Back in January when Hubby and I were planning annual leave dates from work, we had both decided that this year would be our first time at Camp Bestival. We both booked the time off work and then ended up not booking the tickets as we had booked a weekend in Bath for Easter and were also saving for another Walt Disney World holiday.
I put Camp Bestival to the back of my mind and then as the time got closer, I regretted not putting the money aside for tickets. In a wonderful turn of events, we ended up having our first time at Camp Bestival this year thanks to a wonderful blogger friend of mine, Zoe from Mymummysworld.
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We made the decision not to camp this year as we had left it a little late to get a dog sitter, and we would need to replace the tent. Thankfully we live locally, and decided we could drive in each day and still make the most of the festival.
We would just sleep in our own bed and use our own shower. This pleased me as I am definitely a reluctant camper, but would have camped if we had been more organised to experience everything about Camp Bestival. Alternatively there are hotels near Camp Bestival if you would prefer not to camp.
Camp Bestival On Friday
We arrived for the first day of Camp Bestival on Friday morning. Driving through Lulworth, we thought it was really well laid out and sign posted. It’s really true what they say about using Sat Nav’s. Turn them off when you see the signs for Camp Bestival.
As we parked up, we navigated our way through the car park to the entrance. I had read that it was around a ten minute walk from the yellow gate car park to the main arenas. This is probably about right, but there is so much to look at that we didn’t notice the walk.
I did notice how hilly the yellow camp site is, and took note for a future year to arrive early to secure a better pitch.
First things first we bought a programme which gave us all the schedules for the different areas. We sat and read through it whilst eating our picnic lunch under the shade of a tree. It was hot today and I was glad we had brought plenty of water with us.
You may also like to read – Camp Bestival with older children
On first impression there looked to be so much going on, we had no idea how we would fit it all in. Each of us picked the acts and activities that we really wanted to see and do, and we made a loose schedule around that.
It took us a couple of hours to wander around getting our bearings, and then we set up camp in front of the castle stage to relax in the sunshine and listen to the bands for a couple of hours. It was nice to enjoy a drink from the bar and enjoy the peace.
Even though there were lots of people around we didn’t feel as though we were cramped and there was plenty of space between groups of people.
The afternoon went really quickly and we did some more exploring before deciding what food we wanted in the upper kids garden. Abby was loving the circus skills and would have stayed all evening if I had let her I think.
After a dinner from the amazing food stalls, which was a great idea as we all wanted something different, but it was easy to cater for us all, we made our way to the Big Top for HRVY who was due to perform, I have never seen Abby run so fast into the crowd, thankfully she would have to come back past me on her way out of the Big Top so I wouldn’t lose her for long.
One happy child, and parents in need of a rest, we made our way back to the car. I’m not sure where the day went to but we had walked over 12,000 steps and I thought we had been sitting down for quite some time.
Camp Bestival On Saturday
Overnight there had been rain and winds, I was glad we had slept in our own bed I have to admit. Social media was telling me that it was windy over at Lulworth Castle, and that some of the tents hadn’t fared so well in the weather the previous night.
We have had a heatwave in the UK for at least six weeks and it decides to rain in the middle of Camp Bestival! We wouldn’t let the weather deter us. On todays agenda was watching Max and Harvey and then Jesus Jones.
As we arrived at Camp Bestival, we saw the difference in the weather from yesterday. It was so windy, and there were obvious gaps in the yellow camp site already as we walked through. We were armed with an umbrella and hoodies this time incase it did rain.
Rain it did! We had been enjoying more circus skills and exploring a bit more of the site when the heaven decided to open. I didn’t want to lose my umbrella in the winds so we took shelter under one of the many trees on site. It soon passed and we realised this would be the pattern for the day. The clouds would pass over quickly, we would get some lovely sunshine and then the grey clouds would appear again.
We did have to take some shelter in the Big Top, along with loads of other people but we just found a patch of grass and sat down waiting for Max and Harvey. Despite all the people I really felt the friendly atmosphere. Not once during the weekend did I get any sense of animosity from anyone, there was no pushing or shoving, it was lovely.
We decided to brave setting up in front of the castle stage, and actually despite having to weigh the chairs down if we weren’t sitting in them, it worked OK. The picnic blanket acted as an extra layer of warmth, as we really hadn’t dressed quite right for the changeable weather. It wasn’t so easy for us to be able to pop back to the tent as we didn’t have one. The car was also quite a way away.
There were definitely more people around on the Saturday, but we still had plenty of space to walk around in and take part in the activities.
Hubby reminisced with Sterophonics and Jesus Jones, whilst Abby and I wandered around, riding the fairground rides and doing yet more circus skills which seemed to be a favourite of hers. She was determined to be able to hula hoop and spin a plate at the same time. That didn’t quite work!
The weather was getting quite cold and after Jesus Jones we made the decision to go back to the car. It seemed to be the right choice as no sooner had we got back in the car it started to rain. Reading social media, the weather didn’t get a lot better through the night.
Camp Bestival On Sunday
We woke up at home to it pouring with rain and the wind howling. It was such a change in the weather and I was very grateful to be waking up in a cosy house rather than a tent.
I was keeping up with the news from Camp Bestival through the morning as there were tales of ruined tents, toilets overturned and more. By lunch time, it was deemed that the grounds wouldn’t open on Sunday as it wasn’t safe to do so.
It was a sad decision and one I’m sure wasn’t reached light. However it seemed to be the right decision, and despite not camping or going back for the third day, our first time at Camp Bestival was amazing and I can’t wait to go again next time. If you’re thinking of visiting one year and don’t want to stay for the whole weekend, you can purchase Camp Bestival day tickets.
If you’re looking for a festival trolley then check out this post from Yorkshire Tots
You may also like to read this post from Pink Oddy and what she thinks of Camp Bestival as a family festival.
Before you set off from home from Camp Bestival, weather permitting, a stop at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door is a lovely place for a walk and picnic.