If the last couple of years have left a big empty festival-hole in your lives, fear not, festivals are back this summer (fingers crossed) and I have been busy putting together a list of family-friendly festivals in the UK.
Festivals bring me joy and if you haven't been to one before, I would totally recommend it. You can let go, dress up, dance, try new things and just enjoy the colours and the fresh air. To get the full festival experience camping is the best option but most usually offer glamping options and some smaller festivals may offer day tickets if you don't want to camp. Here are some of the UK's favourite festivals - all of which you can do with kids.
Dorset - Lulworth Castle - July 28 - July 31, 2022
Shropshire - Weston Park - August 18 - August 21, 2022
The UK’s favourite family festival is returning to Lulworth Castle, Dorset with a new ‘Desert Island Disco’ theme. From 70s disco and castaway, to the return of the World’s Largest Disco Ball, Camp Bestival Dorset’s ‘Desert Island Disco’ theme will transform Lulworth Castle’s grounds into a palm tree paradise for four days of family fun. Festival goers can take part in a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attempt for the World’s Largest Disco Dance.
Camp Bestival is excited to announce a sister show for 2022 - Camp Bestival Shropshire is a brand-new, stand-alone event bringing all the unique and essential family friendly elements of the original Camp Bestival to the heart of England. No Camp Bestival would be complete without an epic musical line-up with signature stages, including the Big Top, Bollywood, Caravanserai, Pig’s Big Ballroom and more.
Rode Hall, Cheshire - August 19 - August 21, 2022
Just So Festival is an imaginative outdoor adventure for children and their families. With a love of stories and childhood escapades at its heart, Just So invites families to step out of their day-to-day lives and into a wonderland of world class literature, arts, theatre, dance, music, comedy and creative pursuits together. Just So takes audiences (from bumps to great grandparents) on a unique expedition of mischief and mayhem to lands full of magical midnight feasts, curious creatures, hidden retreats, top notch food, drink and boutique camping options and breath-taking beauty.
July 7 - 10, 2022
Royal International Pavilion, Abbey Rd, Llangollen LL20 8SW
The first International Musical Eisteddfod was held in Llangollen in June 1947. In the following 75 years, its celebration of “Peace and Harmony” has made it one of the world’s greatest festivals.
Their field tickets are on sale now, and there's a completely revamped outdoor site this July. This includes music, dance, comedy, food, drink, shopping, workshops and pop up entertainment designed to delight and surprise! You’re encouraged to relax, or expand your mind with a programme bursting with family-friendly events, running from mid-morning until 9pm.
Alex James' Farm, The Cotswolds - August 26 - August 28, 2022
Taking place on Alex James' beautiful Cotswolds farm, The Big Feastival brings together music from the UK’s biggest artists, Michelin star chefs live on stage, award-winning street food and an exciting array of family activities, in an action packed weekend and unrivalled programme of entertainment. Family entertainment is also at the forefront of Feastival programming, little festival-goers will be wowed with the highest calibre of enchanting performances, wild workshops, crafting, meet and greets with some of their favourite characters and so much more.
Baldersby Park, Yorkshire - July 29 - July 31, 2022
Deer Shed Festival is an event carefully designed to be a brilliant experience for all ages. A festival for all - families, friends and fans. Following two years of hosting their successful ‘Base Camp’ events in place of a full-capacity festival, Deer Shed have also announced the return of their annual theme. Deer Shed 12’s theme will be Pocket Planet - a celebration of different things from different places with programming and activities to come from all across the globe as part of the festival. As the festival prepares to make it’s full return to Baldersby Park, they have announced the first acts scheduled to appear including headliners Nadine Shah, John Grant and Django Django.
Eridge Deer Park, Kent - June 17 - June 19, 2022
We were lucky enough to visit Black Deer festival back in 2019. This festival, in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, celebrates all things Americana, so expect country and bluegrass music, American classic cars and motorbikes, authentic food stalls and plenty of activities for the kids to do from drumming to lasso to panning for gold. The market area here was also very cool.
Feanedock, The National Forest, Derbyshire - July 1 - July 3, 2022
Timber Festival will return to the National Forest for three spectacular days of music, forests, art and ideas, and organisers have announced the first additions to the festival programme. Taking place in the glades of Feanedock woodland near Ashby de la Zouch, Timber is all about celebrating nature and re-examining our relationship with the natural world in the inspiring setting of the forest. Acts include Penguin Cafe, The Turbans, Josienne Clarke, Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, writer Max Porter, beatboxer Testament, films from Kendal Mountain Festival, circus, dance, theatre, and more! For the kids they'll be storytelling around the campfire, workshops, theatre, hammocks and woodland slack-lines.
Lowther Deer Park, Lake District - July 28 - July 31, 2022
The long awaited 15th Birthday celebration returns to the fields with a bang and so much more to come! The line-up so far includes the Stereophonics, The Streets and Supergrass.
Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Cheshire - July 22 - July 24, 2022
Bluedot is a music, science and culture event held annually in July since 2016 at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire, combining music, live science experiments, expert talks and immersive artworks.
