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Best place to camp at Glastonbury Festival: The Essential Guide

Where is the best place to camp at Glastonbury?

The dilemma of where is the best place to camp at Glastonbury, might just be the most frequently visited one when it comes to Glastonbury Festival.

A few years back a survey of festival-goers showed that when people found a campsite they liked, no less than 60% had returned to the same spot they were pitched at the year prior. So, it’s well worth giving this subject some serious thought in advance, rather than leaving things to chance when you get there.

The festival covers an area of 1.4 square miles with a perimeter that runs an astounding 8.5 miles, with an ample of green grassy spots on offer (which with any luck won’t become mud patches due to a typically anticipated rainstorm on the Thursday morning).

Your ticket price includes access to the camping fields. You can choose to pitch your tent anywhere within the designated camping zones that sit throughout the Festival, from fields right next to the Pyramid Stage to more tranquil areas on the outskirts of the Festival.

Although the capacity of Glastonbury Festival remained the same as previous years’ a substantial new area of extra camping space was brought in for 2011’s Festival. The extra space is close to the west car parks, just over the concrete road and a very short walk to the main site and entertainment areas.

-via Glastonbury Festival


When to arrive?

Unless your altruistic mates are saving you a spot, arriving on the Wednesday is crucial for securing a good camping spot.

While having the ideal camping spot isn’t crucial to having a great time, finding a decent one can upgrade your Glastonbury Festival experience immensely. However, with Glasto-goers arriving ever-earlier to get their bang for their buck, the best spots are snatched up quicker than you can say bob’s your uncle.

Therefore, you do not want to be left panic-printing a map of the camping site on the eleventh hour just before you’re about you leave. So, you better do a wee bit of planning ahead, have a campsite of choice and a backup plan (or two) in mind beforehand.

Where to pitch your tent?

Ok, before we delve into the camping sites which are on offer (below), let us just say – there really is no right or wrong answer to this question, as the idea of what makes a perfect campsite differs from one person to another. Different areas have different atmospheres. While some would prefer to have a quite night’s sleep. Others care more about being close to their favourite stage or specific area. For example, Pennard Hill Ground, between The Park and The Healing Fields, is a popular, lively spot. Alternatively, camping zones on the periphery of the Festival, such as Lime Kilns and Hitchin Hill Ground, tend to be quieter.

Please note, your choice may be limited depending on which pedestrian gate you first enter the site through, and how far you are willing to “leg-it” to your campsite once you get in. Also, take into consideration that belated arrivals will find a significantly diminished choice of fields which still contain available camping space.

We have taken it upon ourselves to approach this topic with the utmost care, and give it it’s well due respect. Put together by our Glasto Fest Feed dedicated team – this is the essential guide to help and give you the tools to make the right choice of where the best place to camp at Glastonbury would be – for you.

Below is our essential guide to the camping spots on offer, including their location, pros and cons, and overall verdict for each.

Also, check out our edited Glastonbury Festival 2017 Map (below) for reference. We’ve highlighted the relevant camping sites so it is easier for you to work your way around the site while focusing on the camping fields.

Campsite Map Glastonbury Festival 2017


Cockmill Meadow

Cockmill Meadow Glastonbury Festival
Cockmill Meadow [via Paul Groves]
Location: North-east corner, below the Medical Centre
Nearest Area:
Acoustic /Williams Green
Nearest Stage: Acoustic, Pyramid a close second
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 5 Minutes

Cockmill Meadow is especially reserved as a Family Camping area although you won’t be deflected away from here if you turn up without your children. But please bear in mind that this area is popular and space is limited so if you are arriving without your offspring please consider looking elsewhere.

