125 weeks and 5 days | Camp Bestival 2015 Review

So there we are. All the excitement and planning and packing and anticipation has been and gone and my head is full to bursting with memories made at Camp Bestival 2015.

It’s the second festival we’ve taken our littles to — the first was Shambala last year — and I *think* we can safely say that the apples haven’t fallen very far from the tree, in this instance ;)

They LOVED it.

As did we :)

Camp Bestival 2015

Scenes from Camp Bestival 2015

It was the first time my boy and I have been to Camp Bestival. We’ve been to it’s (much) bigger sister ‘Bestival‘ — on the Isle Of Wight — but to be honest I didn’t really draw many parallels, apart from the fact that I had a ball at each.  Although there were people there with no kids, Camp Bestival is definitely the festival to go to if you have children.

It’s set on such a beautiful site — nestled in the grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset — and there are so many different areas to explore.

It was clean — very little litter — and the loos were some of the very best I’ve ever come across at a festival. Even on the Sunday each toilet I visited had loo roll and antibac gel — that is unheard of at a festival! Very impressed.

Camp Bestival 2015

Camp Bestival 2015 — Lulworth Castle , Dorset

I’ve spoken to a few people, who’d been before, who voiced their disappointment that this year the festival seems to have outgrown it’s home. Speaking as someone who’s never been before, I didn’t feel that at all.

Granted, the amount of festival wagons was a little overwhelming at times — trying to navigate through a large crowd when you’re pulling two toddlers in a ridiculously unresponsive vehicle, past countless other vehicles of a similar size, was hard work — but until you have kids who are able to keep themselves upright, until bedtime, pushchairs or trolleys are a necessary  evil.

As my last festival experience was Glastonbury, back in June, I thought that Camp Bestival was a lovely size. Not too big — or crowded — and not so small that you felt that you’d seen everything after one circuit of the site.

Quite the contrary in fact! I think we saw probably 10% of what was on offer. If that. There was SO much to see and do, I wish we’d be able to go down on the Thursday and have another day there.

I felt that there was room to breathe; OK the area around the main stage was hectic and difficult to pass through, particularly when the bands were on, but in all of the other areas you definitely maintained your personal space. We sat on the grass on Sunday and had a picnic, with a 10ft radius around us. I’ve been to other festivals where other revellers would have been walking over the picnic rug and trampling over our legs!

Camp Bestival 2015

Scenes from Camp Bestival 2015

Depending on the age group of your child, one family’s experience would be quite different to another’s.

I guess, as your child grows, Mr Tumble would be replaced by an animal demonstration with Steve Backshall, soft play would be ditched in favour of learning circus skills. Whatever age — and that goes for adults too — I’m pretty sure Camp Bestival would have something on offer to tickle your fancy.

Camp Bestival 2015

Scenes from Camp Bestival 2015

My only negative (and it’s a very minor one) was that the lanyards — which contained maps and line-ups — had run out fairly early on. Happily, some kind soul in the Press  Office found one for me but if I hadn’t been there as an official blogger, we would have been stuck.

A map and line-up is vital bit of kit to ensure you don’t miss anything at a festival and adding a few quid onto the ticket price and giving everyone a lanyard with their wrist-bands, as standard, would the best solution to prevent this from happening.

Lanyards aside, we had SUCH an awesome weekend. We were treated to beautiful weather and whilst that was certainly a contributory factor, to our glowing report, there’s simply not enough room in one post, to wax lyrical about everything I loved about Camp Bestival 2015.

It was the perfect mix of hanging out with old friends, meeting new friends, eating good food — courtesy of The Feast Collective — and being entertained on every level.

It was a treat for all the senses.

I’m going to write a few posts in the coming weeks about the three things I loved the best but, for now, here’s a little round-up of our adventures.

As I was lucky enough to be one of the official Camp Bestival bloggers this year, my family and I were given free tickets in return for our coverage and honest opinions of the festival. As ever, all thoughts, words and pictures are my own.

Early Bird Tickets for Camp Bestival 2016 are now available — click here to buy.

PS — you won’t regret it ;)

Camp_Bestival_Blogger

Linking up with Fiona at Coombe Mill for #CountryKids.

