Happy campers gather for Leeds festival of Beetlemania

A woman sunbathes during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

A woman sunbathes during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

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It’s the ultimate celebration of all things Volkswagen...and this lot have certainly got the bug for it!

Thousands of families flocked to the 11th annual VW Festival at Harewood House at the weekend.

Dogs Alfie, Martha and Donald from the Tailwagger Display team pose next to a VW Camper van during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Dogs Alfie, Martha and Donald from the Tailwagger Display team pose next to a VW Camper van during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

The grounds of the stately home were transformed into a sea of automotive artistry and unabashed Beetlemania as owners and enthusiasts united in the sunshine.

The cars were undoubtedly the stars, but the event – which this year had a 1980s theme – also featured a feast of live music, entertainment, food and displays. The weekend ended yesterday with the traditional Show and Shine parade, which featured 250 of the best vehicles which were pre-selected for display.

VW fans from far and wide rolled onto the estate to showcase their pride and joy.

Among them was Leonard Hutchison, who travelled to Leeds all the way from Northern Ireland with the two most important ladies in his life – his blue VW Beetle and his wife Heather.

Enthusiasts look at a 1981 VW Golf Mark One during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Enthusiasts look at a 1981 VW Golf Mark One during the VW Festival at Harewood House. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe

Leonard, 57, said: “I have been a VW fan for 30 years. I love everything about them; the manufacturing, the durability –and the scene that we have here.

“It’s the first time we’ve been and it’s very, very good.

“I’ve owned about 11 VWs in my life and I went from a Beetle to a Golf and back to a Beetle again.”

He joked: “Heather and I have been married for 20 years, so my relationship with VWs is longer than with my wife!”

Emily Murgatroyd, age six, sits inside her cart during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

Emily Murgatroyd, age six, sits inside her cart during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

Also enjoying the fun in the sun was Charlotte Caton, from Morley, who popped along with partner Chris and son Jack, two, for the family’s second visit to the event.

“We are not VW experts but last time we came we went away and bought a camper van that night!” Charlotte said.

“It’s a really nice, fun 
atmosphere and there’s lots going on.”

Andy Gray from Grimsby sits inside his 21 window Samba Van which can be hired out for weddings, during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

Andy Gray from Grimsby sits inside his 21 window Samba Van which can be hired out for weddings, during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

A skeleton sits in the passenger seat during the VW Festival at Harewood House

A skeleton sits in the passenger seat during the VW Festival at Harewood House

Many cars on display on the front lawn during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

Many cars on display on the front lawn during the VW Festival at Harewood House.

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