Last weekend, A&A Collective blogger Natalie Lee of Style Me Sunday packed up her glitter, wet wipes and fancy dress for one of the UK’s biggest family-friendly festivals: Camp Bestival. Set in the picturesque grounds of Lulworth Castle, this year’s event promised to be bigger and better than ever with circus acts, giant bouncy castles, crafts and even raves geared towards little ones. The festival has become known for dressing up, and this year’s theme was Outer Space. Armed with some pieces from our AW16 collections including silver sparkly Moon Boots and a fun Stella McCartney Kids star tutu, Natalie and her three year old daughter Autumn set off on their weekend adventure. Find out what they got up to below and get Natalie’s tips for stress-free family festival fun.
For the last four years Camp Bestival, Bestival’s mainland little sister, has been a firm family highlight of our summer. This year was no different, we were just as excited as ever to be heading to the Jurassic coast for some family fun times. Unfortunately our eldest daughter had to have an urgent eye operation the Monday before we were due to leave. It was touch and go as to whether any of us went at all. In the end, we decided that I would go with my youngest daughter and my husband would stay at home and help my daughter to recuperate. Luckily my sister and her boyfriend were also going, so it wasn’t just us and I had some others to help erect our big tent.
We left at the break of dawn and headed down to Dorset nice and early. Some people get there on Thursday, so we didn’t want to leave it too late and sacrifice a good camping spot. Luckily traffic was clear and the drive was easy, although it is long with a 3 year old in tow. It took us 4 hours to get to Dorset from East London with a stopover for breakfast half way.
When we got there we put the tent up as quickly as we could and got our glad rags on, including some essential faceprint and glitter, so we could experience the festival. The theme this year was Outer Space, when I first heard that, I instantly thought of the Moon Boots from the Alex and Alexa website as I’ve had my eye on them for a while.
Early on I bumped into some other blogger friends I know – Mother of Daughters and Dress Like a Mum among others, and we headed to Scummy Mummies for a giggle or two about the realities of parenting.
Ear defenders and a pull along cart are very useful when heading to a family festival. I put the duvet in the cart and made it super comfy, so if she wanted to crash out, she had the perfect place. I could then carry on with more mum dancing next to her.
We were so lucky with the weather all weekend, and we just headed to anywhere we heard good music. My favourite place for some old school classics was the Bollywood area.
We had lots of fun in the children’s fields, there are so many great activities for the kids, including interactive circus acts, the biggest bouncy castle you’ve ever seen and lots of little pockets of live acts for the kids to delight in.
After spending hours in the children’s fields we headed over to Big Fish Little Fish for a bit of a rave whilst the kids did craft activities making cardboard crowns.
Later that evening we headed to the castle stage and listened to the uplifting tones of Fatboy Slim who rocked the huge audience, with Lulworth castle providing the dramatic backdrop.
Sunday was much more chilled, after 2 nights of wine in a box and gin in a tin, coupled with early wake up calls from the child, it was just what was needed.
Dingly Dell, a magical play area in the woods with animals such as donkeys, ducklings and chicks for the children to pet was the highlight of our day. 50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4 section, provided some great amusement and inspiration. We also took part in the very random activity of catapulting pants, it was a lot more fun than you’d imagine!
After that, we just chilled in the gorgeous sun until it was time to head home.
Camp Bestival is a fun and varied festival perfect for families, and everyone from the staff to the other festival goers are super friendly. Although it is a fairly big festival it does feel safe. Just organise meet up points and register your child’s contact wristband details with the organisers in case of any mishaps. The relaxed rules on food and drink make it even more accessible than most other festivals, once of course you’ve bought your tickets.
NATALIE’S FAMILY FESTIVAL TIPS
Bring lots of alcohol, soft drinks and food (especially kids snacks) so that you don’t end up spending a fortune. (The huge benefit about Camp Bestival, is that they allow you bring in as much food and beverages as you like, as long as it’s not glass).
Don’t forget the ear defenders. It allows for more mum and dad dancing.
Bring a duvet and pillows (so much better than sleeping bags).
Lights / torch are essential, for finding your tent in the dark.
Baby wipes are standard.
Don’t forget towels. You may or not wish to shower whilst you’re there, but towels are always handy.
Fancy dress outfits, the more imaginative the better.
Glitter, sparkles and more glitter.
With thanks to Natalie Lee of Style Me Sunday X