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Camp Bestival 2016 you were OUT of this world

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Camp Bestival 2016. Our fourth one. Camp Bestival has become a punctuation mark in our years, a rite of passage, an exit from our suburban home world to an otherworldly place where anything goes, a yearly chance to transgress boundaries like bedtime, bathtime, to rave in a field, to take our kids through a little vortex into a glimmer of our youth.

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Camp Bestival always coincides with our anniversary of getting together, 18 years ago this year, there’s a magical romance in being able to travel through that door in a field – every festival has one you know, a secret door – back to our past selves, with our kids following behind, while making memories they will never forget.

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We spent much of Friday making stuff. The Celtic Forge was a really lovely new addition, we loved making pendants to represent our birth months.

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The art tent was as awesome as ever, with plenty of space themed activities which saw both adults and kids totally relaxing.

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Making space rockets in the art tent, Mr G has gone for a pirate space rocket @campbestival #campbestival

Making space rockets in the art tent, Mr G has gone for a pirate space rocket @campbestival #campbestival

Massive highlight for my 7yo son, when he wasn’t make swords, bows and arrows or daggers in Spinney Hollow, was hammering together this fort in the National Trust field. I’ve over-edited this photo, I know, but OH THE SKY WAS SO MUCH BLUER than it will ever look on my photos!
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We also had a lovely half hour making dreamcatchers.

 

Over the years I have learnt it is a process, a transformation happens, it takes three days, crawl out of your sleeping bag on day three and emerge a fully fledged festival going butterfly that never wants to return to life as we know it! The Carnivals each day were truly amazing – yep a 3 day carnival – a real highlight!

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You can do a few things to ease the transformation, but regardless it happens. I should add typing these first two paragraphs nearly finished me off on the four hour car journey home, I was so so tired, but each year I feel compelled to experience it, in fact missing it last year was one of our biggest regrets of 2015. It’s so staggeringly beautiful, and each year there is a new theme, this year it was space which, coupled with some stunning sunsets, really made the whole landscape feel quite out of this world.

Fantastic first day @campbestival the space theme elevates things out of this world! #campbestival #festival #familytravelmoment #familytravel #travelbloggers #parentshaped #travelgram #travelersnotebook #travel #travellife #festivalvibes #spaceinyourcase #space #spaceman #astronaut #outerspace

Fantastic first day @campbestival the space theme elevates things out of this world! #campbestival #festival #familytravelmoment #familytravel #travelbloggers #parentshaped #travelgram #travelersnotebook #travel #travellife #festivalvibes #spaceinyourcase #space #spaceman #astronaut #outerspace

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So many magical things pop up at Camp Bestival – music, theatre and entertainment – I’ve learnt not to look at the schedule much, and to trust instead that I am in the right place. This year the proof in that pudding came when we stumbled upon Highly Sprung’s performance of Urban Astronaut behind the castle, when a brass band appeared while we ate lunch at the Feast collective, and when the Brazillian drums began as we stumbled out of the art tent into the sunshine.

Awesome awesome theatre ❤️@campbestival #campbestival

Awesome awesome theatre ❤️@campbestival #campbestival

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Saturday afternoon was a real delight, loads of bloggers gathered to rave along with Big Fish Little Fish in the glorious Bollywood area.

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Lovely to quaff fizz with you @thetwinklesmama @mygorgboys @campbestival #campbestival

Lovely to quaff fizz with you @thetwinklesmama @mygorgboys @campbestival #campbestival

Lovely hanging out with you and yours @bluebearwood here's to next year @campbestival #campbestival

Lovely hanging out with you and yours @bluebearwood here’s to next year @campbestival #campbestival

Sunday morning was spent pottering in the Dingly Dell, a glorius sheltered by trees area full of magic, like this alien who had crash landed.

An alien spaceship has landed in the woods @campbestival we've been invited to help with the investigations #campbestival

An alien spaceship has landed in the woods @campbestival we’ve been invited to help with the investigations #campbestival

Lizzie’s Way is another joy, a woodland area decorated beautifully with ribbon, garlands,  bunting and pom poms, and packed full of tipis, mud kitchen play, water play, with ribbons and wishes dangling from the tree.

Chilling out in the woods, Lizzie's Way @campbestival #campbestival

Chilling out in the woods, Lizzie’s Way @campbestival #campbestival

On Sunday evening several families gathered together to watch the Brand New Heavies,  KT Tunstall, Banarama and Tears For Fears. The kids were now firm friends and busy collecting cups to return to the bar for 10p a go, Mr G made £20!  The BNHs were awesome, I really really loved acid jazz in my teens. I missed most of KT but Bananrama were a really fun trip down school dance routine memory lane which Mr A indulged me in – this was taken while listening, and the night before our 18th anniversary.

