Without a shadow of a doubt, the Dingly Dell is our favourite haunt at Camp Bestival and this year was our most magical yet.
The Dingly Dell takes you away from the rush of the festival and into the nurturing bosom of nature’s playground. In the daytime, the kids adore exploring Lizzie’s Way where they get to read stories, act out puppet shows, make mud pies and potions and make wishes to fairies.
Walk a little further in and try your hand at some of the National Trust #50things activities including climbing trees, rolling down a hill and building a den.
Then meet Fore Adventure for nature, craft and wilderness skills workshops and activities including bushcraft activities and how to light a fire. They also run events that have to be pre-booked including a picnic walk and sleeping under the stars and this year we headed out with them, the National Trust and the brilliant Martin Maudsley in the evening for story telling around the Camp Fire.
The kids were literally hanging off Martin’s every word as he brought stories to life whilst interacting with them and taking their ideas to weave in too. His songs were full of fun too and the evening was rounded off with some hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows on the campfire.
New for this year was Longdown Farm who brought along some animals for the children to interact with. The kids loved stroking the donkey’s and holding the cute yellow chicks. There is also a large children’s playground shaded in the woods which is a great place to let the kids blow of some steam, although Isaac was more interested in some pant flinging fun.
Back in the Dingly Dell the ATE Trust were running children’s activities and playing games. Last year we saw a lantern parade on the last night and this time we were determined to join in. Isaac and Eliza made willow lanterns with them on Friday and we returned on Sunday to “pimp” them with lights and decorations.
As the light faded the woods come alive with light and wonder as the kids helped rescue a stranded alien by recreating her solar system around a giant lantern sun before singing as they paraded around the lake.
For us, the Dingly Dell was a magical experience and the highlight of this years Camp Bestival experience.