Review Countryfile Live: Last weekend literally a day after we returned from our holiday in Portugal. We packed up the car and spent the weekend camping at CountryFile Live at Blenheim Palace. I was a little nervous about taking all four of us camping for the first time but had packed all the essentials. We headed straight to the campsite which was on the outskirts of the estate. Managed by The Camping & Caravan Club the campsite was perfect for families.
There was plenty of space between the pitches and because of the club rules there wasn’t any rowdy behaviour. The showers and toilets were plentiful and clean. Always topped up with hand wash and paper. Plenty of bins. It was the perfect first camping experience, apart from the heat!
There was a courtesy bus which went from the campsite to the show itself dropping us just outside the main entrance. It only took about fifteen minutes and meant that we avoided all the traffic into the show. I knew hubby and I would really enjoy the show. Its the sort of thing we would have done a lot before having children. However I did wonder if there would be enough to keep Monkey entertained.
I couldn’t have been more wrong I think he probably had even more fun than we did. There was so much to keep him entertained. Many of the brands stalls had things to keep the little ones entertained. Including lots of food samples to keep his tummy full.
Monkey has always had a thing about cured meats and cheese ever since he was small so he really enjoyed trying all the local products on offer. Which meant Hubby had a chance to try some of the local beer as we wandered round. Within in the local produce area there was also the opportunity to have some ballon creatures made. Kipper opted for a dino and Monkey a Nerf Gun! Typical six year old. They also had a face painting although Monkey didn’t fancy it in the heat. Both activities go to show that the organisers had thought about their younger visitors even in a predominately adult area.
We the decided to walk down to the children’t area. There really is so much to do but in the heat we had to temper it a little. Both boys were fascinated in the wildlife area. Kipper particularly liked a giant bug and Monkey enjoyed finding out all about the bees. We are now keeping an eye out to see if we can see some of the more unusual ones in the garden.
What really stole his heart through was the Southampton University stand. He is really starting to love exploring science of all types. Yet anything to do with the sea and marine life really captures his imagination. Learning all about ship wrecks, watching a 3D printer print out copies of some that have been found and also putting on a headset which simulated being under water made his day. It was difficult to persuade him to leave.
By mid afternoon it really was very hot so we decided to take a break from the heat under the trees. The National Trust had set up some of their 50 Things to Do activities in and around a wooded area. It was exactly what we needed to escape the thirty degrees. Both really enjoyed building a den. Monkey was very proud of his achievement and made some little friends during the construction.
There are various talks which you can attend throughout the day in different areas of the show. We found ourselves by the arena at the same time the Mountain Bikes were on. Monkey was mesmerised by all the tricks and the jumps that they did. The only way we could get him away was to promise a go on the helter skelter.
The show fishes at 6.30pm. One thing they tried this year was to extend it on the Saturday night with a little Summer Party. Which started when the main show finished. It felt pretty exclusive compared to the huge numbers that were at the show itself. Tickets to the Summer Party were in addition to entrance to the show. The main act of the night was the Shires, who I managed to catch a few minutes of before tiredness got the better of the kids. But there was plenty of hay bales to sit on or stand by, as well as stalls selling food and a couple of bars. I think it finished around 9.30 so not too late either. Although we were back at the campsite tucked up in bed by this time.
We had a lovely day at Countryfile Live and would not hesitate to visit it again next year. I was really quite surprised by just how there is so much to do for the children. We would definitely look to return in 2019.
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We were given our entry tickets and camping pitch for the purpose of this review.