The VW Festival on the 12th to the 14th August is a major event that attracts thousands of petrol-heads to the grounds of the grand, stately home, Harewood House, near Leeds. The Great Destinations Radio Show spoke with one of the organisers, Paul Woodford.

Paul told us there’ll be around two hundred special display Volkswagen cars including a collection of Harlequins. Those are multi-coloured VW’s. I’ve never seen one on the road, so it’ll be interesting to see how many turn out. Expect at least thirty cars entered by proud owners in the ‘Show and Shine’ event. Owners who think that their VWs are really special can enter them in this contest in the hope of winning prizes. It’ll be a tough job judging that!

One of the most unusual sideshows will be seeing how graffiti artists have decorated a number of cars. Paul says he “rolled his eyes” when this was first suggested three years ago. He had expected to see beaten up old wrecks offered for a paint job and couldn’t believe that somebody put up a 1980s Porsche 911 for artwork on the bonnet.

Paul has done some research on the subject. He says that street art is massive over in Miami where bikers have their motorcycle tanks painted by their chosen artist. “It’s almost a sign of status, whereas over here it’s about getting a one-off piece of art. If you modify your car, you fully understand. It makes it personal to you and something you can be proud of. You can point at the vehicle and tell somebody the story.”

There’ll be an additional 600 vehicles from car clubs all over the UK. And just in case not everyone within your group is smitten by VW’s, there’s additional family entertainment including a simulated Formula One drive challenge and Scalextric tracks. Organisers have gone for a circus theme and activities include face painting and trapezes. Paul is also expecting a 1km long shopfront of stalls and traders. The event is free for kids if you book ahead at

Paul says last year’s 20,000-strong turnout was “staggering” and he was impressed that most people stayed in the field, even when it started raining! How British!

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