2 August 2016

Camp Bestival 2016 {A Family Review}

We've been back home for just over 24 hours after leaving Camp Bestival 2016 behind us in, a just starting to get a little bit damp, Dorset. Across the weekend we were blessed with blue sky and sunshine which increased the amount of sparkle from all the space age glitter festooning the revellers across the festival site. And what a site it was again. This was our seventh year attending Camp Bestival and still there was enough to keep all four of us busy, satisfied and happy that we had had a complete weekend. The children, now 10 and 8, find new things to love every year but still enjoy repeating past experiences - you just can't get tired of Camp Bestival!
Camp Bestival 2016 {A Family Review} // 76sunflowers
We arrived at around 10am on Thursday and easily entered the site through the well marked lanes around Lulworth Castle. Parking up was straightforward, a £25 cost, and once we had our bands safely on our wrists, and the £10 programme pack bought, we began the task of getting all of our gear to the campsite. Arriving a little bit earlier this year there was more choice of free areas but we headed to our usual camping spot that the children were familiar with - now they are older they are able to independently walk to the campsite toilets and collect water for us. Portable toilets were set up throughout the camp site and we never had more than 4 people head of us in a queue at any point across the weekend. There were times the paper and hand sanitiser were out so always be prepared and have those on you.
Camp Bestival Campsite // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Programme // 76sunflowers

Once camp was set up we chilled for a bit, made some plans from the programme and later explored the site. The Magic Meadow is open on the Thursday evening with plenty of eateries, bars and entertainment going on to whet your appetite for the three day weekend to come.

Across the long weekend we struck a good balance of things for us to do as a family, as one parent with the children and as a solo adult. This post is going to concentrate on just a fraction of the things that we experienced at Camp Bestival for the children and as a family.

Rarely will you leave Camp Bestival without something that has been crafted by your child. This year the boy was desperate to make a sword in the gorgeous area that is the Spinney Hollow. Here you have to be quite organised as a parent as workshops fill up quick with bookings taken on Friday morning at 9am for the whole weekend - sword making cost £10. My children were lucky that I was up ready for a run on Friday morning which meant I could get in the queue ready for them to take over and book a slot for the following morning. Here the boy made a sword with the lovely Kate, from the Woodland Workshop, who was brilliant with my quiet and shy boy.
Camp Bestival Spinney Hollow Woodland Workshop Sword Making // 76sunflowers
She took her time with him as he decided which piece of wood was best, how to use the tools on the horse, which shape to make his blade and which colour binding to put on the handle before finally having to take the Spinney Hollow oath that the sword would be used appropriately!
Camp Bestival Spinney Hollow Woodland Workshop Sword Making // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Spinney Hollow Woodland Workshop Sword Making // 76sunflowers
The girl headed for Art Town to get her craft on where she found plenty of glitter to keep her happy. Art Town had an array of activities for children of all ages and we crafted with a backdrop of colours, music and dance as a small group of children danced along to David Bowie's Starman.
Camp Bestival Art Town // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Art Town // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Art Town // 76sunflowers

This is a much loved area for children that is open from 11am through to the depths of darkness where it completely transforms. We headed over a few times in the daytime and both children enjoyed the Woodland Warriors area within the National Trust's 50 things meadow. Here, for a £1 donation, the children borrowed a saw, hammer and nails and set about adding to the marvellous wooden creation that had been constructed across the weekend. They learnt the art of getting the right angle to saw, holding the hammer at the correct point to get some power in the strike against the nail and that, with a bit of brute force, nails can be removed from pieces of wood.
Camp Bestival Woodland Warriors // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Woodland Warriors // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Woodland Warriors // 76sunflowers
Lizzie's Way was also a big hit in the Dingly Dell. Festooned with tassles, ribbons for weaving, wishing trees, mud kitchens and dressing up it was a riot of colour, smiles and dreams.
Camp Bestival Lizzie's Way // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Lizzie's Way // 76sunflowers

As Camp Bestival is really all about the children there clearly needs to be a Kid's Field and what a field it is. This is a huge area full of activities, food and entertainment for all ages from babies to big kid adults. This year it included the world's biggest bouncy castle - although my queue phobic boy didn't want to wait to go on! Instead we rode the carousel, played with bubbles, cartwheeled on the grass and made Energizer space head bands.
Camp Bestival Kid's Field // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Kid's Field Carousel // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Kid's Field Bubbles // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Kid's Field Energizer // 76sunflowers

You cannot go to Camp Bestival without sampling some of the food it has to offer. To try and budget a bit we had breakfasts and a few light lunches at the tent but we enjoyed the onsite culinary delights across the weekend consuming Churros and chocolate sauce (£5), Wood fired pizza (£10), Mac and cheese (£6.50 / £4), Burger and fries (£7), Crepes (£4), my favourite of the weekend - a mix of vegan and chicken Rendang (£8), Duck fat fried chips (£3) and a special mention for the happiest stall holders on site - Grilled Cheese toasties (£2.50/£5)
Camp Bestival Food Grilled Cheese Company // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Food Grilled Cheese Company // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Food Mac 'n' Cheese // 76sunflowers
Camp Bestival Food Rendang // 76sunflowers

And finally, you can't go to Camp Bestival without taking in some of the music. The girl really wanted to see Jess Glynne so we left the boys and got a good spot on the edge towards the front of the Castle Stage. She did a great set and the girl enjoyed some more live music.
Camp Bestival Castle Stage Jess Glynne // 76sunflowers
Sunday night and the finale of the weekend is the fireworks display over the beautiful Lulworth Castle. For the second year we watched from the Magic Meadow and joined in with the customary ooohs and aaaahs before sadly walking back on our tired legs to the tent leaving the festival behind us for the final time this year.
Camp Bestival Fireworks // 76sunflowers

As we wandered I thought about how much the children have changed across the years at Camp Bestival, how their confidence is growing bit by bit and of yet another amazing set of memories we have created as our little family.

Camp Bestival 2016 {A Family Review} // 76sunflowers

x x x


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