England's Medieval Festival in East Sussex


Have you got plans sorted for the weekend?

It's a Bank Holiday in the UK (for those of you that live in foreign climes that equates to a day of rest for many of the people that usually have a 9-5 toil) and I am one of many that will be enjoying a long weekend. In the UK it is also tradition that Bank Holiday Mondays are wet.

However as we have seen from previous festival news, this year has been one of broken traditions, it even rained at Camp Bestival! (unheard of in it's previous 9 year history) so it's no surprise to see that the sun will be shining all weekend at Hersmonceaux this weekend.

If you live any where near Herstmonceaux (it's in East Sussex) and you are not planning a trip to England's Medieval festival for at least one day (camping is available and camp site opens at 2pm today!) then you are missing out!

 Tickets are available at the gate and the festival is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Last year I was glad I camped as there were so many fun things to do that invariably some clashed, as the program was repeated daily, I could be sure to fit everything into a busy schedule (and repeat the things I really loved!)

Do pop along, fancy dress is optional (but fun) and children of all ages can learn sword skills, jousting, bread making and a thousand other medieval skills!

You can even bring the dog.

 I hope to see you there for mead, singing, mud theatre (don't worry - it's mostly mess free!), and hog roasts..oh and shopping...


Guest Post from Wilfred...my tent


Hi all, I expect you are wondering what a tent has to blog about. Well I have some exciting times you know - I travel to all sorts of exotic places (ok ok the Isle of Wight is the only time I have travelled 'overseas'  but still...) and I attend lots of festivals each year, I don't get a wristband but that's OK as I don't have any wrists.

To introduce myself, I am Wilfred. I am a canvas Cabanon tent, a Dutch pyramid style, slightly retro and very storm resistant. In 2015 I had the equivalent of a tent tattoo, and was painted with a fun Japanese design. I'm well used, well loved and unique.

This year I went to The Byline Festival and had a lovely time in a nice grassy field with well spaced tents. There were lots of new tents there who told me that their owners had never even taken them out of the bag before! I felt a true 'old hand' with my merry bunting and flags, my extra tarpaulin and my solar lights. The festival itself seemed very genteel. Lots of clever people talking about clever things and drinking posh drinks. There were very few children which I liked as it meant I didn't have to worry about bubbles and the damage bubble liquid and bubbles can do to the waterproofing on my canvas skin. There was no rain and it was a fun weekend. The travel in my own personal trolley was fun, up and down a steep hill, lovely views from the top and a slow trundle up it - but I didn't care, I can lay back in my bag and let other people worry about hills.

When we got home it seemed like a very long snooze in the garage, though at least I was dry and snug, until I was wanted again.

Next we set off for the fields of Dorset and Lulworth Castle. I have been here many times before and it is always sunny and lovely (despite the children and bubbles) The children always like my painted design and my flags and I often hear them talking about me.

But this year at Camp Bestival was rather odd. After the usual trip in my trolley up and down the steep hills, and having been set up in a nice spot by some little trees, something very strange happened; it started to rain.

Camp Bestival is always sunny! Those are the rules; so I was more than a little shocked when  not only did it shower a bit on the first evening, but it continued to shower and then...and then...it rained! No more did small children stop to admire my pictures of Japan, no, now they scurried by in waterproof ponchos (like little tents all of their own). Everyone arrived back to me in the evening covered in mud! With muddy wellingtons and wet socks. Everything became messy with the mud and the damp clothes. I, of course, was waterproof as usual and even a storm and strong winds (which knocked down and broke some of the other nylon tents) didn't phase me. I stood strong and kept everyone safe for the whole festival.

On the last day of Camp Bestival, due to the mud, and the slippery grass, my owners decided to make an extra trip with the trolley so that they could load it less. That meant I was left until last. I stood proud, perfect in my uniqueness, watching the rest of the field slowly emptying of tents and patiently waiting for my owners to return and pack me up, snug in my bag for the next festival. Imagine my surprise when a total stranger appeared and started to pull out my pegs! He roughly undid all of my guy ropes until I fell down and then he grabbed my poles and bundled me up, shoving me into my bag with no care, but much speed!

Where were my owners who had so lovingly painted me only 2 years ago? Just as he set off, dragging me behind him, I heard a familiar and very welcome shout! "Oi! Mate! That's OUR TENT!" I was saved, and just in the nick of time. He mumbled something about thinking I had been abandoned (as if!) and handed me back to my owners. Phew! I was nearly tentknapped!

