I am back from my first ever Camp Bestival experience. My eye lids are heavy, my legs are on fire, but I am still smiling from ear to ear! When I found out I was part of the official Blogger and Influencer programme for Camp Bestival 2019 I literally had to pinch myself! What an absolute honour!
I was provided with a gifted Family Weekend Camping Ticket. I’m not going to lie I was excited, but apprehensive as I had never been to a festival before. I had also only ever camped twice in my 33 years! (yes I know alarm bells rang in my head too). I did everything I could to prepare! I read blogs, researched camping essentials with a toddler, and I purchased everything I thought we would need. This was all well and good, but nothing can prepare you for it! So I thought I would pop together 6 honest must haves to survive Camp Bestival for the first time, so here goes:
We arrived at Camp Bestival just after 9am on the Thursday morning, (car parks opened at 9am, entry was 10am). The roads to the festival were clear so we thought we must be the only ones arriving! When we pulled into the field it became apparent how wrong we were! There must have been nearly 1000 people queuing to get in! We waited in the queue for about an hour and a half, it was SUCH a hot day. I would recommend making sure you have sun cream on (or a water proof clothing if raining), water bottles to hand, hats, snacks for little ones, and a picnic mat to sit on whilst you wait. I would also only take your tent essentials at this point as you can go back to the car. We didn’t have a trolley, but many people did. If you have a lot of things I would highly recommend taking one as it is quite hilly and a bit of a trek. We lugged our stuff in one of those large ikea bags, which worked for us.
When we were finally through we were “early birds” apparently so we had a great choice of where to pitch up. We were in general camping, which was across two large fields. We chose to stay in the first field in the centre. This was so we had good access to the toilets and our car. It did mean we had a bit of a walk to the festival every day, but that was fine. As people started to set their tents up around us it quickly dawned on me how unprepared I was. Everyone appeared to be season pros! They had huge tents, whereas we had a small 3 man tent which became engulfed by all of the others. I did have a little wobble at this point, but kept a positive mind. If we were to do it all again I would highly recommend getting a nice spacious tent (we resembled sardines in a tin), where you can also have an indoor seating area etc. It is a full on experience and it would have been nice to have a quiet area to chill in.
I noticed many people bought their own food, in huge coolers. We decided not to, as we didn’t have any cooking facilities. I think it is a good idea to cook your own food as, as nice as the food stalls are at Camp Bestival it was SO expensive. We spent an average of £60 a day on food. I would also recommend taking lots of snacks for your little ones. Their days will be long, and full of fun so they need some fuel! I would also recommend taking some fresh fruit as there wasn’t anywhere to buy this.
There were 18 showers, however this was no way near enough for the amount of people. There were long queues every single day, so be prepared for this. Make sure you take soap, and body wash with you. The one thing I really missed was being able to wash by hands with soap and water. The portable toilets were clean, and stocked well all weekend. They did have hand sanitizer in, however for me it is not the same as water and soap.
I didn’t realise how much walking we would do! On the first day I didn’t wear appropriate shoes, so I would highly recommend wearing comfortable footwear. We were so lucky with the weather, as the ground was dry and solid we were able to take bubs pram around saving her little legs. Lots of people used wagons for their children and jazzed them up in a super hero theme, these looked great! As you will want to sit down, take your picnic mat with you.
There is SO much to do at Camp Bestival! You will never be bored. I would definitely advise buying a brochure so you can plan what you would like to do/see. It is also worth pottering around because you will definitely come across the unexpected!
Overall we had the BEST time at Camp Bestival. We would go back tomorrow if we could. Yes it is exhausting, but it is a happy tired. The festival is full colour, music, and families, all looking to have a great time. It is a place where everyone can be themselves and let go of the everyday stress life can bring. Thank you so much for giving my little family the most incredible experience that we will never forget. KX
(This was a gifted experience however all of the above opinions and images are my own)
Mother and Daughter day is my favourite day of the week! I always try to fill the day with love and laughter. This week I decided to take a trip down memory lane and take bubs to Abbotsbury Swannery. My mum used to take me and my sister when we were little. I was SO excited to take her.
It was a lovely warm day. We got there just after it opened at 10am. It was a great time to go as it was quiet, and it wasn’t too hot. I purchased a ticket for 3 attractions in Abbotsbury. This allowed us entry into The Swannery, Abbotsbury Children’s Farm, and Abbotsbury Gardens. It cost £19, and bubs went for free as she is under 5. I think this is a little pricey, but it does cover 3 attractions, and you don't have to do them all on the same day.
Bubs loved seeing all of the swans, especially the babies! There were absolutely hundreds of them! It is an amazing sight! It is the only place in the world where you are able to walk through the heart of a colony of nesting Mute Swans, spread over a site of some 25 acres! After seeing the swans, we headed to the Café for ice-cream and cake! The café is quite expensive, so if we were to go again I would definitely take a picnic.
After feeling refreshed we walked up a beautiful country lane to Abbotsbury Children's Farm. This was my first visit. so I didn't have any expectations. It was fantastic! The setting was stunning, there was SO much to do, it wasn't too busy, and the staff were friendly. Bubs loved the indoor soft play, bouncy castle, guneai pig petting, tractors, and the best bit was her first every pony ride on lovely Ben! I would highly recommend a visit here, it ticked all of the boxes!
After lunch bubs had a bounce on the outdoor mini trampoline, and watched people race boats on the pond. At which point she was exhausted from all the fun! We didn't make it to the gardens, but hope to use the ticket soon.
We had the best mummy and daughter day, I came away feeling so proud of my little lady, and so lucky to have such amazing attractions on my doorstep! If you are visiting Dorset, or live in the area I would pop it on your list of things to do! KX
New Barn Rd, Abbotsbury DT3 4JG
(all images belong to me, and all of the above opinions are my own)
Hi! I am Katie... a new mum trying to balance life, work and a beautiful baby girl! I love to take photos, travel, write, make art, and spend time with my family! xx