Caro Davies

Caro Davies art directed fashion and interiors before leaving the world of design to pursue a career in social media. She can now be found chasing the light — and two small twin boys.

Find me on: Twitter | Facebook

83 Comments

  1. Tracey Abrahams (The Anxious Dragon)
    11th August 2015 / 6:10 am

    I have seen lots of tweets about camp Bestival and was thinking of adding it to my wish list of fetivals for next year. Your post has made me decide Im defiantely doing it. Xx #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:16 am

      Aaah Tracey — that’s so lovely to hear!!! You won’t regret it, I’m sure. We had an absolute ball — with two two years olds in tow!!! ;) It MUST have been good ;)

  2. 11th August 2015 / 6:46 am

    I really enjoyed reading this, sounds like you had a brilliant time! Really practical tips too. I’d love to go somewhere like this where there’s fun for both parents and kids. Mim x #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:15 am

      Thanks lovely — it was really brilliant. Can’t wait for next year!!! :)

  3. Morna
    11th August 2015 / 7:17 am

    Oh it looks so amazing! I’m really tempted just to buy a ticket now and work out the logistics later! I’m really looking forward to your posts…..#twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:09 am

      Aaah do it. Really. It was awesome — I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year until the next one!! :)

  4. 11th August 2015 / 7:19 am

    It sounds fantastic. I’ve never heard of it before it looks like a general festival but a bit more colourful and the fact it’s got soft play and all things children love is a bonus! #twinklytuesday x

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:08 am

      It’s fab Lizzie — the look and feel is very like a standard festie but there are so many things for kids to do!! It’s amazing — perfect for kids of all ages. Ours are only 2 and I look forward to seeing how our festival experience changes, year after year :)

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:05 am

      Aaah Helen — it was brilliant, it really was. There are some festivals that I wouldn’t take my littles to — Glastonbury for one — but Camp Bestival is made for children!! :)

  5. 11th August 2015 / 8:18 am

    Looks like so much fun. I wish there were events like this in Thailand. Never mind, by the time we move back to Europe the baby will be big enough to properly enjoy them :-)

    #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:04 am

      Aaah definitely — it’s something you have to look forward to, that’s for sure :)

  6. Tanita
    11th August 2015 / 8:22 am

    Wow it sounds like you had so much fun. You have really made me want to go next year… Thinking about booking my ticket. I think my children would absolutely love t both at the age of mr tumble and soft play x

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:03 am

      It was amazing — we had SO much fun!!! I absolutely cannot wait to go again!! :)

  7. 11th August 2015 / 8:23 am

    Wow! you all look like you’re having so much fun with the lovely weather as well… I’ve not really tried going to a Camp Bestival, I don’t know if we have one the same here in Scotland, but it would definitely be a nice experience for the kids, same as your kids had! Thanks for sharing!

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:02 am

      Thanks so much Cheryl — it was really, SO good. One of the boys had a tooth coming through, so he was a little more subdued than usual but, even so, he still had a ball :)

  8. 11th August 2015 / 8:53 am

    I’d love to go! It sounds really fun and the location is just beautiful #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:01 am

      It was AWESOME Rebecca — I would highly recommend it! :)

  9. 11th August 2015 / 9:02 am

    So glad to hear you had a fab time, I missed it for the first time in 4 years this year – but reading posts about it makes me want to go back even more next year. Lovely pics, know what you mean the memories are mind blowing!

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:25 am

      Aaah we really did!! My boy and I are such huge festival lovers — it makes me a bit giddy to see our little sons enjoying them too!! I literally cannot think of a better way I’d like to spend time with my family. I just loved it :)

  10. 11th August 2015 / 9:09 am

    Fab review, it was awesome wasn’t it?! We will definitely be heading back next year, we even have a bigger tent ready! xxx

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:18 am

      I just cannot wait. As we’re such huge festival fans, it is so totally in my comfort zone, but I’m SO glad the boys loved it so much!!! Watching their faces and seeing how much they got out of it made my heart swell — I absolutely cannot think of a better weekend for the whole family. Loved it. See you next year? ;) xx

