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Port Elliot Festival Favourite

headgearFestivals are an essential part of my escapism from day to day life. A place where you can put on a flamboyant headdress or dye your hair, and wear your wackiest clothes and be moved by the music. It has to be done! After this Summer's visit at the end of July Port Eliot has become one of my favourites. From young to old and to the not-so-hardcore partier - this festival has something for everyone. Its a fairly civilised affair - good for a family outing. It started with a cluster of guests in 2003 and soon took off but still in a delightfully small scale way. There is a maximum capacity of 7000.

The parkland and grounds around the stately home of Port Eliot, are a perfect picturesque location for this friendly and laid back get together. The Church hosts bands creating a unique ambiance with the beat coming at you. You will find bars set up riverside which ooze accoustic tunes as you sip your first beer in the afternoon sunshine. For the bravest take a mud bath at low tide with the impressive viaduct looming behind them. Or check in for a hot tub experience!

There is lots of focus on good food and drink. Dine on daal in an old bus or choose tapas served by cheery Spaniards and everything inbetween.

mikThere are many workshops to join - from African dance and Barefoot Tango, writers talks, life drawing class, to foraging and crochet. (Book these at the first opportunity.) Spot madcap acts passing through, plus tents for the bigger names. My favourite bits on our too-brief Friday visit were mindblowing opera from Virginia King, a chirpy chat with Dawn French, Mick Artistik's very amusing and funky act mixing the mundane wonderfully into a poetic banter and bouncing to Banghra late into the night.

Camping is included in your festival ticket and a colourful array of tents are scattered over the hillsides. If you prefer Glamping this is offered by Yurtel. Or just on the doorstep is Rail Holiday. Converted rail carriages by  enthusiastic owners Lizzy and David - who also perform at the festival - are the perfect overnight option just minutes from the gate.

Rail Holiday St Germans

Apart from year round breaks at their 3 quality carriages at St Germans they also offer another at Hayle.