Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Trespass Qiktent - Review

At the end of every festival I attend I enjoy watching people who, on day one, smugly erected an instant 'pop up' tent, and now on day 5 are struggling to get it back into its bag!

I have seen swearing, family rows, anger, broken tents, ripped bags, tents crammed into cars still semi erect, even tents just dumped in fury and left at the festival.

I envy these people on day one, but always remember on day 5 why I don't have a pop up tent.

If only there was a tent that was quick to put up, but just as quick to put down.

Well it turns out there is!



Trespass kindly sent me a 2 man Qiktent to review and as soon as it arrived DD and I excitedly erected it in the living room! It was super fast, and then, equally super fast, we packed it away again! Good gracious, we were sold on the whole idea. And so we decided to take it with us to the Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire. Initially we planned just to pitch it and maybe use it for storage as it's small, but in the end DD was so taken with it she decided to make it her home for four days.

I rarely make videos but I couldn't believe how fast and simple the Qiktent was to erect and pack down, and knew you wouldn't believe it either unless you could witness it - so here is the evidence, and a chat with DD about why she loved it.



The tent is super fast to erect, it's also fast and easy to pack away, it's light, it is cute. It  has a porch area for muddy shoes or your rucksack. As a two man tent it has space for two to sleep but no extra space (except the porch area) so you would need to be good mates to share. But for a single camper it is the perfect tent, enough space to sleep and store your kit. Also great as a second (or third!) small tent for your teens to have a private sleeping area.


Like any nylon tent it can get condensation on the inside in the morning if it's cold out, and it heats quickly in the sun, but it has easy open windows at either end with fly screens, and a fly screen over the sleeping area door, so it's quick to cool down and air the tent.


The sleeping area is a sealed unit with attached groundsheet so no danger of creepy crawlies in the tent, and of course, the inner and outer skins are all attached to the frame for that super speedy erection. The outer is waterproof to 3000hh which is pretty impressive, and will cope with all the UK weather can throw at it.


It's not a particularly cheap tent at rrp of £149.99  (though currently available at the sale price of £74.99) but I would say that is worth paying for the simplicity and ease of use of the tent, you won't worry about using it even for a brief stay. A great festival tent, or a tent for a couple of nights, it would be excellent if you are hiking or biking and staying in a different spot each night, arriving late and tired it would be just the tent you need to take all the strain out of pitching.

Disclosure - I was sent the tent in exchange for an honest review.

Let me know what you think over on my  Facebook page , or tweet me at Tentsniffer on Twitter.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Curious Arts Festival 2016

So I expect you are all wondering, did I manage to see all of the things I hoped to at the Curious Arts Festival?

curious arts festival programme

Well, no. But I experienced all I needed. We arrived on the Friday and the cricket match was in full swing already, sadly it's a short walk form the camp site and the main festival site, and after pitching the tent in the scorching sunshine all I fancied was a snooze and an ice cold beer! Couple with the fact we had the small puppy with us (and she was panting in the shade) we decided to miss the cricket in favour of total non exertion.

dog asleep in a tent

We did manage to hear lots of author interviews and talks though, including Celia Imre, talking about her new book, Not Quite Nice, which sounds pretty good, not my usual read, but fun. It did sound particularly funny when she read an excerpt so I'm planning on getting the audio of her reading.

festival scene

During Celia's talk DD and I sat with Fizz at the back of the tent, munching on a lovely complimentary picnic, I did my best to eat all of the strawberries and cream but in the end I was forced to share with the sound crew. Unluckily for them, I did manage to drink the gin, helped down by posh Fevertree tonic.

gin and tonic with strawberry

We managed somehow to miss Carol Ann Duffy, and the snail racing, and the silent yoga...but we did spend a lot of time talking to people who found OUR dog cute! Also eating and drinking. The food choice was much better this year than last and I especially enjoyed Higgidy Pies having a stall there. We also ate a great deal of pizza....

higgidy pie box
Shrodingers pie ... is it in the box? or have I eaten it?

pizza on a picnic mat

We did not miss the comedy each night though, this is something of a highlight for DD (especially after last year when The Noise Next Door hauled me up on stage and sang risque songs to me) and she really enjoyed the stand up humour. This year I avoided the stage, though others were not so lucky. Lots of laughter all round.

