Whether they’re a teacup poodle or an Afghan hound, your dog deserves to let their hair down as much as you do this summer. So, take a trip to one of these dog-focused festivals, where everything, from the food and entertainment to the flower crowns and wellies, is designed with four-legged friends in mind.
Dogfest – Hertfordshire, Cheshire and Bristol
Hosted by Clare Balding and TV vet Noel Fitzpatrick, this three-part weekender promises to be the Ultimate Dog’s Day Out, with shows and demos, around 100 doggy brands to shop from, the chance to meet your favourite canine Instagram stars, a VIP lounge for pampered pooches, and so many have-a-go activities that even the oldest dog could learn some new tricks. Choose between Dogfest South (11-12 May), Dogfest North (15-16 June) and Dogfest West (22-23 June).
Woofstock – Devon, 16-18 August
Just like its rock and roll namesake, Woofstock is one for the exhibitionists. While the humans stick to dancing on the grass to live music acts, the dogs can showcase their talents with displays of agility and obedience, and awards for Waggiest Tail, Golden Oldie, Most Handsome Chap and Best Bad Fur Day. Weekend camping tickets start at just £30, or there’s glamping for those who prefer their creature comforts.
Dogstival – Hampshire, 18-19 May
Hosted by Chris Packham CBE, this New Forest weekend promises fun for the whole family – furry or otherwise. Give your pup a little canine-spiration with displays by elite display teams Paws4Thought, Rockwood and Shadowquest, then let them show off their own skills in the aquasports pool and agility arenas. There will also be a treasure hunt, a chill-out zone (to let sleeping dogs lie), and a doggie photobooth and Dogstival cartoonist on hand to capture the memories. Your Instagram likes are about to rocket.
Dog Lovers Festival – Derbyshire, 2-4 August
Held in the grounds of beautiful Elvaston Castle, this fest has a seriously starry lineup featuring Robbie Williams, Oasis, Kylie Minogue and Queen… tribute acts. The lookalikes aren’t confined to the stage, either – among the many events and competitions is a prize for Owner That Looks Most Like Their Dog. Camping is available for the whole weekend, and 321 acres of open parkland mean there’s plenty of room for adventurous walkies. Just make sure you’re back in time for ‘Britney’.
North East Dog Festival – Northumberland, 7 September
This festival is only a one-day affair, but it’ll be jam-packed with activities, shows and shopping opportunities. Learn how to keep Fido fighting fit in the Nose2Tail Health village, meet some brave animal pals in the Dogs With Jobs Village, and let your little star show off their skills in the Sporting Dog Village. Or if snacks and naps are more their pace, there’s always the prize for Best Biscuit Catcher.
All About Dogs – Berkshire, Nottinghamshire, Essex, Suffolk & Norfolk
With six weekends across the south, east and Midlands, All About Dogs is about to set thousands of tails wagging this summer. Dogs big and small will get their chance to shine, with races, steeplechases, agility contests and obstacle courses, talent shows, makeovers, obedience classes and even a prize for the most regal pup (in honour of the new royal baby, naturally). Meanwhile the humans get to kick back to live music, chow down on street food and coo at the cutest pups in the county. Pawfect.
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