Travel: Oxfordshire’s summer festival diary

Summer is finally here and what a summer it promises to be! While we can’t guarantee the weather, there’s plenty of excitement in store in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 17th June 2014, 11:46 am
The tranquil setting of Bourton-on-the-Water. Picture: Alan Wooding
The tranquil setting of Bourton-on-the-Water. Picture: Alan Wooding

The Times recently produced a list of the summer’s best music festivals and three of those were right here in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds: Cornbury Festival, the Wilderness Festival and the Big Feastival.

But it’s not just music that’s on offer this summer - Blenheim Palace sees the return of the CLA Game Fair, one of the greatest celebrations of country life and sports, and it’s also here that the summer season really begins with the Blenheim Palace Flower Show on June 20 to 22.

Blenheim Palace Flower Show

The pretty town of Burford has a delightful high street. Picture: Alan Wooding

A wonderful three-day flower and garden show featuring over 150 floral and gardens exhibitors, a Grand Floral Marquee, garden landscapes, and lots more including food and refreshments and family activities and all set within the spectacular grounds of Blenheim Palace.

The stunning 25,000 sq.ft Grand Floral Marquee forms the main centerpiece of the show, playing host to a selection of the UK’s finest nurseries, the Grand Floral Marquee is the perfect place to speak to the experts, buy your quality flowers and admire the best of British Gardening.

With some of the UK’s best nurseries and plant companies exhibiting in the Plant Village, this is the best place to pick up your Summer plants, find everything from flowers and shrubs, to trees and bushes.

Here you will find an enormous selection of plants, indoor and outdoor perennials, flowers, bulbs and seeds, as well as shrubs, trees, bushes and much more.

Bursting with colourful blooms, hardy perennials and beautiful furniture, there are plenty of great deals in the Outdoor Shopping Village, to ensure you too can create the perfect garden sanctuary.

Here you will find everything from Garden tools, bedding, pots and ornaments, to garden furniture sets, outdoor clothing, buildings and much more.

The Indoor Shopping Village will be stacked with a variety of great gift ideas, handmade crafts, locally sourced goods and unusual products many of which are not available to buy on the high street.

Here you will find everything for your garden and home, from crafts and gift ware to clothing, jewellery, beauty products, children’s toys and much, much more.

Taste your way around the world in the Fine Food marquee, where top billed food & drink companies will be selling an array of delicious products and offering some irresistible free tasters. products many of which are not available to buy on the high street.

Here you will find a variety of fine foods ranging from cheeses, meats, oil and vinegar, to chocolates and fudge as well as wine, spirits and much more.

Opening times:

Gates open 10am to 5pm

Tickets

Entry to the Park, Gardens and The Blenheim Palace Flower Show

• Adult £12.50 (£11 in advance)

• Senior Citizen £9.30 (£8)

• Children £6.50 (£5.50)

• Family £33 (£30)

Entry to the Palace, Park, Gardens and The Blenheim Palace Flower Show

• Adult £21.50 (£18 in advance)

• Senior Citizen £17 (£14)

• Child £11.80 (£9.50)

• Family £57 (£50)

Cornbury Festival

Friday features breaking Dublin duo Hudson Taylor, perfect pop stars The Feeling, great American troubadour Suzanne Vega, and the creators of ‘Everyday People’ and ‘Mr Wendal’, Arrested Development.

Friday night wraps up with the strictly-singing pop diva Sophie Ellis Bextor and national treasure Jools Holland with special guests ex-Spicer Melanie C, and Soft Cell’s Marc Almond.

The festivities continue on Saturday with festival favourite Jon Allen and American blues travellers Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band.

The latter part of the afternoon will include Bruce Springsteen’s fellow New Jersey singer and friend, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes featuring Gary US Bonds, and chart topping Nina Nesbitt.

The American invasion continues with Illinois rocker Lissie and Grammy-Award winning country new-girl Kacey Musgraves. Other artists include 60s icon Georgie Fame with Guy Barker’s 16 piece big band, pop-hit makers Scouting for Girls, and Scottish rock legends Simple Minds.

Come Sunday, the festival goes pop with performances from X Factor 2013 winner Sam Bailey and finalist Luke Friend, and an eclectic cocktail of Caribbean flavoured Kid Creole & The Coconuts, 70s hit-makers 10cc and the Japanese Jeff Beck ‘Kill Bill’ theme tune writer Tomoyasu Hotei.

Closing the festival on the Songbird Stage is Celtic fusion band Peatbog Faeries, with Sunday’s main stage headliner still under wraps.

Box Office: www.bookingsdirect.com or call 0844 338 0000 or via Cornbury Festival Website www.cornburyfestival.com

GENERAL TICKETS

Adult Weekend Pass: £170 / with camping £200

Young Person (13-16 inclusive) & Over 70s Weekend Pass: £89 / with camping £120

Child (3-12 inclusive) Weekend Pass: £30 / with camping £35

Adult Friday Day Pass: £78

Adult Saturday or Sunday Day Pass: £89

Young Person (13-16 inclusive) and Over 70s Friday Day Pass: £40

Young Person (13-16 inclusive) and Over 70s Saturday or Sunday Day Pass: £45

Child (3-12 inclusive) Day Pass: £15

VIP TICKETS

Adult & Over 70s Weekend Pass: £280 / with camping £310

Young Person (13-16 inclusive) Weekend Pass: £155 / with camping £185

Child (3-12 inclusive) Weekend Pass: £78 / with camping £83

Adult & Over 70s Friday Day Pass: £160

Adult & Over 70s Saturday or Sunday Day Pass: £170

Young Person (13-16 inclusive) Day Pass: £110

Child (3-12 inclusive) Day Pass: £56

Tickets are subject to a one-off £2.50 fulfilment fee on the total order, and a £4 Special Delivery charge.

