Kite-flying in Southsea

By | Category: Travel destinations

On Southsea Common, overlooking the Solent and the Isle of Wight will be the 22nd Portsmouth International Kite Festival over the bank holiday weekend. As one of the largest kite-flying shows in the world, the festival attracts over 100 flyers from as far as Singapore, India, New Zealand and America as well as Europe and, of course, the UK.

This year the festival is spotlighting flying sculptures in the form of cellular kites which was a form developed in the late nineteenth century and, some believe, formed the basis for early aeroplane designs. There are a number of specialist cellular kite makers who have journed to Southsea to show visitors a modern take on the traditional box kite. There is also the return of the Cerf Volant Folie (Kite Team Follie) from France with their expanded team flying routine. This is a 12 person Sports Kite team of which two sub ‐ teams exist flying dual
line kites choreographed to music. This is sophisticated compared to the days when I just ran over the dunes trailing a kite that I hoped would get higher than my sister’s!

The attraction of kite-flying to holidaymakers and visitors is that you just need look in the air and there they are. Consequently festivals like this are free and won’t make a hole in budgets which are usually depeleted at the end of the summer holidays.

And if the kite flyers don’t keep your attention all weekend, pop over to nearby Castle Field for the ‘Live at the Bandstand’ finale weekend. This is also free and includes a 1940s afternoon tea dance on the Saturday afternoon followed by an evening of classical music by the Bossard Quartet and Victory Brass Band from 6-9pm.

All-in-all a pleasant, inexpensive way to end the August bank holiday before those bills for new school clothes and bits-and-bobs come in!

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