dog in a festival tent

Because we had the puppy we did not stay up late listening to bands/singers, but it was nice to sit outside in the twilight listening to them from a distance.

view from a tent

This is a small festival, but perfectly formed. The right amount of art, children's activities and music. Best of all it's in a gorgeous location, with a beautiful house as its backdrop, and no hill to tire you out. The car park is almost right next to the camping area too - so no long walk with all your gear. (Now you know the true extent of our laziness, a short walk and still too hot to bother to move!)

book about gin

cocktail book

Lots of books to buy, and fizz to drink (courtesy of British sparkling wine makers, Nyetimber,  it's a rather lovely way to spend a weekend. Next year the festival will be held on 20th - 23rd July and children are FREE!! (to take - you don't get given free children)

children playing at a festival

 Become an intellectual, take an intellectual dog...

dog in glasses

dog asleep by a champagne bottle
Nothing to see here...
Disclosure : I attended the festival for free in exchange for promotional posts and a review - this review is my own opinion.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Festival Checklist and some Festivals you may have missed

LAST MINUTE FESTIVALS & YOUR ESSENTIAL CHECKLIST

I'm well into my festival season, I hope you've been to at least one, or are about to! I'm looking forward to reviewing all of the ones I attend but until then, here's a list to keep you busy - maybe you'll find a festival to attend? Or to pencil in for next year.

Belladrum (Tartan Heart festival), has been taking place in Inverness-shire since 2004. This year’s highlights include Northern Irish trio, Two Door Cinema Club; glam rockers, the Darkness; and local singer songwriter, Rachel Sermanni.

Need a break from the music? Then head to the Hielan Coo Club ViP area, escape the hurly burly of festival life and grab some monkfish wrapped in bacon with a fresh salad and then chill in a Turkish Steam room.

Green Gathering, which grew out of the Green Fields section at Glastonbury festival might not primarily be a music festival, but there is extensive live music performed across several small stages and venues, with other areas including a permaculture zone, a crafts area and healing fields.

Lytham Festival packs in 7 days of consecutive events. Everything from ex Oasis’s Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds to Lemar and a variety of cultural events too, it’s by the coast near Preston way.

Wilderness Festival likes to think of itself as being the intellectual British Festival. Set in the picturesque Cornbury Estate in Oxfordshire. The Flaming Lips are headlining, other things to discover include the mystical woodland party, yoga in a yurt and banquet feasts provided by Deliciously Ella and Raymond Blanc.  <<I'm off to this one on Thursday - see you there?

Rewind Festival put simply Rewind Festival is the 80s festival.  This means Rick Astley will be performing, UB40 and Adam and the Ants. Oh, and there will be a giant inflatable church, or chapel of love. And the New York Brass Band, hailing from the mean street of York, promise a new breed of funky brass revolution.

Rebellion Festival in an indoor punk festival in Blackpool, it is celebrating its 20th year anniversary and regarded as one of the world’s biggest punk festivals.

Wickham Festival is a family friendly festival set in the rolling downland, two miles north of Farham in Hampshire. Line up includes The Stranglers, Chas and Dave, Red Hot Chilli Piper  (Yes Piper). Wickham Festival was a best festival winner at the 2015 Live Music Awards.

Supernormal Festival, an interactive festival for artists to experiment and musicians to collaborate. If you want to 'be the festival', head to Braziers Park in Oxfordshire. 

England's Medieval Festival - all the fun of time travel without a TARDIS, ale, wenches, jousting, stocks, hog roasts. Come and live in the past for a weekend! You can even bring the dog. <<I'm off to this one too! Who's with me?

This festival round up and festival checklist are brought to you by the Cuvva team. Cuvva are creating new ways to travel to and from festivals. Starting with hourly car insurance, which enables you to borrow friends’ cars fully insured, or share the driving on the way back from the festie. This strikes me as a brilliant idea! Your mate had a skinful and you don't want him to drive but it's his car and you are sober but not insured? or Your mate fancies a snooze after the next services but her cute VW isn't insured for you to drive it? Now you can use an app to get instant insurance for a short time! No excuse to not share the driving, happy festivalling!!

and to ensure you don't forget anything...


