This year it was Es turn to choose a special trip and her choice was a music festival in deepest Oxfordshire. In fact it was more of a music and food festival. We agreed that we were probably a bit past the hardcore festival camping experience (particularly since we were taking the kids and going with my Sister and her family) so we booked a mobile home ( as did M and her family) from the chap in Harrietsham who rented us a mobilehome for our France trip last year) and headed to the Wilderness Festival.
This year we did not have to contend with operation stack. However I did have to contend with a 5 hour delay at DxB as I managed to arrive for my flight just as an incoming flight decided to land without the undercarriage down which caused the closure of both runways for a number of hours.
As a consequence it was early morning before I reached Maidstone so I was not at my brightest when B and I went to collect the motor homes on the Thursday morning. However after loading up with enough clothes and bedding for at least a week (the festival was only for 4 days) we were soon making our way in convoy towards Oxford (M drove her car as she was taking J back early for his tutoring). The weather was beautiful and after around 4.5 hours drive including a stopover at the services we were ushered through ancient trees and freshly cut grass into field near the main arena. It was a great setting surrounded by woods and hills with various categories of campsites from "glam ping" and tepees to "live in vehicles" (us along with some truly beautiful classic Airstream motor homes and an eclectic array if VW Camperrvans and customised vans).
The kids had time to race around the field and deposit huge clumps of newly mown grass in the vans as they clumped in and out and the we then went in search of food. The entrance to the arena was next to the main stage opposite which was a number of old fashioned fairground attractions including a big wheel and a helter-skelter - both of which saw considerable use by the kids before the weekend was out. However our first priority was food and the area was crammed full of pop up dining venues ranging from tents with crisp table clothes and silver service cutlery to market stalls selling bacon (or rather hog roast) butties. There was no shortage of food or indeed representatives from some of London's more fashionable restaurants and there was no problem in finding something to suit the tastes of 8 hungry people.
After having a quick tour around some of the music stages we headed back for our first night "under canvass".