4 Family Festivals to Get You Outside this Autumn

Festival Season is over… (or is it?)

So, the festival season is coming to an end, right? Wrong! There’s a bunch of post-summer festivals left to attend before the dark nights set in and we all officially get the winter blues. Some of these festivals are perfect for families to attend.

We love attending festivals together as a family; the kids love the range of activities on offer and the freedom, and we love the atmosphere of festivals – the feel good, feel happy – be happy vibe that permeates everywhere, and even infiltrates even the queues to the toilets.


On a serious note, outdoor festivals play an important role in, well, getting people outdoors! We are unashamedly advocates of the outdoors and all that comes with being outside, whatever the weather.  And let’s be honest… we all need to spend more time in the outdoors, don’t we?  … for our own wellbeing and happiness.

And when it comes to the younger  – screen addicted generation, the issue of getting outdoors takes on a new dimension.

“Kids really need to get out more!

Too many kids are not encouraged to balance their screen time with green time, and the result is a generation disconnected with nature and more worryingly, not appreciating or valuing the natural world.

So, for this reason, festivals have a valuable role. Beyond the music and the sideshows, festivals get us outside – camping often – enjoying the fresh air, the sun and often the mud: festivals bring us together as people and, importantly, reconnect us with nature (albeit momentarily).

This is what takes us to festivals, and motivates us to go beyond just attending but to take the scary step to stand up and contribute, often to talk about the outdoors, and family adventure, or run bushcrafty-type activities.

4 of the best family festivals

Here are 5 festivals we will be visiting  (and contributing towards) this Autumn; we’d love to see you at one or all of them.


The three-day festival, set in the grounds of the William Gladstone library, Britain’s finest residential library and only Prime Ministerial library welcomes and celebrates a mixture of authors and their work. The programme includes a wide selection of literary talks but also a fantastic selection of Roald Dahl-inspired activities (it is his 100th birthday after all!) in the new Young People’s Tent.
Gladfest young people

We’ll be there talking about how families can make more time for adventures in the outdoors and sharing lots of ideas for families to take away and try. We’ll also be running a a fun bush craft workshop on mini raft making which involves learning some knots and lashings. The completed hazel rafts can be taken home and sailed in the garden pond or even in the bath! Amy and Ella will be demonstrating some simple steps for drawing animals in their very own drawing workshop for children.

Date: 2nd & 3rd September
Location: Church Lane, Hawarden, CH5 3DF
Website: Gladfest - https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/events/events-courses-list/gladfest

The Good Life Experience

Make a space in your calendar for this fantastic family-friendly event. Now in its third year, the festival is growing year on year as word spreads about the wonderful mixture of music, books, food and the great outdoors. Set in the village of Hawarden and the grounds of William Gladstone’s residence, this festival is not only located in the outdoors but celebrates everything about it. Talks, workshops, demonstrations, camp fire chats, fairground rides, stalls…the list goes on.

With our ‘Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champions‘ hats on (wooly ones if it’s chilly) we’ll be running a beginner’s map reading workshop that concludes with a fun treasure trail challenge around the festival site. Prizes (provided by Ordnance Survey) will be given out to those that complete the trail.

The girls are also being interviewed on stage about their Clear Plastic_UK campaign, raising awareness of the negative impact single-use plastic has on our environment and their hopes to convince supermarkets to offer alternatives to plastic bottles on the shelves. An interactive ‘Water Table’ with information and hands-on demonstrations about the issues associated with single-use plastic will be on display throughout the weekend.

Date:  16th - 18th September
Location: Hawarden Estate, Chester Road, Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3FB
Website: https://www.thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk/

South West Outdoor Festival (National Trust)

The National Trust is hosting a new outdoor festival in Devon with sporting events, outdoor activities, inspirational speakers, workshops, music and films. Heddon Valley is the perfect location for this festival since there’s places for coastal and river swimming, trails for cycling and running and dramatic woodland and scenery to explore.

We hope it be trying out a few of the outdoor activities as well as offering our own contributions: a family talk on getting out on adventures as a family and a couple of bushcraft workshops involving making mini-rafts and cordage (bracelets) from natural materials.

Date: 23rd-25th September
Location: Heddon Valley,Parracombe, Barnstaple, Devon, EX31 4PY
Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/days-out/regionsouthwest/south-west-outdoor-festival


We were lucky enough to attend the first ever Yestival last year and are very pleased to be returning for what looks like an equally inspiring, entertaining and thought-provoking weekend of awesome talks, workshops and discussions by and with some amazing people. The festival is built on adventurer Dave Cornthwaite’s Say Yes More philosophy; he along with other adventurers and people that have life-changing decisions will be sharing a field with other campers during an Autumn campout
say yes more

This year the girls are involved in helping the festival to become the first Plastic-clever festival; there will be no single-use plastic bottles, cups or cutlery. They will be promoting this and their Clear Plastic UK campaign in an opening-night talk as well as through their ‘Water Table’ throughout the weekend. We, but particularly the girls, will be involved in Dream Camp, a magical corner for youngsters, giving talks, leading workshops and interviews as well as playing games!

Date: 21st-23rd October
Location: Chichester College, Brinsbury Campus, North Heath, Pulborough RH20 1DL
Website: http://sayyesmore.com/yestival/

And should you not be able to make any of these events…

We’ll be giving two talks entitled “Screw work (and school); it’s time for family EdVenture” in association with Ellis Brigham.  During these talks we will offer insights and advice to others based on our experiences (and mistakes), and whilst doing so cover some of the following themes:

  • How to focus more on the 5 to 9, not the 9 to 5 and enjoy more fulfilment
  • Why kids really need to get out more
  • Why disposable time is the most valuable of commodities (so spend it wisely)
  • If you live for the weekends, then you at least should make them worth living for
  • How to have mini BIG adventures and reach new heights (often literally)

Come and join us, ask questions, and find out how a brave decision to live differently has opened lots of doors and presented exciting opportunities that they never could have expected.

1.  Ellis Brigham Store, Castlefield
14th September
7pm – 8:30pm
2. Racks Bar & Grill
21st September
7:30pm – 9:00pm

Here’s the link if you want more information.

Image credit: Good Life Experience image by xantheberkeley

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