Monday, 25 July 2016

My list of 5 'Must Sees' at Camp Bestival this year

Every year I plan lots of things to see at Camp Bestival and we usually manage about 50%. Mainly because the festival is large, we are easily distracted and extremely lazy.


So I'm making a list this year of just 5 things that I absolutely MUST see.


  1. The Chuckle Brothers. It may surprise you to know that I love their silly slapstick humour. But with the state of the world today I think that a few custard pies, dropped paint tins and mishaps with ladders is just what we need to lighten the mood. To me, to you...
  2. Tears for Fears. Huge blast from my past and a retro delight, cannot wait to sing along, after all, everybody wants to rule the world...
  3. Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, I am quite frankly in awe of this chap. Totally spiffing and a fine purveyor of chap hop. not to be missed by anyone in my opinion. Fine moustaches.
  4. Jasper Carrot. Another from my childhood, I'm hoping he's as funny as I remember.
  5. Eddie the Eagle. A change for me, interesting to find out more about something we Brits love, a brave failure.

I'll let you know if I manage 100% of my plans this year!

Have you checked out the lineup? Who would your top 5 be? Pop over to Facebook and let me know, or tweet me at Tentsniffer on Twitter.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

A Local Food Festival

A couple of weekends ago I dragged Mr TentSniffer along to a food festival. I say dragged, he wasn't that reluctant but he's not really a foody so it wasn't his favourite choice of things to do. As it was mostly outside we were able to take Fizz.

She was much admired and she didn't beg for food either! What a good girl.

We visited a cafe called The Hungry Guest for some coffee, we couldn't really say no as they had a board outside suggesting we try Fizz in the courtyard! We did and she liked it very much.


Mr TS rather fell for the Podgy Pieman, or at least for his wares. though the pies were slightly more than the penny of the nursery rhyme, they were delicious. Mr TS had a sausage roll with sundried tomatoes and fennel seeds and I had a shredded beef, beetroot and horseradish pasty. Yum!

I also enjoyed a cocktail made with gin from a small distillery in Scotland. Another triumph. I'm still cross I didn't try the Arbikie Chilli Vodka!

There were so many great things to sample and choose from we were spoiled for choice. Really nice day with an excuse to eat! Olives, fudge, bread, cakes, thai food, sausages, real ales, pies, you name it, it was there.

There are more food festivals across the country - check if there is one near you here.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Festival Food Budgets

One of the nice things about festivals is the choice of food that is available. From cheap and cheerful fish and chips to more exotic haloumi fries with pomegranate salad, via wood fired pizza. But are the fish ad chips cheap? and what of the pizza? Can you afford pie and mash for the whole family? and three meals a day?

burger bear burgers at wilderness festival

So first things first. Festivals don't make a lot of money - despite what you might think, they have a huge turnover but actual profits are often low. Many festivals, Glastonbury included, continue to run not because they are a money spinner, but because the organiser loves festivals! One of the way festivals make money is via onsite sales, this includes food and drink stalls and is a reason many festivals ask you to buy booze at the bar and to try the food. So by buying your rations onsite you are helping the festival.

But we all know that money doesn't grow on trees and there is a fine balance between helping a festival, enjoying the food and becoming bankrupt! So how much should you budget for a festival and what's good to eat? Depending on the age of your children you can save money by buying a meal and splitting it bewteen children. Many kids wake up hungry so rather than splashing out £3 each every day for a bacon butty why not take some cereal bars or breakfast biscuits and fruit and start most days that way.

girls in fancy dress eating pancake

Try having a snack lunch and larger dinner or vice versa. Share some pizza or chips at lunch time, and then go wild on pie and mash for dinner for example. In my experience meals range in price from  about £6 to £12 so you could easily spend £50 for a family of 4 per meal if you are not careful!

I'm lucky as I only have DD and I to worry about. I frequently skip lunch altogether, surviving on beer, crisps and snacks and then we spend about £20 on an evening meal. Drink is pricey too of course, so pace yourself. Most festivals have cashpoint machines but they may charge £1.50 to withdraw anything and can have long queues, but remember to store cash carefully, split it into separate amounts and don't carry it all together.

How much do you budget for festival food? I look at £10 per person per day, with extra for alcoholic drinks. We have snack breakfast and snack lunch. Don't forget to pack small cartons of drink for the children and taking bottles to refill at the free water points too.

