Showing posts with label trolleys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trolleys. Show all posts

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.


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 £10 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 rush, but still, at £99 to own a trolley (which was 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.


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.


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.

Etiquette at Festivals - an update to my rant

Some time ago I ranted a tad about behaviour at festivals.

It is not difficult to have fun at a festival and ensure that everyone else has fun too. Sadly it's easy to ruin someone's day too.

I have a couple of extra things to rant about after last years festival experiences.

  • Trolleys. The first time I attended a festival no one (no really, no one) had a trolley, not the sort with 4 wheels that you use to transport all your stuff and later, your kids, anyway. As festivals became popular and more and more families attended trolley hire became a thing and then people moved onto buying their own (quickly realising that if you attend a few festivals the purchase pays for itself in the saving of hiring fees) I bought a trolley too after Camp Bestival and it's long walks from the car park via umpteen hills. But using a trolley in a crowded area is an art and you need to be polite, you do not have the right of way based on how many small people are in the trolley or how many fairy lights it sports. People have the right of way. Your lumbering metal monster of a trolley is a convenience to you (as mine is to me) but it's a pain in the arse to everyone else. Take care, give way, watch where you are going and if you have to wait at the back of a long queue and a huge crowd, after say, the fireworks, then wait! Taking a trolley is really useful, but it comes with great responsibility. Don't be the twat with the trolley.

  • Bubbles. Did you know that detergent (the main ingredient of bubble mixture) damages tents? Not just damages them a bit, damages them a lot and usually makes them irreparable. The detergent changes the waterproofing of the tent effectively making the water just pour through instead of sliding off of the tent. Canvas is particularly badly affected, and canvas tents are becoming every more popular in the form of expensive bell tents and tipis. The odd bubble bursting on the tent probably won't hurt, but a giant drippy bubble from a giant bubble want might and the drip that spray from the giant bubble wand as you wave it about definitely will. My tent has suffered damage this year and I'm not sure if it will ever be waterproof in the areas splashed again. Especially sad as we'd just finished painting it for festivals. So bubbles, let's play with them far away from tents shall we?

  • Chairs and blankets. We all like to use them, but be considerate - chairs need to be at the back of a crowd or low down, or they stop everyone seeing what's going on (do not get me started on pop up sunshelters) blankets are great to sit on, but if, like us there are only 2 of you do you really need 6 square meters? Let's all be thoughtful, snuggle up, and help everyone see what's going on and have a nice time. And if someone steps on your blanket as they squeeze through the crowd, let's give them a break eh? It's a tight squeeze!

Top 10 essential things to know, do or bring to, Camp Bestival

Top 10 essential things to know, do or bring to, Camp Bestival

With just over a week to go I realise the blog tips have become rather large and unwieldy for the novice festival goer (eg my brother, who is accompanying me this year with his family - an entire family of festival virgins!) So here is a mini list (with links to more detail where necessary) of the actual vital stuff you need to know.

crowded festival tents at camp bestival

  1. First off. While Camp Bestival is a music festival that is far from all it is. It was begun as a spin off of Bestival as a cross between a Holiday Camp, and a festival. They even have their very own Blue Coats! Of course this means there is loads to do, plenty of comedy, films, shows, circus acts, craft
    areas etc for children from as young as babies to teens. This year there is also a teen Den, just for those 13 - 17 to hang out. Perfect for the festival goers of tomorrow to get a feel for festival life away from their parents. As the site is a castle they also have a jousting area and the knights joust for your pleasure at various times during the weekend. On the last night there is a spectacular fireworks finale.
  2. Camp site. It is hilly. You will probably need a trolley to transport all your stuff from the car park. If you don't own one you can hire them at the festival. Take the tent and minimal stuff on the first trip, find your spot (it gets crowded) and pitch the tent. Be polite to your neighbours, make friends, share a glass of wine, you never know when you may need their help! Tents can end up very close together, consider earplugs if you are a light sleeper, I also take an eye mask as my tent lets light in very early! The walkways between the tents are well lit with suspended lights and these stay on nearly all night, it makes a trip to the loo relatively easy but can keep you awake if you pitch near them.
  3. Hygiene and Toilets - everyone panics about festival loos and while they can be bad, they are usually OK - Camp Bestival has very well organised toilet facilities. There are portable chemical toilets in the main camping
    area (these are often emptied, but in the early morning, don't camp too close or you'll be woken by the trucks arriving) They are kept pretty clean. There are washing facilities near them (cold water only). There are also showers and posh flushing loos that you can pay to use. And in the festival site itself there are compost loos, daunting at first (they have a long drop under the seat!) but actually pretty nice to use. Bring your own loo roll, wet wipes and hand sanitiser - make a small pack of these items to carry with you. Personal chemical  toilets are not allowed in the camping areas as there is nowhere to empty them. Ladies may like to consider buying a Shewee. While there are showers they often have long queues and cost extra. For 4 days I tend to just shower before I leave home, use wetwipes at the festival and shower when I get home again. Take lots of wet wipes.
  4. Do buy the programme, spend some time planning the stuff you really can't miss, try and spot times
    that you will be free for meals etc. leave space between acts if you can (unless they are on the same stage) as you need to move around the site, use the toilets and get drinks too! If you are a family, ensure everyone gets to see at least one thing they really love each day. Consult the map to plan travel between the tents/stages. Some tents get filled early so consider that in your plans, if you arrive late you may not get in.
  5. Food. There is lots to buy but it's not cheap. Balance meals out with meals at the tent and take snacks. You can cook on small portable gas cookers outside. Take things that are quick to heat to save time and gas, tinned food is a good idea, baked beans, hotdogs, chilli etc (remember a tin opener!). No glass is allowed on site so no jars of pasta sauce, baby food, or bottles of wine etc. Bringing your own alcohol is allowed in the camping area only (there are bars in the festival site) and not in glass, think bags of wine, tins of G&T and cans of beer. Take snacks (especially for kids)  eg individual cartons of juice (there is drinking water available at lots of locations) packets of biscuits, apples, dried fruit, croissants, cakes (individually wrapped are great!) packets of crisps etc. Don't forget to visit the WI tent for a cheap and cheerful cup of tea and a piece of cake, or maybe a sandwich.
  6. Weather. Most years it has been sunny. So come prepared. Bring light clothing and suncream, sunhats and flowers for your hair too (yes even the men). But be prepared for rain, bring wellies and a waterproof jacket. As it's a festival wellies, especially funky coloured ones, have become ubiquitous, many people wear wellies everyday regardless of the weather. This year with The Wild Things project there may be opportunities for messy play and tree climbing so you may want to bring suitable clothing for that too!
  7. Lulworth Camp Weather forecast ©
  8. Money. There is loads to spend your money on at Camp Bestival, from bubble wands to vintage
    fashion. Flower hair garlands and fancy dress. Try and stock up with the sort of things that will be popular with children before you arrive, it will save you £££s. Things to buy before you go include; glowsticks, bubbles, furry tails, flower hair bands, fancy dress, balloons, diablos, hula hoops, frisbees (soft ones!) and sponge balls. If you run out of cash at Camp Bestival, there are cash machines, they will charge you a fee and there may be queues. Lots of the shops will take cards though. There are both camping supplies shops (for when you realise you forgot the tent pegs) and basic grocers (selling fresh milk, fruit, bread etc) onsite too - they are cornershop prices rather than supermarket prices, but handy if you forget things or run out of anything
  9. Fancy Dress. This years theme is Circus. So anything from clowns to popcorn sellers, bearded ladies to elegant horses, the fancy dress ideas are numerous. You could even dress as a big top! Most people make some effort to dress up a bit. It needn't be elaborate, a red nose, a funny hat, but you may regret it if you don't join in. Some families go to extreme and amazing lengths with their costumes!
  10. Rubbish. There are lots of bins onsite, in the festival itself and in the camp site. Take some binbags and keep your rubbish in it, keep your space tidy. On the last day check you leave your space clean and tidy. It will take you 5 minutes to clean your area up and chuck the bin bag in the rubbish area, Don't leave it for someone else to do. Paying rubbish clean up crews puts festival costs up, help keep prices lower (and animals safer) by leaving just a patch of yellowing grass behind.
  11. Be flexible. Sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry. Wee when you are ....needing a wee! Don't stress over healthy food, or washing, or bedtimes. It is (sadly) only 4 days, just go with the flow and have an awesome time. 