Access Tip: The quickest way to enter Cockmill Meadow is through Gate B but unless you manage to get yourself into the Eastern “Purple” Car Parks this is may be quite difficult to access for the most regular ticket holders. So, alternatively, you could use the “Blue” Car Parks and enter the site through Gate C, turning right up the track which runs uphill between the Acoustic Tent and the Kidz Field. We would not advise on entering this campsite through Gates A and D as it’s a long hike from the Western Gates. If however, you do end up entering via those gates with your little ones, you may find it more favorable to go for the alternative Wicket Ground Family Camping area.  Belated arrivals will also find that Wicket Ground will still have loads of space available long after Cockmill Meadow reaches its maximum capacity.

The Pros

  • If you are hip enough to be bringing you kids to Glasto – this is the place to be.
  • Located, Location, Location: next to the Kidz Field – what dreams are made of.

The Cons

  • Have you ever experienced a hangover? Have you ever experienced a hangover with loads of kids running and jumping all over the place? Enough said.
  • As we mentioned above – you need to figure out the best route of arriving at this campsite as it can be a bit of an inconvenient entrance.

The Verdict: More for the families, less for the rest.


Big Ground

Big Ground Glastonbury Festival
Big Ground [via Steve Garrington]
Location: To the east of the Pyramid stage
Nearest Area: Williams Green / Kidz Field

Nearest Stage: Pyramid
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 2 Minutes

Big Ground and the neighbouring fields share the best access to the Pyramid stage. Not to mention the breathtaking views across the southern part of the site.

Access Tip: The East Gates of the site, B and C, offer the quickest and easiest access to this area.

The Pros

  • Flushing toilets anyone? (As long as you don’t mind the odd spicy waft).
  • Being one of the closest campsites to the Pyramid stage you get the benefits of seeing and hearing the acts on stage + all activity on this stage ends at a pretty reasonable time, so no banging tunes to keep you up all night – a double whammy, if you will.

The Cons

  • This and the neighboring fields on the hill tend to fill up considerably fast on the Wednesday so your best chance of securing this prime piece of real estate is if you arrive early on the Wednesday – You snooze. You lose.

The Verdict: Perfect if you plan on hanging out by the Pyramid stage and want be close to the action (or indeed the cider bus) for the majority of your time there. Unless you turn up on the Wednesday to secure your spot, you can pretty much forget about it. 


Row Mead

Row Mead Glastonbury Festival 2010
Row Mead [via Tristan Bodman]
Location: Overlooking the Pyramid stage
Nearest Area: Row Mead

Nearest Stage: Pyramid
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 1 Minute

Row Mead overlooks the Pyramid Field and therefore is very popular with those who like to watch and listen to the acts on the main stage from the comfort of their own tent while getting a camping chair out and cracking open a cider (or 10).

Access Tip: As with Big Ground, Gates B and C, offer the quickest and easiest access to this area.

The Pros

  • Ideal if your line-up schedule revolves heavily around the Pyramid stage.
  • Play your cards right and you might get to see and hear the acts at the Pyramid stage right from the comfort of your tent.
  • With Worthy Farm HQ being just West of this field, Michael Eavis is just a spit away – bath in the presence of legends.

The Cons

  • At peak hours this patch can get extremely busy.

The Verdict: Are there more than 12 acts playing the Pyramid you’re planing to see? If the answer is yes, Row Mead has your name written all over it.


Kidney Mead

Kidney Mead Glastonbury Festival
Kidney Mead [via Alan]
Location: To the east of the Pyramid stage, below Big Ground
Nearest Area: Williams Green 

Nearest Stage: Pyramid/Williams Green/Band Stand (depending side of field you camp)
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 1 Minute

Kidney Mead, is a great alternative to Big Ground (in the case it fills up quickly). Pitching up in this adjacent site to, Kidney Mead is close to the Pyramid Stage as well as the Acoustic Stage, the Cider Bus, William’s Green and the main central market areas.

Access Tip: Gate C would be your best bet if you’re planning to camp here.

The Pros

  • A great location if you fancy hanging out at the Pyramid / Acoustic Stage, the Cider Bus, William’s Green and the central market areas.
  • It is a great alternative to Big Ground.