And so I returned home again, dry (it stopped raining the day we went home of course!) but badly packed (and not a little shaken). I was carefully checked and repacked at home, just in time for my next outing to Wilderness Festival.


Wilderness Festival is lovely. We stay in the family camping field and the children love me, and as before they often tell me how pretty I am. There are lots of bell tents there and even lotus tents so we canvas chaps can feel part of a nice family. This year I noticed lots of a new sort of tent too, large and with inflatable 'poles', what next I wonder!

At Wilderness there was less rain but a thunder and lightning storm! Which was super fun, I did not even wobble. The trip to and from the car on my trolley was short and over flat ground. Space was pretty tight in the camp site but everyone was very friendly. Unlike Camp Bestival, Wilderness saved some rain for the last day, so I had to return home all soggy and be pitched up in the garden to dry myself out. Now I'm back in the garage again, waiting for England's Medieval Festival. I have only been there once before but they have so many old and canvas tents there I really enjoy it - we can exchange stories and moan about bubble mix together!


Thanks for reading, maybe you could read this to your tent? And let me know what he/she has been up to this year. I hope everytent is keeping well and no one has broken a pole






Camp Bestival 2017 Review


Well.

Where to begin.

Camp Bestival. A fabulous festival of fun and frolics for young people, kids and the young at heart. It is always full of laughs, and some surprises.

The regular fun things include the awesome Insect Circus, the worlds largest bouncy castle (only a regular since last year), Mr Tumble, Dick 'n' Dom, kids garden fun, crazy bikes, sticker crafts, retro 80s bands, the Blue Coats, the inflatable church, the WI tea tent, the Feast Collective, and the jam jar cocktail bar.

This year surprises included...rain.

It never rains at Camp Bestival. No seriously it doesn't. DD and I have been going since 2009 and it really never rains. It is sunny, hot, you need sunscreen. This year, Camp Bestival's 10th Anniversary, the rain we had never had...all came at once. And so, suddenly, Camp Bestival resembled Glastonbury.

For families that were not used to camping, or had small kids I imagine this was horrible. Muddy tents and wet clothes are no fun; but for DD and I, hardened festival goers and owners of a rather fine and storm/rain proof canvas tent, it was at least bearable.

We bought some cheap plastic ponchos, donned our wellies and ventured forth regardless. Camp Bestival managed the mud fairly well, with extra 'road' panels on paths that were well walked (though a bit of extra hay/straw would have been welcome) and on the whole it was gateways and small areas that become swampy, the main site stayed pretty walkable and the camp site itself was fine.


Highlights for me this year included Right Said Fred on the main stage, and a surprise 'lock in' due to the storm, with the Scummy mummies and copious amounts of gin.


Camp Bestival might be a family and children's festival but there is still plenty of 'mother's ruin' to be had. Due to queues I sadly missed the Jam Jar cocktail bar this year, that and the sad lack of a bloody Mary on the drinks list. But I managed to consume a fair bit of lager and Jack Daniels (not in the same glass)

We didn't see the Insect Circus because... yes you guessed it...it was too wet. And there were other things I missed too - no clay modelling this year, and the rain did slightly dampen my fancy dress on Saturday. But the musical acts were all great. I stumbled upon Los Pacaminos, and they were great fun. The comedy tent was small but perfect this year, not in the kid's field and full of genuinely funny people.
World's Biggest, and saddest, Bouncy Castle

DD's highlights were Louisa Johnson, and Anne Marie, both in the big top and so out of the rain, though not the mud as it was a well-travelled area.


My good deed for the festival was to lend our trolley to a tent-neighbour when the festitaxi was cancelled due to the weather and the Mr Trolley hire was cancelled too, which enabled them to get their stuff back to their car and thus escape on Sunday. And as no good deed ever goes unpunished this meant we missed a birthday party in the dingly dell for the 5 year old son of Kirsty and Clara (My Two Mums) . And then on the last day, during pack up, we very nearly had our tent stolen....


But on the whole Camp Bestival, though wet, was joyful and fun as always. But a wet festival is not for the faint hearted!

Were you there? and was it your first festival? I'd love to know how you coped!


If you haven't been put off (honestly we've had all the rain for the next ten years) you can grab early bird tickets on a payment plan here.



Disclosure : DD and I received our tickets as part of the Official Camp Bestival Blogger team. 




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