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.

groovy caps

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.

meeting Ringo the Vulture

  • The boys all loved The Wall of Death – an amazing fast paced high adrenelin motorcycle act. Here they are with one of the riders.

wheel of death

  • Medieval Jousting by The Knights of Middle England – we watched this FOUR times over the weekend!


  • Tree climbing with the National Trust 50 Things

tree climbing

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.

blind fold nature walk

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!).

glass collecting

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!

yummy corn on the cob

Wacky caravans

wacky caravans

Compost Loos – yes this really was a highlight for Noah (and I have to admit they did seem cleaner than the chemical version)!
compost loos


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!

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29 Responses to Camp Bestival and us @campbestival

  1. […] our perfect day at Camp Bestival look? This year will be our 3rd Camp Bestival. We first went in 2014 and here is our post, we missed a year and then went in 2016 and last year […]

  2. […] the end of July we had an amazing weekend at Camp Bestival, the family festival, which is now in its seventh year and takes place at Lulworth Castle in […]

  3. […] Silent Sunday 2/8/14 Camp Bestival and us @campbestival […]

  4. […] cheese farm in the Cotswolds. We just can’t get enough festivals this Summer! After the wonderful time we had at Camp Bestival and armed with our “festival lessons learnt” we had high hopes for a great […]

  5. I keep reading great things about these children friendly festivals – sounds like lots of fun!

  6. Shell Louise says:

    It looks great fun and certainly worth considering for a different kind of family holiday for us. Not sure if the husband would go for it though!

  7. Globalmouse says:

    We were at Camp Bestival and loved it too! So much to do and such a brilliant weekend – roll on next year!!

  8. The festival sounds amazing and the pictures are just fabulous! My son is about the same age as your oldest and I’m certain he would love to have experience like this. Wish we would live a bit closer.

  9. Kara says:

    Isaac is still furious at me for not going back to do the tree climbing!! We had an amazing time though and sounds like you did too…….

  10. Angela Spicer says:

    We’ve never done a festival, but we should do this one as it’s so close to us.

  11. Kizzy says:

    We’d have loved to go to, may be next year. It looks amazing

  12. Louisa says:

    All the wonderful posts I read about Bestival have encouraged me to look into going next year. Your photos are amazing. There is so much to do that I would never have imagined.

  13. Some gorgeous photos – so pleased you had such a great time! I wish I had known about these festivals when my children were smaller.

  14. Sonya Cisco says:

    We went too and had an incredible time, cant wait to go back next year!

  15. julie says:

    I’ve seen so many posts about campbestival and each and everyone of them make me jealous that I wasn’t there as it looks like so much fun! x

  16. So wanted to go to this just looks amazing .x

  17. Astrid says:

    I’m glad the entire family had fun. I think the wine tasting experience sounds great and meeting other bloggy Moms is wonderful.

  18. It looks like you had a fantastic time. We would love to visit but the travel puts us off. Your boys are growing so much

  19. I love the fact that they want to live at the festival! Looks like you had an amazing time. We are going next year x

  20. Granny says:

    What fun you must have he! Xxx

  21. We saw this being set up last year when we went to the Isle Of Wight. I’m not surprised your boys wanted to live there!

  22. 76sunflowers says:

    Love the caravan interior! We missed that beauty! I promised my girl a corn on the cob but they sold out. You did loads of stuff that we missed. Glad you enjoyed it x

    • Louise says:

      Oh the corn was so popular! I didn’t try it either. We had a brilliant time but feel we only scratched the surface – see you next year!? X

  23. Susan Mann says:

    THis looks amazing. And the boys looks like they had a ball. Robert still says no to camping. x

    • Louise says:

      It was awesome Susan – you could always give glamping a go or even hotel and day tickets. It was great fun xx

  24. Ang says:

    Looks amazing! You did so many things! Xx

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