Camp Bestival 2017 Review

Wet, Wet, Wet.

And we’re not talking about the band! Pop Stars and Rock Stars descended on Lulworth Castle for Camp Bestival 2017. Camp Bestival is the younger festival of Bestival and Common People. Every year hundreds of families enjoy a quality 4 day holiday to Lulworth Castle in Dorset, England. There are 6 main camping zones, Backstage Hospitality, Boutique, Camping Plus, Pre-Pitched, General Camping and Campervan fields.

Preparation is key for UK festivals!

People had been avidly checking the weather forecast in the lead up to the festival and thankfully having the super organised daddy that I have, we came prepared for the worse and hoped for the best. We were due for rain over the weekend and the worse weather Camp Bestival had seen in seven years!

Camp Bestival 2017 Review
A bright start to Camp Bestival

Thankfully the sun shone on Thursday when we arrived. After a major trauma of daddy losing our car keys in the yellow car park we found them at Mr Trolley after someone had kindly handed them in. Phew! We finally put up our tent in the dry weather and got to explore the site as it should be seen in the sunshine. We spent the evening watching the world go by at the Kidifornia stand and I happily played on their man-made beach in the hammocks.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review
Camp Bestival Campsite

Walking back to our tent we had butterflies in our stomach for what was in store over the weekend. Unfortunately the next day when we woke it was chucking it down with rain but unperturbed we headed out to explore the Dingly Den with our waterproofs and enjoyed a full day walking around the site.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review
Having fun at Lizzie’s Way in Dingly Dell

We started off in the woods as last year Lizzie’s Way was one of my favourite areas to hang out in. The Camp Bestival woods did not disappoint and offered some shelter from the heavy rain. It was beautifully decorated and bright against the grey dark sky. We had fun dressing up and pretended to be Rock Stars on the wooden stage, taking turns to pretend to sing and play the drums.

Camp Bestival Lizzie's Way
Rocking out on the woodland stage!

There was lots to do in the Dingly Dell woodlands area from wild crafts and games from The ATE Trust, Lizzie’s Way, Woodland Tribe Den Building, Longdown Festival Farm and WILD tree-climbing and the outdoor zip-line. We struggled to fit everything in and unfortunately missed the new crafting corner!

Camp Bestival 2017 Review
Making a call to Grandma

There were a lot of areas set up for role-playing in Lizzie’s Way and we found ourselves ducking past the mud kitchen (who needed mud this early on? hehe!) and played with the food counters and mixing potions with water. We noticed a lovely display of paper flowers where us kids could make and plant wishes in the Wish Garden.

Camp Bestival Review

I spent ages writing my wish and planting my paper flower amongst the others. Afterwards one of my wishes was granted as I took to the sky and joined the WILD team for a trip up the tall zip wire in an adrenaline based activity for young kids (see our video below). While other children were climbing trees, I zipped faster than a speeding bullet in the time allocated activity (£5.00 Charge).

Camp Bestival Zip Line
Having fun zip lining

After our trip in the woods we ventured further afield and headed to one of the many areas on site called the Lower Kids Garden. Camp Bestival was split into 7 main areas and we enjoyed the Lower Kids Garden area, Dingly Dell woodsBollywood and Big Top in The Magic Meadow area and The Feast Collective in the Upper Kids Garden.  The Castle Field was too crowded with too many trolleys, camping chairs, umbrellas and tents blocking the views so sadly we didn’t watch many performances. Organisers could have done with another viewing screen further back! We missed The Den as it was mainly for teenagers (however the skateboard/scooter ramps looked awesome despite the rain sadly keeping them closed) and Slow Motion area which was the chill-out destination of the site.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review

Even though we didn’t watch many musical performances the ones we did catch were pretty epic, Dat Brass at the steampunk Oberon’s Observatory stage and House Gospel Choir were awesome and had our feet tapping. Theatre and circus performances from West End KidsDogs Don’t Do Ballet and Insect Circus captured my imagination. The performances in the kids tent aptly called The Greatest Tent on Earth made my fellow children and I very amused and were very welcomed given the weather.