'Yay It's Bananarama' said Mr A never. Indulging me while I relive my primary school dance routine days @campbestival #campbestival #imyourvenusimyourfireyourdesire #yeahbabyshesgotit #venuswashername

‘Yay It’s Bananarama’ said Mr A never. Indulging me while I relive my primary school dance routine days @campbestival #campbestival #imyourvenusimyourfireyourdesire #yeahbabyshesgotit #venuswashername

Tears for Fears surprised me, they were incredibly moving, I’ve always been a bit ambivalent, but they were the perfect band to lead the festival into the night and to a poignant finish and fireworks.The whole field of tired kids and parents singing Shout was beautiful. The fireworks were out of this world and set to Bowie’s Life on Mars at one point which was magical.

Food and Drink

Is amazing. Just amazing. Everything from fish and chips or mac and cheese to gourmet BBQ or veggie feast. Food from around the world.

Love it when I find veggie catering and the ingredients are all so obscure I can't actually remember any of them ❤️ Milgi! It tasted yummy and was followed by organic carrot and orange cake. Need the energy for my complete transformation into a tent dwelling, festival loving, party person. Last day and I am loving every minute #campbestival #food #foodie #foodlover #veggie #vegetarian #veggies

Love it when I find veggie catering and the ingredients are all so obscure I can’t actually remember any of them ❤️ Milgi! It tasted yummy and was followed by organic carrot and orange cake. Need the energy for my complete transformation into a tent dwelling, festival loving, party person. Last day and I am loving every minute #campbestival #food #foodie #foodlover #veggie #vegetarian #veggies

Great drinks too, parents at a festival are generally indulging in the odd drink, rather than vats of cider, so they want their drink to count – I want seriously good quality drinks, the perfect moment, and Camp Bestival delivers. It was great to see the brands there appreciating this, I loved my wine tasting with Brancott Estates and the First Choice Holidays beach was a real hit with it’s cocktail bar and beach!

Little wine tasting gathering last night. Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs are my absolute favourite, great fun to try four different ones. Need to attempt the #virtualvines virtual reality vineyard tour next @brancottestateuk @munchiesandmunchkins @mygorgboys @chelseamamma @iamalisonperry @mytwomums #virtualvines #wine #winetasting #campbestival #winelover #winetime #pbloggers #travelgram #travelblog

Little wine tasting gathering last night. Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs are my absolute favourite, great fun to try four different ones. Need to attempt the #virtualvines virtual reality vineyard tour next @brancottestateuk @munchiesandmunchkins @mygorgboys @chelseamamma @iamalisonperry @mytwomums #virtualvines #wine #winetasting #campbestival #winelover #winetime #pbloggers #travelgram #travelblog

 

Half @campbestival and half Majorca with @firstchoiceholidays - sand, outdoors, music and a cocktail bar = happy families #justsayyes #campbestival

Half @campbestival and half Majorca with @firstchoiceholidays – sand, outdoors, music and a cocktail bar = happy families #justsayyes #campbestival

 

Our Journey

Our journey, in the Volvo XC90 we were loaned to review, was amazingly smooth, the four hours has never passed so quickly. Our stuff fitted in easily and we all travelled in style and comfort.

We've arrived @campbestival - Brilliant journey in the @volvocars XC90 #campbestival

We’ve arrived @campbestival – Brilliant journey in the @volvocars XC90 #campbestival

Two favourite boys and two favourite bears arriving at Camp Bestival. So excited to be back, we really missed it last year. Such a beacon of how much my kids have grown up. They were 3 and 5 the first year, this year they are 7 and 9. I really love growing up with Camp Bestival in our lives, I don't normally like holidaying to the same place, but It's so different yet familiar here each time ❤️ We bumped into @iamalisonperry as we arrived and we're camping neighbours ❤️ Also saw lots of bloggers for wine tasting earlier #campbestival @campbestival

Two favourite boys and two favourite bears arriving at Camp Bestival. So excited to be back, we really missed it last year. Such a beacon of how much my kids have grown up. They were 3 and 5 the first year, this year they are 7 and 9. I really love growing up with Camp Bestival in our lives, I don’t normally like holidaying to the same place, but It’s so different yet familiar here each time ❤️ We bumped into @iamalisonperry as we arrived and we’re camping neighbours ❤️ Also saw lots of bloggers for wine tasting earlier #campbestival @campbestival

Veni, Vedi, Veci We came, we saw, we conquered. We've had an amazing time at Camp Bestival The #volvoxc90 we have been loaned is packed, so sad to leave but looking forward to an easy drive home Kids are sad we couldn't sneak the new friends they made into the extra row of seats but here's to next year! @campbestival @volvocaruk #campbestival

Veni, Vedi, Veci We came, we saw, we conquered. We’ve had an amazing time at Camp Bestival The #volvoxc90 we have been loaned is packed, so sad to leave but looking forward to an easy drive home Kids are sad we couldn’t sneak the new friends they made into the extra row of seats but here’s to next year! @campbestival @volvocaruk #campbestival

You can read my full car review here.

Accommodation

Previously we’ve stayed in our tent (wish I knew what happened to that tent, if you borrowed it can we have it back please?) our caravan (sadly no more) and this year we glamped. Hotel Bell Tent was awesome, it really is a hotel made of bell tents. It has a proper reception with sherbet lemons and all kinds of lovely treats waiting on your bed – water, a REN festival toiletries kit, Love Heart Sweets, an eye mask and ear plugs,  even better than a hotel in fact ! The lounge and pamper tent were awesome too!

