Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


Wychwood Family Festival Review

Father and son

So two weeks ago we came home from 4 days of blissful camping, music, food and fun, all with a toddler under 3. Now some people would be daunted by the idea of taking a toddler to a music festival but you needn't be, as long as you choose the right festival, with facilities and entertainment for little ones you will be in for a treat. We started our summer off at Wychwood festival in Cheltenham, the weather was not amazing by any standards, it was cold at times and very windy but at it was dry the whole weekend and you cannot ask for more.

Wychwood festival

First impressions of Wychwood - well this is by far the most civilised festival we have ever been to and is perfect for the festival beginner. Over the whole weekend, not once did we ever go to a toilet that didn't have any toilet roll and they were all spotless, plus warm showers and an easy access camping site that was only a few minutes walk from the festival site is all a bonus. We managed to drive the car to the entrance of family camping to unload and all the stewards were so friendly. The campsite was also one of the best I have ever camped on at a festival, beautifully maintained grass, all levelled, with wonderful hedges and secret spots for children to play and have fun in a safe environment.

Festival family camping

It was also the first time we were using our new Blacks Constellation tent, which we were really excited about as it's a bit bigger than our former tents and suited for all-year round camping with a large porch and two bedrooms. It was pretty easy to put up, I must admit I nearly did it all myself, with a little bit of help from Mr A, while John parked the car, although it would of been much quicker with more pairs of hands, but being a seasoned camper I loved the challenge. We settled in and then couldn't wait to check out the festival and listen to some music and grab a bite to eat.

Tea bus
Now when going to a festival with little ones, the line-up has to go out the window as you really cannot plan who and what you want to see, instead just enjoy the moment and let your child choose the way. With so many family friendly workshops and entertainment your not short for choice. Mr A really enjoyed the circus workshops and clay modelling as well as the bubble man and the Roald Dahl story-time and of course the major highlight for him was seeing and meeting Mr Bloom.

Wychwood festival

circus workshop
Mr A learning some new circus skills

festival fun

As catering option went there wear so many choices but we loved the traditional thin crust organic pizza from an actually clay pizza oven - so yummy and there was a very cute Tea Bus serving sandwiches and cream teas, I also loved the Gypsy caravan fish finger stand for the little man (I don't eat meat) and we of course also did our own cooking on our camping stove, mainly things like porridge, scrambled egg and beans although in the past I have done curries and pasta dishes on such a stove.

Wychwood festival
Thrill Collins doing their thing - they are amazing by the way!

The festival being quite small had one Main Stage, The Big Top and the Hobgoblin tent plus a few other small tents dotted around plus a Documentary tent, the meadow and kids area with a breast feeding and changing tent, as well as a healing garden and of course some festival crafts and clothing stalls. They ran workshops including yoga and Pilates from the morning into the afternoon, I loved the bongo drum session. The site stayed open till 3am each night, John loved the Gin and Tonic stand and the fact that Hobgoblin had there own mini beer festival on site.

camping chair
Chillin in the camping chair

We loved spending the evenings watching music, including Bill Bailey, Human League, The Wedding present and Thrill Collins as our main highlights and of course we retired back to our tent at around 8pm, as soon as the sun went down it would become very cold, lucky we had great season 3 sleeping bags to keep up warm as well as a double blow up bed - which not only brings much added comfort but also insulation from the ground which sucks the warm from you - I highly recommend getting a blow up mattress which will massively increase the enjoyment of your camping experience.

Mr A in his Wychwood festival hoodie
Our top 3 tips for family camping at a festival -
1. Take your time, don't stress and just let it be for those few days and enjoy the moment.
2. ALWAYS pack warm clothes no matter what the forecast says, it will get cold at night and you want to keep layers on your little ones and make sure they are comfortable.
3. Invest in good equipment - this will change your experience from a negative one to a positive one - there is no need to be uncomfortable, we certainly weren't, intact we all slept really well - Mr A slept through all of the nights spent under canvas.

mother and son

festival fun

Overview - we loved the festival, even though it is  bit small and could do with a few more elements to it but it has such excellent camping facilities and Mr A made some lovely new friends and it's a great festival for families it really does get our thumbs up and hopefully we will be back next year.

I've linked this post up with Funday Monday link

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