Madness at Camp Bestival
Madness © 2017 Camp Bestival

We briefly saw Madness and listened to their new material at the Castle Stage before the heavens opened, but Mark Ronson sadly was a wash out for us. Right Said Fred, brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, took advantage of the lighter drizzle and we enjoyed listening to their classic ‘Deeply Dippy’ and ‘I’m too sexy’, which brought back memories for my folks.

School of Rock didn’t disappoint and even though the rain didn’t let up they drew a massive crowd to the Castle Field. Their performance has definitely made us want to see the West End show. Even though the weather was pretty miserable on Saturday we had fun joining in with the Pimp My Trolley competition with Sara Cox. We eagerly headed down to the Catwalk in the Lower Kids Garden to join in with the other 20 or so decorated trolleys.

We caught the tail end of the Beard Competition which was funny to watch with some serious competitors! Luckily the weather held off while my folks and I paraded down the catwalk. The prize was weekend family tickets to next years Camp Bestival so a lot was riding on it. Sadly we didn’t win however had great fun in the parade afterwards. I did my best Rock Star impression by falling asleep in the cart just before the competition almost missing the chance to meet Sara Cox.

Camp Bestival Pimp My Trolley

Afterwards a change in the weather forced us to abandon our Guns & Roses costumes and don more sensible attire in the form of wet weather overalls. My folks were pretty glad considering their wigs were water-logged and they looked like drown rats.

Camp Bestival Review

The last day offered mild weather and beautiful sunshine. We wandered the festival site without a care in the world making sure to step in every bit of mud and visit the stands that we had previously missed. I had a whale of a time while my mummy’s heart was in her throat waiting for me to fall flat on my face in the mud! Thankfully I only covered my legs and arms in the gooey mud.

Camp Bestival Review
Mud Glorious Mud!

We stopped by the Dorset Cereals stand that were handing out free cereals and muesli with fresh natural yoghurt. Sitting in their deck chairs with the sun on our faces was pure bliss. We got to sample fresh milk with my favourite blueberry muesli for free and had two helpings! My mummy and I played noughts and crosses in the mud and knocked down the giant jenga.

Camp Bestival Dorset Cereals

The food at the festival was tremendous, if a little over priced, we had breakfast in our tent and then treated ourselves to lunch and dinner. Our food highlight was visiting the Feast Collective in the Upper Kids Garden next to the circus breakout area. The nice thing about Camp Bestival is that festival organisers have no problem with you bringing in your own food, just as long as there is no glass. This makes it more cost-effective for families but didn’t seem to deter everyone from sampling the food and drink!

Camp Bestival DJ
DJing at Camp Bestival at the LEGO Friends Party!

There were also plenty of stands handing out freebies and we loved visiting the Rowntrees Taste Tour and I had fun selecting Fruit Pastels and packets of free Randoms from the sushi inspired conveyor belt (see our video). I loved the LEGO Friends Party stand and received a free goodie bag packed with Lego, while playing games on the stand and joining in the silent disco.

Camp Bestival Feast Collective

We wanted to taste some culinary delights so made a beeline for SeaDog at the Feast Collective tent who specialise in world flavoured dishes using locally caught Devon fish. I had the SeaPup box which included aromatic rice, fresh battered fish with Asian inspired flavours. It was very exotic and tasty but when my daddy came out with a Piecaramba Bounty Hunter’s chicken pie I couldn’t resist nicking his lunch! It was amazing and we can’t wait to visit their pie shop in Winchester! My mummy finished off my SeaDog lunch and we all left happy with warm food in our bellies.

