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The best boutique festivals to travel to from London

If you’re a Londoner looking to escape the city to a haven of arts, culture and pampering this summer without travelling too far, we have just the thing for you, with a guide to the best boutique festivals within a few hours’ travel of the capital.

Boardmasters

The time and place

8th-12th August, Cornwall

Why it’s unbeatable

Perched on a Cornish cliffside looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean, Boardmasters is a festival like no other.

By day guests can head to the beach for a unique experience – the opportunity to watch some of the UK’s best professional surfers compete at the World Surf League qualifying series.

Inspired? Surfing and coasteering lessons are also available to festival-goers as well as wellness workshops, massages and reflexology sessions at the Chakra Temple and natural eco-spa.

When the sun goes down, guests can dry off and enjoy a diverse lineup of artists and DJs  including George Ezra, Annie Mac, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Miles Kane as well as masters of electronica The Chemical Brothers. Those who prefer to choose their own soundtrack can dance to their heart’s content in the largest outdoor silent disco of any UK festival.

And if you’re peckish after all that fun, you’ll be delighted to know that Boardmasters specialises in ‘mindful eating’, delicious ethically-sourced meals made with local produce, including fresh Cornish seafood.

Don’t miss…

The vinyasa flow yoga sessions held each morning at the beach. Stretch, rejuvenate and revitalise to the sound of the ocean.

Green Man Festival

The time and place

16th-19th August, South Wales

Why it’s unbeatable

Since its birth in 2003, Green Man Festival has cultivated a well-deserved reputation as the thinking man’s festival. Guests who love film, theatre, comedy and poetry as well as music will be in their element.

This year Green Man offers a lineup of tastefully curated indie psychedelia, including The War on Drugs, Fleet Foxes, Kevin Morby and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Festival-goers also have the chance to see a live performance of The Glass Isle, a collaboration between acclaimed poet and songwriter Paul Henry and Brian Briggs, formerly of indie-folk band Stornoway.

Solar-powered stages are the perfect backdrop for talks by artists, scientists and cultural thinkers. Guests can participate workshops and in interactive installations while enjoying the beautiful Welsh landscapes of the Brecon Beacons.

Don’t miss…

The chance to see Australian psychedelic rock band King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard play their first ever headline festival slot.

End of the Road

The time and place

31st August – 2nf September, South Wiltshire

Why it’s unbeatable

As possibly the only UK music festival to feature peacocks, End of the Road is a must for discerning festival-goers. Housed within the exquisite 19th century pleasure grounds of Larmer Tree Gardens, it’s hard to imagine a more fitting location for this celebration of music, literature and cinematography.

End of the World boasts a lineup of some of the best modern indie and folk talent, including Vampire Weekend, Feist, Fat White Family and Ariel Pink. Cinephiles will love the cult classics hand-picked by Gruff Rhys and The Prince Charles Cinema, while the festival’s magical forest library is sure to entrance book lovers.

End of the Road offers the same eclectic atmosphere as Bestival, but with a capacity of just 11,000 for a smaller and more exclusive feel.

Don’t miss…

The secret performances at the clearing in the woods.

Festival No. 6

The time and place

6th-9th September, North Wales

Why it’s unbeatable

The epitome of luxury and whimsy, Festival No. 6 is located in the Grade II-listed fantasy village of Portmeirion and offers a diverse blend of music and culture, with artists such as The The, Franz Ferdinand, The Horrors, Friendly Fires and Average Sex.

Guests can start the day with a refreshing yoga brunch and participate in carnivals and torchlit processions in the evening, all nestled in the exquisite scenery of the Welsh mountainside.

Tired festival-goers can then retire to the Hotel Portmeirion with its award-winning Art Deco restaurant, or to the Mermaid Spa to be pampered with all-natural, vegan-friendly products. At once surreal and sophisticated, Festival No. 6 is a midsummer night’s dream come true.

Don’t miss…

The chance to unwind in wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Dwyryd Estuary. Don’t forget to pre-order a bottle of champagne.

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