This summer’s top 5 wellness festivals
Family-friendly festivals to help you find some much-needed ‘me’ time this summer
Wellness festivals are back with a bang for 2021, and they’re the perfect excuse (as if you needed one) for a mini staycation. Reconnect with nature, introduce the kids to yoga, or simply party the night away on foraged cocktails – whatever wellness looks like for you, it's time to take things up a level.
For nature lovers: ALSO
Set in 50 acres of lakeside parkland at Park Farm in Warwickshire, ALSO is a three-day celebration of nature and wellness, combining thought-provoking talks (from ‘the universe and everything’ to the case for CBD) with mindful movement and inspiring workshops. If yoga, meditation, qi gong and tai chi don’t float your boat, you can head out for a guided walk, run or swim, forage for cocktails, or give bhangra, kintsugi, wild sketching or gin tasting a whirl.
It’s brilliantly family-friendly too, with a teddy bears picnic, kids scavenger hunt and teen yoga classes, plus kite-making, clowning and singing workshops. This year, the organisers will be exploring how animals can help us to understand our place in the world – and yes, bunny ears are actively encouraged.
ALSO takes place on 2-4 July 2021
For little ravers: Barefoot Festival
Now in its 15th and – sadly – final year, Barefoot is a ‘grassroots’ gathering that’s all about getting back to basics and feeling the grass in between your toes. Set in the grounds of Leicestershire’s Prestwold Hall, the festival combines live music and big top circus-style performances with a three-day celebration of yoga, therapies and meditative movement – if you’re looking to relax and unwind, head for the Chill Out Area.
If you’re bringing the little ones, and feeling a little more energetic, aim for the Children’s Area, where you can get your groove on at a Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave. There’ll also be family and children’s yoga, fortune telling and a dedicated arts-and-crafts tent, where crafty kids can take their first steps into upcycling.
Barefoot Festival takes place on 30 July-2 August 2021
For expanding your horizons: Soul Circus
Combining live music sets from the likes of Goldie with aerial yoga classes, astral projection workshops and lucid dreaming seminars, Soul Circus blends old fashioned festival fun with transformational activities designed to realign, recalibrate and rejuvenate mind, body and soul.
If you’re ready to try something new, you’ll be spoilt for choice: immersive drum ’n’ bass yoga, shamanic journeying, ecstatic meditations and cacao ceremonies are all on the agenda. There’s a dedicated kids’ area too, with child-friendly yoga, meditation, crafts and circus workshops to keep the little ones occupied all weekend long.
Soul Circus takes place on 20-22 August 2021
For fitness fans: Wellnergy
Every year, Wellnergy transforms Chipping Norton’s Cornbury Park into a ‘theme park for wellness’. This time around, there will be more than 50 different fitness, dance and yoga classes to try – so you can dust off your tutu (or barre socks) for ballet class, or channel your inner warrior at a martial arts taster.
Need a break? Relax and enjoy a meditative gong bath or Tibetan singing bowl experience in the Sound Tent, listen to a thought-provoking talk or simply grab a drink and check out a live band in one of the festival’s pop-up music areas. There’s even a junior tent, with live performances and singalongs for the little ones to enjoy.
Wellnergy takes place on 4-5 September 2021
For a quick fix: VERVE
Nestled in a walled Victorian garden in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside, VERVE is a one-day celebration of health, nature and wellness. Billed as the perfect antidote to the past 12 months, this year’s festival will be short but sweet, providing ample opportunity to relax, reset and reconnect – think yoga, meditation and breathwork, plus sound baths, wellness workshops, nature walks and talks.
All-day music will keep the feel-good vibes flowing, while VERVE’s dedicated kids’ programme brings the fun with woodland games, yoga and mindfulness. One of the UK’s first zero waste festivals, it’s a winner in the sustainability stakes too.
VERVE takes place on 25 September 2021
Main image: Soul Circus