The best UK family festivals for 2017

Festivals

This year's festivals have plenty to offer families – whether your kids are donning wellies for the first time or you're seasoned festival-goers. Choose from top music acts and great children's entertainment; events for food and drink lovers; beautiful settings and a range of camping options – and even festival sites with clean toilets!

Latitude

Latitude

When and where: 13 – 16 July, Southwold, Suffolk

What is it: A chilled celebration of ambient, pop, electro and indie, with environmentally- and politically-conscious overtones. Kids' workshops, live theatre, spoken word and comedy add to the mix.

Don't miss: The 1975, Mumford and Sons and Fleet Foxes (ask your kids if you don't know) are heading this year's line-up, and there's also plenty on offer on the comedy front, with performances from Dara O Briain and Simon Amstell, among others.

"For us the highlight is the kids' area, which is lovely. The children are never bored and can take part in craft activities, processions, face painting, theatre etc. It's just perfect for little ones."

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Camp Bestival

Camp Bestival

When and where: 27 – 30 July, Lulworth Castle, Dorset

What is it: A veritable explosion of music, arts and creativity, Camp Bestival prides itself on blending kids' and adults' experiences through spoken word, live theatre and a diverse musical line-up.

Don't miss: Some big names will be taking centre stage this year, from Mark Ronson and Reverend and Brian Wilson Presents Pet Sounds, to retro acts Madness and All Saints. For the younger audience, Mr Tumble will be on hand while smash hit West End musical School of Rock will put on a special performance.

"We're going for the fourth year in a row. We love it! It's such a great atmosphere and there's so much to see and do."

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Green Man

Green Man

When and where: 17 – 20 August, Brecon Beacons, Wales

What is it: A weekend of revelry in the beautiful Brecon Beacons. There's a wobble-inducing 99 varieties of local beers and ciders on offer for the parents, and plenty of interactive workshops and performances for the kids.

Don't miss: There are some big names booked this year, including PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams and Sleaford Mods, and there's also comedy, literature and film on offer. For budding young scientists, Star Shows Explore Dome and the Bonkers Balloon Science Show are sure to delight.

"It's a lovely festival - there's lots going on, but it's small enough to be able to make it between stages in 10 minutes so you don't miss anything."

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Blissfields

Blissfields

When and where: 6 – 8 July, Winchester

What is it: From humble beginnings – basically, a party in a field – Blissfields has grown into an eclectic weekender in Hampshire, staging new artists from the worlds of indie, electronica and hip-hop alongside big names.

Don't miss: The Cinematic Orchestra and Metronomy are headlining this year, and there's plenty to do around the site, from theatre and beer tasting to relaxing on a man-made beach. Meanwhile, in the Angel Fields family area, there's crafts, puppet shows, and an exciting Unicorn, Fox and Hare Lantern Parade on Saturday.

"I took my daughter to Blissfields last year and it was fab. She loved wandering around the stalls, too."

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Shambala

Shambala

When and where: 24 – 27 August, Northamptonshire

What is it: A hippie paradise in the rural heart of the East Midlands. Fancy dress is par for the course, as is audience participation – from kids and adults.

Don't miss: Enjoy the chilled, acoustic tunes of Owen Shiers or the lively New Orleans-inspired Heavy Beat Brass Band. Head to the Family Yurt for some child-friendly entertainment.

"Seriously, you want to go to Shambala. It is the best festival, for kids or for adults (and I've been to a lot of festivals). There are hot tubs..."

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The Big Feastival

The Big Feastival

When and where: 25 – 27 August, The Cotswolds

What is it: Blur bassist Alex James hosts this food and music extravaganza on his own farm in the Cotswolds, to raise money for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, a charity which teaches essential food skills to help people make choices for a healthier lifestyle.

Don't miss: Forget festival food trucks – there's gourmet offerings from the likes of Rick Stein, Antonio Carluccio and GBBO's Candice Brown. Music is provided by the likes of Madness, Olly Murs and The Cribs.

"It was brilliant. We're making plans to return this year. Also, the toilets were spotless."

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Beautiful Days

Beautiful Days

When and where: 18 – 20 August, Escot Park, Devon

What is it: A small but increasingly popular festival, Beautiful Days is a good option for first-timers. Crucially, it also has a history of award-winning toilets.

Don't miss: 2017's line-up includes Frank Turner and Levellers, plus Sisters of Mercy and Alison Moyet. The children's area hosts interactive workshops, rides and storytelling.

"Beautiful Days is my favourite festival - small, lovely location, very family-friendly and the music is perfect. It's very down-to-earth and easy to get out to the shops in Honiton."

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Best of the rest

Wilderness, 3-6 August, Oxfordshire

Combining nature, culture and music with great food in the lovely setting of Cornbury Park, Wilderness is a cultural haven for all ages. Two Door Cinema Club and Grace Jones will take to the main stage this year, alongside Bonobo and First Aid Kit. More info

Deer Shed, 21-23 July, North Yorkshire

One of the most welcoming family festivals, Deer Shed boasts a huge variety of child-friendly workshops, as well as milk-warming stations and nursing areas for those with very little ones. Music this year comes from the likes of Teenage Fanclub, Kate Tempest and The Divine Comedy, all in a handy location just off the A1. More info

Nozstock: The Hidden Valley, 21-23 July, Herefordshire

Nozstock takes place on a beautiful working farm in the heart of the Herefordshire countryside. This year's line-up includes the likes of Seasick Steve and The Happy Mondays. And the best part? Under 13s go free. More info

Curious Arts Festival, 21-23 July, Hampshire

Described as “one of the UK's top boutique festivals” by the Guardian, Curious Arts Festival is a celebration of artistic talent against the lush backdrop of the New Forest. Children can enjoy puppetry workshops and bedtime stories, and there's an impressive mix of music and comedy. Some of the best contemporary authors and poets, including the legendary Dave Eggers, will also be dropping in to talk about their work. More info

Kendal Calling, 27-30 July, The Lake District

The multi-award-winning Kendal Calling festival has been growing steadily since its humble beginnings in 2006. This year's festival promises a late-night cinema, a huge selection of culinary treats, and music from headliners Stereophonics, Franz Ferdinand and Manic Street Preachers. More info

Just So, 19–21 August, Cheshire

Just So is a festival really aimed at family fun, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. Described by Mumsnetters as “a kids' festival that parents are allowed to tag along to”, there is plenty for all ages with an emphasis on combining art, music and literature. More info

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