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across the Weald and South East
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It's all about events
across the Weald and South East

It’s that time of year when evenings have become progressively lighter, the countryside is full of life; and both residents and visitors to the Weald are on the hunt for experiences that offer the feel-good factor.

As a grandma to four vivacious girls and two lively boys I am always on the look-out for activities and events that enable them to be free-spirited, express themselves and reconnect with the great outdoors, so when I heard about an extraordinary festival that places family at the heart of what it offers I was keen to find out more.

Woodlands Festival is an intimate, independent family-friendly festival set in secluded fields surrounded by woodland near Hawkhurst; somewhere you feel you can truly relax & unwind, meet new people or reconnect with old friends… & where kids can be kids again! It offers something for all ages and the organisers exude so much passion for this remarkably diverse and creative celebration, so here is the low-down on the many delights their team has arranged to entertain you……….

Kids Activities

For the kids there will be a range of arts & craft, along with woodland activities including treasure hunts, storytelling & bush craft adventures, as well as the Fabularium Forest Disco. Music with Mike will be returning alongside Whizz Bang Pop, both of whom were firm favourites at last year’s festival, with fun & activities for the kids throughout the festival and the wonderful Wise Up will be den building & exploring in the woodlands.

Face painting & fancy dress play a big part in the festival experience for the little ones & grown-ups alike!  The Glitter Box will be bringing their glitz & glitter along to get you festival ready, Truffle on Sea are bringing all you need when it comes to festival hair & nails and The Arty Tea Cup will help you add the finishing touches with tutus, capes & fairy wings. So bring your own or look out for our roaming traders; because everyone is invited to get into the Woodland’s spirit!

Live Music

And then there’s the music… the weekend will be jam-packed full of independent, talented artists. Some of who were with us in 2017 & some incredible new additions.

This event is committed to providing a platform for the unsigned to play alongside seasoned professionals, with both plugged & unplugged performances throughout the weekend.

Friday’s music kicks off just before 7 p.m. with the contemporary vibe of the young and talented singer song writer Zac Pajak, followed by The New Nervous Kind and headlines Indigo Sea with their combi-sound of funk, pop and rock.

A broad repertoire awaits festival goers on the Saturday, with an astonishing line-up of 10 live acts, with the beat ramping up in the evening with Dorset’s covers band The Alibi, highly-acclaimed local blues-rock boys The Tarot Rats and culminating with The Hype and their energising dance-party mix.

And there is no day of rest on Sunday, with The Gallerys and the ever popular Box of Frogs who will be on stage until 4.30 p.m. to wrap things up.

and to relax…

It’s not all about the adventure at Woodlands, so in a lovely peaceful location, tucked away behind the Tree Maze you will find the relaxing Woodland Spa.  Qualified therapists will be on-hand to offer a wide range of relaxing treatments, including massages, facials & reflexology.

Following your treatment, you will be shown to the relaxation tent, where you can take some time out, enjoy a selection of herbal teas & regain your balance, before heading back out to enjoy the rest of the festival.

Food & Drink

The team has worked hard to find all festival goers a great selection of good, wholesome food…with some firm favourites on offer! Pick up a delicious sweet or savoury pizza from Mobi Pizzeria, choose one of Farm Street Kitchen’s delicious burgers or try something from the Devil’s Pantry Mediterranean inspired menu…with so many dishes to choose from, there’s plenty for all types of taste buds.

There will also be a fully stocked Woodlands Bar with local drinks from Hush Heath, The Brewery of Angels & Demons, Chegworth Valley, LUHV & Copper Rivet, as well as summer favourites such as Pimms & Prosecco. Big Nose & Beardy Cider will also be pitching up with their small batch, locally made cider as well as talks & tastings!

Party On Into The Evening

When the kids’ entertainment wraps up & they’re all tucked away in their sleeping bags, the DJs take over at the Woodlands Silent Disco, so the grown-ups can dance the night away under the stars…

Or if you prefer, you can rug up in front of the giant screen at the outdoor cinema, with vintage style pick n mix, hot chocolate or a cocktail…

On Site Camping & Glamping

For those staying the weekend at Woodlands Festival, when you’re ready to call it a night it will only be a short walk back to your cosy camping or glamping festival home.

The beautiful camping field at Woodlands Festival will delight even the toughest camping critic!  With no pre-allocated pitches, campers are free to choose their preferred location, be it in a quiet corner backing onto the ancient woodland or closer to the action.

If you’re more of a glamper than a camper & love the idea of arriving to your very own beautifully kitted out tent, there are some luxurious Bell Tent options for you, your family & friends to enjoy.   The boutique camping village will be set apart from the general campsite, in a lovely spot overlooking the festival site.

And to make your glamping experience that little bit more comfortable, you will have your own toilet & shower facilities… So after a great night’s sleep & a lovely hot shower, you just need to find someone to do the coffee run!

And when you wake up, there will be Yoga in the morning sunshine to start your day.

To lay-on such a vibrant and authentic event takes huge planning and dedication. It is clear the organisers are completely committed to creating an inspiring escape…a few days of fun and freedom in Wealden paradise.

Limited tickets are still available, but hurry, they’re selling fast…don’t miss out on all the fun in the field!

Words by Emma Wood – Big WOW founder

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