Disclaimer: We were kindly gifted tickets for the festival, however all opinions are our own
Where do I start? I could start and end with “it was epic”, but that wouldn’t do the very first Camp Bestival Shropshire the justice it deserves – it deserves more than that…. it was beyond epic! Why? Read on to find out more…
About Camp Bestival Shropshire
2022 was the first year of Camp Bestival Shropshire. After 14 amazing years in Dorset, the awesome organisers set up a sister festival in the Midlands, at Weston Park in Shropshire, for the very first Camp Bestival Shropshire.
Bringing all the awesome vibes and quirky corners we love at Camp Bestival Dorset, along with its own special personality, Camp Bestival Shropshire was more than just the sibling festival – it truly blew our minds away.
Arrival & Parking
The festival opened on the Thursday, with activities starting on the Thursday and the first full day was on the Friday. We were late to the party this year as we were working on the Friday, but being only an hour from home, it meant we still had plenty of time to get ourselves sorted on the campsite and explore the festival.
Unfortunately, being late to the party also means you’re parking further away from the campsite, however there was plenty of staff around when we arrived to show us where to go, and other families were unloading their cars with camping stuff too for the weekend.
You have the option of paying £35 to charity for one of the taxi buggies, or you can walk to the campsite. You can also hire one of the trolleys for a short amount of time or the whole weekend, however we use our trusty trailer and packed it out for the walk to the campsite.
In complete contrast to the massive hill of Camp Bestival Dorset, it was a particular relief (particularly as a mum on her own with a small child, carting everything solo to the campsite) that the walk was pretty mellow, and despite the uneven ground, it wasn’t too far to the campsite.
We were in the yellow campsite as I like to find somewhere as close to the car as possible to pitch the tent, and it was about 20mins from the car to the spot we found along a back fence area.
We tend to spend the majority of our time at festivals on the site itself, so don’t tend to take much with us anymore (eg we leave the camping chairs, table and stove behind), meaning we only had one more run back to the car to get the last of our stuff once we’d pitched, and we were ready to get partying.
The main campsite itself had a campsite shop for essentials, including milk or camping bits, a coffee shop, a breakfast bar, showers and toilets.
There were long queues for the showers and coffee shop in the mornings, but we found them all to be quieter later in the day, and picked up our morning coffee from the festival site itself.
From the campsite to the festival site, it wasn’t too far to walk for us and was on a gentle slope, meaning we were happy to leave things in the tent to pop back to (such as spare drinks and food to save buying), whereas we would have usually taken everything for the whole day in the trailer when it is further.
Arriving on the site for us was totally new as it was a brand new festival, so we had no idea what to expect, however we instantly felt at home as soon as we walked into the main arena. There were the welcoming signs that we have grown to love from Camp Bestival, such as Love Bot, Caravanserai and the Bollywood tent, all nestled in the grounds of the beautiful Weston Park.
We used an early morning on the Saturday to explore the site and get our bearings a little more, after we threw ourselves into the activities on the Friday when we arrived. It was beautiful and so spread out, while also feeling so homely and chilled too.
I’m pretty sure we didn’t get to cover everything as there were corners we never even covered, but we also did not stop all weekend as there was so much to do wherever we went.
We were so excited to be there and when we saw a beautiful rainbow across the site on the Saturday morning, even Lily exclaimed “today is going to be a great day”… And it was!
The lineup at Camp Bestival is always awesome, with music across various stages, from the headline acts through to upcoming artists.
Some of the bigger headline acts tend to be on late for us (we are earlybirds!) so we don’t get to check them out, but there was some fantastic acts on across the weekend for everyone to enjoy, including Cosmic Kids Yoga, Big Fish Little Fish, Faithless, Rag’n’Bone Man, Becky Hill, Mr Motivator and more.
