5 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do at Camp Bestival

Hurrah! The clocks have gone forward!! This annual event literally makes me smile from ear to ear.

Goodbye winter. We’ll miss you!

Said no-one. Ever.

It’s that time of year where I start coming out of hibernation and begin to look forward to the warmer months that lie ahead.

We bought a family calendar a few weeks ago in the Kikki K sale and have been merrily filling out the boxes; marking off when we’re away or have people staying. One of the things that certainly puts a smile on my face is planning our festival weekends.

Thinking about the colour and joy of festivals is always a lovely distraction. Having a look at what bands are on, at which particular festival.

Take Camp Bestival for example.

This year they’ll be celebrating their tenth anniversary and have got a stellar line-up in place. They’ve got Mark Ronson gracing the Castle Stage on the Friday night. Madness are doing a slot, plus Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys is the Sunday headliner.

The thought of long hot days, sipping cocktails, watching the bands; then sloping back to Dolly, tired and happy, to have a  lovely sleep in our cosy Duvalay beds makes me smile from ear to ear.

But music aside, there are so many other things going on at Camp Bestival.

Here are some of my faves.

5 Alternative Things To Do at Camp Bestival

1. Go back in time.

Take a trip back to the middle ages; try your hand at candlemaking or play some Tudor games.

Be granted an audience with the royal court or watch the jousting.

There was a whole corner dedicated to the medieval times at last year’s Camp Bestival. Perfect for history buffs or folk who just want to step out of the present for a little while.


Definitely one of the more unusual things you could turn your hand at.

Festival goers — of all ages — were encouraged to get their hands dirty and create mini-masterpieces out of mud.

Then once you were happy with your artwork you could stick it to the giant ‘Mud Mural’.

There was such an amazing array of clay creations; and this was something that proved as popular with the big, grown up kids as it did with the tiny ones.

3. Catch some comedy.

One of my very favourite installations at Camp Bestival is Caravanserai.

An übercool bar, fashioned out of caravans and Waltzer seats; it’s the perfect place to chill out and drink cocktails, soak up some live music and watch the world go by.

We’ve whiled away many hours there.

It’s always our go-to meeting place for catching up with friends.

{Plus they make the very best cocktails.}

But all that aside, it’s also the place to go to watch some unexpected comedy.

We saw a really crazy act there last year.

I’ve no idea who the guy was — I’ve Googled it and I’m still none the wiser — but he was really funny.

A cross between a clown and a mime act; his antics had the whole of the Caravanserai in fits of laughter.

No idea if he’ll be back this year but it’s just another example of  the weird and wonderful acts you can stumble across at Camp Bestival.

4. Visit a Petting Zoo.

For animal lovers big and small, the petting zoo in the Dingly Dell was a real treat.

Quite unexpected to turn a corner and be greeted by a gaggle of farmyard animals.

The Longdown Festival Farm had set up in a little corner of the Lulworth estate and they’d brought donkeys and goats, ducks and chickens for everyone to see.

We got to hold a tiny chick and pet the donkeys.

Such a lovely thing for those that live in towns and cities and don’t often get up close and personal with wildlife. And a lovely thing for those that do, too.

5. Make a wish.

My fifth and final ‘off-the-grid’ activity.

I’ve waxed lyrical about Lizzie’s Way on the blog already. It was the Twinkles most favourite thing (apart from Mr Tumble) in 2015 and last year was even bigger and better than before.

I met Lizzie last summer and we had a brief chat about the installation. It sounds as though she’d had a very similar childhood to me; playing outdoors, making dens and mud pies.

But so many children don’t grow up in a rural environment or just don’t have access to this kind of thing. Lizzie’s Way gives all the children who visit Camp Bestival the opportunity to play and create.

To relish being outdoors and take delight in some simple, childish fun.

Getting the kids away from screens and playing in the great outdoors is a lovely thing. Lizzie’s Way promotes imaginative play and allows children to be children — rather than little adults.

My boys absolutely loved it.

They spent ages making mud pizzas and playing in the water rills.

But one of my favourite things was a little corner, set aside for making wishes.

Dreams and wishes

Gorgeous to see everyone’s hopes and dreams, clustered together on bright yarn and ribbons; blowing gently in the breeze.

So many sweet sentiments; it was lovely to watch people’s faces as they read all the wishes.

‘I wish that daddy would let us have another kitten’ was one close to my heart.

But my absolute favourite, written in a childish hand, was definitely:

‘I wish I was a fairy’

I so hope it came true for her (or him).

Although, Camp Bestival is a place of magic and wonder, so if it was going to happen anywhere, that little corner of Dorset would definitely be it.

And if this little list of weird and wonderful things to do at Camp Bestival don’t persuade you to book a ticket, then have a look at my film.

I almost made it as soon as the festival was over last year but held off until I needed a pick of a visual pick-me-up. Putting all the clips together now has just reminded what a treat we have in store this summer.

The Listed Home were proud to be official bloggers for Camp Bestival last year but all thoughts, words and images — as ever — are entirely my own.


Caro Davies editor of The Listed Home
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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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2 thoughts on “5 Weird and Wonderful Things To Do at Camp Bestival”

    • Yep — I think it might be a step too far this year lovely!!! The boys went to their first festival at 17 months and that was perfect. Can’t believe, they’ve just turned 4 and they’ve already been to five 4 days festivals!! If they carry on like this, they’ll have been to more than I’ve managed in my lifetime by the time they hit 18!! :)


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