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Latitude 2019 – Making the Most of The Best Festival in England.
This year will be my third at Latitude and I’m really looking forward to it – especially with such a fantastic line up of music, theatre, comedy and events. First things first though, for those new to Latitude you might want to know how best to reach the Festival…
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Getting to Latitude:
Latitude Festival is held at Henham Park is Beccles, Suffolk, Beccles, NR34 8AN. You can reach the festival by coach, train or car.
Big Green Coach is the official partner for Latitude and pick-up locations include Basingstoke, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Coventry, Ipswich, Leeds, London Victoria, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton.
Visit Big Green Coach website to find out more and book your seat.
If you prefer to travel by train, there are Latitude Festival transfer buses from the two nearest train stations, Halesworth and Diss, with more availability from Diss.
If you are driving to Latitude, you should avoid using your Sat Nav, which will not route you correctly and instead follow the festival temporary signage which is intended to minimise queuing and ensure everyone can park.
Henham Park, the site of Latitude Festival, is between the A12 and A145 north of Blythburgh in Suffolk. From the A12 and from the A145 follow the festival signs. Please do not stop on the A12 or the A145 but follow the signage straight into the car parks.
Car parking is included in the price of your ticket. Weekend and day car parking is separate to the campsites in adjacent or nearby fields.
The car park is open from 14.00 on Thursday 12th July until 13.00 Monday 16th July. The car park is staffed 24 hours a day during this period.
Accommodation at Latitude:
Festivals need a lot of forethought, whether you are taking the camping or B&B option. I’ve done both, and each was equally successful in its own right.
Bed and Breakfast or Hotel Accommodation near Latitude:
The first year I tried my hand at camping – and then the next I took the more luxurious choice of staying in a B& B in nearby Southwold. Both options have their advantages, but if you are planning to stay in a hotel or B & B be sure to book as early as possible, as availability is scarce the later you leave it. This year I’m doing a bed and breakfast again, as I quite enjoy going back to a comfy bed after a long day. Latitude provides a very good shuttle-bus to and from Southwold throughout the day and evening so you don’t need to bring your car in.
If you are still looking to find bed and breakfast accommodation I’ve found it’s best to check online – here are the sites I use myself:
- Trip Advisor for a range of local places to stay and reviews
- Holiday Lettings for general self-catering options in the area
- Suffolk Secrets for some quite unique places to stay in Suffolk
Where to stay near Latitude
The Latitude site at Henham Park is five miles west of Southwold which is situated on the stunning Suffolk coast. Southwold is a chic seaside town known for its beautiful beach, candy box coloured beach huts and pretty pier. It’s an ideal location for getting to and from Hensham Park and has lots of tempting places to eat and stylish gift shops. There are plenty of places to stay including hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday let cottages. Plus there are beach huts to rent, which might be a fun alternative. They tend to book up very early, however, it’s worth persevering if you haven’t got anything booked yet as last year we got a last minute cancellation in a lovely small hotel in the centre of the town.
Also close by is the peaceful seaside village of Walberswick, perfect for crabbing and exploring the dunes. Other alternatives include:
- the classic Suffolk village of Westleton, which is about 9 miles south of Southwold.
- Dunwich is of similar distance and is close to the beach and nature reserves.
- A little further afield is Saxmundham, 10 miles south of Aldeburgh, 14 miles south.
Camping Options at Latitude:
Latitude offers standard day, weekend, and family campsites, as well as luxury options including colourful Bedouin tents, bell tents, cosy wooden cabins and more. You can find out more and book from the Latitude website
Pink Moon camping offers 3-level structure systems. With the Standard, Classic and Deluxe ranges you can choose anything from a standard tent to teepees, magnificent motorhomes, and everything in between. Pink Moon Village is for those who enjoy that little bit (or a lot!) of luxury with their festival experience. The Village includes an array of accommodation offerings, marvellously maintained sanitation facilities, around the clock security, pamper stations and even a relaxing bar.
You can also bring your own motorhome or tent to Latitude. All weekend tickets include space to pitch a tent – you can find out more here. There’s even a day tent facility so those who stay too late to get home are not stranded! If you want to bring a campervan, caravan or motorhome each occupant (including the driver) MUST have a weekend ticket and you will need to pay for a campervan, caravan or motorhome pass.
The campsites will open at 14.00 on Thursday 12th July and close at 13.00 on Monday 16th July. The campsite is staffed 24 hours a day and you can arrive at any time during this period
Things to take to Latitude if you are camping.
If like me you are not a seasoned camper, be sure to take a simple tent that won’t take hours to put up, and a trolley of some kind is hugely helpful for transporting your belongings from the car, as you can’t park terribly close to the camping area.
There’s also a useful on-site service run by Charity Concierge offering a taxi service throughout the campsites, to help get your equipment from A to B! Each use of the service costs one ‘Concierge Coin’ or £5. You can pay in cash on site.
