It’s festival season here in the UK, and with things starting to slowly return to “normal”, many of you are itching to get back out in the open, enjoy one of the many festivals re-opening this summer and reconnect with friends and family once again!
If you saw our Instagram stories a few weeks ago, then you’ll know all about our “taster” session to find out more about the Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls, which debuts for the first time this year at Powderham Castle in Devon.
We were invited by Nature Valley and Gone Wild, so we could find out more about the festival and come back here and tell you everything we know so far.
So, read on to find out what we thought of some of the activities and how you can follow in our footsteps and try all this and more at the festival later this month.
Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls: A Sneakpeek Of Some Activities
When we first arrived at Powderham Castle, we had a few moments to take in the courtyard and castle’s architecture before we were being thrown into the deep end and learning essential wilderness skills from the Bear Grylls Survival Academy.
We kickstarted our morning with a power walk to the first “station”, which was all about the “theory” of survival.
Then, they asked us all to slather ourselves with mud. Yes, actual mud.
Apparently, mud is essential for camouflage and protection against the sun. Safe to say we felt like big kids again playing in the mud!
Next, we learned some essential knots. We found most of them relatively easy, but the last one was super tricky!
Then, we had a go at axe throwing. We’d tried axe throwing indoors before, but never out in the open and into wooden blocks.
It was great fun and even Justine managed to score a couple of points!
Finally, we had to take everything we’d just learned and act out a scenario where we were stranded in the middle of nowhere.
We had to build a shelter, collect water, start a smoky fire and sprint to our rescue vehicle.
Where we were met with “lunch” in the form of dung beetles, mealworms and scorpions. Yummy!
Seriously though, we had a great time and it made us even more excited for everything else we’ll get to try at the actual festival.
Sound fun? Read on for everything we know about the Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls this year.
Gone Wild Festival with Bear Grylls: What You Need To Know
The festival is taking place between August 26th and August 29th and will be held in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle in Devon.
The Gone Wild festival offers the perfect opportunity to spend the whole weekend enjoying the wild outdoors, boasting a large variety of adventurous activities, great music and an experience that the whole family (and couples) can enjoy!
It was created in support of the Royal Marines charity – with 10% of the ticket costs going to them.
Gone Wild was co-founded by former Royal Marine, Oliver Mason, in partnership with celebrity survivalist, Bear Grylls, who will be attending alongside many other special guests to give inspirational talks throughout the weekend.
*UPDATE: over 85% of tickets are now sold!
All tickets allow for entry to the festival throughout the weekend and include camping.
If you want to guarantee your camping spot so you can be next to your friends and/or family, you can purchase this separately.
Day tickets are not available but you can come and go as you please.
- Adults: £172.50
- Young adults (12-17): £74.50
- Kids (5-11): £63.00
- Family (2 adults + 2 under 18’s) : £430.50
- VIP upgrade (SOLD OUT): £126.75
- Car park = £22
For an additional £126.75 per ticket, you can upgrade your festival experience to include:
- Festival car park ticket
- Private bar
- Luxury toilets
- Complimentary show guide
- Complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day
- Pop up appearances from the Gone Wild guests
- Phone charging hub
Feeling lucky? You can have a chance to win some VIP tickets by purchasing promotional packs of Nature Valley bars now available in select stores. For details see here.
T&Cs: UK, 18+, 1/07-19/08. Promotional Pack and receipt required. www.naturevalley.co.uk/gone-wild-festival-bear-grylls to enter and T&C’s. 1 entry per person, per week. NI NPN. Promoter: General Mills.
With over 80 activities included with your ticket, there’s no way you’ll be lost for things to see and do!
From kayaking, climbing walls and BMXing to yoga, circus skills and survival skills, there’s sure to be something that everyone can enjoy.
Related activities are split into different areas of the festival which should make it easier to find fun things to do based on your interests.
We have included a timetable for each of these areas so you can see when certain events are happening so you don’t miss out!
Run by the Bear Grylls Survival Academy and sponsored by Nature Valley, here you can learn how to thrive in any environment you find yourself in.
Learn how to set traps, hunt and cook your catch. Navigate your surroundings, seek water and build a shelter to survive the wilderness. Light a campfire and make s’mores with toasted marshmallow and Nature Valley bars!? Yes please!
- Tyrolean crossing
- Gross eat station
- Survival workshop
- Spear and axe throwing
- Survival archery
- ‘Know your Knots’
- Shelter building
- Trap setting
- Camouflage and concealment
- Everest climbing wall
- Fire lighting
- Tree climbing
- Astro navigation
- Tree climbing
- Campfire cooking
- Water filtering
Pull out your scrapbook to take notes. Here you can listen to the adventurous tales and achievements of those who’ve been through it all.
Explorers, athletes, filmmakers and conservationists – absorb some of that wisdom they bestow upon you and get inspired to be the best version of yourself!
- James Glancy
- Nicola Adams
- Turner Twins
- Rhiane Fatinikun
- The Magic Marine
- Ness Knight
- Monty Halls
- Jasmine Harrison
- Ayo Akinwolere
- George Bullard
- Dwayne Fields
- Dr George McGavin
- Andrew Cotton & Andrew Blake
- Adventure Art with Laura Try
- Adventure School with Mollie Hughes
After a busy day, you can wind down in the local festival tavern ‘Bears Rest’ and share tales of your day’s adventures over a nice cold beer (other drinks are available) in the beer garden overlooking the Exe estuary. Join in with traditional pub games and listen to live music!
