Alternative festival camping - from Punch and Judy to the Four Fighters
Festivals aren't just Reading and T in the Park – today they feature everything including food and drink, bikes and books, and there's even a Cornish Faery Fest. You can often stay in tents, yurts or luxury mobile homes on the festival site - alternatively, use our sites near festivals finder and opt to pitch up nearby to take full advantage of everything a campsite has to offer, and avoid the mudslides when the weather is British.
Here are five of the best UK campsites with festivals nearby.
Each year, traditional singers from folk clubs and festivals around the country descend on Wareham for a weekend of unaccompanied song, fuelled by good beer and a lavish medieval-style banquet. The event – taking place from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September this year - covers all styles of traditional song. All standards of singer are welcome, and there's even a 'Cream Tea Concert' to show off your latest CDs while munching on scones and cream. Camping is included in the festival price, but why not upgrade to a lodge or ready tent at nearby five-star Sandy Balls Holiday Centre? You can even try out archery there, if you really want to liven up the banquet…
The fifth Bath Festival of Children's Literature will be held from Friday 23rd September to Sunday 2nd October, featuring nearly 100 events around the city and plenty of famous storytellers, authors and illustrators. Dress as a zombie, demon, vampire or monster for a 'Friday Fright Night' of scary stories and all things spooky! Other highlights include talks by writer-in-residence and funnyman Jeremy Strong, Axel Scheffler - illustrator of The Gruffalo - and Jacqueline Wilson, author of Hetty Feather. Stay in a touring caravan or tent at the Newton Mill Holiday Park in a hidden valley with easy access to Bath City Centre. There's a children's play area, restaurant and conservatory on site to take it easy after the festival, and you can bring the family pet too.
The Green Man Festival (Friday 19th - Sunday 21st August) in Powys has been becoming increasingly popular in the last few years, with its early bird tickets for 2010 snapped up within five hours of going on sale. Green Man has over 100 music acts during its three days and DJs at night, and will also have art installations, literature and film tents, massage area, dusk-to-dawn bonfire, poetry, theatre, comedy and much more. The 45-minute drive across the Beacons is worth it to reach five-star Erwlon Farm, a working dairy farm in Llandovery with pitches for motorhomes, touring caravans and tents. A friendly welcome awaits (in Welsh if you wish!) - why not explore the nearby Dolaucothi Gold Mines while you're there?
The Watchet Music Festival in Somerset is a family-friendly festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend, running from Friday 26th to Sunday 28th August 2011. It has music, open mic, a kids' corner, food court, real ale and cider bars, and the return of the adults-only late night Punch and Judy show. Stay at the nearby five-star Sunnybank Holiday Park at the foot of the Quantock Hills in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – you only have to bring your rucksack as the park has holiday homes and static caravans for hire sleeping up to eight people. Sunnybank is only a mile away from Watchet Harbour so you can spend a day or two relaxing on the beach after the festival.
Rotherham Fake Festival on Saturday 20th August at Clifton Park lines up the best of the bands paying tribute to the big names, with The Fillers, Kings of Lyon and Four Fighters playing in 2011 alongside support acts and the festival’s entertainment zone. Make a weekend of it by booking in at Hooton Lodge, a luxury site with family size pods complete with carpets and heaters, and having an al-fresco breakfast the next morning on the adjoining deck. You can then sunbathe for a bit to work up an appetite for the Hooton Lodge acclaimed Sunday lunch, and do a spot of fishing on the River Don in the afternoon.
Didn't find anything you like? Looking for more ideas for unusual festivals and nearby camping and caravanning? Take a look at last year's blog on Eccentric UK festivals.