  11. My Two Mums
    11th August 2015 / 9:12 am

    I think your post sums up Camp Bestival so well. This was our second year and it was even better than last year. The wagons can get a little crazy, especially at night, but there is no way our little man can stay up and enjoy the festivities without a little rest every now and then. We were lucky enough to get a programme from the Press tent too, but minus the lanyard, so we didn’t want to lug it around the whole weekend. I think a great idea would be to add them on to ticket prices so we all know what’s going on. We had an absolute ball and I’m glad you did too :)

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:21 am

      Aah thanks so much lovely — it was awesome wasn’t it? I think it was the perfect size too — not too big — not too small. It felt like a village fete after Glasto. to be honest!! ;) I thought it was a perfect weekend. I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year until the next one!! :)

  12. 11th August 2015 / 9:26 am

    You had me at ‘the loos were the best I’ve ever seen at a festival’…and that disco helmet your husband is wearing nailed it – I am actually considering this festival next year. But only if I get to stay in a caravan of posh tent- do you know if you can hire those?
    That helmet is such s good way of not losing your husband – lol husbands should have them! #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:43 am

      Do it. Honestly — do it. What’s the worst that could happen?? ;) Historically, we always hired motorhomes for big festivals (more than 2 nights) but now we have Dolly we don’t need to do that. That said, there are LOADS of boutique camping options there — bell tents, teepees etc. The only thing is, they book up fairly quickly. I LOVE my glitter ball helmet :) My boy and I are like a mobile disco unit when we’re wearing them!! ;)

  13. 11th August 2015 / 9:31 am

    Sounds like you had an amazing time! We reviewed a couple of festivals this year too but Camp Bestival sounds like the headliner festival for kids. Fingers crossed we can afford to go next year x great review post #TwinklyTuesday #CampBestival

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:45 am

      It was brilliant. The four of us absolutely loved it. It makes me SO happy that we can still do things we love, as a family, with the boys in tow. Can’t wait for next year!! :)

  14. 11th August 2015 / 9:32 am

    That looks like soooo much fun!! Amazing photos xx

    • 11th August 2015 / 9:49 am

      Thanks lovely — it was BRILLIANT!!! Loved it all — made me feel a bit weepy editing all our movie clips!! I wish it was happening again next weekend!! :)

  15. 11th August 2015 / 9:47 am

    I love your disco ball helmet! You all look like you had a fab time – I love your little video too; it gives a real sense of the festival.

    • 11th August 2015 / 10:07 am

      Have disco helmet, will travel ;) Well… when at a festival anyway! :)

  16. 11th August 2015 / 9:47 am

    What a fantastic time this looks amazing I’m so jealous! Will def be looking into going next year with the kids #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 10:06 am

      Aah do it Zoe — I’m sure you won’t regret it! :) It was so, so good! Am counting the days until next year :)

  17. 11th August 2015 / 10:09 am

    It looks such a wonderful event and so many bloggers there too, one day I would love to go but it is right in the middle of our busy season at Coombe Mill, for now I’ll make do with seeing your lovely photos. Don’t forget to join me for Country Kids.

    • 11th August 2015 / 11:04 am

      It is SUCH a great even Fiona! Have you ever thought of holding a little festival? I’d be there like a shot :) Just make sure it doesn’t clash with Camp Bestival (or Glastonbury) though!! ;) Will DEFINITLY be joining in with Country Kids this weekend! So nice to finally have a post to link with :)

      • 11th August 2015 / 11:16 am

        Now there’s an idea! Sadly no flat land here that doesn’t already have buildings on it, but I am on the look out to borrow some of the festival entertainment ideas for use here.

        • 11th August 2015 / 11:20 am

          Aaah in which case you could have an all year round festival!! ;) LOVE that idea!!

  18. 11th August 2015 / 10:13 am

    Honestly Camp Bestival looked like such amazing fun! This is something I’d love to take my child to in the coming years.. she’s at an age where she would love this! Thanks for sharing!

    Angela from http://www.daysinbed.com

    • 11th August 2015 / 11:15 am

      Aaah Angela — it’s SO much fun!! I could go on about festivals all day long but to be able to take my littles along and for them to enjoy it too is just so special! :)

  19. 11th August 2015 / 10:21 am

    This looks truly awesome. There seems to be so much for kiddies and adults to do. I might have to begin trying to convince Mr H that we must go. Hugs Mrs H xxxx PS I love that video. You really got a taste of how fabulous the weekend was. And that clip at the end of your little one running into the sunset with Miss Marnie is the cutest!

