I’m actually quite amazed that there are no other blog posts out there about Birdfair camping, well none I could find, if you’ve written one let me know! Frustratingly this year was would be our first time camping there and without being able to find others experiences would be a complete leap into the dark.
The first thing you should know is that facilities are BASIC! by basic I mean 4 chemical toilets when we arrived (was 5 by the time we left, thankfully), and a standpipe tap for drinking water. That’s your lot when it comes to facilities! Sorry didn’t take any pictures.While talking of the facilities, when we arrived they stank! This is unusual as normally birdfair toilets are the best I have seen at festivals or huge events like this. By Friday evening, when we returned from the days work, they had been cleaned and were much, much better. Perhaps it was just unfortunate on the Thursday evening.
In all honesty it cost the three of us £30 for the three nights we were staying there, so you can’t really expect that much.
A Warm Welcome.
Our only other issue with the camping was prior to arrival and the fact that there were no signs from the road directing you where to go, in fact we ended up at the Birdfair information stand to get directions, having missed the area first time around. A few signposts on the main roads directing traffic to the campsite would really help people!
Arriving onsite on the Thursday afternoon (after having set up the stand) we were welcomed by very friendly volunteers at the gate, the first checking us in and explaining things, the second guiding us to our pitch (which we were able to choose) where we set up our new tent. It seemed these two were constantly at work over the weekend showing people to their locations and making things ran smoothly (I’m terrible with names and forgot to get theirs but a big thank you from Zoe, Tubs and I for their efforts).
|Tent the Coleman Mosedale 5 set up in under 30 mins, first time of doing so!|
Peace and Quiet
The campsite is shared between tent users and camper vans, but it has to be said the field is very quiet for the number of people who use it. An apparent over subscription of tents and camper vans was handled very well, and we all had enough space.
The rules state no cars after 10 pm and no noise from 11 pm, and it seems everyone sticks by these rules. The place was silent from 10 pm onward pretty much, the odd snore aside (sorry to anyone who heard mine!).
When I say quiet though I don’t mean silent! Cryptic but I’ll explain.
The field we were all set up in is right next to the nature reserve, in fact right beside Dunlin and Sandpiper hides, fitting as they are disabled access hides. Therefore the air is filled with the sound of birds. With the calls of gulls, geese, and waders a constant accompaniment. Surrounding bushes are filled with song birds. And there was always a chiffchaff calling through the day. But best of all as the sun sets and darkness approaches skeins of geese fly in directly over head in the golden, orange light of the setting sun, the honking filling the air.
|setting sun over birdfair camping|
I’m not sure I have ever experienced a birdfair without wind and rain, and this year was no different. We had some torrential downpours and some quite strong winds, and the birdfair campsite held up well. The ground was not sodden, and the hedges protected against some of the wind.
One of the great things about the onsite camping at Birdfair is it’s close proximity to the fair itself. We could roll out of bed at 8 and be there by 10 past (if we desired). This also means that you can attend late evening events without worrying about timings. And of course there is no need to queue to get out of the car parks!
Another brilliant aspect of the location is that you are right on site of the nature reserve. This means you can be there at dawn and dusk! We didn’t take much advantage this year, only venturing out one evening, but plan to next time.
If you fancy socialising into the evenings then Oakham is only a mile and a half away. The courtesy bus can get you there quickly. Why go by car though when walking, or cycling, lets you enjoy the evening air. And if you are lucky, like us, you might see hedgehogs or Little Owls on your trip back!
|Camping at Birdfair|
For our first time camping as a family the basic level was a bit of a struggle, but it was made up for with the wonderful settings. And for the price who can complain?
Did you enjoyed this post? Or find it useful? Then please do share it with your friends using the links below