England boasts some of the best festivals in the world and now, more than ever, nothing is overlooked, from award-winning street food to banquets with the UKs top chefs. This year the line-ups look better than ever so whether you’re more of a glamper or prefer to do it ‘properly’, read on for our pick of 12 top summer festivals. Get booking.
Why: Boutique camping, Michelin-starred chefs and Guardian masterclasses makes Wales’ Festival N°6 a little bit eccentric, a little bit glam and a whole lot magical all at the same time. With everything from folk to techno, house to rock and roll (Bloc Party, Laura Mvula and Rag ’n’ Bone Man are on this year’s line-up), and a strong programme of arts and culture, you’ll feel transported to a land far far away.
7th – 10th September
Where: Portmeirion, Gwynedd, Wales, LL48 6ER
What: 15 Years of Love
Why: East London’s favourite festival is back and this year it will be celebrating it’s 15th anniversary – that’s 15 years of music, love and good times. This year’s line up includes Kano, Frank Ocean, Jamie XX, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, Solange and Sampha. We also love the fact it is in our own Victoria Park so we can go home and shower and we don’t have to deal with camping. Winning.
14th -15th July
Where: Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5TB
What: Gin Festival
Why: If Hendrick’s Gin was a festival it would be The Great Estate. Described as the most rambunctious garden fete, visit and you can expect camel racing, secret gin gardens, silent woodland discos and hot air balloon rides. Major international headline acts have been promised but trust that burlesque, hot tubs and Cornish sea shanties will give you a weekend to remember.
Where: Scorrier House, Scorrier, Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 5AU
What: The Ultimate Boutique Festival
Why: Think etherial festival and you think Wilderness. Now in its 6th year, Cornbury Park is set to come alive in August with Two Door Cinema Club, Grace Jones, Michael Kiwanuka and many more, but it’s by no means all about the music. Top chefs including Angela Hartnett, Nuno Mendes and Yotam Ottolenghi are getting ready to decamp to the English countryside for magical long table banquets, feasts and chefs table experiences with street food from the likes of Kricket, Breddos Tacos and Bao. Feed your mind too, with thought-provoking talks, debates and workshops then head back to your teepee to dream a little more.
Where: Cornbury Park, Oxforshire, OX7 3DG
What: London Foodie Festival
Why: The people behind Ideal Home Show are putting a foodie spin on thing with Eat & Drink Festival. Bringing together renowned chefs like Theo Randall, TV personalities including GBBO winner, Candice and industry experts, the two week event will see demos, chefs tables, artisan producers, Q&As and, of course, plenty of samples.
24th March-9th April
Where: Olympia, Hammersmith Road, South Kensington, W14 8UX
What: London’s Ultimate Summer Sunday
Why: Victoria Park comes alive one Sunday every July, when thousands venture east to catch huge names like Foals, Bonobo, Laura Marling and Pharrel’s favourite, Maggie Rogers. Citadel is only in its third year but has the whole festival thing sussed because as well as music, you’ll also find street food from the likes of Bubbledogs and Texas Smoker, and bars from Sharp’s Brewery and Smirnoff.
Sunday 16th July
Where: Victoria Park, Hackney, E3 5TB
What: An Epic Music Line-Up
Why: Well-established as one of the UK’s top festivals and now in its 11th year, Latitude is known for coloured sheep, waterfront dancing and an epic line-up. 2017 will see Mumford and Sons, The 1975, Goldfrapp and Fleet Foxes take to the Obelisk Arena, which sits at the top of the hill overlooking the whole site. The BBC Music Stage will see alternative talent, whilst the Lake Stage does what it says on the tin, with amazing views out over the lake. Take a trip down there at sunset.
Where: Henham Park, Henham, Southwold, NR34 8AQ
What: The Global Festival
Why: WOMAD is an international arts festival, which stands for World of Music, Arts and Dance. Taking place across the globe, the UK leg is taking place in Wiltshire’s Charlton Park and will bring together music from Colombia, Estonia, Zanzibar and beyond as well as spa treatments, yoga, dance classes and specialist bars.
27th – 30 July
Where: Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 9DG
What: The UK's Original Food Festival
Why: A true feasters festival, Ludlow Castle is transformed into a haven of tastings, samples and over 180 artisan producers displaying everything from cider, wine and real ale. Sausage, bread and ale trails sound right up our sweet, as do chef demonstrations. Oh, and the scenic setting of Ludlow Castle is pretty hard to beat.
Where: Ludlow Castle, Castle Square, Ludlow, SY8 1AY
What: Small Festival, Big Ideas
Why: An intimate festival, back for a fourth year, Also Festival is relatively new to the circuit. Fusing food, music, ideas and nature you can open your mind on topics like mindfulness, storytelling and genetics, whilst we like the sound of the lakeside afternoon tea, shipwrecked midnight feast and a Balearic brunch. Elsewhere, you can get involved in flower workshops, perfume-making and 4:51am sunrise swims in the lake.
30th June-2nd July
Where: Park Farm, Compton Verney, Warwick, CV35 9HJ
What: Accept No Imitations
Why: The original boutique summer festival, Secret Garden Party is the highlight of many a festival-goer’s summer calendar. Imitated often, matched never, there is nothing quite like the original and the big news is that this year will be the last as we know it. Fifteen years ago, 500 friends gathered at the bottom of a garden and now it has set the bar for all others; glamping was practically invented by SGP. 2017s line-up features Crystal Fighters, Honne, Kate Nash and Jagwar Ma.
Where: Abbots Ripton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2LA
What: Glitter and Disco Balls
Why: Years & Years is headlining this year’s Mighty Hoopla, a one day festival in Victoria Park. Other highlights include Will Young, All Saints and the mighty S Club 3 and follow last year’s inaugural festival which took place over three days at Butlin’s Bognor Regis. Expect glitter, alternative clubbing and shameless fun.
Where: Victoria Park, Hackney, E3 5TB