Bentley Estate, East Sussex - Sadly 2022 has been cancelled
Grown from the '90's London party scene, Chilled in a Field is a small, independent Sussex festival for grown up party people and their kids. With free activities for children and adults all day, bands, musicians, artists, science, theatre, performances and awesome dance music from some of the UK's top independent labels. A festival bar featuring local ales and dozens of ciders, mountains of street food, our not-for-profit festival shop, free hot showers, proper clean toilets, glamping and campervan pitches. This is a lovely small festival that we have visited twice and in my opinion the perfect festival for first-timers with their children.
Portsmouth - August 26 - August 28, 2022
Victorious Festival is a three-day music festival held in Portsmouth. The Kids Stage will feature headline performances from Fireman Sam and Swashbuckle characters Cook and Line. Whether your little one wants to build a sandcastle at the Beach, learn to play an instrument at the Ready to Rock School, show off some moves at Ickle Bambino Baby Raves, go on a Space adventure with the New Theatre Royal, Learn about astronomy with the University of Portsmouth or go back in time with the Mary Rose Museum Zone there is plenty of fun for your little one to get involved with!
Glanusk Park, Wales - August 18 - August 21, 2022
People of all ages head to Green Man from little kids, teens, grandparents or the whole brood, there’s a host of activities and action that’ll keep them entertained. The Little Folk caters for the tiniest of tots and is bursting with workshops, music and mischief. The Teenage Area is an action-packed place for 13-17 year olds, with DJ workshops, fire shows, filmmaking fun, T-shirt designing and so much more.
Pippingford Park, East Sussex - May 27 - May 30, 2022
A firm favourite with us in Elderflower Fields in East Sussex, it is not too far from home and the beautiful setting of Pippingford Park makes it all the more magical. This festival has so much for families to do from outdoor activities such as archery, disc golf, skate boarding, pond dipping to parkour, circus skills plus two music stages and a fabulous art trail. We've been attending since 2016 and the kids still say it is their favourite festival.
Pippingford Park, East Sussex - September 9 - September 11, 2022
The sister festival to Elderflower Fields - Into the Trees takes place in September and is all about nature and the great outdoors. Set in the park and woodland, the kids can really get stuck into activities such as tree climbing, kayaking, arts and crafts and lots of other fun things. This festival is not a music festival although there are some acoustic musicians in the evenings around the camp fire as well as a Ceilidh band. This is another one of our favourites for spending time immersed in nature.
Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire - June 3 - June 5, 2022
Wychwood Festival is an annual music festival held at Cheltenham racecourse in Gloucestershire. As well as music, the family-friendly three-day festival includes workshops, comedy, the Children's Literature Festival, and a Headphone Disco.
The Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire - July 8 - July 10, 2022
Loved by locals, Cornbury is a long established festival in the heart of Oxfordshire, with the friendly community atmosphere of a village fete, that just happens to have some of the biggest International names in music performing on the main stage. Known to be one of the safest festivals in the UK, with entertainment for all the family, its musical heritage is one of all round appeal, which is what has given the festival its loyal and long standing reputation in its beautiful Cotswolds setting. Joining perennial Canadian rocker Bryan Adams will be James Blunt with theatrical rock popsters The Darkness, Scottish stars The Waterboys and a perfect Sunday finale double bill of Ronan Keating and Jools Holland.
Henham Park, Suffolk - July 21 - July 24, 2022
Set within the stunning surrounds of Henham Park, Latitude has been creating unforgettable memories for over 15 years. Let your curiosity guide you through the very best in music, dance, comedy, poetry, theatre, literature, podcasts, family activities and wellness. Your summer adventure awaits, 2022 line up news is coming soon.
Rowden Paddocks, Hertfordshire - July 21 - July 24, 2022
Like the very best of festivals, Nozstock was founded by a fun-loving family, their extended relatives, friends, acquaintances and pretty much everyone who had a guitar to play or a joke to tell. It was a hazy, optimistic time at the turn of the millennium, when life felt simple and summers were long and full of amusements. The line-up is pretty cool with music from Sister Sledge and comedy from Bill Bailey. Little Wonderland located in the Dingle is a dedicated kids area, providing crafts, activities and entertainment for littl’uns and parents alike.
CWM Cayo Farm, Usk, Monmothshire - August 4 - August 8, 2022
Starry Skies is brought to you by the team behind the award winning Shambala Festival. For a small event they punch above their weight, meaning campers can reap the benefits of a packed programme set against stunning surrounds, where everyone can really get back to nature.
Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex - Sadly 2022 has been cancelled
Sounds a bit niche - but honestly - we love England's Medieval Festival. You can visit for the day of camp in the castle grounds, which alone is pretty epic. There are parades, drummers, live action battles and jousting, wolf dogs, birds of prey, story telling, plenty of outdoor activities and lots of great folk-style music. Campers can enjoy an outdoor cinema under the stars as well as music in the Buxom Wench tavern.
Heritage Pine Forest, Kent - August 19 - August 22, 2022
Camp Wildfire were met by an overwhelming demand to start a family version. This forest retreat packed full of wild adventures, wilder parties and the most amazing like-minded people.