Pop over to TentSniffer on Twitter to chat - or comment over on FaceBook.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Curious Arts - what I want to see most

Last year I missed the Friday at the Curious Arts Festival as DD was still at school, this year as a teen she has finished her GCSEs and so we will be there for the opening at 12 noon.

This means that hopefully we can catch the Curious Arts cricket match, as while I don't like watching cricket on TV I do love a live match, especially at a festival, with gin...


Other things I really want to catch are the conversation with Celia Imrie and I'm hoping to see Carol Ann Duffy, and Clare Conville.

There are always lots of weird and wonderful things going on during the day, so after grabbing a refreshing drink I hope to watch the snail racing, and maybe the Curious Silent Yoga Disco.

The comedy is always a highlight and is DD's favourite (especially last year when I ended up on the stage being made fun of!) so we will both be looking forward to the Noise Next Door, Simon Evans, Zoe Lyons and the other witty jokesters.


Children are not left out either, and even though neither DD nor I are tiny we sometimes join in the silly games and fun at the children's tent, after all at a festival we are all children aren't we. And there is a Curious Bear Hunt at lunchtime on Sunday!


I haven't even started on the music! Because music is an art form too of course and the musical line up is always good, discovering new bands is one of the best things about a festival, and on Saturday we shall be listening to Billy Bragg.

If you haven't got tickets, you can still get day tickets at Curious Arts Tickets - including tickets just for a day. And children 13 and under are FREE! Dogs are welcome too...so no excuse really - see you there!

Monday, 11 July 2016

Put to the Test - Liquiproof

I am a camper so I'm very familiar with water, getting soaked, ruined trainers, soggy jeans, etc etc you get the picture. After all I live in the UK, home of damp summers and wetter springs, saturated autumns and drowning winters.

liquiproof waterproofer and some canvas shoes

When I was asked if I fancied reviewing Liquiproof I was keen to try something new, I've used water proofers in the past of course, famously I had to respray the tent and used rather a lot of Fabsil. The trouble with most water proofers is that they smell really bad so you have to use them in well ventilated areas and they stink the place out as they dry. Not so with Liquiproof! I was suspicious when told this but also intrigued, how could something water based be water proof? My tiny brain couldn't cope!
"The solution works by bonding SiO2 particles to the individual fibres of the fabric, creating permanent bonded layers which forms an invisible barrier that keeps water and oil from ruining the shoe surface.
The cutting edge formula is effective for everyday situations allowing even suede shoes and jackets to maintain permanently stain free from the rain and spillages. The cost effective formula enables a permanent  protector for all shoes and clothing without affecting the look, feel or breathability of the fabric."
So I gave it a go. I tried it on my favourite new material summer shoes, the instructions are pretty easy, Start with clean items, spray until the surface is damp, work the liquid in with a brush (I use a toothbrush, a clean one, not Dear Husband's) and then wait 10 minutes and spray them again. Then wait 24 hours before testing them in the sink...the testing them in the sink is optional but it's so much fun!! (I cannot wait to do my denim jacket!)


So my review is - Liquiproof is amazing, easy to use, no smell and it works! I haven't tried washing a product treated yet but apparently it lasts several washes, I'l let you know after I've treated the jacket. I am very impressed. (and now I'll be able to wear my favourite summer shoes even in a British summer!)

You can see the product impressing the Dragons on Dragon's Den here.

You can find out more about it here and buy Liquiproof at a selection of U.K Stockists, Office, Selfridges, Offspring, Urban Outfitters, Birkenstock, The Natural Shoe Store or grab some on Amazon

Prices start at £10

I was sent a bottle of Liquiproof for the purposes of this review but the review above is my own!

Liquiproof says :
"Everyday, the clothing, furniture and footwear that we buy is exposed to the risk of dirt and damage, and the greatest hazard is from the accidental spills that often occur when we eat and drink.
The classic example that springs to mind is the nightmare of red wine spilling onto a spotless cream carpet. But imagine if the wine was unable to soak in and remained in beads on the surface, ready to be cleaned up without leaving a stain…. that’s the result of Liquiproof Fabric Protection.
By protecting your apparel and furnishings with Liquiproof, you can enjoy the carefree lifestyle of knowing that your belongings will be shielded from damage, stay cleaner and look smarter for longer."