    • 11th August 2015 / 11:14 am

      Aaah I’m SO glad you said that about the video!! I really, really wanted to give people that have never been a true reflection of what it was like to be there. And yes — little Miss M and my baby running off, holding hands is literally my favourite bit!!! :) xx

  20. 11th August 2015 / 11:08 am

    Sounds like a brilliant time, with lots of fantastic activities for everyone! #twinklytuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 11:16 am

      It was fabulous!! SO much to see and do — I think if it was on for a whole week, we still wouldn’t have seen/done everything!!!

  21. 11th August 2015 / 11:13 am

    It looks like so much fun and it looks like the weather was very kind to you too #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 11:18 am

      Aaah the weather was AMAZING!!! According to regulars it’s generally good on Camp Bestival weekend!! They must order the sunshine well in advance ;)

  22. 11th August 2015 / 12:27 pm

    Wow! It is obvious you had an amazing time. Fab photos and video clip – makes it look very tempting! Love the hat :)
    Thanks for sharing x

    • 11th August 2015 / 12:31 pm

      haha! Thanks so much :) You can’t fail to be happy when you’re wearing a disco ball on your head!! ;) xx

  23. 11th August 2015 / 12:48 pm

    That looks fantastic fun! Glad you had a great time

  24. 11th August 2015 / 2:14 pm

    Wow! Camp Bestival looks absolutely brilliant! :) I must look this up when Jack is a bit older!
    Great and fun post :) #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 2:27 pm

      Thanks so much! It made me smile, watching the little movie clip back!! :) Really gives a feel for what a lovely weekend it was! :)

  25. 11th August 2015 / 2:15 pm

    It looks like so much fun! Definitely something to consider for a break away next year :)

    • 11th August 2015 / 2:28 pm

      It was SUCH a lot of fun Carolyn! Definitely put it on your ‘to do’ list for next year! :)

  26. Emma's Mamma
    11th August 2015 / 2:24 pm

    It sounds great! Love the pictures too! x #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 2:29 pm

      Thanks lovely — I’m so happy to have made the little film. We’ll treasure that when the boys are a bit older! Such a great memory of a fab weekend :)

  27. LittleOandMe
    11th August 2015 / 3:31 pm

    I am so glad you had a lovely time! We had a blast, my toddler loves it there. It was a lot busier than last year, maybe they had sold more day tickets this time around. Love your photos, I’m looking forward to writing all about it (I just need to find some time!)
    Becky xx
    #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 4:14 pm

      Aah it was SO good!! It must have been pretty quiet in previous years — I was really, really surprised there weren’t more people. It was so lovely wasn’t it? So much for the littles to do — I just can’t wait for next year!! Wish I’d seen you!! xx

  28. 11th August 2015 / 3:37 pm

    That looks like a fab time! I love festivals like that which the kids enjoy! #TwinklyTueadays
    Kristen

    • 11th August 2015 / 4:15 pm

      It was fabulous Kristen — we’ve got another festival in a couple of week’s time — looking forward to that but I don’t think it will be quite as fabulous as Camp Bestival!! :)

  29. 11th August 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Wow, wow, wow.

    Now I’m a new mummy and the thought of a festival has never crossed my sleep-deprived mind before but holy moly that looks fun! Great photography I WANT TO GO NOW!!!!

    #twinklytuesday

    x

    • 11th August 2015 / 4:52 pm

      Ah bless you!! It’s SO much fun!! When we had the twins the thought had crossed my mind that we’d have to hand up our dancing shoes in favour of more ‘child friendly’ pursuits… how happy am I that I combine the two!! Just brilliant :) xx

  30. 11th August 2015 / 5:09 pm

    This looks like such a fun festival, I really like the idea of taking Aria (and any future siblings) when she is a bit older, we will definitely consider this one. You had me at decent toilets!

