Having a plan for your Glastonbury camping will definitely improve your festival experience.
When I went to Glastonbury in 2011 I camped near the John Peel tent. Mainly, because it was raining and it was the first place we came to and we panic camped. No thought had gone into it whatsoever.
It worked out really well though and I don’t actually remember any negative thoughts or comments.
It was quiet between 3am and 8am, we had the silent disco nearby and it felt close enough to the action despite it being a particularly rainy year.
The second year at Glastonbury, in 2017, I camped at South Park 1. It was SO far away from where we wanted to be. It was reasonably quiet and spacious, with good toilets nearby, but I do remember it feeling like a mission to go out every day. Or, more importantly, to come back at night.
Camping at Glastonbury means at least 5 nights on the ground, so you want to be comfy, or close, or be able to sleep, or party all night – depending on your festival vibe.
Here are a few suggestions for your Glastonbury camping experience, so you know where to aim for when you come into the Glastonbury area, which starts a good way before the entrance.
Map of Glastonbury
Your Ultimate Packing List for Glastonbury
Where to camp at Glastonbury… if you want to party all night
Pennards Hill campsite is located next to the electronic music stages, that go on till late. So if you want to camp somewhere where you won’t have to trek back at the end of the night, then that’s your one. It’s a super popular campsite though so get there early!
From what I’ve read you need to be there early on Wednesday to get in.
Oxlyers is another good option as it’s near Glade and Silver Hayes, although it’s the lowest of all the sites so if the weather is bad, then maybe not. Great location to be in the centre of the action though!
Where to camp at Glastonbury… if you want to actually sleep
Of course you’ve packed the ear plugs and the sleep masks right?
If you don’t manage to sleep at night, you can usually find a cool and quiet space in the day up in the healing fields somewhere, or just an unused tent in the main arena area.
Night time is not your only chance to sleep at Glasto.
Darble, Bushey Ground, the kids areas, The Dairy Field, Hitchin Hill, Baileys, Spring Ground, around the John Peel Tent, River Mead – are all known as the quiet spots.
How to Be Comfortable at Festivals
9 Tips for Eco Friendly Camping
Where to camp at Glastonbury… with kids
There’s a specific area for camping with kids at Glastonbury. These will generally be quieter and calmer all day and night. For this reason they’re also popular with people who don’t have kids too.
Look for the areas around the John Peel tent for the best options for kiddie camping.
Glastonbury camping tips
Watch my video on what to take to Glasto!
More videos on my YouTube channel here…
What time should I arrive at Glastonbury?
In 2011 the four of us stayed in Bath the night before and drove across in the morning on Wednesday, getting there nice and early. We’d come from Manchester and London so it made sense. We were there for 10amish.
In 2017 we did the same, but stayed a little closer in an Airbnb somewhere. We got up REALLY early and were there for 8am on the Wednesday.
Both times we had to queue for AGES. Hours. In 2017 it was about 4 hours on what was the hottest day of the year. It was horrible.
In 2011 my brother just sauntered in in the afternoon, and same in 2017 for the people camped next to us. So, I’m not doing that again!
This year I’m going for about 4pm on Wednesday afternoon to see how that goes. Some friends are doing the early thing, so we’ll compare stories.
You can officially arrive from 9am on the Tuesday.
Arriving at Glastonbury on Tuesday
Some people decide to go to Glasto on Tuesday, to get the most from it. You can camp in the car park on the Tuesday and be first in the doors (metaphorically) on Wednesday. Apparently it’s a lot of fun, but five nights of camping is plenty for me.
There’s no live music or anything but people camp by their cars, or sleep in them, and just soak up the festival atmosphere before it’s even started.
Where to park at Glastonbury
Where you park your car at Glasto obviously affects how far you’re going to have to walk to the campsite of your choice. Look at the Glastonbury camping map and work out your approach. Although, it’s not going to be as easy to get to where you want to be as it looks.
Just a word of warning.
They will close routes and car parks to help with overcrowding, and you may have to follow a route you don’t want to – ending up on the other side of the festival. It’s just all part of the fun.
If you end up parking on the opposite side of the campsite than you want to be you’re going to have a very long walk. Do not underestimate the walking distances. In fact, this map will help you to understand the scale of Glastonbury once it gets going.
And remember, this is just the main area – you’ll be on the Glastonbury campsites on the outskirts.