Charity Concierges will also be on hand to help you put up your tents when you arrive on Thursday from just £5 for a 4 man tent.
Comfort is always number one my list; make sure you’ve got a good blow up mattress with an electric pump, pillows, throws and cosy bedding. I like to keep it simple too – and I certainly had no intention of cooking as there are so many lovely food outlets, coffee stands etc.
Festival Dress at Latitude:
This being England, clothing-wise it really does depend on the weather of course… but it’s fun to get into the festival spirit and express yourself! It’s a perfect opportunity to raid the wardrobe and rediscover your inner hippy and just maybe wear something that you daren’t wear anywhere else!
On the more practical side, do bring rainwear and something cosy (just in case) and it’s definitely worth having a comfortable pair of trainers….(which you don’t mind getting dirty). A sunhat is useful – hopefully. Although insects aren’t much of a nuisance some repellant might be good to keep midges away in the evening.
Other things to bring with you to Latitude:
Be sure to take a couple of portable chargers for your mobile phone, as it’s expensive to charge them there and so much simpler if you’ve got your own.
Last year I bought one of those little lightweight camping stools, which turned out to be an absolute godsend as sitting on the hard ground for hours can play havoc with your back!
Carry a small rucksack with your valuables, a sweatshirt or rain jacket for the evening, suntan lotion and water.
Food and drink at Latitude:
It would be hard to go hungry at Latitude. While you can’t bring alcohol into the festival, you can bring your own food and soft drinks. But, I’m not sure why anyone would bother.
After making their debut at Latitude last year, Street Feast is back to take you on a food adventure once again. There is such a great choice on offer, you’ll be able to eat delicious and well-sourced food from dozens of different countries and cuisines – from pillowy-soft Chinese bao buns to fiery Caribbean jerk chicken and fresh Middle Eastern mezze boxes, to mighty Mexican jackfruit tacos. There are over the 60 food vendors coming to Henham Park this July.
Alternatively, you can have a restaurant experience right in the heart of Henham Park, at The Hothouse. Returning for a second year, The Hothouse is a spectacular restaurant offering table service inside an adapted polytunnel, decorated throughout in a rather chic French Brocante style.
The Hothouse menu is sourced from six independent food producers including Boxfood Caribbean, Persian Chicken, Guerrilla Kitchen, Seacow, Yellow Turban Thali, and The Taco Kitchen.
To book your table (maximum 10 people), please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mobile number, and which day and approximate time you would like.
Theatre Of Food also returns for a second year with more cooking sessions, inspiring food and, of course, the chance to sample the goods yourself. Across the weekend festival goers can witness Georgina Hayden, a renowned cook and food writer, the return of award-winning author Felicity Cloake, and cult restaurant Persepolis’s owner, Sally Butcher.
Also added, new for 2019 are some real food heroes including Rising Star Of Food 2019 Rachel Ama, cookbook author Charlotte Pike, Norwich legend Richard Bainbridge, TED X Speaker Kittie Kipper, and more – who will be talking and demonstrating in a beautifully designed kitchen from Anglia Factors.
Drinks? There’s pretty much everything on offer, from coffee bars to flamboyant cocktails and wine bars, to a G & T tent and a Pimm’s tent – and course plenty of beer of all kinds. As mentioned, you can’t bring your own alcohol into the festival, so be prepared to pay festival prices -and you will need to pay a deposit on the plastic glasses.
The Latitude App:
There’s a lot going on at Latitude – but, there’s a great Latitude App, which I highly recommend. It lets you plan ahead and try and see as many of the things that you want to.
Download the Latitude Festival App before you go and you’ll find life a lot easier – but do remember wi-fi at the festival can be patchy!
I have used the app religiously in the past…but it’s also rather lovely to just wander around and stumble upon something new and completely different.
Last Thoughts and what to see:
We’ve already written a preview of some of the great acts coming to Latitude 2019 but the lovely organisers keep adding more!
Music- I plan to see some of the fantastic headline acts which are on at the Obelisk Arena this year, which include George Ezra, Snow Patrol, Lana Del Rey and Neneh Cherry. My son (who is far more in the know than I am) has recommended Khruangbin, which he describes as a ‘psychedelic rock band’ plus I would definitely like to catch Primal Scream at the BBC Sounds Stage.
Theatre – I have the brilliant Frantic Assembly’s production of Sometimes Thinking at the top of my list along with the National Theatre Live screening of the extraordinary show War Horse and I’m looking forward to seeing a wonderful company called The Pappy Show with their show Girls, whose recent show Boys I saw in London.
Comedy – Lots of laughs with big names including Frank Skinner, Jason Manford, Michelle Wolf, Katherine Ryan and Russel Kane.
So, all you festival lovers – I hope to see you there at Latitude! With plenty to see, do, eat and drink…..It’s sure to be another wonderful weekend in Henham Park…
Let’s hope the sun shines!