Best Summer Festivals in the UK [Sponsored Post]

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Say ‘festival’ to anyone in the UK, and more than likely they’ll reply Glastonbury, the south west favourite famous for incredible outdoor music and mud in equal measure.  But Glastonbury isn’t the only jewel in the UK festival crown; here’s our pick of this summer’s offerings…

Best for literature lovers…

Described by Bill Clinton as “the Woodstock of the mind,” the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts has been popular for more than 25 years.  Hay is a celebration of the written word with talks and readings from popular authors such as John le Carré and Dara O Briain, who are topping the bill in 2013.  But it’s more than just books; music, science, and nature collide in this charming Welsh market town on the edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.  Hay Fever runs alongside the main festival in May, offering children and young people of all ages a range of literature-based entertainment.

Best for families…

Larmer Tree Festival

Held at the Larmer Tree Gardens on the border between Wiltshire and Dorset in July, the Larmer Tree Festival is a great option for those travelling with kids without having to compromise on the real festival experience.  Take your pick from 100 acts across five days including music, theatre, poetry and hands-on workshops.  There’s also a dedicated kids area and a venue where you can chill out with a drink and the paper if you fancy a change of pace.  The highlight is Sunday’s carnival procession and you can get involved with costume making or just enjoy the spectacle for a memorable ending to the festival.  Why not book your summer holiday online and fit in a festival for a fun-packed holiday?

Best for foodies…

If wandering through the grounds of medieval Ludlow Castle whilst sampling tasty offerings from more than 160 local producers sounds like your idea of heaven, head to Ludlow Food Festival.  The September festival welcomes more than 20,000 food lovers who enjoy Michelin-starred demonstrations, tastings and talks across the weekend.  The annual Sausage Trail is a huge draw for festival goers with each butcher creating an exclusive festival recipe.  Sample each sausage as you wander from one butcher’s to the next through this pretty town before deciding on your favourite; what better way to explore Shropshire’s self-proclaimed foodie capital?

Best for music fans…

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No article on the UK’s best festivals would be complete without more than a passing mention of Glastonbury.  This biennial music extravaganza is a favourite on the festival circuit with tickets selling out more than eight months before the festival in June.  Held on a 900-acre farm in Somerset, hence the mud, the festival attracts headliners like Coldplay and Beyoncé in 2011 side by side with emerging talents and more off-beat offerings.  In no other place can you go to a silent disco, wander through the bizarre landscape of Shangri La and watch the sunrise at a stone circle.  If you’re looking for music, look no further than Glastonbury; just be sure to snap up a resale ticket in April.

Photo credits: Murky1, Chris Drake

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