Camp Bestival 2017 Food

I also liked the range of stalls throughout the site especially CORN, where I had my favourite corn on the cob. A hidden gem was the WI Tent which offered cost-effective hot beverages, sandwiches, cream teas and cake and was our go to tent to eat in. Coffee was a much more reasonable £1 compared to £2.50-£4 on other stands.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review

The evenings were awash with colours and crowds formed around the large disco ball in the Magic Meadow to watch the light show. We also loved walking around the Dingly Den at night to see the art installations lit up (see our video). The big wheel was lovely lit up at night and we enjoyed going on it during the day and seeing the festival site from above. The fireworks were epic and you can catch them on You Tube and they were a perfect ending to the festival. It’s just a shame there wasn’t more in-crowd performances and we didn’t catch a single parade, even though we waited for the evening one in the Magic Meadow. So we never got to see the fabulous costumes like last year.

Camp Bestival Night Disco Ball

We didn’t mind the mud and had plenty of fresh clothes and weather appropriate clothing during the rainy periods. However it was the wind that got to us a bit in the evenings shaking our tent at night, thankfully previous experience of bad weather meant Daddy used storm pegs which helped us stay put during the weekend in our trusty Voyager Elite 6 tent. 

Our tent at Camp Bestival
Our tent in the middle of the field

Some weren’t so lucky and had gazebos and tents collapsing. But this definitely hasn’t put us off visiting Camp Bestival which tends to be a sunny and dry festival. It wouldn’t be a UK festival experience without a little bit of mud and rain! There was a well stocked camping stand as well for those that weren’t as prepared.

Camp Bestival 2017 Photos
Mud glorious mud!

After 3 days of rain showers and high footfall the site did resemble a mud bath on the last day. No worse than your average Glastonbury but for families and some fair weather folk it all got a bit too much. It was hard to pull a trolley and navigate a push chair in the thick oozy mud, so we abandoned our trolley and took to the puddles. It was one of my highlights and I have never seen so much mud, however many adult folk were worried about packing up and leaving the site with cars. We needn’t have worried as we sailed out of the yellow car park, even if we did skid a couple of times.

Camp Bestival 2017 Review

Even though it rained for 80% of our time at the festival we still had an enjoyable experience and it just goes to show that you can still have a good time at Camp Bestival in any kind of weather. It’s not just the entertainment and food that makes it so great but also the army of people involved and the other festival goers. Please can the toilets be a bit more serviced next year?! Keep your eyes peeled for early bird tickets and payment plans for Camp Bestival 2018 at 

We didn’t get round to seeing everything as there was too much to see and do! We loved dressing up, so the theme yet again rocked our world! Did you go to Camp Bestival 2017? What was your experience? Catch our short video above and see what we got up to!

Love Bella x

Disclaimer: We were offered tickets to Camp Bestival in order to conduct our review. All on site purchases where are own.

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78 thoughts on “Camp Bestival 2017 Review

    1. Totally agree! Mud makes a festival, at one point we walked into a portaloo and there was brown stuff everywhere…we just hope it was mud 😉 Hope you are well x

    1. It was the most stressful start to any festival EVER! I thought my mummy was going to kill daddy for losing the car keys. Thankfully someone was looking after us that day x

  1. We love Camp Bestival, and was a little bit glad we couldn’t make it this year when I saw the rain. However we really missed not going, and have so much fun when we are there. Great review,and so nice to see what you got up to

  2. This sounds so exciting! Especially since it seems to be great for everyone of all ages! The muddy wellies and food are true festival satisfaction. I’m so glad you guys had a lovely time! 🙂

  3. So lovely to see you and I just adored your costume and trolley. Couldn’t persuade my two to do the zipline and Isaac was gutted he was too tall

  4. Oh wow, I’ve been wondering what camp bestival is all about. It looks great despite the rain. Might have to put this on my mental list for next year!

  5. So lovely to read about your adventures at Camp Bestival 2017. I’ve heard exciting things about it, but to read it first hand is better. Horrible that the weather was rather nasty, although didn’t stop all the fun. Looks like something I’d love to do with my little boy, just a shame it’s a long long long way from us.

  6. It’s such a shame that the weather wasn’t any good, although it still sounds like good fun. School of Rock is amazing and you have to see it x

  7. I did feel for everyone at the festival over the weekend as I watched the rain pelting down here. My own two older boys were at local festivals too and like you stuck out the rain but also had an amazing time – fueled by beer in their case! Even with 80% rain you still make Camp Bestival look like an amazing experience, I love the look of Lizzie’s Way and the Dingly Dell. I’m going to make one of those giant woodland frames here one week in Activity hour, they make such a fun photo. Madness is a group of my teenage years and I’d have loved to have seen them.

