We have just returned from our 6th year at Camp Bestival and it was our best one yet.
This was also the year we tried Camping Plus and it was the perfect mix of the fun of general camping and the convenience of boutique camping and we would definitely book again.
What is the difference between general, camping plus and boutique camping?
If you have not been to Camp Bestival, or have only tried general camping it is tricky to know what the difference between them is, so here is my rough guide.
General camping is included in the ticket price and you can choose to camp as close to, or as far away from the action as you like.
General camping is filled with families and the kids soon make friends with the neighbours and can be found blowing bubbles or playing football on the walkways. Do expect to play a raucous game of “BOGIES” at some point over the weekend.
In the general camping area, you have access to portaloo style toilets, hot showers, food stands and a pop-up shop and if you are travelling without children, there is an adult only area.
You need to get there early on Thursday morning to secure the best spots as general camping is very hilly and you could end up being pitched on a slope and if you don’t fence off your area with wind breaks, expect smaller tents to pitch in any space available during the weekend.
General camping is also the busiest, so expect long queues for the showers in the morning (shower in the afternoon/evening as it is quieter). You also need to pay for parking – currently £20 in advance or £25 at the car park for the weekend.
Camping Plus allows you to book your camping plot before you arrive. The clever booking system is set up a bit like Theatre seats, so you can book pitches next to friends if you choose and then turn up anytime during the weekend.
Camping Plus gives you a prime 5m x 7m pitch, which is large enough for a large family tent and shelter, has its own entrance and a dedicated car park, which is included in ticket price.
Camping Plus also has the benefit of being the flattest camping area and has clean, flushing toilets, hot showers and food stands.
You still need to pitch your own tent and if you have friends staying outside of Camping Plus, they cannot come into the area to see you.
It costs £150 per pitch and only allows two adults per pitch, so if there are more adults in your group, you will need to book another pitch.
Although there are fewer people in Camping Plus, do expect queues for the showers at peak times.
Boutique Camping offers a selection of accommodation options including Tipis, Yurts, Podpads, Bell Tents, Bedouin Tents, Shikar Tents, Gypsy Bowtop Caravans and more, all of which are pre-pitched, so you can just turn up and move in.
Most provide everything you need for the weekend, so there is no trekking up and down hills with all your camping paraphernalia. Boutique Camping has its own entrance, a dedicated car park and is just a 10 minute walk to the main arenas.
There are plenty of hot showers, proper flushing loos, security and areas to charge any technology. We stayed with Pitch Village and even had a cabin filled with mirrors, hair dryers and straighteners, plus a dedicated baby changing area!
Plus, there is no packing up afterwards either!
Weekend Festival Tickets are not included in your accommodation price and it is the most expensive option.
Other camping areas include a separate Campervan area, an area for caravans and trailer tents, plus Hospitality Camping which is set behind the main stage.
Which style of camping would you choose?