Got plans for the 8-10 June? No? Well, may I make a suggestion? Pack your kids and your tent and head to Cheltenham Racecourse for one of the best family events in the country.
Described as an excellent hybrid of the Big Chill, WOMAD and the Cambridge folk festival (a rather curious mix, I agree), Wychwood established itself as the leading UK family festival from its arrival on the festival scene back in 2005. Subsequent years have seen it going from strength to strength and this year it sees perhaps its greatest line-up yet.
The main stage welcomes a fabulous, if not somewhat eclectic, mix of artists over the course of the three days including James, Dr & The Medics, The Roving Crows, Katy Ashworth, The Saw Doctors and Dodgy. The Big Top will be hosting Alphabet Backwards, Gary Armstrong and Francois & The Atlas Mountains... and many more more besides.
There’s more to Wychwood than music alone, though. This year sees Waterstones partner up with the Wychwood team to curate an extensive children’s literature festival, with a whole heap of award winning authors (including Philip Ardaugh, Ian Whybrow and Shoo Rayner) offering a combination of storytelling sessions, drawing workshops and poetry writing groups. The Roald Dahl Museum tent will also be jam-packed with storytelling and craft sessions throughout the weekend.
CBeebies Nina (of Nina and the Neuron Fame) has also escaped the science studio for the weekend to shed light on the mysteries behind our brilliant bodies.Well-known story book characters will also be keeping an eye on proceedings – keep your eyes peeled for Winnie the Witch, Where’s Wally and Floppy the Dog! National and local companies will be offering some creative theatre, circus skills and musical workshops along with mask, costume, hat and flag making courses.
And if all this seems a little too much for you, take some time out to check out the Sculpture Gardens or visit the Healing Gardens and indulge in a little reflexology, hopi, homeopathy, reiki, chakra balancing, osteopathy and more massage techniques than you can shake a stick at, including the enticingly named 'pink money massage' (yep, I’m as curious about that one too!).
This is set to be one heck of a weekend – grab your tent, pack up the kids, head to Cheltenham!