For the younger ones you even have Mister Maker and Mr Tumble, and whether you’re looking for live music, comedy, DJ sets or theatre productions, there really is something for everyone, no matter what your mood. I’d only suggest to have the set times available ahead of the festival so you can plan the weekend and have the option of not paying for a lanyard.
I think that’s one of the beauties of festivals like this – you really can do you, whether you want to rave the night (or day away), chill out to some storytelling, bust out some moves on a dancefloor or take part on a science workshop, you’ve always got it on hand.
Where do I start with the activities at Camp Bestival Shropshire – it really is non-stop and another amazing reason we love the Camp Bestival family, because they really do make sure there is something for everyone, whatever your vibe, with many included in the price too.
You can do trapeze workshops, circus activities, bushcraft, build sandcastles, climb trees, get involved in soft play, have a massage, use a hammer with the Woodland Tribe, or just chill out in the sun watching the world go by!
Lily’s absolute favourite activity at Camp Bestival Dorset was the free Tic Tac Skate School, so it was the first thing she asked to do this time and once she was there, she didn’t want to leave – it really was so awesome to see kids of all ages and adults alike, all getting the buzz from skateboarding, under the guidance from the skate school – we can’t recommend it enough.
Thank you to the Tic Tac team for letting Lily set up camp and help out this weekend 🙂
I go to festivals to do things that make Lily happy, even if she wants to spend hours on one free activity (like skateboarding!), it makes her so happy so I’d never pressure her to do anything else, and Camp Bestival is such a special place with so many amazing activities that all the family can enjoy, no matter what kind of thing you like.
The funfair is always a favourite with us, so I give her the option of a ride a day as they’re chargeable, with the helter-skelter and swing chairs always being her first choices! We sadly missed the Freckles Childcare this time (extra charge) as they’re always so friendly with fun activities, but we do recommend them!
However, even with all the amazing activities that we love from Camp Bestival, there was a brand new area that stood out to us… Tribal Woods.
I think it is the Tribal Woods area that totally set Camp Bestival Shropshire firmly in our top festivals. From the moment you walked into the Tribal Woods, you felt instantly at ease and there really was so much to do, like it’s own little festival.
There was wild swimming or paddleboarding (over 8s only so we’ll be paddleboarding next year!), ice baths, gong baths, massage, hot tubs, reflexology and more for the ultimate time out experiences, alongside a huge adventure playground in the woods, a wonderful little steam train, a sensory area for kids to explore sounds and even basket weaving. It really was just perfect.
Going to a festival on my own with a child, it’s important for me to feel safe, and even though this was a new festival for us, I instantly felt at home.
I was nervous that is was all so new, and it did take me a while to get my head around where everything was, but everyone at the festival is so welcoming, so happy and so friendly, and there is always a magical buzz in the air that makes the Camp Bestival vibes so special.
I’ve tried to avoid comparing Camp Bestival Dorset and Shropshire as they are their own festivals, but just like awesome siblings, they are clearly from the same family, just with their own special personalities, each bringing their own magical vibes.
For me, Shropshire really was something truly amazing, and they really did get it right. I would love to be able to see some of the headline acts and the fireworks, however they are on quite late, so I have mentally accepted that it won’t be possible until Lily is that bit older, and we can enjoy all the awesome activities that Camp Bestival has throughout the day together.
Whether you’re keen to rave the night away and you’ve kids who are able to do the same, or you prefer to chill out in the woods, you really are in the right place and the beauty of Camp Bestival is that you can just do you, be you and enjoy whatever your family enjoys.
Even though it was the first festival in Shropshire from the Camp Bestival family, it really was brilliant and we were genuinely blown away with it all. It is so fantastic to have Camp Bestival just an hour from home, right here in the Midlands, and we will definitely make sure we book on next year as it felt like Christmas had come early for us.
Thank you to everyone involved in making Camp Bestival Shropshire happen – you’ve really done something amazing with that festival and you blew the minds of so many families this weekend. We can’t wait to do it all over again.