    #TwinklyTuesday

    • 11th August 2015 / 10:16 pm

      Aaah so happy to have inspired to to go!! I promise — you won’t regret it! :)

  31. 11th August 2015 / 6:35 pm

    Super tempted to try this out next year! Lovely :) #twinklytuesday

    • 13th August 2015 / 6:55 pm

      Aaah do it!! Honestly — you really won’t regret it :)

  32. 11th August 2015 / 8:15 pm

    We went to our first festival this year and lost bed every minute!!
    Camp Bestival is top of my wish list for next year #twinklytuesdays

    • 13th August 2015 / 6:55 pm

      It’s a fab environment for littles isn’t it? What a fabulous thing to be taken to as a kid!! I wish they’d been around when I was little — we got taken to air shows!!! ;)

  33. 11th August 2015 / 8:41 pm

    Sounds like an amazing time! I’m glad it was kept so clean. It looks like a nice, sunny day for it with a dry ground which helps so much. Lovely that you all enjoyed it! Thank you for hosting #TwinklyTuesday x

    • 13th August 2015 / 6:53 pm

      The whole weekend was lovely and sunny — Friday to Sunday was wall to wall sunshine and blue sky, then a little bit of rain when we left on the Monday!! So lucky :)

  34. 11th August 2015 / 8:43 pm

    Looks amazing and sounds perfect!! Hopefully we’ll get there next year..best start saving!! :-) xx #twinklytuesday

    • 13th August 2015 / 6:53 pm

      It was SO much fun. Really well worth the money — fingers crossed I’ll see you there next year! :)

  35. 11th August 2015 / 10:25 pm

    Caro, this review is brilliant and your little video is AMAZING! Seriously, I am sitting here wishing I’d have been there and I will definitely look into going next year. Your boys, god your boys are just divine I want to eat them! As for Dickie’s shiny helmet…well there are no words haha! Well done darling, I’m so glad you had a wonderful time :) Welcome back to our lovely little (big) linky, thanks for being super awesome :) xx

    • 13th August 2015 / 6:52 pm

      Thanks so much gorgeous!! Aaah we had SUCH an amazing time — we really did. It was awesome — can’t wait to do it all over again next year!!! ;)

  36. 11th August 2015 / 10:29 pm

    Looks brilliant, I am going to send an email round now to see if I can get any takers :) lovely photos and I love the crash helmets!! xx #TwinklyTuesdays

  37. Random Musings
    12th August 2015 / 1:47 am

    This looks amazing. I know it’s a weird point to pick up on, but clean toilets with loo roll and handwash sold me on it! You’re pictures are amazing, looks like you all had a lovely time. Thanks for hosting #TwinklyTuesday
    Debbie
    http://www.myrandommusings.blogspot.com

    • 12th August 2015 / 2:03 pm

      Do you know? I’ve lost count of the amount of people who are fearful about festival loos so it’s not weird at all! :) You’re in the majority!! :) xx

  38. 13th August 2015 / 9:51 am

    This looks and sounds amazing. I love camping and festivals but never attended a child friendly one. It’s so great to know you can introduce your child to such an awesome experience at an early age. I really want to go next year or the year after – can we come with you oh festival veteran? Amazing review and I love your video too. Has made me want to go even more. xxxx

    • 13th August 2015 / 4:44 pm

      Aaah I would LOVE for us all to go to a festival together!!!! YES!!!!! Definitely. I can’t recommend it enough. It’s such a beautiful, happy environment. Kids — and adults — get so much out of it. I wish I could go to one every other weekend!! ;)

  39. 14th August 2015 / 9:15 am

    This is so useful and I’m so glad I’ve read it. I am now thinking “mmm I wonder who in the mummy group will be up for this next year”! Look forward to the next blogs.

    Thanks for hosting #twinklytuesday, Nicky

    • 14th August 2015 / 9:55 am

      Thanks so much Nicky!! :) I really, really, highly recommend it. I’m a huge festival lover — so I’m *slightly* biased — but a few of my friends who have never been to a festival before came too and they LOVED it!! It;s just a fab weekend :) xx

  40. 15th August 2015 / 7:53 am

    It looks like so much non stop fun and the location is so pretty too. I think z would love it!

    • 15th August 2015 / 8:58 pm

      Aaah it’s SO fun!! I really can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend with my family — the twins absolutely loved it!! :)

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