See you there - say hello, you can buy me a Pims!

Don't forget that while there is a medical tent if you need antihistamines, Calpol or any other medicines it's wise to buy before you travel and bring them with you. Illegal drugs are of course still illegal - even at a festival

Camp Bestival Trolley fun

I'll start with apologies, I missed a few days of the count down and I have no excuses except that life got in the way. Busy weekend, but finally I have a little window of blogging opportunity, so let's get cracking.

I thought I'd go with a bit of a chat about transport and trolleys. 

At Camp Bestival more than at any festival you'll see trolleys. All festivals have a few, and many are used at the beginning and end of a festival for moving your kit, but at Camp Bestival they are used all the time.

The sort of trolleys I'm talking about are large four wheeled garden trolleys, or red carts, occasionally sometimes even wheelbarrows! They are used as I said for kit movement, and very useful they are too. You can usually hire them by the hour and particularly at a family festival where you may have a larger tent, multiple mattresses, chairs, clothes, cooking supplies, food, etc etc they can save a lot of time and backache to use a trolley. But don't think it will be all plain sailing, Camp Bestival does have a few very steep long hills, and you may need two people to get the trolley up and down them.

During the festival itself many parents use the trolleys (often elaborately decorated!) to move not only kit but children. And they are very good for that, have a sleepy child? Bung it in a trolley for a nap while you continue to enjoy the fun! Ground a bit muddy? All sit in the trolley for lunch!

So even if you wouldn't normally think about a trolley or a cart, if you have kids (and most Camp Bestival goers will have) I would suggest thinking about buying, borrowing or hiring one.

Girl in a festival trolley with flowers

Camping, fabulous (semi-wild) camping

So, DD and I met up with my brother and his children and we all went camping at Dernwood Farm. It's sort of wild. There are flushing loos, running (cold) water and it's pretty busy but it's just a field, no marked pitches and you can have real fires (which was one of the main reasons we picked this site and was a great addition to camping)
crochet bunting decorating a canvas tent
There is a long walk from the car park but that's a big plus as there are no cars on the actual site to worry about. No danger for the kids and no car noise. (and safety for the many toads on the site)
toad in the grass
We visited Hailsham Leisure Centre on the one day it rained and the girls had great fun on the flume and in the pool. We also did a quick bit of charity shop shopping. On  the Sunday we went to Hastings and the girls played on the extremely windy beach.
windy beach in summer with children in wellies
shingle beach in summer
carrying wellies up a shingle beach
hair blowing in the wind
On the Monday wewent to Heathfield for the french market (in full moustache mode), made candles, bought bread and generally had a fab time.
three children in fake moustaches
candles at a french market
making candles at a french market
garlic at a french market
Eiffel towers for sale at a french market
And every night was fire and marshmallow night.
toasting marsh mallows over an open fire
toasting marsh mallows over an open fire
eating a toasted marsh mallow on a stick
toasting marsh mallows over an open fire
open fire
Now we can't wait for our next adventure!

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