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Eat what you like, it's a holiday

At home I'm a fairly strict parent. I'm all about balanced diets, five a day, no fizzy drinks and minimal crisp munching. We make homemade cakes so that they are not over sweet or full of E numbers. Most of our meals are made from scratch. In fact DD is so used to having 'meat and two veg' that she's not that keen on junk food!

But when we are on holiday (which for us usually means camping, all of that goes out the window (or the tent flap).

I suddenly favour things that will 'keep' without a fridge. Snacks that are prepacked (and thus insect proof) and easy to carry, cartons of juice, bags of crisps, 'breakfast' bars (that we all know are just sugar thrown at some oats), of course nature has given us the banana, the perfect snack food, also the easy peel satsuma, but other than that I'm looking at manmade all the way.

teen eating an apple at a festival

Even when it comes to actual meals I'm all about cans and packets, cans of chilli or hot dogs (easy to store, nothing to break). Pouches of stew, packets of ready to heat rice, individually packed buns, cans of all day breakfast...though I do cook a fried breakfast from scratch...there are some standards one must keep even when camping. The main reason for using ready made food and cans is storage, but also the fact that the longer you need to cook things, the more gas or other fuel you'll burn, so things that are fast to reheat are cheaper in the long term.

a pizza

If I'm not camping, or if I have the luxury of eating out I still don't stick to the healthy options, nor do I make DD stick to them. If she wants fish and chips every day, good on her. If she fancies cake for breakfast and then nothing to eat until a pie at 3pm, I'm happy with that. Full of ice cream so you don't want tea? Great - you're on holiday, eat what you like! (in California - a rare foreign holiday she begged for broccoli on day 5 ..I have created a healthy eating monster)

teen eating a pizza at a festival

Do you try and keep to a healthy eating regime where ever you are are? Do you cook from scratch over a tiny camping stove? Do you never eat healthy? Or are you a pick and mix sort of eater? Let me know on Twitter or on my Facebook page.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Camp Bestival Planning

As you know I find half the fun of a festival in the planning and the preparation. Don't get me wrong, the festival is the best bit, but all the sorting of camping stuff, thinking about fancy dress (in 2012 I dressed as a horse!) , deciding on food and things to take for 'emergencies' - I love all that too.

So today I'm rounding up some advice from other Camp Bestival bloggers, both old hands and newer ones, in case I have forgotten any thing, and to spy on their plans. Hopefully it will help you plan for festivals too.

flower garland

As a mum with a teen I look forward to more free time now, and even the odd relax in a chair while the lovely teen queues for the food! If only she was 18 and could bring me beer too, but sadly I'll have to wait a couple of years for that. But I'm planning on having at least one meal brought to me as I lay in the sun.

teen festival trolley

Over at A Residence Blog there are food plans afoot too as Penny is thinking more about the food lineup than the music lineup! (and who can blame her)

food feast collective at camp bestival

While Polly at Enchanted Pixie, much like me, is planning her 'must see' line up - I'm delighted to see the insect Circus high on the list - one of my absolute favourites! And I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am to hear Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer again!

The Parenting Trials have a top 5 things they are looking forward to and of course, top of the list is fancy dress, well why wouldn't it be! Pop over to see what the other 4 are.


One of my top tips when at a festival as a family is to take some time to look at what's on, and ensure that everyone gets to pick at least one thing per day that they really want to do. You might convince your 4 year old to listen to a few songs at the Bandstand if they know they are promised Mr Tumble later!
chuckle brothers camp bestival


Over at 'My Gorgeous Boys' you can see some past photos including some rather awesome tree climbing! to set the mood.


While 'You Baby Me Mummy' has a list of an incredible 22 things that a 2 year old loves about Camp Bestival (just in case you thought your toddler may be too young to appreciate it all!)


baby chill out sign


And last of all check out the Top 10 extras to bring to Camp Bestival that 76Sunflowers recommends (number 1 is the only one I don't take - but at least I now know where to turn if I need one!)


