Where to Live for Top Festivals and Events: Part 3

Posted 13 February 2020 by Keith Osborne

There are many places to live which put you in easy reach of some of Britain’s favourite festivals for the family...

Britain loves an outdoor festival and event, and there are many of them which are aimed at the whole family, with a huge array of things to do. 

Britain loves an outdoor festival and event, and there are many of them which are aimed at the whole family, with a huge array of things to do. 

So whether it’s music, food and drink, arts and crafts, culture, sport and activities – or a combination of all of them – there's a huge choice of places to go. They’re a great excuse to pack bags and head off on a holiday, but if your home is within an hour’s drive or rail journey of one, they can bring the family together and make for a fantastic day out and great memories. 


Camper Calling, 28-30 August, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwickshire

There’s a huge variety of things to do here. Music is a big focus every day, with lots of big names appearing this year, including the Manic Street Preachers, Shed Seven, Pixie Lott. But there’s a great deal else too, such as tree climbing and zip wire, activities on the lake, graffiti workshops, craft workshops and a kids club. Alcester is 18 miles east of Worcester and within an hour of many major cities and towns in the West Midlands region, such as Birmingham, Rugby and Nuneaton.


The Children's Trust Supercar Event, 24-25 July, Goodwood Motor Circuit, West Sussex

Now in its 14th year, this event for the Children’s Trust is heaven for petrolheads to sample what it’s like in some of the world’s very best supercars and hypercars. For those not so interested in those, there’s still loads to do, with an area for children where they can do things like bungee trampolines, water zorbs and Scalextrics, along with all sorts of rides, and some driving experience for teenagers 14+. Goodwood is on the fringes of the South Downs and Chichester, and under an hour from places like Southampton, Basingstoke and Aldershot.


Fake Festival, 16 May, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

This all-day festival takes place in Endcliffe Park and this year has six tributes acts, who will be playing all the favourites of Queen, Coldplay, Kasabian, Arctic Mondays, David Bowie and Blondie – something to suit a range of ages and taste in music. It will no doubt be attracting visitors from Sheffield and its surrounding towns and villages as well as places like Chesterfield, Doncaster and Barnsley, all well under an hour away.


Whitstable Oyster Festival, late July, Whitstable, Kent

The dates for this year’s weekend celebration of the town’s heritage have yet to be confirmed, but last year’s followed the Landing of the Oysters event, where the first catch of the season comes in, with things like a costume parade, oyster eating competitions (over-18s only!), music stages and the traditional building of the Grotters. Like neighbouring Faversham, Whitstable can be reached by High Speed train from London – it's under 75 minutes from St Pancras International – and it’s only a short drive from larger towns and cities such as Maidstone, Ashford and Canterbury.


Newcastle Mela, August Bank Holiday, Newcastle upon Tyne

This takes place in Exhibition Park and is based on South Asian cultures, such as Pakistani, Bengali and Indian. It features a host of contemporary music and dance acts and this year, there’s an aerial performance and some dance/circus fusion. Add to this a range of food, craft stalls, clothing, jewellery and free activities, like face painting and henna tattoos, a British Cycling track and British Army assault course. And it’s free to attend. It’s right on the doorstep of suburbs such as Gosforth and a great day out from places such as Stockton-on-Tees and Middlesbrough.


8 Day Weekend, 10-18 July, Saffron Walden, Essex

This annual event has things for all ages to enjoy. The carnival procession and family fun night are perfect for everyone to get together and this year there’s also a Queen tribute band gig (already sold out) and a Blues Brothers night. Saffron Walden to Cambridge is only 20 minutes’ drive along the M11, and it’s only half-an-hour from Harlow, which is a well-connected town which is undergoing major regeneration and expansion. Bury St Edmunds, Peterborough and Chelmsford are all within easy reach too.


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