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MrsRookin

Glastonbury with a toddler

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So after missing this year as I wasn't brave enough to do the festival with a five month old, and a lot of debating over next year we now have tickets for 2016! But I remain rather anxious about it all! Not so much about getting around - I'm a big fan of babywearing and am already planning what new wraps I'll need to take with us! But things like where to camp - am I right in thinking the family camping fills up ridiculously fast? What do you do if there is no space? Silly question but I'm not sure I'd want a toddler in some of the other fields on the site, with the risk of being squashed by someone falling on the tent. Is Worthy View worth a consideration? Anything else I should know about taking the little man?

Off to have a look at Glasto Earth but would value any advice!

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Wickets is very good apparently, friends camp there and it fills up more slowly. CLose to the gate as well. Kidzfield is amazing and they have facilities for babies. I probably wouldn't bother with worthy view as the walk is so far. Green kids fields also great.

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We've been with our boy at 6 months and 2 1/2 years. If we get tickets in the resale, he'll be with us again next year.

Camping - both family fields are good, clean and tidy and fairly quiet at night. Cockmill is right next to kids field and handy for pyramid and the eastern side of the site. Because of this it fills up quickly, full by early Wednesday afternoon usually. Wicket is further from main areas (apart from John Peel and Silver Hayes), but much quieter. This year we camped there and it didn't completely fill all weekend.

Kids field - excellent! Loads of activities, all free. Everything from face painting to kids theatre to giant inflatables. You could easily spend half your time there. There's also a brilliant tent run by NCT with bathing and changing facilities, as well as tea and coffee for a quiet sit down if you're a bit frazzled.

Other tips - ear defenders are definitely worth having. Also a waterproof wristband which you can write phone numbers on and which field you're camped in.

Transport - if you don't want to carry your toddler nearly all weekend, take a strong garden truck with some kind of cover and cushions, or a 3-wheel buggy with off-road tyres, or a bike trailer. Opinions vary as far as which is best, but whatever you choose has to be able to cope with the terrain, a flimsy pushchair with small rattly wheels just won't hack it. Some lights are a good idea if you'll be using it after dark.

Finally, try to have a contingency plan in case either you or your child struggle to cope, or the weather is particularly bad. If you have family nearby, or willing to travel, would they be willing to collect your child and look after them? Alternatively, would you be prepared to leave early if it got too much? Don't get me wrong, loads of people take kids every year, but a few find it too hard.

I'm sure you'll have a great time. Going with kids means you have a different experience compared to without, but no less fun or rewarding. Hopefully we'll see you there!

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Don't even think about Worthy View with children - it's miles away from the 'kidz' field (or most other things of interest to be honest)

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Thanks for responses! Reassured that we should at least be able to get a spot in family camping now, and excited for a different festival!

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Can't imagine anything worse at Glastonbury. Each to their own though.

Can't imagine anything worse than spending time at one of your favourite places on earth, with one of the people you love most on earth?

Each to their own, indeed.

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saw a woman really struggling with 3 kids at the back of the Other stage during the Pixies in 14. Mud everywhere, unhappy cold bored kids. Took her about 30mins to set off. Looked great.

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saw a woman really struggling with 3 kids at the back of the Other stage during the Pixies in 14. Mud everywhere, unhappy cold bored kids. Took her about 30mins to set off. Looked great.

Fair enough, you've seen one instance of someone struggling. I've seen hundreds of families having a fantastic time together. However, the OP asked for tips from people who have taken kids before, not for people's opinion on whether she should take hers.

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Well, I was at the Pixies in '14 with my 1.5 year old daughter and had a great time :)

 

Sound advice from Mr Gumby :)

 

Cockmills is ideal really as it's not too far from a lot of the main stuff, including the kidz field.  Not sure what time it filled up as I had the tent up by 9am Weds (slept in the car on Tuesday as we were a bit worried about not getting a space) but it certainly filled quickly.