Getting your stuff to the campsite at Glastonbury
There’s absolutely no way I’d want to do two trips back to the car, as some people do. Once I’m in, I’m in.
I’d strongly recommend taking a trolley to carry your stuff in on. In my two years of experience, you shuffle along in a queue to get in and if you have loads of stuff to carry it can be very uncomfortable.
Some people are happy to walk back to the car to do multiple trips to carry things into the Glastonbury campsite – but not for me.
Obviously it depends how much stuff you have, how strong you’re feeling and how far away you want to camp.
If you don’t want to bring loads of stuff with you, you can pay to get a bus from the coach park area at pedestrian gate A and go into Glastonbury town centre and Shepton Mallet. TBH though, this sounds horrendous and I wouldn’t really recommend it.
I hope that helps with some of your questions about Glastonbury camping – SEE YOU THERE!
Funny stories of sneaking into Glastonbury
Seeing as I don’t have a ticket for Glastonbury this year, and 175,000 other people do, I thought I’d have a look around to see exactly how people have broken into the festival in the past.
Purely idle research, of course. I don’t think I could face going all the way down to Worthy Farm and not getting in.
I remember my neighbour getting in about 10 years ago by jumping the fence, and more recently, 2011, some friends paid a friendly farmer to get them in on their tractor. £30 if I remember correctly, and they made it through to the end without getting chucked out. They were locals though and knew the Glastonbury Festival crew.
From my own personal experience with the Glastonbury security measures and bouncers in 2011 I’d say there’s no chance of a freebie. Although, from my research I have found some pretty good ideas…
“I broke in 2004. We hid inside an old converted fire engine. We being myself, my mate, this girl we both knew and some random hippy woman that was intent on selling us home made jewellery. When we got to the gate our driver apparently said he only went out to pick up some water and they waved him through.”
– Bill Price
Mind the gap
“I broke in on the 25th Anniversary – 1995. Back then the high wall was there plus a further 6 foot fence surrounding that. We headed down one side, found a gap in the outer fence and then found a rope tied to the high wall. We got in easily, aside to my mate freaking out once he had got to the top of the wall.”
– Block Party
Never give up hope
“Mate of mine broke in a few years ago. Got chased off security over a couple of different fences. About an hour of lying in long grass avoiding Land Rovers and they finally made it to the fence of a camping field. Jumped over the fence. It turned out to be the camping field for the security staff. Got nabbed and stuffed in a van. Van drove past the pyramid stage on the way to the security office. Him and his mates saw their chance when the van stopped for a crossing wreckhead, popped the door open and scarpered into the crowd.”
– Knife of the Realm
“Someone should skydive in.”
– Iain Signal
“ive broke in many times. seen peeps offering a bunk up for a tenner a pop, seen ladders, ropes and grappling hooks. watched peeps storm the fence with battling rams in coordinated attacks and also peeps have taken it apart from he inside.”
– Westanley Garrard
“I went every year it was on from 95 until the big wall went up for free, over the fence that time and every other time after, we’d arrive on the monday, there would be no security what so ever and we just strolled through the turnstiles, and then camped in the disabled field until the wednesday and then moved our tents to camp with our mates. I never once met anyone in the disabled field who was actually disabled.”
“In the past we have cut the “tails” off of other people’s wristbands and glued them together, but that relies on having peeps there who don’t mind you doing that.”
It’s not like it used to be
“First time i went there were whole sections of the fence just lying flattened for hours on the thursday night and people just strolling in from the surrounding fields.
These days you’re more likely to get tazered by gestapo security for even looking at Pilton on a map without a valid ticket.”
“Build up a collection of security and stewarding tabbards…”
And if you want an epic tale of getting into Glastonbury without a ticket despite all the odds, check this legendary Glasto ticket tale out.
More advice for Glastonbury
I’ve written loads about camping at Glastonbury and advice for having the best festival experience possible on this blog. Here are a few of my favourite posts.
Your Questions About Glastonbury: Answered
Monday 20th of May 2019
When I first started going to Glastonbury in the late 1990's it was always Oxylers. Close to the other stage and the Dance Tent. We then moved further up the hill towards Pennards (which wasn't party party at that time). Thankfully we were up there in the awful floods of 2005 (I think) so we just had rivers running through rather than flooding us.
2011 was my last Glastonbury. That rain! We settled for Dairy Ground in the last few years. Relatively close to West Car Parks and not too loud.