Last weekend was definitely one of the most chilled out weekends we have ever had as a family! Timber Festival is like something from an Enid Blyton story: an Enchanted Wood filled with magical surprises around every corner!
FESTIVAL GLAMPING – OUR FIRST EXPERIENCE OF FAMILY CAMPING
We arrived at about 7pm on the Friday night and checked into our “Tinkers and Belles” bell tent. The tent was fabulous and the site was very well organised. I was a bit worried about the showers and loos as the camp sites of my childhood were certainly less than sanitary but the showers and loos on site were fab, shiny, spotlessly clean and not at all smelly! There were bottles of water in the tent and these were replenished daily. There was also a drinking water tap on site to refill the bottles when needed. The beds were reasonably comfy and the tent was certainly big enough for a family of 4 to comfortably walk around in!
THE FESTIVAL ITSELF
Timber was an eclectic mix of art, music, philosophy and sustainability, celebrating the transformative impact of forests. Mr J was slightly concerned that we were going to be dancing naked round campfires under moonlight or spending all of our time hugging and talking to trees so he was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find that wasn’t true!!
Timber is such a relaxed, chilled out Festival but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well-organised…far from it! The site (in the heart of the National Forest) was well planned out and organised into various different areas. We did look at the programme but, to be honest, found it rather confusing so we just wandered around the site at our own pace, finding interesting and exciting things to do and see around every corner.
OUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO AT TIMBER FESTIVAL:
There were so many things to do and see at Timber and many things that we missed. However, here are a few of our favourites:
IAN DOUGLAS the AMAZING STORYTELLER!
In a little glade in the woods we came across Ian Douglas, the fabulous storyteller. Those of you whom have been to Just So Festival will be familiar with Ian and his comedic and witty style of storytelling which delights children and adults alike! We absolutely loved him and could have sat beneath the trees around the campfire and listened to his retelling of British folktales and world legends all day!
CLAY TILE MAKING
Bean absolutely loved making and decorating a clay tile with potter, Andy Mason! He enjoyed it so much he went back to make another! It’s obvious he was born in Staffordshire and has pottery in his blood!!
THE MUSEUM OF THE MOON
Museum of the Moon is a touring artwork by artist Luke Jerram, accompanied by surround sound composition by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award winning composer Dan Jones. It measures 7 metres in diameter and features detailed NASA imagery of the moon’s surface surface. So we really were standing next to a mini version of the moon!
The children were transfixed and it really was magical to see this awesome piece of art suspended amongst the trees.
Although we didn’t try this ourselves it was great to watch people being taught how to do pole-lathe turning, windsor chair-making and crafting their own walking sticks!
HAMMER AND CHISEL
Now this was fun! Over the course of the Festival children were invited into an area of the forest to use hammers, nails and saws to create their own woodland playground! The sight of my Little Miss wielding a hammer and knocking nails into a piece of wood really was something special!
My children love a slackline so it was great for them to have a chance to do it in the middle of a forest!
HAMMOCKS AND WOODLAND LIBRARY
This was beautiful. Myself, one of my besties (Katy from “Otis and Us“) and our children escaped into the trees whilst the men were watching the football. We relaxed and chatted whilst the children lay in hammocks reading books from the Woodland Library – wonderful!
We watched an interesting performance by the theatre company “Whispering Woods” and later in the afternoon they ran a “Silks in the Trees” workshop, teaching people aerial acrobatics which looked amazing!
The fire garden was beautiful! Created especially for Timber by artists and fire technicians from pa-BOOM, it really was a spectacular sight!
RSPB BUG HUNTING
This was Bean’s favourite activity. Experts from the RSPB led bug hunting workshops and the children were given nets to take into the undergrowth and catch their own insects. They then brought them back to the experts who told them all about what they had caught.
Jason is a very talented musician, composer and beatboxer. He makes truly amazing sounds with his voice and it was fantastic listening to him create awesome soundscapes based on birdsong, insects and other sounds from nature.
MUSIC AT TIMBER
Timber was full of music: Artists such as Roots Community Choir, Hope and Social, Lion, Jalen N’Gonda & Stables and DJ sets from the likes of Disco Lypso, Chris Tofu & Sam Redmore echoed around the site throughout the day and night providing a wonderful soundtrack to the experience.
TIMBER FESTIVAL FOOD
There was plenty of food on offer in the food and drink area. The “Doughology” pizzas were a hit with the kids and I would like to give a special mention to “Eats Shoots and Leaves” who serve fantastic vegan and vegetarian street food and had a full understanding of coeliac disease and cross-contamination.
TYPICAL MUMMY’S VERDICT
Timber Festival is such a fantastic experience for both adults and children. We highly recommend it as a relaxing, chilled out family adventure. We are now looking forward to heading to “Just So” in August, another family festival created by the organisers of Timber, “Wild Rumpus.” We can’t wait!!!
Find out more at http://timberfestival.org.uk