Northern Europe Top Five

When kids arrive in your life they can bring you immense joys but also impinge on your time for fun – which, by the way, you definitely still deserve. Knowing that it’s not always possible to get a babysitter for a whole weekend, we’ve compiled a list of great, family friendly festivals that you can all enjoy.

1.  Camp Bestival, Dorset

Rob da Bank of Radio One fame founded this ‘Best Family Festival Award’ winning music fest, which can’t be a bad thing. With a huge kids’ area and plenty of activities for them to take part in, this festival is a winner before it’s even started. In 2012 there was a guest appearance from Shrek, Princess Fiona and Donkey, which we’re assuming went down well. Oh yeah, the music isn’t bad either.

2. Hop Farm, Kent

Hop farm has become a household name in recent years with great music and a well-known family friendly atmosphere. The aim of this festival is to reverse the commercialisation of festivals and takes a ‘back-to-basics’ approach to pretty much everything. The line-up is notoriously good with big acts like Bob Dylan and Peter Gabriel appearing in previous years. There’s a funfair for the kids and under 12’s go free. Be there or be square.

3. Green Man, Wales

The Breacon Beacons are amazing when there isn’t a festival happening there, so imagine being situated in one of the most beautiful places in the UK all the while bopping away to your favourite bands with the kids in tow. The chilled-out folk vibes here are second to no other festival of the same theme and again, kids under 12 go completely free of charge. There’s a convenient family camping area so you don’t have to pitch your tent with the rowdy teens (not that there’ll be any here anyway). There are plenty of workshops for the kids and get this: there’s even a babysitting service. If you’re looking for alternative family holidays, you should check out the Visit Wales family holidays page for other things to do in the area.

4. Just So Festival, Cheshire

If you’re looking specifically for a family festival, this is probably the closest one you can get to being aimed straight at you. Inviting you to travel with them on a ‘journey of the imagination’, Just So festival has won the ‘Green Parent Best Family Festival Award’ and for good reason – everything is taken care of. There are kid-friendly toilets, baby changing facilities and yes, there’s even a breast-feeding boudoir – How practical! Fancy a spot of family yoga? You got it. Is dad looking bored? Send him off to one of the bushcraft and survival workshops. Just So festival is definitely a top pick.

5. Deer Shed, North Yorkshire

Not so much aimed at families, Deer Shed does its very best to cultivate a family friendly atmosphere for people who have children. Going for a fairly-priced weekend of fun, the organisers have taken steps to accommodate everyone’s tastes. For the kids there are animals, cardboard box cities, poetry and other arts and crafts activities. For the parents there is great music, BBQs and a cheeky glass of wine or two.