Last Friday we packed the car up to the brim and drove to Lulworth Castle for not only Jacob’s first festival, but mine and Pete’s too! We had very kindly been invited along to Camp Bestival with a weekend camping pass! (Just a quick disclaimer, we were gifted these tickets in return for a review – however all thoughts and opinions are all my own!)
So Camp Bestival officially opened on Thursday with their camp sites and some bits going on down in the arenas, but the main activities started on Friday!
So let me start with my first tip – the campsite is HUGE. We parked in the yellow carpark, then walked towards to the yellow campsite and then there’s a further walk to the festival. We had a LOT of things, so we had to take trips which is where our wagon came in so handy! We bought a wagon along for J to sit in when we went out in the evening, but I am SO glad as it came in so handy lugging everything to the campsite, and I would fully reccomend getting one even if you don’t have a child that needs to sit in it as camping requires LOTS! You can also hire them onsite, but they can get fully booked quickly.
Anyway enough wagon ramble, we set up our tent, had some lunch and began our trip down the main festival.
Maybe I’m a little naive, being my first festival but I wasn’t prepared for how vast it was, there is so much to take in, look at and wonder round, we kept finding new areas and I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of things to do! We started with an explore around, heading past the big top tent towards Lulworth Castle, which was surrounded by fair ground rides, places to eat, bars, the main castle stage with huge screens and Camp Bestivals Love Bot!
We bought ourselves a weekend guide so we could plan things we wanted to do and have maps so we wouldn’t get too lost! Jacob found his first thing he wanted to go on – the worlds biggest bouncy castle! Now another tip – bring LOTS of cash! £4 for 10 minutes bouncing, and there were plenty of fairground rides with similar pricing (Plus there are cash points on site, but charge nearly £4 a time.) After waiting for 20 minutes, he finally got his turn to bounce to his hearts content for the next 10 minutes, whilst Pete and I had a flick through the show times.
We explored more of the site and found the Gorilla Circus and flying trapeze school. They put on a great show, and had everybody captivated with their stunts.
Rick Astley was headlining on friday, so we packed up the wagon with J in it along with blankets, snacks and ear defenders and we were set for a night of music!
Now here comes my strong advice again to definitely get a wagon, it was perfect for the longs hills, and J watched a couple of songs before dozing off with his ear defenders on! Perfect! It means you can still stay out and enjoy the rest of the night!
So like I said before Rick Astley was the headliner for friday night, and I know like most I was most excited for ‘never gonna give you up’. It was a really great set, and the atmosphere was wonderful, having been to gigs before but never child friendly festivals, It was a completely different environment. Children laughing and dancing, giant bubbles floating around and flashing lights lighting up around us, including the beautiful Lulworth Castle that was being lit up with multicoloured lights!
A highlight to Rick Astley’s set included him bring Mary Berry out to show off her drumming skills! So funny!
*Photo credit to Gaelle Beri**Photo credit to Gaelle Beri*
Heading back to the tent for the night, we walked past the big top tent where we caught the end of Jaguar Skills dj set! From what we heard it was amazing, and everyone in the tent were going mad jumping around and dancing with all the strobe lights going off!
Friday overall was amazing, it was great exploring and finding our bearings, however we were woken up around 2am with the tent sounding like it was going to blow over! In fact some people’s did, yet when we woke up on saturday morning the sun was back out ready for another glorious day at camp bestival!
Saturday we started our day back at the Castle stage with a dinosaur live show, which was done so well, followed by Mr Tumble – A highlight for both J and Pete! He had the whole crowd dancing and singing along, and then Dick and Dom came on stage which ended in bringing some of the crowd up and having a pie fight!
*Photo credit to Mike Massaro**Photo credit to Mike Massaro*
We then headed to the lower kids garden where the greatest tent in the world sat along with a Peppa Pig meet and greet which Jacob couldn’t contain himself over! He couldn’t wait to meet her, and happily waited in the queue. Little niggle here – the queue was massive as to be expected, they gave a half hour time slot which meant a lot of people queued for a while and then couldn’t meet Peppa.
As we walked out from Peppa’s meet and greet the heavens opened, people seemed to already be prepared with their ponchos! We however were not – another tip – pack for ALL weathers, even if you’ve just had an 8 week heatwave with not a drop of rain (typical!) Oh well, we didn’t let it stop us, J went on the carousel a couple of times and we started looking for what we fancied for lunch. I had heard about the mac and cheese and how amazing it was prior to going so I already had my heart set, and boy it did not disappoint!
I had the Kanye Western, mac and cheese with smoked beef hot dog, BBQ sauce and crispy onions! OH MY GOD. Nearly a week has gone by and I’m still thinking about it. And a good portion for its price, which is always good in our books.
Pete came across a garlic truck, and went for the loaded fries – I don’t mean to be dramatic but these were some of the BEST loaded fries I’ve ever tried! Garlic fries with beef chilli and cheese!! Yaaas, so good!
Saturday night was the night we were most excited for as Clean Bandit were headlining, and we love so many of their songs, and they certainly didn’t disappoint! They had everyone on their feet dancing and singing away, and they put on a great show! We also picked up some delish cheesy chips and curry sauce pre show and they were so yum!
*Photo credit to Mike Massaro*
Sunday happened to be my 26th birthday, but sadly we ended up leaving earlier than planned and Camp Bestival came to an abrupt halt. The weather turned worse saturday night with downpours and high speed winds, again more tents were ruined and it became unsafe. We decided to start packing our tent up battling the winds and head home, however the weather didn’t tarnish our weekend, yes I was sad to miss out on sunday’s festivities including the fireworks but safety comes first, and would it be a full festival experience if there wasn’t awful weather!?
We truly had the BEST weekend, I really wasn’t sure what to expect but it exceeded any expectations I had prior. The atmosphere was wonderful, and I didn’t at any time uncomfortable with Jacob. The amount of food was amazing, and almost too much choice as I wanted everything!
A little peak of sunday morning whilst packing up with some of the broken tents next to ours. Thankfully ours survived!
A perfect family weekend, and I don’t feel like we even covered half of it – there is so much more to see from cooking demonstrations, silent disco’s, glitter stands, fancy dress parades and SO much more! A huge thank you to Camp Bestival for having us!
If you fancy going to Camp Bestival 2019 – there will be a 72 hour pre-sale on Friday 3rd August, and early bird tickets become available on 10am on Monday 6th August, you can find all details on the camp bestival website.
*All images are my own, except for the ones stated and credited under the images. Weekend camping tickets were gifted to us as a family, in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!