Sunday, August 9, 2015

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Camp Bestival takes place every year at Lulworth Castle in the heart of Dorset. Dorset is an incredibly beautiful part of the the UK, but not always the easiest to get to. Especially if you are travelling from Ireland.

Before planning our trip to Camp Bestival I looked into lots of options for getting there. The site is serviced by coach, rail and taxi, so in theory you could fly into Southhampton or Bournmouth and make your way from there, but to be honest if you are festivaling with kids you are going to have a lot of STUFF, so in reality you really do need a car.

Which is where those lovely people at Stena Line come in.

With ferries running between Dublin and Holyhead or Rosslare and Fishguard this is the route I'd recommend to take - not only for Camp Bestival but for any UK camping holiday or festival experience. (They also run Belfast to Cairnryan or Liverpool if you are travelling from the north).

Stena Line were kind enough to offer us return travel to Fishguard so we were able to pack up the car with all those just-in-cases and head off without worry.

Ferry travel with kids is generally a whole lot less stressful than air travel, and we were all impressed with the entertainment on offer. There is a soft play area for the little ones, a big screen movie, arcade games and even entertainers who do arts and crafts. On the return journey there was a Horrible Histories show that the kids loved (and I even managed to sneak in a much needed forty winks thanks to it!)

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.
Early morning ferry spotting

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

After docking in Wales we drove to Bristol and stopped off with friends for the night. It was the perfect pit stop and, although you could make the trip to Dorset in one go (it's about 4 - 5 hours from Fishguard to Dorset), I'd recommend scheduling in an overnight stay on the way instead. On the return trip we stopped off at a Holiday Inn Express just off the motorway and got a family room for two adults and three kids for £86, which included a full cooked \ continental breakfast and - oh the joy! - actual hot showers. To be fair I probably would have paid that just for my own shower at that point so everything else was a bonus.

Once off the motorway and heading to Dorset the directions get a little more tricky. We used Google Maps to guide us but without it we would have had trouble finding our way. After lots of twists and turns and little winding roads we made it - and yes, it was absolutely worth it.

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Camp Bestival - Getting There from Ireland.

Here's a full post on what you can expect from The Camp Bestival Experience!

Travel times:

Ferry Rosslare - Fishguard: Approx 3 hours
Fishguard - Bristol: Approx 3 hours
Fishguard - Dorset: Approx 5 hour drive
Bristol - Dorset: Approx 2 hour drive

Dorset is an incredibly beautiful area so you could easily turn the trip into your summer holiday and either camp locally or upgrade to a holiday home for the rest of your stay. In fact next year we probably will.

Stena provided free family travel to me and Camp Bestival provided a weekend family pass. All views and images are my own. 

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