Back in the dim and distance past (before babies) we had been to music festivals, which I would not really have thought were appropriate places to take children. Rest assured, Camp Bestival is definitely not in this ilk and the focus of the entertainment (and the fellow festival goers) is definitely on family fun for all. I imagine ten or even twenty years ago lots of the parents at Camp Bestival were the rockers and ravers at Reading, Leeds etc Festivals.
Anyway, we have been to one other family festival (Harvest at Jimmy’s which technically is more of a foodie festival) before but this was relatively tame compared to what was in store for us (in a good way!) at this year’s circus themed Camp Bestival.
We arrived mid afternoon on Thursday. As it is a long trek from home to Dorset we had decided to make a longer holiday of it and first had four nights camping on the Isle of Wight so that morning we had put down our tent and caught a ferry to Lymington. It was a fantastic little adventure we were having!
I had been advised to head to “the dip” which essentially is a little valley between the main car park entrance and the festival. This is a good location to be in as it means you don’t have too far to walk every day to all the action. It is still a struggle with all the kit a family needs but we managed it in a couple of trips. Going home however I vowed we would be using Festaxi’s who provided an excellent service carting everything from campsite to car for.
Here are just a few of our Festival Highlights….
- The boys performing on the bandstand in “Folk Idol”(it was essential they wore the beards).
- I had a lovely hour off to drink wine and natter to other blogging pals, such as Penny who has written a great post here on our Knackered Mother’s Wine Tasting Experience.
- Ethan held Ringo the Vulture which he was thrilled about especially as Vultures are now a very endangered species in the wild.
- The boys all loved The Wall of Death – an amazing fast paced high adrenelin motorcycle act. Here they are with one of the riders.
- Medieval Jousting by The Knights of Middle England – we watched this FOUR times over the weekend!
- Tree climbing with the National Trust 50 Things
Blindfold nature walk with Project Wild Thing. This was good fun and is such a simple idea. It can take as little or as long as you like and is great for confidence building, trust gathering and nature exploring.
Glass collecting.. yes I did let my children gather empties in return for the 10p deposis. They had great fun and we watched from a safe distance (the top of the red bus!).
Delicious food – too many pictures of this to count but love this one of Noah tucking into the legendary corn on the cob. We loved the Farmers Market and the Feast Collective tent best for the fabulous fresh, innovative and most importantly delicious food!
At the end the boys were declaring they want to “live at a festival”. They had so many amazing and unique experiences that could not be matched by any other kind of holiday. They love camping but to add to this the festival experience at such a young age, brings to life the diverse and wonderful world we live in.
However, I still thought it worth explaining to my children that “whatever happens at a festival, stays at a festival” as we embarked on our first visit to Camp Bestival, in its 7th year taking place at Lulworth Castle in Dorset, just in case. This backfired on me when I asked them to draw their holiday memories and their wise guy response.. “But mummy you said…”
Have you tried a festival with children this Summer? Would love to hear all about it!