    Thank you for sharing an amazing weekend on #CountryKids

  8. This looks like such a great festival for families….Well done for not letting the rain put you off. It looks like you had such a wonderful time. I love the Guns n Roses cart! #CountryKids

  9. Glad the weather wasn’t too awful so didn’t spoil your trip. I’ve never been to a festival and would like to take the kids, maybe next year…

  10. Oh man that looks so muddy! I love Camp Bestival but for the first time we couldn’t make it and in a way I’m glad just because of the weather. So glad you has a lovely time despite the weather. It’s a truly magical place!

    1. There was a lot of people that couldn’t go this year. I bet you were breathing a sigh of relief as it was muddy – but we had fun 🙂 Hopefully see you at Camp Bestival next year!

  11. Aww… the famous Camp Bestival – it certainly lived up to its name. It looked Amazing & Fantastic! Looks like your girl has the grove on too! I love your Gun N’ Roses trolley. My Gosh! It totally rocked! I also love your Rock Star impression too. Haha So funny! & you get to meet Sarah Cox too! So cool! Glad you had a great time even though it was rainy. Great job for sticking with the rain. We also went to a similar festival but much much smaller and the rain really was just so dismal – but luckily it was at nighttime so it wasn’t too bad. Looking forward to reading this again next year. I want to see your next idea of the trolley. Way to go! xx #CountryKids

    1. Thanks. We do like pimping up our trolley! Its one of the best bits decorating and getting costumes ready before the festival. We can’t wait for next years theme! xx

  12. What a shame about the rain but looks like you really embraced and it made the most of it. Funny how things can vary so much – I have been wearing Crocs at festival all weekend. This does sound like a great festival for a variety of ages with so much to do. #countrykids

  13. Oh wow looks like you had an amazing time! We have dine Camp Bestival before and it’s such an ace festival. I love your preparation of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best – thats the best way to do it!! Love all your outfits as well
    Just popping over from Country Kids
    Laura x

  14. It sounds like you had a brilliant time despite the rain and mud. I’m glad you were prepared and had lots of wet weather gear and that your Daddy used extra pegs on your tent. I would love to go to Camp Bestival and I’m sure my kids would love it. Little Miss H would love splashing in the biggest muddy puddles in the world. Hugs Lucy xxxx

  15. Despite the weather, this looks incredible! I remember seeing Camp Bestival last year and thinking.. shall we… but we never got round to going. I think we have too next year. Bella looks like she had a blast and with so much to see and do, I doubt you can go wrong. Fab review, you have me convinced. #Dreamteam xx

  16. Love your review – it looks like you all had an amazing time despite the weather! I’ve been thinking for a few years now how great Camp Bestival looks, but I have to admit I’m definitely a fair weather camper and the thought of a wet weekend like this does put me off! But I love how prepared you were and that it didn’t stop your fun. The food looks amazing though, which is always a plus for me, and your Guns and Roses costumes look so good! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  17. This looks like such a fun festival and you did so well to get through it in that rain. I went to a very rainy Glasto once and it was hard! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  18. That looks like so much fun! Most music festivals around my way aren’t all that kid friendly but that looks like such a great place to go for family fun! #bloggerclubuk

  19. My social media was full of camp bestival when it was on and I did feel for everyone with the weather. It does look amazing and one of the best family friendly festivals I’ve seen. It is definitely on my wish list to take the girls. Maybe next year we will finally do it! Lovely review. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  20. This sounds great except the weather. Camping in the rain isn’t much fun when everything always feels damp, but it sounds like you all didn’t let that stop you enjoying it
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  21. Oh wow what an experience! Shame about the weather but looks like so much fun! My daughter would absolutely love this and I hope we get a chance to go one year! #sharingthebloglove

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