Crowned Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2013, the little sister of Bestival on the Isle of Wight is billed as “the greatest family show on earth” (even if they do say so themselves!), in a stunning setting at a castle camp site by the sea.

Many legends of London’s media scene are regular fans of Camp Bestival, so don’t be surprised if you bump into Keith Allen, Charlie Brooks, Sara Cox, Jo Whiley and Samantha Janus – all right regular attendees at the event.

Every age is catered for at Camp Bestival with zones ranging from a Baby Chill Out and a Teenarena to an Observatory and Freesports Park, while a mega-mix of activities and events include medical jousting, circus workshops, falconry shows plus Bollywood to ballet dance workshops

Musical Maestros Highlights include Basement Jaxx, James, De La Soul, Johnny Marr, Sinead O’ Connor, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Laura Mvula and many more live acts and DJs.

Featured Fun Comedy from Milton Jones, Pajama Men and, for the minors, Comedy Club 4 Kids. The Guardian Literary Institute includes Scroobius Pip’s Satin Lizard Lounge and Charlie And The Chocolate Factory read by Jo Whiley, Howard Marks and Rob da Bank.

The Zones  There is The Big Top; The Castle Stage; The Greatest Tent On Earth; The Bollywood Tent; The Card Yard; Travelling Barn; Caravanserai; Oberon’s Observtory; Art Town; Freesports Park; Teenarena; Pig’s Big Ballroom; Baby Chill Out; Camp Spa & Sauna; Dingly Dell; Face Painting Tent; Guardian Literary Institute; Lego’s Imagination Factory; Mini Castle Stage; Peacock Pavilion; Pimp My Trolley; Soft Play Area (under 5s); Science Tent; Rob De Bank’s Music Club; Soul Park; Spinney Hollow… plus more!

Kid Stuff

  • Breastival Mother and Baby Chill Out is brand new for 2014
  • A large section of the festival site is devoted to the little-uns with the Upper Kid’s Garden on the lawn behind the castle dedicated to the likes of BigTopMania where you can learn a circus skill, a Bouncy Castle, bikes and go-carts, a separate Toddlers’ Area
  • The Lower Kids Garden is packed with entertainment for slightly older children: the Insect Circus, Art Town where paint and glitter is the order of the day, the Kids Catwalk, fairground rides, facepainting and a soft play tent and sandpit (for under 5’s)
  • The Greatest Tent On Earth! is the centre for all circus spectaculars
  • The Dingly Dell is also a great place for families to take part in art and craft activities as well as storytelling
  • Shows to catch include: Horrible Histories, Mr Tumble on the Castle Stage, Barmy Britain Part II, Ben & Holly Live and West End Kids.
  • The TeenArena is a new space for 2014, and activities are being planned in collaboration with the attendees right now!
  • Oberon’s Observatory is a space odyssey – both for the festival and for the night sky
  • Caravanserai delivers fairground rides for all the family
  • The Travelling Barn has acoustic acts as well as hill-billy barn dancing into the night
  • Freesports Park offers ‘have-a-go’ sessions of bouldering, parkour, BMX-ing, skateboarding and slack-lining. There will also be demo sessions with some of the UK’s most talented pros

Chill Out Time The Soul Park makes an expansive return to Camp Bestival in 2014 offering facials, massages, a nail bar as well as a fabulous wood fired yurt sauna to relax in. Buy a Camp Spa Plus package and you can enjoy the sauna all weekend.

Dining Tables There is a local farmers’ market, The Women’s Institute Tea Tent, DJ BBQ, Wholefood Heaven, Frayfish Bob, Smokestak, Biblos, The Cake Shop Bakery, Martin Morales, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen, Breddos Tacos and The Knackered Mothers Wine Club to name a few. Plus, new for 2014 is The Feast Collective, a food lovers’ haven that celebrates exceptional local artisan food producers and features independent chefs, street vendors, and creative food makers from Wootton Organics cheese makers to the Dorset Pie Company.

Happy Campers As the name suggests, Camp Bestival places a lot of emphasis on making sure your campsite experience is the best it can be. There are four different types of camping field (plus a campervan area and a caravan/trailer tent area), each with relatively close car parks, plus showers, loos (many of which will be of the eco-friendly and non-smelly compostable variety), good food stalls, and recycling points. Also available is Camping Plus, which gives you a guaranteed self-selected plot plus dedicated car park. The Boutique Campsite has luxurious Tipis, Yurts, Squrts, Cloudhouses, Podpads and Bell Tents, while the Tangerine Fields Campsite has ready-pitched and fully-equipped tents plus Gypsy Caravans.

Full Weekend
Adult (18+), £195 | Student, £180 | 15–17 year-olds, £113 | 11–14 year-olds, £88 | 5–10 year olds, £20 | Under-5s, Free, but ticketed

DIARY DATES FOR 2015 Early Bird Tickets for Camp Bestival 2015 will be on sale from August 8, 2014.

Photography Credit: Camp Bestival |

See more family friendly Festivals in the UK for 2014