Since moving to Nantwich in Cheshire 12 years ago, the annual Reaseheath Family Festival has become a must-do event in our calendar. The festival draws thousands of visitors to the Reaseheath College campus in the South Cheshire town every year – and it’s not hard to see why. Launched 22 years ago, the action-packed event offers hundreds of fun activities and displays. For this year’s festival, on Sunday, May 13, I was joined by my husband, our eight-year-old son and our 12-year-old nephew. We live in Nantwich, so we didn’t have far to travel, and in previous years we’ve cycled to the site. However, this year we went by car. On the way, there was a slight bit of confusion thanks to an event sign that appeared to send us in the wrong direction. But we eventually made it to the campus, where we were directed to an event car park. It was a warm spring day, so we came prepared with plenty of sun cream and hats, knowing we’d be outdoors most of the time.
You’re welcome to bring a picnic but we decided not to bother because we knew we’d be spoilt for choice thanks to the wide range of food stalls on site, as well as the college restaurant.
At the entrance we picked up a festival programme, which listed the times for the headline acts, and also included a map showing the locations of the many attractions.
In the past we’ve explored the festival with no particular plan, which is absolutely fine. But this year we decided to be a bit more savvy in order to cover as many activities as possible (it was a good job I’d chosen to wear comfy trainers!).
Our first stop was the high ropes course, which luckily didn’t have a queue when we arrived. After getting kitted out by the instructors, the two boys were shown how to tackle the ‘vines’. They enjoyed the experience, although they found it challenging.
Next, we caught the awesome Team Extreme display, where talented BMX and scooter riders, skateboarders and inline skaters showed off their skills.
Watching all that action had given us an appetite, so we headed over to the street food market. Here, we chose tasty chicken and halloumi souvlaki from the Cyprus Kouzina stall, which we devoured while basking in the sunshine.
One of the other events listed was a Dog and Duck Show. So, intrigued, we caught the early afternoon performance. And this was definitely different! It involved sheepdogs herding ducks around obstacles and even up steps and into a paddling pool.
For me, one of the highlights of the day was Jonathan Marshall. His display featuring beautiful highly-trained horses and a peregrine falcon took my breath away.
Elsewhere, we met a stilt-walking farmer and his inflatable cow, made bug hotels, decorated cakes, tried out the climbing wall and used a bicycle to generate power.
Festival tickets also included entry to the college’s mini zoo, which is always worth a visit, although we ran out of time on this particular visit.
By the end of the day we were all happily exhausted. We’d had an amazing day, and I’m sure we’ll be back next year for more action-packed fun.
Where is Reaseheath Family Festival?
When does the event take place?
- Once a year. Next year’s event will be on Sunday, May 19, 2019.
Things to note:
- Due to the nature of the festival and the size of the campus, the ground can be uneven and activities positioned quite a distance apart
- Dogs are welcome on the day but may be restricted in certain areas
How much is entrance to Reaseheath Family Festival?
Entry to this year’s event was £5 for adults; £4 for children and concessions; and £15 for a family of two adults and up to three children. Entry was free for children aged under three. On the day, many of the individual activities have a small charge.
Upcoming events at Reaseheath College:
- The Reaseheath Mini Zoo is open every weekend from Saturday, February 24, 2018
- Higher Education Open Day, 11am, Saturday, June 2
- Floristry Taster Session, 10.45am to 12noon, Saturday, June 9
- Summer at the Zoo runs from July 21 to August 27
Review by: Colette Warbrook
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* We were provided with free entry passes to Reaseheath Family Festival in return for a review. All opinions are our own.