 

We took our decent 3 wheel buggy (phil & teds) which has large inflatable wheels, it made it through but even that struggled at times (had to replace all the wheel bearings afterwards!).  We're going for the four wheel garden trolley in 2016!  String fairy lights are essential IMO to give people the best chance of seeing the buggy in the evening.  Remember what a nightmare it can be moving through the crowds at night?  Yeah, it's a lot tougher with a buggy lol.  Generally people are really cool about moving out of the way though.

 

Bear in mind for a 1.5 year old, they're a bit young for a lot of the kids stuff (still plenty to keep them entertained though) and may find the whole experience a bit overwhelming.

My wife and daughter came and joined me on the Friday as we thought 5 days may be a bit much for our little one and I don't think there's much on for them on Weds/Thurs, so worth bearing that in mind.

 

We managed to catch some headliners (this may depend on how well your child will sleep in a buggy) but I'd highly recommend heading out/to the back of the field in plenty of time so you can beat some of the crowds.  Ear defenders are a must.

 

It's a very different glastonbury experience (obviously!) but great fun if you're prepared to adjust your expectations ;)

 

We're heading back with our daughter in 2016 (she'll be 3.5) and a baby :)

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Can't imagine anything worse at Glastonbury. Each to their own though.

 

i used to think this until i did it.. its different but still great

 

id like one year with kid and one year without ideally!

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Hi all,

Going to glastonbury , never been before or any other festivals !! and now going with my three year old. question is when you walk in , do they give you a place or everybody runs and get a space !! how does it work ??

Thanks

 

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4 hours ago, arta said:

Hi all,

Going to glastonbury , never been before or any other festivals !! and now going with my three year old. question is when you walk in , do they give you a place or everybody runs and get a space !! how does it work ??

Thanks

 

Welcome to a whole new world which we all hope you will enjoy. Now to your question.

Nothing can prepare you for the enormity of GF. Depending on when and how you arrive you may have to queue at one of the entry  gates for a considerable time enduring whatever weather prevails. For those arriving by car the car parks open Tuesday evening but the actual entry gates into the festival open at 8am Wednesday morning. This leads to considerable queues forming at the entry gates overnight which are swelled by new arrivals. If arriving by car Wednesday morning I would anticipate queuing at the entry gate for at least an hour and maybe up to 3 - 4 hrs;  even greater has been known.  It all depends on when you arrive, which gate you use (there are 4 viz:  A, B, C & D) and luck. Separate queues exist at Gate  A for those arriving by public transport (coach & shuttle bus) and entry here is much quicker, typically 10 - 30mins.

Once at the entry gate you will receive your wristband and program and you're in. Now it's a free for all. Camping is in designated areas (fields) and you are free to choose your own campsite within those areas where space is available. Running to grab a space is not done as the site is vast and everyone is laden with gear. Running is not really an option.

The gate queues generally do not subside dramatically until early Wednesday afternoon. For instance, we queued for 50mins at Gate A after parking the car at 1pm in 2017. Such is the vastness of the site I would advise that you choose a camping area before you arrive and making that a target to aim for once you're in. You need to choose wisely though taking into consideration your arrival time and where you generally want to go (as well as the main stages GF has tons of other venues, >>75). Popular camping areas such as those around the Pyramid and Other Stage will be rammed full by very early afternoon on the Wednesday.

As you're taking your child you may consider camping in one of the two designated family camping areas. These are fenced off to provide a safer environment. Camping in these areas is again on a first come basis choosing your own spot where available. The Cockmill family area is close to gate B and near the Pyramid Stage and Kids Area. For this reason it is very popular and is usually full by lunch Wednesday. The Wicket Family area is over the other side of the site. It is quieter and less popular and space can be still be found on Thursday. I suggest you study the festival site map and read Tort's excellent guide to all things Glasto.

https://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/information/getting-here/maps/

http://www.glastoearth.com/the-faq

Edited by Lycra
  • Upvote 4

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In addition to the above and for the uninitiated. For those arriving by car the walk from the car park to your chosen campsite usually entails a walk of between 0.5 - 1mile. The lucky minority will only have to walk ca. 400yrds. It all depends on which car park you get put in and where you want to camp. 