Do follow me on twitter or pop over and 'like' my Facebook page..and maybe I'll see you at Camp Bestival? (I'll be mostly in the Jam Jar Cocktail bar)


jam jar cocktail gin and tonic


Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Festivals Full of Food

As a festival lover I've mentioned before that it's not all mud, tents and music. There are all sorts of festivals and one of the best must surely be a festival of Food!

sausage rolls  at a festival market

Even if you are dieting there is joy to be found at a food festival, outside, breathing in the glorious British weather (hopefully sunny and warm, though one never know!) and gazing at the glory of fine local and not so local foods. The chance to discover new goodies, to buy for an impromptu picnic, or something more special. And then there are recipe ideas and demonstrations, competitions and all manner of cakes!

cake stall macarons

Here are a some Fantastic British Food Festivals from around the country happening over the summer and autumn, pop them in your diary now! One is even free to attend (Petworth) and NT members can access the festivals on National Trust properties for free too - but check links for ticket prices  :

  • Find out about growing wild flowers at the Grow Wild Potting Shed
  • ​CBBC's Stefan Gates performs his explosive show Gastronaut Live at 2pm each day
  • ​ Visit Jethro Carr's Kitchen Academy workshop to make nettle pesto or mealworm cookies, or jump on pedal powered bikes to blend a wild smoothie
  • ​Taste edible bugs with The Edible Bug Farm
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • Natural play areas with willow tunnels, talking totems, climbing, labyrinth, balance beams & more
  • Workshops, demos and activities in Leconfield Hall
  • Woodland Folk craft workshops: create wands & swords and dress up in forest folk costumes
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games

garden games outside connect four


  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • Towers and ramparts to climb and explore
  • Children’s trails and National Trust ’50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ activities
  • Children's rides
  • CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth will perform her fun-packed live show with songs and stories
  • Cupcake decorating
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • Paddling pool with jets and fountain and crazy golf available in the park
  • Free entry for children on Bank Holiday Monday with a Live at Wimbledon Park ticket
  • Children’s rides
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • Squire’s Court for under 6s and Knight’s Realm playground for 7+
  • Maze and grotto
  • Great British Bake Off Winner 2015 Nadiya Hussain will be baking in the Demonstration Theatre
  • CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth will perform her fun-packed live show
  • Woodland Folk craft workshops: create wands & swords and dress up in forest folk costumes
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games

childs carousel ride roundabout
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • Children's rides
  • Squirrel's Corner woodland play area
  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
  • ​Free binocular hire for species spotting in the grounds, garden trails, NT '50 Things to do before you're 11 3/4' activities

boys eating pizza outside

  • Face painting, roaming storyteller, garden games
 So there you go - lots of ideas to get you out and about! Will you be going to any? Let me know over on Facebook or my twitter

happy child at a festival

 Photo credits : Andy Newbold Photography

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Rain and Camp Bestival (never in the same place at the same time)

Today it is raining. But at Camp Bestival it doesn't rain. I know as I've been there every year since 2010 and we have only once had a tiny shower. Camp Bestival is the place to take children to experience real life, out door life, a holiday camp in a field, with a castle, with magical things...

Check out the video and if you are still not filled with the desire to join me there this year...well, I'll just have to lure you with cocktails and comedy and ...so much more


As the Camp Bestival team prepare for this year’s Outer Space adventures with Fatboy Slim, Tears for Fears, Jess Glynne, Mr Tumble, Dick and Dom and a whole galaxy of astronomical amusements, they’ve given us a little glimpse into the kind of fest-holiday delights you can expect at Lulworth Castle at the end of July. So grab the kids and sit back and enjoy this fantastic film, as the Jansch clan discover just how much fun you can have at the UK’s favourite family festival.

CAMP BESTIVAL 2016 WEEKEND TICKET PRICES
Adult Weekend Ticket - £197.50*
Student Weekend Ticket - £185*
Age 13 to 17 Weekend Ticket  - £118*
Age 10 to 12 Weekend Ticket  - £93*
Age 5 to 9 Weekend Ticket - £45*
Age 4 & Under Weekend Ticket - £15*
Babes In Arms (1 & Under) - FREE (but ticket required)*


*All tickets include camping from Thursday

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Festival Trolley - The best and the worst thing ever

I own a festival trolley. I don't even have the excuse that I have a toddler (or toddlers) that may need to rest their legs. I didn't buy it until DD was well past the toddler stage but it's a great investment...and I love my festival trolley.

