Summer 2012: Family-friendly festivals
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 27 May 2012
Jousting knights and juggling jesters will help recreate the spirit of medieval Sweden at the Medeltidsveckan Festival (00 46 0498 29 10 70; www.medeltidsveckan.se), in the walled city of Visby on Gotland island from 5-12 August. Sunvil Discovery (020-8758 4722; sunvil.co.uk/discovery) has a week from £1,385 per person including return flights on SAS Scandinavian Airlines from Heathrow via Stockholm to Visby, accommodation with breakfast and car hire.
Head to Le Grand Bornand in the French Alps from 26-31 August for the Youth Festival of Culture (aubonheurdesmomes.com). This festival is dedicated to youngsters and features more than 90 visual arts and theatre companies, all free to see. La Clusaz Tour (00 33 04 50 32 38 33; laclusaz-tour.com) offers seven nights' self-catering in the resort by the same name from €480 (£384). Return flights to the nearest airport, Geneva, are available from Edinburgh, Liverpool, Gatwick, Luton and Manchester on easyJet (0843 104 5000; easyjet.com), from around £86.
Spraoi (00 353 51 841 808; spraoi.com), in Waterford, Ireland, has become one of the biggest street festivals in Europe. From 3-5 August, around 100,000 people descend on the city to see artists perform from around the world. Events include a sculpture-cum-circus parade. Stay at nearby Seacliffe Holiday Cottages, which offers a week in a property sleeping five for £818 through Irish Ferries Holidays (08717 300 400; irishferries.com), including ferry crossings.
The Shambala Festival, 23-27 August (shambalafestival.org), is a little bit different – featuring debates and guerrilla science with music, theatre and comedy. The event is held in Northants near Market Harborough, but the precise location is revealed only once you've bought your tickets. There's a special family cabaret tent and a dedicated Kids' Field, where youngsters can get messy in the art tent or try hula-hooping, trampolining and circus skills. Pitch up at its campsite or in the dedicated Family Live-In Vehicle Field. Tickets cost £125 for adults, £84 for teens (15-17) and £32 children (5-14).
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