A CURIOUS ARTS FESTIVAL
Location: Pylewell Park, Hampshire
Dubbed a “charmingly reckless” affair, this festival is the paramount champion of the ‘something for everyone’ prize. With a never-ending programme of possibilities, visitors can enjoy anything and everything to do with music, comedy, literature, film, art, and whatever else you could dream of. Enjoyed by people from all walks of life and of all ages, you will be ceaselessly scintillated the whole weekend through.
Created by the company Benedict Jones Ltd., this marvelously eclectic event was set up in order to create a weekend where artists, musicians and writers were brought together “in a unique way to connect the mainstream with the maverick.” The unbelievable surrounds of Pylewell Park in the New Forest only add to this inspirational, enchanting concoction.
In the music division, guests can expect both big names and new talent; and of every variety. There’s even the option of Curious Opera; this happens on the day before the main festival – well worth attending. The book-types can fling themselves into talks, readings and workshops with some outstanding contemporary authors and poets. There are a series of live stand-up shows and chats with hilarious comedians, and screenings of both classic and current movies for the film buffs, plus art groups and discussions.
It’s not just that though; there are still more absurd and wonderful classes, showings and spectacles… from insect talks and puppet making to night bat walks and cricket. You might want to enjoy some breathing classes or go on a poetry trail – or maybe you’ll just go and find a theatrical bar and see what happens. Your environs allow for yet more delightful options; Pylewell Park hosts some of the country’s most divine gardens; hidden here and there are some horticultural treats that are well worth a tour. Alternatively, you might walk around the ornamental lake, or perhaps go and take in the heady, magnificent views of the Solent.
There’s plenty packed in for kids too. Fancy a Jabberwocky hunt? Or some donkey rides and fairground games…? There will also be a selection of fantastic children’s authors who will entertain you with readings and talks (child friendly!). The festival food has its very own section on the website; here too will your choices be indulged and surprised. Vendors offering the very best of their culinary field are on hand to keep your gastronomic needs attended to.
Pylewell Park is on the south coast, in the New Forest. Its unbelievable panoramic views over the Solent are quite exquisite, particularly in summer with the hot sun glinting on the water and the smell of mown grass in the air. If you traipsed a little further, out of the estate and to the New Forest, there are yet more spectacular sights and activities to appreciate. With wildlife parks and reptile sanctuaries, nature walks and museums – you won’t have a moment that isn’t packed with something wonderful over the entire weekend – festival or not!
Enfolded in such a remarkable location, with sights, sounds and happenings to tantalize your every curiosity, it would be wise to make sure your accommodation keeps the appeal going. Having spent a day at the festival or indeed a day in its locality, what could be better than returning to a gorgeous bell tents? Affordable glamping options are second to none – deliciously soft bedding, real mattresses and plenty of space re-define the camping experience – you’ll never go back.