Camp Bestival for beginners...

By Lucy Bartlett

Camp Bestival for beginners...

Spring is round the corner (it may not feel like it, but it REALLY is!) and festival season is on the horizon. Katy Earley of the Modern Mummy blog, is a seasoned pro of the family festival and has popped down her top tips for getting the most out of one of the most popular festivals around... Camp Bestival! ...And she KNOWS what she's talking about having partied with her daughters at the festival every year since 2013!

This summer is going be our sixth year at Camp Bestival and it may only be March, but we’re already counting down the days til we can jump in the car and make our way down to Dorset! Camp Bestival was the first festival we went to as a family and, ever since that first fateful weekend in 2013, we’ve been addicted! What’s not to love about spending four days and nights with your favourite people, along with a whole lot of live music, theatre, arts and crafts, fancy dress, amazing food (and beer!), dancing… and did I mention the fancy dress?

If you’re thinking of heading to Camp Bestival for the first time - DO IT! Here are a few of our top tips to help you have the most amazing weekend ever!

Pay the extra for Camping Plus.

Last year, after four years of standard camping we gave Camping Plus a go. This meant we had a pitch reserved for us (which we’d been able to pre-book next to our friends) which also had a designated car park, right next to it. It was a real treat not having to lug all our camping gear up and down the hilly site and also meant we didn’t have to rush to get there early to get the best spot in the public fields. I’d definitely do it again.

Pack for all eventualities, but pack light.

Sounds like a complete contradiction I know, but it needn’t be! Plan ahead with friends and don’t double pack - we usually split foodstuffs between our camping companions, so one person will pack breakfast things, another will bring everything for our traditional first night BBQ. I’m terrible for overpacking clothes but just remember you’ll have to carry all your luggage from car to camp so keep it minimal. It may be July but this is Britain. Pack wellies and waterproofs - if the forecast looks good, you can always leave them in your car until/in case you need them.

Brace yourselves for chilly evenings.

Even if it’s 30 degrees by day, there’s still a chill in the air at night. Take thick socks, hoodies and layer up! Don’t scrimp on the blankets!

Good sleep is essential.

Late nights are part and parcel of festivalling with kids, but no one wants to be tired and grumpy the next day, so make sure you get as much good quality sleep as you can. If you’re about to buy a tent, consider a black out one - alternatively you can take an eye mask, and ear defenders for the kids are a godsend. Bundle beds are also genius - they’re easy to carry (bigger kids can carry their own) and are as comfy as a real bed. (You can also put two together to make a portable double bed!)

Take your own face paints.

It will save you a fortune and you won’t have to join the ridiculously long queues for the professionals - plus the kids love drawing on themselves and each other!

Take, or hire, a garden trolley or wagon.

If you have young kids, this is THE way for them to travel around a festival site! Even as they get older, a trolley is so useful for lugging camping gear to the site and the garden trolleys with drop down sides make great seats in the evenings. You can make them super cosy with cushions and blankets!

Katy is a city born, country living, festival loving mum of two girls. She lives in Surrey with her daughters, their cat Mabel Meatball, their two rabbits and their six hens. She loves live music, art exhibitions and Mexican food and blogs at can also read about what Katy and her family enjoyed most at Camp Bestival in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 !