Arrested Development, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Bananarama, DJ Yoda, Jamie Lawson, Turin Brakes, Brand New Heavies, Loyle Carner, Dawn Penn, The Cuban Brothers and Duke Special. Not forgetting stellar action from Aliens Love Underpants, Dick and Dom and Mr Tumble.

There is so much more to take part in for all ages. It really does need to be seen to be believed. Country Mummy had the most amazing time at Camp Bestival last year and would highly recommend this festival to any family. Please read the review from last year on the Country Mummy blog.

Adult Weekend Tickets cost £197.50

For more information and tickets visit http://www.campbestival.net/

camp-bestival

 

10) Port Eliot, St German’s, Cornwall

28th – 31st July

port-elliot

Port Eliot, Cornwall’s foremost annual festival of surprises, reveals the first details of its line-up for this year’s event. The first confirmed names give a nod to the free-ranging spirit of a festival which places equal importance on music, words, food, fashion, flowers, walking and water, not to mention idling in the countryside with a cold glass.

Port Eliot Festival 2016 will see Noel Fielding and Russell Norman rubbing shoulders with Helen Dunmore, Andrew Weatherall and Ryley Walker on a bill for which ‘more than somewhat eclectic’ would seem to be the most appropriate description.

Each year, at the end of July, Port Eliot Festival fills a beautiful ancient estate on Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula with a collection of some of the most invigorating performers, thinkers, artists, writers and idlers assembled in one place at the same time.

There is a special children’s area called Hullabaloo. Best known for creating immersive theatre adventures in wild spaces Rogue Theatre brings imagination to life with fire and spectacle, with explosive physical performance, dance, humour, acrobatics, epic live music and a twist of old magic, mud and glitter.

Woodland creature costumes, faerie dress, otherworld outfits, party frocks, animal masks, funny hats, forest finery, frippery, feathers and fancy hairdos are encouraged though not essential. (Grown-ups as well as children) All are welcome, from near or far!

Unlike many other festivals, staying in the grounds of Port Eliot during the festival is a fantastic and relaxing experience, with lots of space to set up your temporary home in over 6,000 acres of beautiful parkland landscaped by Repton, surrounded by ancient woodland and beautiful views of the house and estuary.

Although it’s easy to find yourself a nice peaceful spot, you’re also never more than a few minutes’ walk from the goings-on in the house, Cabaret tent, Walled Garden and Bowling Green.

Tier 3 adult weekend tickets are available at £172.50. Day tickets are also available. Visit http://porteliotfestival.com/

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11) Glastonbury Extravaganza, Somerset

Saturday 6th August

glastonbury-extravaganza

Another fantastic local one day festival is Glastonbury Extravaganza which this year for the 20th anniversary welcomes the one and only Van Morrison!

Celtic legend Van Morrison will headline the 20th Anniversary Abbey Extravaganza on Saturday August 6th, one of only a handful of dates the singer will be playing in the UK this year.   

“We needed something really special for this 20 year celebration” says Michael Eavis, “and there can surely be nobody better than Van to arouse the spirits, and stir up the emotions of this wonderful place!”

Van Morrison last headlined Glastonbury Extravaganza in 2007.  He has played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival many times over three decades, most recently in 2004.

Grammy award winning jazz singer Jamie Cullum is confirmed as the special guest for the 20th anniversary to be staged in Glastonbury’s historic abbey grounds.

The Wells Cathedral School Big Band will open proceedings when the gates open at 5pm.

Music fans heading for the Extravaganza will also have the chance to extend their stay beyond one night of spectacular music and fireworks. The very popular family camping facilities within easy distance of the Abbey (shuttle bus service provided) have been expanded for 2016, allowing visitors to make the most of their stay in the Vale of Avalon.  

Adult tickets cost £35 and children’s tickets are £20. Children 5 years and under are free. For tickets visit www.glastonburyabbeyshop.com/

 

12) Beautiful Days, Escot Park, Exeter, Devon

19th – 21st August

beautiful-days

Beautiful Days is the Levellers’ family music festival organised by DMF Music which takes place at Escot Park in Devon with six stages, site art, a huge children’s area, comedy, theatre, family camping, licensed real ale bars from Otter Brewery & a great choice of food and craft stalls.

Headlining Beautiful Days 2016 on the Friday night are Leftfield, on Saturday night they  welcome back Manchester legends James and Sunday night headliners are festival founders Levellers who will close the weekend with a spectacular show including a firework finale.

The Children’s Area at Beautiful Days is co-ordinated by Majical Youth Theatre and has been for over a decade. There are loads of activities, hands-on workshops and entertainment all weekend long for children of all ages. They have crafts, theatre, dressing-up, circus, rides, story-telling, music and craft workshops, comedy, face painting and more.