The Cons

  • Some of the busiest toilets on the site are located pretty damn close and that service the Pyramid stage, so by the time Saturday rolls around you’ll be in for a bit of a whiff (putting it mildly).

The Verdict: Ideal for all the anosmics in the house.


Hawkwell

View From Hawkwell Glastonbury Festival
View From Hawkwell [via jenn0fer]
Location: Top North of the site
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Pyramid, John Peel also near by
Walk to Pyramid: Aprox. 3 Mins

Situated on the slope directly below Worthy Farm and North of the Pyramid Stage, you will find Hawkwell. As well as the the Pyramid Stage, Hawkwell is not too far away from the John Peel Stage.

Access Tip: Hawkwell is accessible from the Festival Bus Station at Gate A as well as from the Eastern B & C Gates.

The Pros

  • It’s located between two of the major music stages.
  • Offers a panoramic view of the whole site.
  • Accessible from the Festival Bus Station.

The Cons

  • The incline very steep, especially for those pitched near the top of the hill (a 45 degree angle, by some estimates).

The Verdict: For those who don’t mind sleeping at an angle (but who has time for sleep at Glastonbury anyway?)


Webb’s Ash

Webbs Ash Glastonbury Festival
Webb’s Ash [via Matt Lang]
Location: Located infornt of Michael’s Mead
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Pyramid
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 3 Minutes

As apposed to Hawkwell and Michael’s Mead, Webb’s Ash has a level plain ground and as you can see from the photo above is on the Pyramid Stage’s doorstep. While staring at that photo you’ve been wondering to yourself what might that peculiar yellow and green marquee to the left of the photo be. Well, that is the Mandela Bar, and yes, they do sell beer.

The Pros

  • Close to the Pyramid Stage.
  • To the western side of Webb’s Ash, lies the popular breakfast hangout Lulu’s Café.
  • There is beer close by too.

The Cons

  • Quite a walk to The Park / Greenfield areas.

The Verdict: Ideal for anyone who is wants proximity to the Pyrmid stage – a great alternative to Big Ground / Row Mead.


Michael’s Mead

Michaels Mead Glastonbury Festival
Michaels Mead [via Jim Frayling]
Location: Top North of the site, located behind Webbs Ash
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Pyramid
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 5 Minutes

A tad west of Hawkwell, looking downhill in the direction of the Pyramid Stage, you’ll find Michael’s Mead. Similar in character to the adjacent Hawkwell site, Michael’s Mead can have quite a steep slope in places, (although probably not as steep as the estimated 45 degree Hawkwell’s angle).

Access Tip: Being a relatively central area, Michael’s Mead is accessible from the Festival Bus Station at Gate A as well as from the Eastern B & C Gates.

The Pros

  • Located between two of the major music stages.
  • Easily accessible from the Festival Bus Station.

The Cons

  • Steep in some places.

The Verdict: For those who don’t use The Park or Greenfields as much as other areas, this could be considered a fairly central and could suit those needs well.


Spring Ground – *Disabled Camping*

Spring Ground Glastonbury Festival
Spring Ground [via Pensham]
Location: West of Michael’s Mead / South of Hitchin Hill Ground
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Pyramid or John Peel depending on which side camp on
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10 Minutes

Spring Ground is home to Disabled Camping and is reserved for the disabled and their carers. It has concrete ramps at the entrance to the field making wheelchair access easier than most other camping sites. Further allowed on site are camper-vans for disabled visitors. Early registration is a must in order to be allegeable to camp here. Further details can be found on the Glastonbury Website about these facilities.

Access Tip: Enter the site via the Western Gates A and D.

The Pros

  • wheelchair easy access.

The Cons

  • Make sure to register well in advance (closing date is commonly end of May).

The Verdict: For anyone with permanent disabilities and their carers.


Hitchin Hill

Hitchin Hill Glastonbury Festival
Hitchin Hill [via Derek Law]
Location: Just short of the most northerly point of the festival
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Pyramid or John Peel depending the side you camp on
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10 Minutes

Located just second to Lime Kiln, at the most northerly point of the festival is Hitchin Hill. This field has a tendency to not fill up as quick as the other ones on this side of the hemisphere. Rumour has it the these periphery locates fileds “tend to be quieter” – we’ll let you be the judge of that .

