Dear Mummy, we visited the New Forest Fairy Festival recently and had a magical time. It was our second year visiting and it’s become even more popular with hundreds of people *cough* I mean fairies descending on a quiet english village in the heart of the New Forest.
The New Forest Fairy Festival is held in Burley, Hampshire and is a weekend event packed with frivolity for the whole family. It’s one of the highlights of our year and we always go in costume. Infact the majority of the festival visitors dress up in their finest fairy and elf costumes. We love to people watch and take piccys.
The New Forest Fairy Festival is a two-day event perfect for day trippers (camping only for stall holders and organisers). You can pre-book tickets off the website or turn up on the day and pay on the gate. It was a real bargain at £7 for adults, £3 for children and under 5’s free!
I slept all the way down in the car so I was ready and prepared for all the dancing, prancing and fairy dust! A quick detour due to an accident on the M27 saw us drive past New Forest ponies on back roads until we were in the village of Burley, home to witches and magic. The carpark was handy and close to the entrance, we didn’t queue and it cost £2.50. We didn’t book tickets to the festival this year, opting to arrive and pay on entrance on the day. All the staff and marshals seemed friendly, however they could have done with more visibility onsite (high vis fairy wings perhaps?) incase little ones got lost as it was very busy at times.
The organisers had put real effort in decorating the festival gates again this year, which got all the children hyped with excitement. Pink turrets of castles were dotted around the site, flowers embellished tents, along with flags and bunting flying high in the bright sunshine.
We could see other fairy folk walking around with elaborate costumes and huge fairy wings and it was such a colourful spectacle. Whole families were dressed up…… including the daddies and pets!! This festival was recommended to us by a close friend who had been in previous years. That’s how you hear about niche little events like this – by word of mouth. However The New Forest Fairy Festival’s Facebook page is really great as you get little updates from the organisers via video uploads which is a nice touch. Some people had even travelled as far as the USA to attend!
We were very fortunate with the British weather, the sun was out for most of the day which added to the sparkle. Dogs on leads were allowed into the festival too and came in all shapes and sizes modelling their own fairy wing leads. There were some real characters onsite and my mummy could have spent the whole day people watching!
What’s great about this festival is that you can bring a picnic in. The food stands looked great too, we just weren’t prepared to queue longer than 10 mins and last year there weren’t many places to eat or drink. My daddy made a make-shift parasol to give us some shade as it was super hot in the full sun. Maybe next year the festival organisers could make some whimsical fabric canopies and use the tree line better to help shield families from the sun! This year they had better toilets onsite, but could have done with some more…especially for little ones who always left it to the last-minute to go.
We were really sad to miss all the sessions with Felicity Fairy as every time we went to join in with her sessions they were full. Children inside the white tent enjoyed a tea party with the Fairy Queen and talked about how to look after mother earth and the environment over a biscuit and juice. However we did see her walking around the site afterwards as she cast a “Be Happy” spell on our friend.
We loved the Gypsy Pyksy circus tricks and demonstrations. I even learnt to hula hoop! This is where I spent the majority of my day joining in with the Circus skills workshops and they was plenty of room to spread my wings and learn to perform.Right next to the circus workshop Amy from Hoop Lovin was brilliant and challenged the audience to dare her to hula hoop on her nose! She drew in a massive crowd of spectators with her amazing routine and charm. All the children were mesmerised by her talent.
We loved the quirky stalls all inspired by fairies, magic and alternative therapies. It still remains one of the best craft and art fairs we’d ever been too and the standard of craftsmanship at the New Forest Fairy Festival is amazing! We could have spent a small fortune on mementoes from the day!
We visited some great craft stands, but our favourite again this year was Fairy Rings Jewellery and owner Jane makes some beautiful fairytale charm bracelets which we love! In the end my mummy bought me a fabulous Little Mermaid Charm Bracelet from Fairy Rings Jewellery which I adore. Other notable stands were Gothic Hats and The Coven of Stitches which we loved from last year too.The music was good with performances from MotherUkers, Redhead and the Dreamcatchers. The music was easy listening and feet tapping. Audiences lazed around on hay bales in the sunshine drinking cider and watching their children play with bubbles. The Seelie Court Fairies kept everyone on their toes entertaining with mischief and exciting bubble workshops.The music we heard was fantastic, it’s just a shame a large white van was parked directly behind the hay bales in front of the main stage blocking our view from the activity field! This was the beer tent and hopefully next time it can be positioned to the side of the main arena, so all festival goers have room to watch while their children play.We missed a couple of crafting and storytelling sessions as we were too busy relaxing and watching the world go by, we even missed the beginning of the fancy dress competition and a little shout out on the PA system could have helped notify visitors of major activities happening.The wishing tree in the Artist Area was a lovely touch and festival goers had the opportunity to make their own fairy door before the event and hang it on the tree to win prizes. We spent ages inspecting the entries and picking our favourites. Performers walked around the crowds and I got sprinkled with some fairy dust which I loved and was a perfect ending to my day at the fairy festival (my folks are still trying to wash it out!).We had an amazing time and would highly recommend The New Forest Fairy Festival to anyone that is in love with magic, fairies, daydreaming and happiness. Such a sweet vibe and perfect for a little dreamer like me!
Aura wyl / Taing mhór
Love Bella ( A Fairy Princess )
Do you like my purple fairy outfit? Find out where I got it from here!
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