Friday 14 August 2015

Dunstable Downs Kite Festival

I have been meaning to go to the Dunstable Downs Kite Festival for the last few years, but it either fell during Ramadan or we missed it for some other reason.  This year I noted the date and it was on a weekend we were free so we headed down.

Dunstable Downs is designated a site of Special Scientific Interest because of its chalk grasslands and sits within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Which means it has plenty of wide open space to fly kites.  The festival itself  was near the visitor centre, so it was not a lengthy walk from the car park for my mum-in-law and the babes, although it was a little bumpy for the pram, but not enough to be a problem.

Hubby bought a kite he had stashed behind our front room sofa and I bought the picnic. One there, there were lots of stall selling handicrafts and some fair ground rides for small children.  I and Little Lady went straight for the craft stalls and hubby and the boys went off to check a stall with boomerangs.

One we got that out of our system, we decided it was a good time to try our kite out.  It took a little while to put together the kite, but having grown in Pakistan, where every boy flies kites and in Lahore where they have a massive city-wide kite festival, hubby knew what he was doing.  The boys were soon enlisted to hold up the kite to help launch it.

The weather could not have been better, it was very windy.  It took a lot of attempts and the kite crashing down to earth a great number of times for the kite to stay up.  It turned out to be a professional one that you need to get the feel for and it scared the living daylights out of us and other people around us every time it came zooming down.

Whilst my husband persisted with his scary kite, we found something smaller for Darling to play with.

As always Little Man was on hand to take care of Darling when she started to tire.  I often see him with her and wish I had a big brother like him mash'Allah.

There were some fabulous kites in the air and we really enjoyed looking at all the different ones:

Lunch was the usual kebab wraps, chicken sandwiches, aloo chaat and salad.  I always find that you can bring what you like on these trips, by lunch time everyone is utterly ravenous and it all gets polished off.  Our older four all get car sick, so we tend to give them a very light breakfast if we are going to be out for the day.  They then get a filling lunch and spend the afternoon running around to work it off.  That means on the way home they are so tired they will sleep the entire car journey.

After lunch the kids ran around on the periphery of the fair and kite displays, enjoying the open space.  It really was rather lovely.

We spent the afternoon trying to spot different kites and watching hubby alternate between getting his kite in the air, knocking other people's kites out of the air and scaring people with his diving kite.   

The festival was so much fun mainly because it felt so family friendly and there were families with young children everywhere.  There was lots of space for the children to run around and it felt safe and friendly  - notwithstanding hubby's kamikaze kite.  It was also a nice free option for a day out for people on a tight budget.

I would definitely consider going again next year.

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