Is Goodwood Festival of Speed Family Friendly?
The Festival of Speed event takes place each year at Goodwood and celebrates machines from the ground breaking, classic, quirky, dangerous, noisy and fast. It sounded like the perfect place to take three generations of my male biased family so off I went, armed with ear defenders for the kids, with my dad (in his early 60’s), husband (early 40’s) and two sons (6 and 3)
Five Reasons Festival Of Speed Is A Great Family Day Out
• There is never a dull moment
We had already checked out the programme on the website before we went, which was full of things to see and do. We knew we wanted to definitely get there in time for the Red Arrows Display at 11am. Thanks to the great staff at the event who were telling everybody at the entrance the best places to stand for a view of the Red Arrows and for the F1 cars driving past we had a great view. And, the Red Arrows were amazing. As Seth, my 3 year old, said ‘the planes are dancing’
I thought it would be hard to top the Red Arrows but I have to admit every hour there was something new for the kids to marvel at or the adults to be impressed by. Other highlights were us all having a go at clambering on and off Honda motorbikes, the absolutely breath-taking motorbike display team who in some parts I had to watch with my hands covering my eyes, the Typhoon air display, sitting in ridiculously expensive cars the list goes on…….
• The Food and The Facilities
When you are on a day out with kids you can’t really skip meals, or you can’t with my two, and we were all spoilt for choice at Goodwood with loads of different food options which were actually decent. And, surprisingly, the queues were never that big. I’ve been to places where you can easily spend a good 30 minutes in a food queue but there was so much choice at Goodwood that the queues were never that long.
During our day we sampled burgers, fish and chips, pork wraps, flapjacks, cups of tea, beers and apple juice. All standard day out fare in our house.
And, even the loos were ok. Admittedly there are probably less women at the Festival of Speed so the ladies toilets take less of a battering but for facilities in a field they were pretty good and I wasn’t dreading taking the kids in there.
• The Site Is Huge
Although there is a lot of ground to cover in a day, I definitely recommend taking a pram or carrier for little legs, nowhere ever feels that crowded as the programme is so full. The only time we queued was to go in the invention part and even then it was only 10 minutes and it was quite nice to stop walking for a bit and be indoors.
• Feel The Noise
If like me, you have never been to a Grand Prix, it’s amazing to hear what an F1 car actually sounds like in the flesh. I am not exaggerating when I said it gave me goosebumps and I actually wanted to cry, odd I know. You literally felt the noise in your body as the cars zoomed by. And the whole day was accompanied by a soundtrack of engine noise in the distance. You were never quite sure what would be around the corner in terms of fast machines.
The kids both had ear defenders and they were real lifesavers as it would have been too loud for them otherwise. At first Seth was a bit scared but I think that’s also just being in crowds and not quite understanding what is going on – the noise of the F1 cars and Typhoon were ones that bothered him most. But for the Typhoon he just buried his head in my shoulder with the ear defenders on. And in fairness the noise from it was immense.
Ethan is 6 and happily wore the ear defenders but wasn’t scared and loved sitting on his dad’s shoulders watching what was going on
• It Keeps Everyone Happy
Often on days out the experience only really suits one age group whereas at the Festival of Speed I can honestly say that all three generations were thoroughly entertained. It’s a cliché but there was something for everyone. It’s definitely worth a day out and I’ve already signed up for the 2018 ticket alert email.
NB: Denise received tickets to Goodwood Festival of Speed in exchange for this review, but all views and opinions are her own.
Denise is a mum to two boys, currently aged 6 and 3. She has worked in marketing for many leisure destinations including Merlin Entertainments, ODEON cinemas and the British Museum so knows a thing or two about days out. She is a lapsed family travel blogger at aroundtheworldwithahighchair.com but enjoys keeping her hand in writing for Mini Travellers when she can.