Access Tip: Enter the site via Gate A.

The Pros

  • Quieter due to being located on the periphery of the site.
  • Has an excellent view south across the site.
  • Great for late arrivals as it doesn’t fill up as quickly as the other fields.

The Cons

  • Watch out for slopes.

The Verdict: For those planning on securing a fairly close spot to the Pyramid or Other Stage as they can, but end up arriving later on the Wednesday or Thursday, this field may be your best option.


Lime Kiln

Lime Kiln Glastonbury Festival
Lime Kiln [via PA]
Location: The most northerly point of the festival
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes aka Dance Village

Nearest Stage: John Peel
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10-15 Minutes

Adjacent to Hitchin Hill you’ll find Lime Kiln, which is the northerly point of the site available to camp at and closest to the fence at the top of the hill. Like with the neighboring field, you will be exposed to magnificent vistas if you choose to make Hitchin Hill your home for the duration of the festival. That said, it is a lengthy uphill plod back to your tent every night.

Access Tip: Enter the site via one of the Western Gates A or D.

The Pros

  • Like Hitchin Hill (above), tends to be quieter due to being located on the periphery of the site.
  • Has an excellent view south across the site including fantastic views of the legendary Glastonbury Tor.
  • Ideal for late arrivals as it doesn’t fill up as quickly as the other fields.

The Cons

  • This would not be a wise choice for those who like the party-night-life, as you rebound back to camp after a long day’s rave will be an uphill toil back to your tent.
  • The festival night-life areas are what can seem like a lifetimes walk away, thus, not recommended for all you night owls out there who like to party until the early morning hours.
  • Bewhere of those slops.

The Verdict: Would suite those who prefer their the occasional quiet pause from the festiv-fun while having a “leg-day” workout turning a “leg-day” workout weekend.


Wicket Ground

Wicket Ground Glastonbury Festival
Wicket Ground [via The Web Garden]
Location: Top North of the site, just south of Lime Kiln
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: John Peel
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10 Minutes

Along with Cockmill Meadow, Wicket Ground is the second Family Camping area. Bar the fact it is almost double the size of Cockmill Meadow. This campsite is reserved for families and is surrounded by a fence with stewards at the entrance.

Access Tip: Go for the Western car parks and enter the site via Gate D or A if possible.

The Pros

  • Has the advantage of fencing and stewards at the entrance to keep younger children from wandering off.

The Cons

  • Reserved for families with young children only.

The Verdict: Ideal for families with young children.


Woodsies / Lower Mead

Lower Mead Glastonbury Festival
Lower Mead [via Steve Garrington]
Location: North of the site, grouped around the John Peel stage
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: John Peel
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 8 Minutes

Lower Mead and Woodsies are know for the energy in and around them, which in turn accommodates many of Glasto’s revellers and thus, a suspect to filling up pretty quickly. Located close to the John Peel and Other Stage, while also being not too far from Silver Hayes.

Access Tiip: Enter via Gate A 

The Pros

  • Great if you’re for discovering new up-and-coming artists with the John Peel Stage being at your feet. Not mentioning the fact that the Other Stage as well as Silver Hayes being accessible as ever from these fields.
  • Relatively short walk from Pedestrian Gate A.

The Cons

  • This area endures 24-hour traffic as it is located next to the main access road into the site – you can imagine the noise.
  • John Peel is one of the most visited stages at the festival and as such attracts a hefty crowd which will inevitably end up at the entrance to your campsite – fight or flight.
  • Shangri-La has never been so far.

The Verdict: For the reveller at heart. If that is not you, please move along, nothing to see here.


