• 7 Niche Festivals You Should Know About in 2015

    Does rampantly commercialised Glastonbury get your hackles up? Do the legions of teens at Reading make you want to hide and cry? Can you think of nothing worse than 2 nights in a tent at V Festival? As the UK's festival scene gets bigger and bigger, it's only natural that the events at the top are going to become, well, more than a little terrible.

    Fortunately, festival-lovers less keen on the mainstream festival scene are increasingly well catered for by a smorgasbord of independent, small and niche festivals springing up in every corner of our green and pleasant land. If you're looking for a laid-back musical weekend this summer, these 7 smaller festivals could be right up your alley...


    1. Festival Number 6, 3rd-6th September, Portmeirion, Wales

    We're willing to bet you've never been anywhere like Portmeirion before. Unless, of course, you've actually been to Portmeirion. This Welsh seaside town has been build in a stunning Mediterranean style and is surrounded by sea, mountains and forests. With headliners including Belle and Sebastian, Grace Jones and DJ Harvey, this is a deliciously escapist festival


    2. Green Man, 20th-23rd August, Hay-on-Wye, Wales

    Another Welsh festival, this time high in Brecon Beacons surrounded by the mountains around Hay-on-Wye. Better known for hosting the more sedate and literary festival, come August Hay-on-Wye gets more musical and free-spirited with big names including St Vincent, Hot Chip and Goat playing to a chilled-out, nature-loving crowd.


    3. Latitude Festival, 16th-19th June, Henham Park, Suffolk

    If you do happen to have literary leanings, Latitude is the festival for you. Home to poetry, performance and plenty of art, this relaxed gem of a festival is headlined by Alt-J, Caribou, Portishead and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.


    4. Blissfields, 3rd-4th July, Vicarage Farm, Hampshire

    The Horrors, John Grant and Simian Mobile Disco are among the acts leaving Blissfield's crowds feeling well and truly blissed out this year. With capacity for just 4000, this festival feels wonderfully intimate, a recipe for a more relaxed, easy-going atmosphere.


    5. 2000 Trees, 9th-11th July, Cheltenham, Gloucester

    For alt-rock lovers and anyone looking for something a little bit different, locally run 2000 Trees is the festival for you. With headliners including Deaf Havana, Idlewild, Kerbdog, Pulled Apart By Horses and Turbowolf, this is a very affordable festival with some serious spirit.


    6. Somersault Festival, 23rd-27th July, Castle Hill, North Devon

    Lovely, lovely Dorset coastline, complemented by lovely, lovely musicians make this a ridiculously lovely festival to escape to this summer. Laura Marling, Bombay Bicycle Club, Rae Morris and Crystal Fighters all appear on a bill that looks like it has been compiled to make you feel 5000% better about the universe in just a few days.


    7. Secret Garden Party, 23rd-26th July, Abbots Ripton, Cambridgeshire

    An imaginative childhood theme will make this year's Secret Garden Party one of the most surreal, magical and hedonistic yet. Set in rolling green fields around an otherworldly blue lake, with music from Palma Violets Jungle, Public Service Broadcasting and Menace Beach, this is set to be a downright beautiful festival.

    Which festivals are locked and loaded in your 2015 calendar? Share your personal picks with other readers on the Base Facebook page. Hunting for the ideal footwear for your festival escape? Look no further.

  • A Whole Lido Fun

    Friday is set to be a scorcher in London, with temperatures apparently hitting a glorious 31°C. SO, in the fleeting moment of British Summer Time, let's get outside and make the most of it.

    Lidos (outdoor swimming pools) aren't just for families and kids, although like me, I'm sure loads of you frolicked about in lidos when you were a kid and now they're something of a distant memory. But fear not, a lido is for all ages, all shapes and sizes! So get your kit off and take a dip in one of the top ten lidos we've picked out, all across the UK!

    1/ Wycombe Rye Lido


    Wycombe Rye Lido - heated most of the year Wycombe Rye Lido - heated most of the year

    2/ The Bristol Lido - a pretty snazzy looking place, accompanied an even snazzier poolside bar and restaurant


    3/ Brockwell Lido - The Olympic size 50 metre pool is surrounded by a superb Grade II listed art deco building housing a state-of-the-art gym and studios


    4/ Tinside Lido Plymouth - An absolutely stunning semi-circular lido, set in 1935 art-deco architecture upon the waterfront, which was voted one of the top 10 outdoors pools in Europe. Breath taking views makes this one you wouldn't mind travelling to

    Fresh salt water is pumped continuously, so you have fresh water every 4 hours Fresh salt water is pumped in continuously, so you have fresh water every 4 hours


    5/ Pells Pool East Sussex - the oldest outdoor pool in Britain and always looking to improve itself. It's huge as well which means you won't be brushing past any old guys in their budgy smugglers...

    6/ Parliament Hill Fields - The super trendy one and the one I used to go to as a kid. So I love it! Even if it is a little hipster...



    7/ Jubilee Pool Penzance - If you're looking for regal. This is it. Stunning art deco, literally built on the sea with views of the promenade and a cafe which serves lunch and dinner.

    Grandeur at it's finest Grandeur at it's finest

    8/ Ilkley Pool and Lido - freshwater with a large grass area for picnics and sunbathing

    9/ Woburn Lido - heated, olympic sized and right next to the wildlife park, an easy day out



    10/ Sandford Parks Lido Cheltenham





    If you're planning a day out this summer and you’re looking for a change from the seaside, why not check out your nearest outdoor pool? Visit for a list of more than 100 sites throughout the UK.

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