We were really lucky to have Alison from Not Another Mummy Blog and family as neighbours, this year I loved hanging out with other families more, must be down to our kids being older and more independent and more willing to go with a crowd I think.

Our neighbours the Perrys have popped over to our Hotel Belltent for breakfast hot dogs. Thanks for organising us @volvocaruk love our little camping street! @volvoxc90 #campbestival

Our neighbours the Perrys have popped over to our Hotel Belltent for breakfast hot dogs. Thanks for organising us @volvocaruk love our little camping street! @volvoxc90 #campbestival

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Getting ready for a shiny happy Sunday at Camp Bestival in our Hotel Bell Tent @volvocars @campbestival #campbestival #hotelbelltent #volvoxc90

Getting ready for a shiny happy Sunday at Camp Bestival in our Hotel Bell Tent @volvocars @campbestival #campbestival #hotelbelltent #volvoxc90

Festival ready with silver for the space theme and blue glow in the dark dots. Love the pamper tent @hotelbelltent although in my defence only popped in to give my hair a 2min blast #hotelbelltent #campbestival #glamping #festivalvibes #festivalfashion

Festival ready with silver for the space theme and blue glow in the dark dots. Love the pamper tent @hotelbelltent although in my defence only popped in to give my hair a 2min blast #hotelbelltent #campbestival #glamping #festivalvibes #festivalfashion

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Here's to hanging out with friends, kids making new friends, fun in the sun, getting creative, beautiful music, reliving youth, stunning sunsets, carving swords, weaving dreamcatchers, making rockets, out of this world fireworks and so much more #campbestival you have been OUT of this world @campbestival

Camp Bestival 2016 you were OUT of this world.

Here’s to hanging out with friends, kids making new friends, fun in the sun, getting creative, beautiful music, reliving youth, stunning sunsets, carving swords, weaving dreamcatchers, making rockets, out of this world fireworks and so much more.

Early Bird tickets are on sale now, do check them out, Camp Bestival, as you might have guessed, is an absolute highlight in our family calendar.

There’s lots more to see in this video, it brings all my ramblings and photos to life rather beautifully, even if I do say so myself, and you get a little drive in the XC90 too!

Thanks to Camp Bestival for having us as ambassadors once more and to Volvo for transporting and accommodating us.

If you are looking for a family festival in the UK, this one is out of this world! This was our fourth, and it was a gorgeous place to bond, relax, start the summer and catch up with each other.

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14 Comments

  • Reply Alison

    Wow, take me back! Loved reading this Penny and your video is awesome. What a fantastic weekend. Same time next year??

    18/08/2016 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Milton Garcia

    That is so awesome. What a fun camp festival. It would be great to join next year.

    19/08/2016 at 4:28 pm
  • Reply Jen Walshaw

    It was so great to end the weekend with you guys. I think it takes time to decompress and we didn’t want to leave. Although I need to stay in those tents next year. I am getting too old for camping! We must do it all again in 2017

    19/08/2016 at 5:20 pm
  • Reply susanna

    I’ve always wanted to go – it looks very fun and very colourful! Love your pics x

    19/08/2016 at 5:23 pm
  • Reply Alice

    I’m SO convinced on Camp Bestival after reading all your posts – I really hope I can go next year! x

    19/08/2016 at 9:34 pm
  • Reply nessjibberjabberuk

    It looks absolutely amazing. I know my kids would love to go one year. Just need to fit it into the summer schedule!

    19/08/2016 at 11:41 pm
  • Reply Erica Price

    It does look amazing. I think the camping side of things tends to put me off festivals, partly because we don’t have the kit. Glamping sounds perfect.

    20/08/2016 at 7:41 am
  • Reply Liz Burton

    Wow it looks spectacular. Your photos are amazing. I’ve never been to Camp Bestival, I’ve always thought I wouldn’t like the crowds but you’re turning me!

    20/08/2016 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Anne

    I’ve seen so many posts about Camp Bestival I really wish I could go, it looks like the kind of thing we’d really enjoy. Maybe next year I’ll be well enough, fingers crossed.

    20/08/2016 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply Louise

    I am reading so much positive stuff about Bestival. It is going on my bucket list today.

    21/08/2016 at 2:12 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Camp Bestival looks like it was another fab one this year! We couldn’t make it sadly, which was such as shame as I loved this years theme! Great photos and vid!

    22/08/2016 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Sonia

    Great photos Penny! Looks like you had an amazing time! I think Camp Bestival has to go on our to do list next year x

    25/08/2016 at 1:59 pm
  • Reply oana79

    Oh, wow, amazing, from the entertainment to the accommodation and the variety of food choices! Wish we lived closer, I say it every year when I read Camp Bestival reviews!

    26/08/2016 at 7:05 pm
  • Reply JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    Ah – your post makes me sad that we missed it this year! Looks like you all had an amazing time and I hope to be there again next year!!! Camp Bestival rocks!

    06/09/2016 at 11:32 am
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