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Where to Live for Top Festivals and Events: Part 2

Posted 31 January 2020 by Keith Osborne

Living an easy journey away from a family festival is a great way to makes spending time together a must for the calendar...

As we touched on last week, outdoor festivals are hugely popular in this country and many of them welcome visitors of all ages.

National research in 2018 showed that some 41% of adults attending a festival consider spend more time with friends and family a top reason for being there.

There’s so much choice of festivals of all sizes throughout the UK every year, many of which are perfect for families of all ages, and if you live an easy journey away, they can be the perfect way to spend a day or weekend together watching and doing a huge range of activities.

 

Highland Games, 5 September, Braemar, Aberdeenshire

Held at the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park and with nearly 200 years of history, this is a full-day event which celebrates many different aspects of Scottish heritage, from the famous caber tossing to music, dancing, track and field athletics and tug o war. There are special family tickets available to make the most of it together. Set in the countryside in western Aberdeenshire, Braemar is roughly equidistant from the cities of Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness.

 

Cornbury Music Festival, 10-12 July, Cornbury, Oxfordshire

Taking place in The Great Tew Park, this well-established annual get-together is well-known for its top-notch music (The Specials, Keane and Beach Boys headlined in 2019), and food & drink (the Hairy Bikers hosted last year). There’s also a Kids Zone which provides youngsters with all sorts of entertainment and activities, including drop-in events, arts & crafts, and family workshops for all ages. Around 30 minutes away are the pleasant market towns of Southam and Warwick.

 

Ely Folk Festival, 10-12 July, Ely, Cambridgeshire

It’s just five minutes from the centre of Ely and its station is this long weekend of top-notch bands and artists in all sorts of folk music. As well as being welcome to listen to these performers, there’s a host of other activities for kids to enjoy: games, crafts, story-telling – even yoga. Within an hour’s drive of this event is the new major Northstowe development and major towns and cities such as Peterborough, Huntingdon and Cambridge.

 

Milton Keynes Dragon Boat Festival, 27 June, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire 

This event has been running for 18 years and annually attracts thousands of people to Willen Lake. The dragon boats are quite a sight and competition is fierce but fun, with food, drink, entertainment and activities for all the family also available for visitors to enjoy. Milton Keynes has a whole range of homes ideal for families, and the well-connected town is also within easy reach from the likes of Bedford, Aylesbury and Buckingham.

 

Bluedot, 23-26 July, Jodrell Bank, Cheshire

Set in the Discovery Centre of the world-renowned Jodrell Bank Observatory, science is the main theme in all sorts of guises for all ages, from live experiments and robot workshops to expert talks, a planetarium and pulsar hunting. And the music isn’t bad either, with previous headliners including John Grant and New Order. Eight miles west of Macclesfield, the dark skies of this top location for stargazing is easily reach from the likes of Northwich and Nantwich, and 51 miles from Preston.

 

Picnic and Pop, 25 July, Aldershot, Hampshire

Now in its third year, this is held in Manor Park and is centred on a line-up of excellent local bands and tribute acts, with a licensed area and street food to enjoy. There’s also a funfair, inflatables, circus training, plus some new additions this year to be announced. Hampshire itself has some great and varied places to live, such as Aldershot itself, well-connected Basingstoke, Bordon, and the village of Bursledon.

 

Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, 20-21 June, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire

There’s much more to this weekend than its title suggests. In addition to the competitive events on the water, visitors of all ages can enjoy music, arts & crafts and food and drink, while for the younger ones, the fun of rides, bouncy castles and face-painting will be a major draw.  Portsoy is approximately 48 miles from Aberdeen, around 60 miles east of Inverness and just seven miles from the picturesque coastal town of Banff.

 

Consett Festival, 5-7 June, Consett, County Durham

This music festival, taking place at Consett AFC’s Belle Vue Stadium, already has all the bands booked for this year’s three-day event, with a whole range of bands and solo artists – including an Elvis tribute! In addition to the stage performances, there’s a whole host of food and drink stands and a range of children’s activities. It’s well under an hour to get here from major towns and cities such as Durham, Stockton-on-Tees and Newcastle.

 

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