But I also hate festival trolleys. They are large and cumbersome and while once maybe 10% of families at family festivals had one, I think that it's now closer to 80% and not everyone seems aware of any trolley etiquette.

I tend to see myself in 'trolley-mummy-mode' as one of the lucky ones, I have a built in sofa if I stop, somewhere to store all the stuff I need day to day, and at the start and end of a festival I can get my camping stuff to and from the car without too much effort, and without queueing for (or paying for) a hire trolley.

So let's look at the positives and negatives of owning a festival trolley. And also let's think about the responsibility trolley use (either your own or a hired one) brings with it at a festival.



Positives


I have saved money. I attend about 4 festivals a year on average. A festival trolley to hire, even just for the set up and packing up time is about £5 for 30 minutes. It invariably takes me 2 hours to get everything to or from my pitch, partly as I'm disabled and partly as I don't have to ruse, but still, at £99 to own a trolley (what I paid) that's a big saving year after year. Plus I can use the trolley during the festival itself.

I save time (and effort). I don't have to queue for a hire trolley and sometimes the wait is long. Also as I'm not paying by the hour there is no stress to 'hurry up' I can take my own sweet time on the actual trundle to my campsite if I want to.

Transport. A trolley holds a lot, it saves numerous trips to the car and during the day it saves popping back to the tent. It's easy to bring umbrellas, coats, waterproofs, suncream, snacks, chairs...anything, without worrying how you will lug it about all day.

A trolley with a cushion in makes a fine temporary sofa (assuming it's not full of everything else you own) so it's handy to let down one side down when you need a rest, it also works well as a picnic table.

You can decorate them and look super fun, kids love them, many festivals have themes and dress up days (Camp Bestival even has a Pimp My Trolley event) so it's great fun to join in.


Negatives

You have to store it somewhere. At home if you have a garage or a large garden shed that's fine, but it's big and heavy, you are not going to pop it into a loft or have it in the corner of a lounge. At a camp site or festival if you decide not to drag it around with you all day then you need somewhere safe to stow it - so a large space in the tent is a good idea, although I sometimes use tent pegs to just fix it near the tent.

Not only must you store it but you must transport it. You need to be able to fit the trolley into your car along with all of your camping gear. The trolley does break down a bit but even so the smallest bit is pretty large.


It's heavy and if you take it apart for transport you need to put it together again which takes time.

Hills - Camp Bestival and Glastonbury suffer from hills , trolleys can be hard work on the way up and scary when fully laden on the way down!



The trolleys are not cheap to buy, while they easily save money in the long term, the initial outlay is large.


Responsibilities

IMO you need to be a polite trolley user. Here are my etiquette rules for the trolley user.


  • Trolleys do not have right of way, even if baby Tarquin is asleep in them on a Boden mini-duvet.
  • Trolleys hurt if you crash into people. Walk slowly and carefully and check your turns.
  • Trolleys will block the view of a toddler. Do not position them near the front of the crowd.
  • Trolleys are large and tricky in a crowd, stay near the back if you think you might need to leave early, or be prepared to wait until the crowd has dispersed before you can trundle your way out.
  • Not only in a crowd at a festival stage but in a crowded festival campsite, think about your route from your tent, if others camp all around you, you may find yourself trapped in a see of guy ropes with no exit! Camp near a pathway or fire break.
  • Trolleys get muddy, do not run over people's blankets as they sit picnicking.
  • Adults should remain in charge of trolleys even if children are playing with them, ensure they are not getting in people's way or causing injuries.


So - trolleys. Love them or hate them? Do you have one? Has this tempted you to get one?

I bought mine at a local garden centre but you can also buy them (various styles) from Amazon.

Garden Trolley - Green (several sizes available - mine is super huge!)
Garden Truck - Black
Folding Canvas Trolley (I often see these broken by the wayside at festivals!) - Red
Wooden Wagon - very cute to look at!

I'd love to know your 'trolley opinion' either on my Facebook Page or on Twitter.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Quiet Here isn't it?

I have a few blog posts half finished, something about festival trollies, and some walking stuff.

But I've suddenly found myself distracted from the blog. This short video might explain why!



Of course it does mean that as soon as she's got all her jabs I will have an excuse to do more country walks!

More from Fizz and I very soon!