As featured by Child Friendly Escapes (September 2021)
Elaine Harris shares what inspired her to start up her company offering festivals for single parents.
As a single Mum who loves travelling I have found myself sat on my own on holiday and at festivals where others are in couples, families and groups. When the children are off playing I have sometimes had to make a big effort to approach others. With my outgoing nature I have always enjoyed myself but after talking to other single parents many have an understandable worry of being alone on holiday. I’ve often wondered how amazing it would be to be able to go away with the kids to a place where everyone was in the same situation and this is why Single Parent Festivals Ltd was born.
Next summer (2022) our first pop up festival is taking place on a beautiful 9 acre site on the East coast of Scotland in Angus near Dundee. Douglaswood is a magical campsite nestled in the woods with room for approx 250 tents. The holiday takes place over 7 days and 6 nights with a relaxed festival vibe.
Our ethos is to try and make the holiday as affordable for as many as possible. We include all the activities in our price. That way you know the price upfront without lots of extra costs when you arrive. There will be so much going on to keep you occupied, if you don’t want to leave the campsite for the week then you won’t have to. There will be activities going on to suit all ages for kids, teens and adults. This is alongside lots of music from acoustic sessions to bands which will be housed in our entertainment marquees. No campfires are allowed but we will have a HUGE firepit that will have marshmallow roasting stations.
We are really happy to announce that we are the only festival with a dedicated area for single parents with kids with additional needs such as ADHD and autism. This area of the campsite is slightly quieter and you will be camping around other parents who understand. We are offering this area the chance to arrive the night before for no extra charge to get settled before it gets busier the following day. If you would like to talk through specific details or have any special requests please get in touch.
We will have reasonably priced food and snacks available from our sit in or take out café day and night. If you have any dietary requirements we will try and accommodate you, if you let us know. We want to take the hassle out of cooking so you don’t have to bring all your kitchen gear and make the week as stress free as possible. A menu will be sent out before the festival with prices. We do not have an alcohol license but you are welcome to bring your own alcohol (over 18’s only) and we ask you to respect others by drinking responsibly.
Car parking is at the entrance of the site. We felt it was safer for children not to have lots of cars on the camping ground. However our friendly staff will be ready to help you from the car park with your bags and also to help pitch your tent if needed.
Our website www.singleparentfestivals.com went live 3 months ago and without any advertising campaigns we can’t believe the response with over 5000 hits to our website in the first couple of months alone! We have had people get in touch from as far afield as South Africa, America and even Australia.
Initially we were not going to have tents and kit for hire however with the amount of people travelling from all over the UK and abroad we are now sourcing a small amount of tents for hire. Once we have more details we will update the website and post on our facebook page. If it’s your first time camping we can send out a list of what we recommend you to bring and also what kit we will have for sale in our camping shop onsite. We are asking people not to bring massive tents, as you can imagine if everyone brought huge tents we would struggle to fit everyone in. The campsite is one large campsite and it will have 10 camping areas each with their own socialising gazebos. This will make it easier to chat to others while being close to your tent.
For those not driving we have a taxi deal with a local company. A taxi from Dundee airport is £23 one way and from Dundee train or bus station it’s £20 one way.
We want to give people the opportunity to get to know each other before you arrive. So you will have the chance to join a What’s App group and an online event to get to know the people you will be camping with prior to the festival. This is completely optional. We want to become a community that brings people together, a place you can make life long friends and come back year on year.
So please join us for a week of music, laughter, friendship and fun.
An unforgettable experience at an affordable price.
Full details can be found on our website and payment plan options are on the tab 'Book Now'.
Looking forward to meeting you all
Elaine Harris (40) is a single Mum who lives on the East coast of Scotland in the countryside with her two daughters (Faith 4 and Nina 8), her dog Beano and 3 ducks James Pond, Quackerjack and Puddles.
She is an entrepreneur who is also involved in charity work. Part of her heart lies in the Cape Verde islands off the West coast of Africa where she runs a pop up dental and optical clinic in the winter that offers free treatment for the local children. To aid her charity she has taken on many crazy challenges in the past which have included running a marathon, cycling solo from John O Groats to Lands End and navigating her way from Scotland to Australia through 14 countries in 10 days with no money. All to raise funds to help as many children as possible.
The rest of her heart belongs to Scotland and her love of the outdoors and camping. So far this year her kids and her have camped out for over 70 nights. With expertise in many areas including logistics, she loves bringing people together and has a huge zest for adventure and life.