Welcome to part six of our travelling with children series. This article looks at how to survive the festival season with children, if festivals are your thing.
Firstly, we have a few top tips from festival lover Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox to share with you:
- “When at festivals I always take an umbrella to use as a parasol (if you’re lucky) when sitting watching the shows.
- Also two picnic blankets that can be attached by straps to rucksack so you’ve always got somewhere to sit.
- The kids have their own torch to make midnight trips to loo more fun!
- A gallon of antibacterial hand gel is a must have.
- You can get great hairspray in loads of bright colours; my girls love them for that festi look.”
“I love festival season – but these days I’m not too keen on not washing for days on end and I really love a comfy bed after hours of rolling round a festi site.”
What if you could have all the fun of the festival, combined with a bit of luxury afterwards and some R and R?
Luxury Family Hotels may be the answer. You could add some extra indulgence to festival time this summer with a pre or post-festival stop over to refresh all the family. With a Luxury Family Hotel conveniently situated close to some of the UK’s biggest festivals this summer, an extra day or two of luxury may be just what is needed, along with a steaming hot bath, crisp cotton sheets, fluffy towels, freshly prepared food and of course a well-deserved comfortable bed!
Here are a few suggestions…
The Ickworth, Bury St Edmunds
The Ickworth is ideally placed for those attending Latitude Festival in July in Henham Park in Southwold, Suffolk, and also Bury St Edmunds’ Food & Drink Festival this August. The hotel is situated conveniently to both, enabling guests to stop off on their way or post festival.
Set in 1,800 acres of National Trust parkland, guests at The Ickworth can take advantage of the tennis court and swimming pool, as well as complimentary bikes to explore the surrounding countryside. For a relaxing treat, take advantage of a range of pampering spa treatments. Kids will enjoy the games and cinema room and little ones will be well looked after in the Ofsted registered crèche. Rooms from £155.
The Lodge is ideal for large family gatherings and can be hired out exclusively. www.ickworthhotel.co.uk
Woolley Grange, Bradford upon Avon
For families planning a trip to the Wychwood Festival (Cheltenham), Lamer Tree (Salisbury) or The Big Feastival in the Cotswolds, a stay at Woolley Grange is the ideal place to relax and freshen up after camping. The hotel offers the perfect combination of luxury with a home from home feel. Post festival, parents can relax with a spa treatment while the kids enjoy the drop-in OFSTED registered Den where they can play in the care of the dedicated team of staff. For older children, the Hen House is an unsupervised play room with air hockey, table football and a pool table, with a PS2 and Nintendo Wii available to play on the large screen TV. The whole family can also enjoy the indoor and outdoor pools and gardens. Rooms from £180. www.woolleygrangehotel.co.uk
Moonfleet Manor, West Dorset
The hotel’s spacious lounge areas are decorated in a contemporary colonial style, with large sofas and deep chairs that are just perfect for a spot of R&R post Camp Bestival. For those feeling a little more active, the extensive gardens are great for exploring; there are two tennis courts, a skittle alley and a play area with a climbing frame, swings and sandpit, providing scope for plenty of outdoor play. Younger children – from one to five – can also join the ‘Toddle Waddle’ trail, an interactive half hour walk where there are lots of animals to see and collect. Each ‘waddler’ is given a medal and certificate on completion of the trail. Rooms from £230. www.moonfleetmanorhotel.co.uk
New Park Manor, New Forest Hampshire
With 21 bedrooms, an award winning spa, indoor and outdoor heated pools and a fantastic restaurant, the hotel offers a superb retreat in Britain’s most popular national park and the best place to freshen up after Boom Town (Winchester) or even the Isle of Wight’s Bestival. Set in acres of gardens, complete with a fairy garden and lovely lawns with croquet, New Park Manor provides plenty of space for families to relax and enjoy quality time together in a beautiful setting. With New Forest ponies and deer grazing just beyond the hotel grounds, and the forest itself with its many footpaths and cycle routes, it offers the perfect combination of the great outdoors on your doorstep, with all the facilities and comfort on offer at the hotel. Rooms from £185.www.newparkmanorhotel.co.uk
Fowey Hall & Polurrian Bay, Cornwall
Winner of the ‘Best Family Festival 2011’, Beautiful Days, takes place near Exeter and caters for kids of all ages with theatre, crafts, storytelling and circus skills. Why not extend the fun with a trip to Cornwall’s Fowey Hall or Polurrian Bay Hotels that offer outdoor play zones with giant games, private beaches and luxurious hotel facilities.
Fowey Hall Hotel is perched above the pretty sailing town of Fowey on the south Cornish coast and commands sweeping views over its estuary and out to sea. The grand Queen Anne mansion (thought to be the original inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows) has a welcoming and unpretentious atmosphere, making it feel more like a friend’s country retreat, where kids can roam freely and parents can unwind. Fowey Hall is the perfect location for a relaxing break by the sea and guests can also enjoy Fowey itself with its lovely boutiques, cafes and pretty streets.
Polurrian Bay is in a superb position to explore the best of West Cornwall and offers LFH’s trademark relaxed, home from home ‘house party’ feel. Facilities include indoor and outdoor pools, pretty gardens, tennis court, spa treatments and an outdoor play area, as well as the usual complimentary OFSTED registered Den for younger guests and Blue Room for older children. The beach is literally on the doorstep, with a little path snaking through the gardens down to the pristine sands of Polurrian Cove below where guests can try surfing.
Luxury Family Hotels’ top tips for festival-going with kids
- Buggies can be difficult on uneven, muddy ground, so for younger children a backpack carrier is really useful – it’s easier for parents and kids will be able to see better too.
- The music will be loud – so take earplugs or ear defenders to protect their little ears.
- Write your mobile number (not the child’s name) on a wristband in case they get lost.
- Take some food staples – e.g. dried fruit, nuts, cartons of juice to avoid queuing every time the kids are hungry.
- Pack waterproofs – it is the UK remember and the weather is unpredictable!
- Pack sun block – it’s the UK (again!)
- Wet wipes are always handy – a travel potty & wipes/travel changing mat will also be essentials.
Will you be attending a festival this year? We would love to know which one.