Redwoods camping is designated specifically for ’family camping’ although all campsites have a mix of groups of family and friends. Redwoods is the first camping field on the right as you come over the bridge out of the arenas and is the one with the storytelling area under the circle of redwood trees.

The theme for 2016 is stars ……..sparkling cosmic related attire or simply star-shaped accessories. The focus of the day on the Sunday will be stars, with site art and other elements of the festival reflecting the theme.

TICKETS – Adult Weekend Camping Tickets are £135, 10 to Under 16’s Weekend Camping Tickets £65, 5 to Under 10’s Weekend Camping Tickets £35, Under 5’s Weekend Camping Tickets £5, Car routing/parking tickets £15 and Campervan tickets £40. All tickets are subject to booking fee. There are no day tickets available. Tickets on sale now via www.beautifuldays.org/tickets

13) Watchet Live Festival, Somerset

26th – 28th August

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Watchet Live Festival have announced that iconic UK reggae band, UB40 are confirmed as headlining the Friday night of their 10th Birthday Party across August Bank Holiday 2016.

Headlining on Saturday are BRIT and Ivor-Novello award winning pop-rock band The Feeling. With their back catalogue of instantly recognisable hits including ‘Sewn’, ‘Fill My Little World’, ‘Never Be Lonely’ and ‘I Thought It Was Over’ (all of which graced the UK Top 10 singles chart), Saturday night at Watchet is once again set to be filled with thousands of voices singing along!

Also joining Saturday’s bill are Joy Division and New Order Bassist Peter Hook, along with his band The Light. Performing classic songs from throughout ‘Hooky’s’ illustrious career, this is a performance that is likely to go down in Watchet Festival history.

Watchet LIVE Festival is a not-for-profit family-friendly festival with amazing views of the stunning West Somerset coastline and beyond. Three live stages host more than 60 live acts, bringing a wide range of high-calibre musical acts not normally found performing in West Somerset, at a very affordable price.

Following the success of last year’s sold out event (the festival’s fifth in a row), Watchet LIVE Festival has again made financial donations to local groups including The Children’s Hospice South West, Elliot’s Touch, and the “Stand Against Speed 4 Bethany” young driver’s awareness campaign.

Alongside a wide variety of high quality food stalls, the extensive in-house Cider and Real Ale Bar prices are always kept as low as possible, providing one of the best-value refreshments offerings to be found at any event in the UK.

An adult weekend ticket with camping costs £72.50. Day tickets and tickets without camping are available. Visit http://www.watchetfestival.co.uk/tickets.php

14) The Big Feastival, The Cotswolds

26th – 28th August

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Following last year’s sell-out event, the UK’s much-loved music, food and family festival The Big Feastival, proudly presented by NEFF, returns to its stunning Cotswolds home

Celebrating its 5th birthday on Alex James’ farm, ‘Feastival-goers’ can expect a bank holiday bonanza with the festival’s biggest and best line-up of Food and music to date.

The music acts gracing this year’s line-up are no strangers to a party, with Uptown Funk Superstar Mark Ronson (DJ Set) hitting the main stage, as well as rock legends Kaiser Chiefs and the electric DJ Fresh. Other artists set to appear include Mercury Prize nominee Roisin Murphy, songstress Ella Henderson and Grammy Award-winner

Foxes, who will be performing her unique style of experimental pop to the crowds.

And what’s more, there is a very special guest headliner still to be announced.

With sing-alongs and a silent disco, the festival promises to get everyone on their feet with live performances and special guest DJ sets on satellite stages across the site.

After working up an appetite on the dance floor, festival-goers can delve into new depths of gastronomic delights as The Big Feastival presents an award–‐winning line up of street food stars. Highlights include; previous British Street Food Awards winners of ‘Best Burger’ Original Patty Men and ‘Best Sandwich’ The Cauldron, pop–‐up maestros Le Bun and Time Out’s Number One Street Food trader Le Swine. With brand new dining Experiences still to be announced, there will be something on the menu for everyone this year.

For the little ones, this year will see performances from TV favourites Cbeebies superstar Justin Fletcher, the legendary Dic & Dom and X factor stars Reggie and Bolie. As well as a jam-packed programme of fun and games for all the family.

In addition to the general camping area, there is a dedicated family camping area which is available on a first come, first served basis on arrival at the festival.

An adult weekend ticket including camping costs £174.50. Day tickets are also available.

For full information on the music, food and family programmes and to purchase tickets,

visit: www.thebigfeastival.com

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