Llamas, Lions and Lederhosen
Llamas, Lions and Lederhosen
Larmer Tree Festival
We’ve not been to Larmer Tree Festival since 2014, so it was high time to head that way again. The venue is on the Wiltshire/Dorset border near Salisbury so it’s quite a trek for us, but well worth it. We left home before 10am and were there (with no stops) just before 3pm. It didn’t take us too long to set up the event shelter and it was lovely to see Mick and his family who we’d met in 2013 and 2014 when we ‘d been before.
Weather-wise the weekend was mixed with enough rain for us to need our wellies one day, but generally fine enough for us to enjoy a bit of sunshine between the showers. Saturday was fancy dress day and this year the theme was Space to commemorate the moon landings in 1969. If you’re a regular to this Blog, you’ll know we don’t need much of an excuse to dress up and, fortunately, we’d attended a space themed event before.
The acts this year didn’t thrill us as much as previous times we’ve been but that may say more about us than the Festival! We certainly enjoyed most of what we saw with some new bands to add to our Spotify playlists. K T Tunstall was probably the best for me – she’s knows how to hold a crowd and never disappoints with her performances. The Cat Empire were great and we also really enjoyed the London Afrobeat Orchestra, who play Talking Heads covers with an African beat – brilliant.
There’s much more than music at Larmer Tree though, including craft workshops, comedy, great food and lots more.
We had thought that we’d probably give it a miss next year, but I reckon as soon as tickets are on sale again we’ll be in. It’s so laid back and there’s always plenty to keep us occupied that I think we might just be back…
We left Larmer Tree on Monday morning and drove across Wiltshire to the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s site next to Longleat Safari Park. During the check in process the assistant warden, Deb Ludford, and I realised that we knew each other from Social Media and, incredibly, she also went to the same school as Alison – it’s definitely a small world isn’t it? I can thoroughly recommend her Blog; In Pursuit of a Dream.
The site is great and so convenient for the Safari Park. It was great to be able to leave the van and walk in (we even got a discount by booking online the day before using the CAMC membership). We took the tour on a double decker bus and, despite the heat, really enjoyed it. We were there for 6 hours and just about jiggered when we got back.
Did I mention the heat? The UK was sizzling under record temperatures so our stock of cold cider in the Outside Gang Freebird* was great.
We had a couple of trips out in Absinthe to Bradford on Avon, Devizes and Caen Locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal, then did some shopping for food in nearby Warminster. All in all, the site was just about perfect. There was even some excitement one day, when a missing Marmoset from Longleat appeared on site. The keepers arrived after it had slipped back into the forest though, so whether it’ll ever be re-captured is anyone’s guess. The woods are full of raptors and owls, so its days may be numbered.
*more on the Freebird in a later Blog. Watch this space!
Friday was the day to pack up and drive to Cheltenham Racecourse to meet our daughter and her fiancé for this year’s Dubtoberfest. We went in 2018 and had a great time, even though the weather was atrocious. The Show was under new management but with the same venue and there seemed to be quite a few more attendees this year. As always at VW shows, we bumped into quite a few people that we know – it’s always good to catch up and have a chat with folk we haven’t seen for a while. This year we met fellow Brazilian T2c owners and Glawning VIP’s!
On Friday night we adopted Hawaiian as the theme and had a great time in the marquee and also dancing to the Mobile Disco outside. A perfect start.
The weather was a bit iffy with rain about but we had the event shelter to sit in so no big deal. Saturday was Bavarian day so it was on with the Lederhosen.
The Bier Keller Schunklers were excellent in this setting. We’d seen them at Glampfest where the lack of tables and benches restricted the interaction with the crowd, but here they were brilliant. It all kicked off at one point, when a lady fell off a bench onto a small child, bringing security into play but everyone had been told not to dance on the benches or tables, so I suspect drink may have been involved. We were having such a good time that we even joined in the silent disco at 11pm. Again it was great fun although we bailed out around 1pm, leaving the young ‘uns to party until the end.
On Sunday, we wandered around the trade stalls and generally chilled. Gabbie and Jay left for home around 3pm and it’s possible that I may have had a nap in the van until 7pm.
We packed up on Monday and drove home – for once with few delays on the motorways – after a brilliant 10 days of adventures. Next stop Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Friday. Busy, busy…
Things We’ve Learned
Apparently, the Sea Lions in the lake at Longleat won’t eat the freshwater fish. Instead they catch them, wave them just above the water until a gull swoops down, and then they eat the gull!
Caravanners can be a miserable bunch. There was a comment in the book in the information room at Longleat (which is a brilliant resource by the way), which reckoned that the CAMC were allowing the tone to be lowered by allowing tents on the site. I then overheard a conversation between two vanners, saying that tents shouldn’t be allowed, because they were taking up space where their kids should be playing. I’m pretty sure that most caravanners had tents at one point, so it’s sad to hear such negativity.
I love a festival but I don’t recover from late nights like I used to. Zzzzzz!
Wiltshire is a beautiful county (praise indeed from a Tyke)