7 Of The Best Small Festivals In Britain

From Hertfordshire to North Wales...

The music festival is somewhat of a British institution, and no summer is complete without a trip to a muddy field with your mates.

While established festivals such as Glastonbury, Bestival or V Festival may book the biggest bands and pull in the biggest crowds, the UK festival calendar is full of smaller, quirkier offerings that also happen to be much more affordable.

Looking to mix it up this year? These are our favourite alternative festivals for 2018. Bring on summer…

1) The Great Estate 

Where? Scorrier House, Cornwall

When?  1-3 June

Why? Billed as ‘the most rambunctious Garden Féte’, it comes complete with vintage fairground, woodland silent disco and a secret gin garden (omg!). If that all gets a bit too much, there’s always the hot tubs to bring you some R&R. It all sounds totally dreamy.

Who’s playing? The Charlatans, Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show, Symphonica Orchestra featuring Mr. Switch.

How much? £80 (weekend camping)

2) End Of The Road

Where? Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset

When? 30 August – 2 September

Why? End the summer with a bang at this intimate and friendly festival. The line-up offers an alternative offering of artists, and the festival prides itself on top quality food and drinks.

Who’s playing? Vampire Weekend, Feist, Yo La Tengo and St. Vincent.

How much? £195

3) Festival No 6

Where? The charming village of Portmerion, North Wales

When? 6-9 September

Why? The spectacular location is what really makes this festival special. The festival is staged throughout Portmerion (an Italian style village), the surrounding woodlands and a beautiful stretch of beach. Expect all things weird and the wonderful.

Who’s playing? Friendly Fires, Franz Ferdinand, Jessie Ware, The Charlatans, Everything Everything, Suggs, Will Self.

How much? £190 with camping and £180 without

4) Henley Festival

Where? The riverbank in Henley-on-Thames

When? 11-15 July

Why? The most glamorous festival of the summer, this black-tie affair features Michelin-starred food and entertainment, with top comedians, artists and musicians setting up stage. Sip champers as you watch guests arrive by boat and take in the beautiful surrounds, this year transformed with a Great Gatsby theme. And you’ll want to stick around for the spectacular fireworks that close each night.

Who’s playing? Rita Ora opens with her biggest hits, while this year’s headline act is none other than the legendary Grace Jones. Nile Rodgers and Chic will certainly liven up the crowd, and Ronnie Scott’s Big Band will give jazz fans a treat.

How much? Prices from £50

5) 2000 Trees

Where? Near Cheltenham in the rolling Cotswolds hills

When? 12 – 14 July

Why? Priding itself on being non-commercial and sponsorship free, this alternative event is much more affordable than some of the bigger name festivals. This festival is all about the music and offers over 80 new and underground acts from the worlds of rock and indie.

Who’s playing? At The Drive In, Frightened Rabbit, Enter Shikari and Hell Is For Heroes.

How much? £115 for the full three nights

6) Farr Festival

Where? Belgrave Woods, Hertfordshire

When? 5-8 July

Why? Set within a woodland scape of cinder trees, the 6,000-capacity festival is back-to-nature-boutique. Strings of fairy lights decorate the hammocks and chill-out areas, creating little pockets of warmth in the woods. Plus, in between acts you can try the hot tubs for full-on lounge vibes.

Who’s playing? Mount Kimbie, Tom Misch, Dixon, Shy FX, Maribou State and Willow.

How much? £125 (weekend camping)

7) Bluedot

Where? Jodrell Bank Observatory, Cheshire

When? 19-22 July

Why? In the space where art, music and science meet sits Bluedot festival, set against a backdrop of the Lovell Telescope.  There’s the robot workshops, a planetarium, the Galaxy Garden to keep you entertained between bands. And this year, you’ll get the chance to watch The Blue Planet in concert.

Who’s playing? The Chemical Brothers, Future Islands, The Flaming Lips, Little Dragon and Gary Numan.

How much? £178.75 (weekend camping)

Images: @thegreatescape, @eotr, @2000trees, @festivalno6 (Fanatic), @farrfestival, @bluedot