Hi, Aly. We're talking about doing the FOS next year and have settled on camping for the duration so could you give me some tips? 3 or 4 of us will be going, just wondering if you've got any advice that will help us out. Did you stay in tents or motor home? BBQ every night or facilities on site? Sorry if lame questions but never been and don't know what to expect, cheers.
Happy to oblige, in truth I spent a lot of time searching threads for practical advice before we left and found nigh on nothing of much use;
Upon arrival you have to send the person that booked in to check in at the entrance, they are issued with wrist bands for all in your party (up to four unless you pay more) and a large refuse sack for obvious reasons. You are then sent towards a parking marshal who points you to the next available pitch and you are left to set up. The pitch for up to four was around 8m x 6m, plenty big for three “two man” tents, a 3x3m gazebo and a VW Phaeton with space to walk around them and securing ropes.
Campers, caravans and tents are all mixed up in the order that they arrived, no allocation process to keep tents together etc.
The only facilities on site were a burger van at the entrance gate, a drop off point that the Goodwood Farm Shop would supply to (by 5pm if you ordered by 9am or something along those lines) and shower/toilet cabins (which were kept in pretty decent condition considering the number of people using them).
There are a couple of supermarkets and a retail park with Pizza Hut, McDonalds etc within a five to ten min drive away in Chichester so we ended up coming back from the show each day, jumping in the car and picking up some stuff for dinner and the following breakfast then cooking when we got back on site. The breakfast stuff was getting kept in a cool box along with bags of ice Tesco were selling for £1 a bag. Bottled water is a must, there is a tap marked drinking water. Having seen what was coming out of it, the fluid might have been more suited to cattle than humans.
We did take a BBQ which only got used one night and a couple of gas camping stoves which were great for dinners and bacon/sausage rolls each morning.
On a couple of occasions we were handed flyers for some of the local take away places who would deliver to the camp site gate so you wouldn’t be stuck.
If you’ve camped before then you’ll have an idea what to take for cooking in, on, with, stuff to sleep on and stay warm in etc. Folding chairs and maybe a table are a must. Lighting is needed too, unless you are by the toilets then when it gets dark you’re moving about by torchlight.
We found having the gazebo gave us some sheltered communal space (useful as it was windy and wet at times) but there were only three of us, had there been four we would have possibly struggled for space trying to use that depending on tent(s) set up for sleeping arrangements.
The showers are busy from about half five in the morning, I’d take flip flops or crocs for the showers, they were getting used a lot and the field was less than short grass. Between the grass and dirt underfoot, the shower areas were getting dirty quickly. I was keeping some poolside flip flops on, even in the shower and attacking my feet with baby wipes before getting dressed properly back at tent.
I wouldn’t have any reservations about camping again, it was a decent set up and close enough to the show even though we were in the extra camping field about a half mile to the entrance of the show. Against the distance you cover on foot in the show, that half mile is nothing. Also, at £155 it does sound like a lot for a camping pitch, but between four people, for in theory up to five nights (site is open from Wednesday afternoon to Monday morning) it is a damn sight cheaper than the £199 a night a local Travel Lodge quoted me!