1. Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire
Now in its seventh year, the Wilderness Festival takes place in Cornbury Park in the heart of Oxfordshire. Bonobo, Two Door Cinema Club and Grace Jones headline but that’s barely the start of it — there are talks and debates, gourmet cuisine, workshops, theatre, arts and meditation, and even wild swimming. Plus, of course, plenty for the kids.
2. Boardmasters, Cornwall
Combining surfing, skating and music at Watergate Bay and Fistral Beach, Boardmasters is something of a unique concept going back to 1981. With the line-up (Jamiroquai, Alt-J, Stormzy, The Flaming Lips) as compelling as the pro surfing, BMX competitions and beach yoga, its Cornish flavour and laid-back culture ensures its popularity.
3. Just So Festival, Cheshire
Billed as a ‘family weekend adventure’, Just So encourages juggling, storytelling and campfire songs. With everything from a Spellbound Forest, Village Screen and Woodland Theatre, the site is set up for pillow fights, bake offs, midnight feasts and the signature Tribal Tournament. It’s a weird, wacky and wonderful escape for all ages.
4. Big Feastival, Cotswolds
Blur’s Alex James hosts this family food festival on his farm for the seventh year running. Madness, De La Soul and Hacienda Classical et al take care of the music but the real stars of the show are some of the country’s top chefs demonstrating their skills along with a cookery school, street food, feasts, banquets and a plethora of activities for the kids.
5. Bestival, Dorset
Josie and Rob da Bank’s award-winning Bestival relocates from the Isle of Wight to Lulworth Estate in Dorset this year. One of the country’s most fun festivals, its 2017 line-up sees The xx, Justice, Pet Shop Boys, A Tribe Called Quest and much, much more alongside the world’s biggest confetti cannon, the world’s largest disco ball and the world’s largest bouncy castle.
6. Festival No. 6, North Wales
Set in the spectacular Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales, this intimate boutique music and arts festival has a growing reputation as it reaches its sixth birthday. With comedy, arts, culture and experiences as impressive as its headliners (Mogwai, Bloc Party, The Flaming Lips etc), its family offering is equally attractive.
7. The Good Life Experience, North Wales
Music. Food. Books. Ideas. Workshops. Founded by Cerys Matthews and friends, the Good Life has a great music line-up but also gives as much attention to literary guests, artisan food and arts and crafts. Not forgetting axe throwing, a vintage fairground and putting the whole family centre stage, it generally celebrates the great outdoors.