FOR FURTHER TICKET OPTIONS PLEASE SEE WEBSITE www.cornburymusicfestival.com

CLA Game Fair

The CLA Game Fair is the leading outdoor country show and one of the greatest celebrations of country life and sports.

This is a unique experience: an opportunity to enjoy country sports and to learn more about the countryside, a fun day out for all the family and a great shopping experience.

As well as country sports, there are major food, equestrian and gardening exhibitions plus fun features demonstrating conservation and new activities in the countryside alongside all the traditional country sports shows.

The Country Land Owners Association brings this world-class event to Blenheim Palace every three years.

Admission

One Day Ticket - Friday

Adult £27

Junior (0-16 yrs) Free but must be accompanied by an adult

Senior Citizen £26

One Day Ticket - Sat or Sun

Adult £22

Junior (0-16 yrs) Free but must be accompanied by an adult

Senior Citizen £21

Two Day Ticket - Fri & Sat or Sun

Adult £47

Junior (0-16 yrs): free but must be accompanied by an adult

Senior Citizen £46

Two Day Ticket - Sat & Sun

Adult £42

Junior (0-16 yrs) free but must be accompanied by an adult

Senior Citizen £41

Three Day Ticket

Adult £67

Junior (0-16 yrs) free but must be accompanied by an adult

Senior Citizen £66

Opening times

Car Parks, entrances and facilities:

Friday: 6am - 7.30pm

Saturday & Sunday: 6am - 6pm

Exhibition stands and displays:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 9am - 6pm

Wilderness Festival

The Wilderness Festival - live music & dancing, banquets, feasts & gastronomy, theatre, late night revelry, promenade performances, debating halls & literary arts, magic & games, well being & outdoor pursuits.

Live music: from the space synths of Metronomy to the timeless tunes of Burt Bacharach and the ethereal tones of London Grammar

Banquets & feasts: from long-table banqueting to intimate tasting with Simon Rogan, Angela Hartnett and much more

Theatre: includes performances by Shakespeare’s Globe and The Royal Court Theatre amongst others

Talks & debates: including Intelligence Squared, Sir Antony Gormley and Irvine Welsh

Late night revelry: late night DJs, cocktails and cabaret, fire spectaculars, silent opera, aerial performances and so much more

Well-being and outdoor pursuits: fly fishing, horse riding, a lakeside spa and body healing at The Sanctuary

Full details are available on www.wildernessfestival.com

Admission:

Weekend camping - £151.50

The Big Feastival

Jamie Oliver and Alex James present The Big Feastival, a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for all the family, set on Alex’s idyllic Cotswolds farm.

Enjoy music from top acts, tuck into top chef demos in the Big Kitchen and have your fill from The Menu, featuring the cream of the UK’s street food crop. Browse local producer stands, join a cookery class or get your foodie fix joining top chefs for intimate Q&A sessions.

Keep little and big kids happy in the fun-filled Little Dudes Den, join an arts & crafts workshop, enjoy the Big Top games or take a spin round the vintage funfair.

Music line-up

Friday: Guilty Pleasures; Bjorn Again; Fleetwood Bac; DJ BBQ; and Levi Roots

Saturday: Fatboy Slim; Kelis; Laura Mvula; Molotov Jukebox; Norman Jay MBE; Cuban Brothers; and Duke

Sunday: Jamie Cullum; De La Soul; Jack Savoretti; Stornoway; Kitty, Daisy & Lewis; Lee Thompson Ska

Food line-up

Jamie Oliver, Gennaro Contaldo, Monica Galetti, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Nathan Outlaw, Valentine Warner, Gizzi Erskine, Martin Morales, Rachel Khoo, Mark Hix, Levi Roots and MasterChef 2013 winner Natalie Coleman.

Ticket prices

Day tickets:

Friday Adult £32.25; Teen £16.15; under 12s free but must still be booked

Saturday Adult £69; Teen £37.65; under 12s free but must still be booked

Sunday Adult £59; Teen £32.25; under 12s free but must still be booked

Weekend tickets:

Adult £119.25; Teen £64; under 12s free but must still be booked

Weekend camping tickets:

Adult £144.25; Teen £74; under 12s free but must still be booked

A summer under canvas

Perhaps all this talk of summer festivals has awakened a longing for a summer break under canvas. If so then take at look at these two marvellous campsites in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds...

Lincoln Farm Park is an award winning, family friendly campsite: there are two indoor heated pools, luxurious changing rooms, a play park, mini golf and games room.

Hardwick Parks with its adjoining watersports centre offers a lakeside clubhouse where you can enjoy an evening drink and some good old pub grub, with purpose built, air-conditioned toilet and shower block facilities close proximity to the camping fields so you don’t have to stroll too far from your bed early morning, with a park shop to provide all your shopping needs from disposable barbcues to the sausages you will need to put on them!