 

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1 hour ago, Lycra said:

In addition to the above and for the uninitiated. For those arriving by car the walk from the car park to your chosen campsite usually entails a walk of between 0.5 - 1mile. The lucky minority will only have to walk ca. 400yrds. It all depends on which car park you get put in and where you want to camp. 

 

which seems like 10 when carrying kit :) and stop starting in a queue 

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Another problem may be that you can't carry all of your stuff in in one go.  If so, having arrived at your chosen spot, someone may have to go back to the car for the rest, during which time someone else is going to have to look after the toddler.

I'd take the absolute essentials first - like your tent and stuff for the toddler.  Then having made camp and got settled in at your leisure someone can go back for the rest.

As a newbie make sure that you can find your car and your tent.  No point thinking the car is next to a big red van - because it may have moved when you go back. The same is true of where you pitch your tent.  Don't rely on it being next to the big blue tent, because when you return there will be 20 more big blue tents.

Make a note of what field your car and tent are in and their position relative to fixed things like paths, hedges, gates and pylons.

Edited by grumpyhack
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2 hours ago, crazyfool1 said:

which seems like 10 when carrying kit :) and stop starting in a queue 

At first it can be quite entertaining watching someone shuffle forward in the queue, rucksack on their back and arms lengthening by the minute under the weight of 48 cans. Though even those with the hardest of BDSM hearts melt to pity as time extends under a blazing sun (or lashing rain 😲)

Edited by Lycra

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Took my daughter when she was 3-but it was 17 years ago so things might have changed. Top tip I found was getting a sack truck, plastic storage boxes and bungees. The storage boxes mean you have dry clothes for your kids and can even be used as a bath if needed. We survived 2005 and 2007 doing it that   I would recommend Cockmill if you can get in there more atmosphere and better location for all things kids orientated. Never stayed in Wicket but when walking past it always seems to have space but looks a bit sterile to me

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We took our 9 month old last year - it was amazing! We camped in cockmill. My advice would be if you do want to camp there, and it is really a great location, leave as early as you can. We arrived at 5.30am and didn't get set up until around 11. 

This year we are planning to leave more like 12am (we used to go earlier than this in 2011-2017 BC (before children)) and queue overnight. As long as you have drink/snacks/chairs/entertainment/warm stuff you can all get some quiet rest or start the party and be in and set up between 8 and 9am with minimal slow trudging towards the gate and stopping and starting as you'll be mostly there. 

This is weather dependent though. If it's raining you can still do all this but bring a pop up tent and remain inside there. 

If you don't mind camping in wicket then feel free to arrive at your leisure as it won't fill up until the weekend. 

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On 1/25/2020 at 2:33 PM, grumpyhack said:

I'd take the absolute essentials first - like your tent and stuff for the toddler.  Then having made camp and got settled in at your leisure someone can go back for the rest.

Massively agree.  Depending on your arrival time, you could be spending anywhere from 1 -5 hours in the queue, shuffling 6 feet every few minutes. Unless you can walk straight in and/or you are literally the human equivalent of a pack mule, two trips is the easiest way to do it.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 2:33 PM, grumpyhack said:

Make a note of what field your car and tent are in and their position relative to fixed things like paths, hedges, gates and pylons

And get the what3words app to tag the location of your car and tent.  Always good to have an extra way of finding everything!

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I have been twice before 2008 and 2010. I am taking my two boys this year aged 3 and 6. I have so many worries, 

 how to secure the tent so they cant get out at night (might be a bit of an irrational worry).

Where is best to camp? they like to wake up at 5 everyday.  

Clean Toilets?

Will they enjoy it?

I think i am over worrying and it will be a great time for all.

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15 hours ago, tomfestival_11 said:

I have been twice before 2008 and 2010. I am taking my two boys this year aged 3 and 6. I have so many worries, 

 how to secure the tent so they cant get out at night (might be a bit of an irrational worry).

Where is best to camp? they like to wake up at 5 everyday.  

Clean Toilets?

Will they enjoy it?

I think i am over worrying and it will be a great time for all.

Security & facilities for families using the family camping areas has much improved since 2010. They are fenced off and have staffed access point to stop wanderers (out or in). I'd highly recommend you take advantage of one of these areas. 

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