We went along to VW Whitenoise having no preconceptions of what to expect, having never been to a festival of this ilk before. It was quickly apparent that there was a large VW family to which we didn’t feel part of due to not owning a VW yet… but this didn’t matter a bit to our 3 year daughter who threw herself into the thick of things.
After an easy journey up the A47, we arrived at the Royal Norfolk Showground and were directed into a field which acted as like a holding pen before moving cars, campers and caravans into the campsite areas. We had never experienced anything like this in all our years of festivalling so were slightly confused. Like many others, we got the children our of the car and wandered around trying to find out what was going on. We overheard a steward telling another festival goer that they were trying to get people in as quickly as they could but they had not anticipated that they would have so many people arrive in the first hour!
We eventually got to the camping area an hour later and started to set up camp. I knew what to expect from the site as I have attended the Royal Norfolk Show previously, it is an ideal site for a festival as it’s flat, has concrete pathways and good facilities.
Having proper flushing toilets made a huge difference, as was being able to park your car next to your tent. It was also nice not to wake up to find a tent blocking your doorway or the usual avoid the guy rope walk back to the tent.
Near where we camped was the Kids’ activity barn where you could sign up for activities such as badge making, bug making camper van making which were all FREE. While waiting for your booked activity the children could bounce on the Campervan and Baja Beetle inflatables or create some art with ‘Me And Er’, a travelling art work shop. We made a flag and a VW sign badge from Plaster of Paris and I painted one to commemorate the event. There was also a local company called Fun Force who had music, activities, games and races to take part in, there was also some crazy bikes to ride and mini landrovers to drive around a course.
There wasn’t a main arena as such as there seemed to be things going on all over the place, there were lots of stalls selling VW items, clothes, sweets and the usual food stalls and a very good pop up pizza restaurant where we had a lovely, generously topped pizza for two for £10. My only issue with the food was and this is the case with many festivals that nowhere does a child’s portion, one stall did Eila a sausage in a tortilla wrap which she enjoyed.
As for music, in one of the fixed buildings there were different DJs playing and then a funk n soul room. There was a tent with bands playing during the day but this seemed to close at night and the headline bands played in a cowshed. There was also a rollerdisco open to all ages, I never got the chance to go in because by the time I went over to it, it was either just closing or too busy.
There were the usual fairground rides which charged a rather steep £2.50 per person, if we had had older children this would have cost us a small fortune!
On the Sunday we enjoyed walking around the show ring, looking at people’s campervans which were catergorised by model, our favourite being a pink one with a little trailer in which the owners had installed a fridge and matching pink accessories. We also chatted to a family who had come from up near Inverness in their camper to the festival and were looking forward to spending a few days in North Norfolk after the festival.
For us it was a whole new world that we had admired from the outside and we came away from the festival with a whole new appreciation of the world of VWs.
And now we REALLY love the idea of owning a VW Camper!
The big question is would we come back? Well, the festival ticked so many boxes for us when it came to facilities, atmosphere, feeling safe and ease of getting there but I’m not quite sure we will be back.
… unless of course we buy a VW Camper, that is…!!
Jessica (read profile)