Darble / Pylon Ground

Pylon Ground Glastonbury Festival
Pylon Ground [via SteveInLeighton]
Location: Northwest
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: John Peel
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 15 Minutes

If you enter via Gate A Darble will be the first fields you come into which means they are the closest camping grounds to the Bus & Coach Station. It also boasts a designated area specifically reserved for people who cycle to the festival.

South of Gate A, bordering with Darble you come across Pylon Ground. As the name suggests you can expect to encounter a pylon tower or two. There is usually an abundance of space on this field, so the chance of you tripping over tent pegs in the dark of night is less likely compared to other fields (unless you drunk as f*ck which in that case, no amount of space will help). Compost toilets are also present nearby, and if you’ve ever been in a festival toilet before you know these aren’t that bad.

Access Tip: Enter via Gate A

The Pros

  • Ideal for if you’re arriving via coach and want to pitch tent ASAP or, for when you wake with that horrendous hungover on the Monday morning and can’t imagine scraping what is left of you of the tent floor in order to get back on that coach bound home.
  • Compost toilets nearby. ‘Nugh said.

The Cons

  • Far away from the nightlife shenanigans – Shangri-La and the likes.
  • As you’d expect, Pylon Ground has, Pylon buzz. The towers output a mild buzz which isn’t in favor of light sleepers. On the other hand, let’s face it – who the hell comes to Glasto to sleep anyways?!

The Verdict: For the late arrivals – there will always be a green grass patch. For the lazy f*ckers who can’t be bothered walking more than 2 steps further than the coach station drop-off. For the cyclists.


Bushy Ground

Bushy Ground Glastonbury Festival
Bushy Ground [via meltreaders]
Location: West, beyond the Park Farm
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: West Holts
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 20 Minutes

Bushy Ground first becoming available for camping in 2010. It was subsequently cornered off and used to screen the 2014 World Cup with saw 40,000 fans watch England’s match against Germany that year. The campsite is situated behind some restricted areas so keep that in mind when you navigate your way around in order to locate your tent each day and go back out again into the wild, which can be a bit of a hassle.

Access Tip: Easily accessible from either of the Western Pedestrian Gates A or D.

The Pros

  • Close to the Megabus drop-off/pick-up point.
  • Connects to the Silver Hayes area, which in turn acts as a doorway to the John Peel and Pyramid stages.

The Cons

  • Can be a bit of a hassle to maneuver around as it lays behind some restricted areas.
  • Quite a walk from Shangri-La.

The Verdict: When in doubt this may be the joker of the pack.


Oxlyers

Oxlyers Glastonbury Festival 2016
Oxlyers [via James Bennett]
Location: Right smack in the middle of it all
Nearest Area: Silver Hayes

Nearest Stage: Other Stage
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10-15 Minutes

Many people favor Oxlyers for it being located right smack in the middle of the festival and thus, has easy access to most of the main entertainment areas. It is the closest campsite to the Other Stage, a relatively short walk to the Pyramid Stage and with the Park being less than 10 minutes away this field is in high demand.

Access Tip: Arrive via Gate A, from there on out is it a relatively easy breath downhill walk through Silver Hayes.

The Pros

  • A focal point for most of the main entertainment area, and with some luck, you might just be able to crack open a cider and catch the Other Stage acts right from the comfort of your tent.
  • This is ‘flatland’. No inclines. No slopes.

The Cons

  • This real estate is in high demand and fill up faster than you can say Jack Robinson – and if you lucky enough to secure a sweet spot be prepared to make new friends, as you are gonna all be one on top of the other.
  • Did we mention it is FLAT? Basically this also means that if it pours down with rain your in deep s*it. Ehrrmmm… we mean, mud.. deep mud.

The Verdict: This ground is a premium pick. If you like what it has to offer, grab it. FAST!


Dairy Ground

Dairy Ground Glastonbury Festival
Dairy Ground [via Nicholas Kaye]
Location: West, to the south of the Park
Nearest Area: The Park

Nearest Stage: The Park Stage
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 20-25 Minutes

Along with Bushy Ground may well be the largest campsite around, and even though it’s popularity has been swelling over the years it still offers loads of space, (which may have a thing or two to do with The Park area and it’s vivid nightlife which is just around the corner.