Hill Farm, Norfolk - August 25 - August 28, 2022
Following the success of 2021, this long established festival of music and performing arts will be returning to Dereham to it's beautiful new location for the 9th year - Hill Farm, Gressenhall, Norfolk. Maui Waui is a family-friendly weekend of music, art and culture that encourages participation in all things creative! Featuring bands from around the globe, local talent competitions, circus shows, theatre, DJ's, workshops, creative activities, and a full weekend of children's entertainment.
Secret Country Estate, Northamptonshire - August 25 - August 28, 2022
Shambala takes place across four days on the August Bank Holiday Weekend at a stunning secret location in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside. With over 200 diverse musical acts across dozens of venues and stages, cabaret, workshops, stand-up comedy, talks and debates, circus and acrobatics, interactive theatre and poetry all housed in beautifully decorated venues.
Horseheath Racecourse, Cambridgeshire - July 4 - July 5, 2022
The Wild Wood Rumpus is a small and wondrous two-day family festival set in a beautiful woodland glade just outside Cambridge. Every detail has been designed for you and your family’s delight and enjoyment. From perfectly programmed theatre, circus, arts and literary entertainment, to wild bush skills, nature crafting workshops and much, much more! Immerse yourself in secret spaces and let your curiosity take the lead.
Sussex - August 26 - August 28, 2022
Into the Wild has world music, over 200 brilliant workshops, wild crafts, delicious world cuisine, an award-winning kids area, world class storytellers, bushcrafts, stargazing, inspirational learning, wild crafts, dance, choirs, over 10 styles of yoga, theatre, hot tubs, saunas, brilliant talks, archery, great stalls, film, den building, fire making, stone and wood carving, martial arts and so much much more!
Dillington Estate, Ilminster, Somerset - May 26 - May 29, 2022
Shindig Festival is a mash-up of a gig, a house party, a circus show, comedy night, a wellbeing retreat and a kid’s party. No main stages, just a beautiful arrangement of marquees, so you can be in amongst it. The kids can be learning to DJ – scratching, mixing, breakdancing and spraying paint, Each area has been carefully curated to pique its audience’s interest and make it impossible to move on.
Chew Valley Lake, Somerset - August 4 - August 7, 2022
With big-name headliners, plenty of rising stars and the region’s finest food, this is the best-tasting music festival in the South West. The event takes place alongside the Chew Valley Lake with the rolling Mendip hills in the background. Showcasing Bristol’s live music scene as well as fine local food producers, you can expect everything from charcuterie to cider, street food to sit-down feasts – all with plenty of Somerset style.
Old Park Farm, Port Talbot - June 3 - June 5, 2022
It is a community, a festival, a reunion and a celebration in the heart of the Welsh valleys. Their vision is to create the pinnacle Welsh Festival which means all things to all people and offers a bespoke blend of Music, Arts & Culture. It will be a place which supports equality, inclusivity and sustainability whilst putting a spotlight on mental health and well-being and creating a safe space for all.
Bruton, Somerset - July 29 - July 30, 2022
Carefully crafted into one of the most unique and inclusive small-scale gatherings in the UK, Farmfest is a blend of festival frolics and party vigour. Set to a Somerset backdrop, the seven music stages host performances from some of the finest emerging and established left-of-mainstream artists, operating within the realms of electronic, indie, folk and world, but where genre meets no border.
Wales, July 25 - July 29, 2022
A tribal overflowing cornucopia of exuberance is what Cauldron of Plenty is described as. It is also an amazing and wonderful experience for children and teenagers, who are all very much welcome and a central part of the tribe. There are spontaneous workshops, performances, dancing, singing, storytelling, bonfires and a lot of drumming and acoustic improvisation to entertain you and the Gods. There is a communal kitchen with food prepared by the kitchen crew. So, if you fancy something more spiritual this one is for you.
Hay-on-Wye - June 2 - June 5, 2022
The world's largest Music and Philosophy Festival returns home to the idyllic embankment of the River Wye for a bank holiday weekend of revelry, reflection, and parties. Set on the edge of the Black Mountains, alongside the Wye HowTheLightGetsIn is set in a magical location. You can join a debate about the nature of the universe with the world's top scientists, laugh with the UK's best comedians and dance by the river.
Rotherham, South Yorkshire - June 17 - June 19, 2022
Wheat Beat Weekender was created to showcase local artists and internationally renowned DJs and performers. Wheat Beat is a fully licensed event running over 3 days and will be held during Summer Solstice on the 2nd to last weekend in June.
The aim is to bring local people, communities and families together to celebrate Summer Solstice, music, the arts, food and the outdoors.
Thoresby Park, Newark - August 12 - August 14, 2022
The Gloworm Festival is a two-day festival that has been especially created for grown ups and their little people. Play in a warm, welcoming and creative environment, loose your inhibitions, let your hair down and have some fun. Gloworm Festival, believe that children are the most important people in the world, which is why this event is aimed at families with children aged 0-13, with plenty for teenagers and grown ups to enjoy too.