Please note that prior to 2015 Dairy Ground was known as Paines Ground and vice versa for some “technical issues” regarding printing of the maps sitemaps. So, if someone mentions the name Paines Ground make sure they aunt referring to the much larger ground next door.

Access Tip: Immediately accessible from Gate D.

The Pros

  • For those of you who are driving to Glastonbury, it’s the most convenient place to stop as it’s located right next to the majority of the Western Car Parks.
  • Takes a while till it reaches its full capacity.

The Cons

  • As most of the flat ground grounds, it is prone to flooding if and when the skies do decide to open up.
  • There is some distance between this site and the majority of the action.

The Verdict: Ideal for those who are driving a long distance to Glastonbury.


Paines Ground

Paines Ground Glastonbury Festival
Paines Ground [via phoelou]
Location: South of the Park
Nearest Area: The Park

Nearest Stage: The Park / Arcadia
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 25-30 Minutes

Paines Ground might be the largest camping field on site. It is MASSIVE. Also, this is the site where Michael Eavis lets his cows roam the fields when the festival isn’t live.

As mentioned above, “Please note that prior to 2015 Dairy Ground was known as Paines Ground and vice versa for some “technical issues” regarding the printing of the sitemaps.” So, if someone mentions the name Paines Ground make sure they aren’t referring to the much smaller ground next door.”

The Pros

  • You should have plenty of tent pitching space as this is possibly the largest campsite on site.
  • Very easy on the eye with great a great view all around.

The Cons

  • Don’t let it’s size fool you, this baby packs up swiftly. So don’t procrastinate on your way in.
  • It’s a pretty a hefty walk to the main stages. Not easy on the quads.

The Verdict: Ideal for those who plan on hanging out at the Park area by day / Arcadia by night. Be swift.


Park Home Ground

Park Home Ground Glastonbury Festival
Park Home Ground [via Nick]
Location: Behind the Other Stage
Nearest Area: The Park

Nearest Stage: Arcadia
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 15-20 Minutes

Park Home Ground is also the home of Arcadia since 2014 when it moved into its new premises in the middle section of the field. Subsequently this action created a reaction of added amount of traffic and noise which does continue well into the early hours of the morning. This field, like it’s neighbours has a mild slop (nothing as steep as Hawkwell’s though).

The Pros

  • Arcadia is locked on to this sites Southern side for quick access.

The Cons

  • If we didn’t mention above, this site is also very popular thus, space is snatched up. Fast!
  • With Arcadia being stack to your A**, pardon the French, it’s loud – so don’t expect a peaceful night’s sleep until like 3am when Arcadia powers off for the nigh

The Verdict: If your a sleepyhead this site is not for you – it does, however, attract likeminded people.


Pennard Hill Ground

Pennard Hill Ground Glastonbury Festival
Pennard Hill Ground [via Nicholas Kaye]
Location: In the heart of the matter
Nearest Area: Green Fields

Nearest Stage: Spirit of 71 Stage
Walk to Pyramid: Approx. 10 Minutes

Possibly the most ‘popular, lively spot’ of them all is titled, (as dubbed by the official Glastonbury site) is Pennard Hill Ground. It’s located in the center of most of the main areas and stages, plus, it’s the nearest public camping field to both the legendary Stone Circle and late night “Naughty Corner” in the South Eastern section of the site.

The Pros

  • You are surrounded! The Park, Arcadia, Sacred Space, Healing Field and Green Feature are all just a spit away.
  • The Other Stage is loud and clear from the site.

The Cons

  • It’s popularity factors into the staggering speed at which this field fills up.
  • If it thunder storms comes around and decides to stay for a day or two –  you better hope the new drainage system that has been much improved, kicks in.
  • Did we already mention – It is loud!

The Verdict: This is no chill-pill. Quite the opposite.


 Happy Camping!

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