- Roaming Magic Show
- Bingo ’N Mash
- Silent disco – family party
- Silent disco
- Disco diva show
- The Ashes – Gone Wild
- Junior jungle family rave
- Blockbuster factory
- Drag queen story hour
- Sock wrestling
- Hobbie horse racing
- Drum ‘N Bass workout
Ever wanted to try riding a unicycle? No? Perhaps tightrope walking? Over at the circus school, there are plenty of wacky activities to try your hand at. You can always choose just to watch the professionals do it though!
- Circus skills
- Crazy bikes
- Circus shows
- Interactive inflatables
Learn science in an explosive way! Kids (and adults) can watch some of the best scientists and researchers talk about all things science.
- Wildlife making club
- Filthy VIP party
- Explosive experiments
- Mutant circus
- Guerilla talks
There’s a lake at Powderham Castle where the majority of the water-based activities will take place. Learn to build a raft or improve your swimming in open waters or have fun kayaking. Why not take yoga to the next level and do some yoga paddleboarding… I hope your balance is good for THAT one!
- Raft building
- Stand up paddleboarding (SUP)
- Open water swimming
- Open Water swimming masterclass
- Yoga paddleboarding
There are plenty of activities to be found at the activity field, enough so, that you could spend your entire weekend here!
You could kick start the day right with a morning workout or some flow yoga. Spend some of your day rock climbing, doing archery or knife/axe throwing.
Challenge your family to a battle with nerf guns or archery (the non-lethal kind!!) or take part in the adventure obstacle course and strive to get the best finish time!
- Morning runs
- Pro ramp show
- Penny Farthing riding
- Pump track
- Nerf combat
- Escape rooms
- Adventure obstacle course
- SAS airsoft
- Knife and axe throwing
- Battle archery
- Outdoor fitness
- Kids run
- Wildlife filming
- Wildlife workshop
- Wild story kids yoga
- Mindful yoga
- Wake up and flow yoga
- Wild yoga
- Sensory needs yoga
- Morning workout
The premium activities cost a little more to run so they have an extra non-profit cost to do them and require booking in advance. Book now to avoid missing out!
- Coasteering (off-site half-day activity)
- Airsoft (special forces commando assault range)
- Pickleshack (Powderham Castle dining)
How To Book Activities
Apart from the premium activities, which can be booked in advance on the website, a lot of the activities can be booked when you arrive on site.
There will be a relaxed approach to how you book the activities, which will allow you to turn up and have time to look around, explore what’s on offer and have a go at new things that catch your eye! You can register in the morning for a timed slot to return later.
Some of the activities will require no booking at all – you can simply walk up and have a go! This allows you to pack your days full of activities but still leave that little bit of flexibility to try something new.
It wouldn’t be a festival without great music! The main stage will play host to a lot of amazing artists to watch and listen to throughout the day and in the evenings. See below for the great line-up and schedule this year!
There will be a fantastic range of food producers representing both the local South West food and treats from further afield and a variety of food trucks typically found at festivals that should be accepting contactless payment.
For a fancier meal, why not book a place at the Pickle Shack where you can dine within Powderham Castle and sample food prepared by Michelin-trained chefs. Sounds delicious!
Or why not head to the Explorers Inn for drinks, more live music and traditional pub games.
The Bear Island team will also be serving cold drinks all around the festival in their 4×4’s, so you’ll never be too far from an opportunity to quench your thirst.
The Powderham Farm Shop and Orangery Restaurant will also be open during the festival and can be found between the campsite and the arena. Both places sell a great range of local food and drinks. We can personally vouch for their delicious homemade sausage rolls and pasties!
You can use this site map to help you explore what the festival has to offer (click to expand)!
While we don’t expect you to take everything on this list (or do! Justine says you can never be too prepared!), we’ve provided this list to give you some idea of what to pack for the weekend.
Please note that this isn’t an exhaustive list and there may be many other things you may find useful to take with you.
- Outdoor clothing
- Powerbank USB charger
- Waterproof pouch
- Waterproof dry bag
For more recommended essentials, take a look at our travel shop.
- Bin bags
- Batteries for appliances
- Sun-cream (hopefully!)
- First-aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Swimming gear
- Emergency snack bar
Local ‘Camping-Free’ Accommodation
Don’t like camping? Here are some local accommodation options which are relatively close to the festival that you might want to take a look at.
Getting To The Gone Wild Festival
The festival will be held in the beautiful grounds of Powderham Castle in Devon, UK.
For written directions on how to get there using various transport methods, check out the ‘How to Find us’ page on the Powderham Castle website.
If you plan on driving there, don’t forget to buy your parking beforehand! Some satnavs might also try to take you to the rear entrance of the castle, which is for coaches.
Gone Wild Festival FAQs
Does the camping come included with the weekend ticket?
Yes, camping is included with your ticket. There will be large camping fields where you’re free to pitch your tent wherever there’s space. If you want to guarantee your place next to your friends and/or family, you can purchase this separately.
Is there a limit to how big my tent can be?
You can take as much space as you need within reason. However, it will not be possible to mark out large spaces of grass around your tent to exclude others who need the space. There will be stewards on site to help manage this.
Will more tickets be available next year?
The festival is intended to be an annual event, and if all goes well, should be operating next year with increased numbers providing there will be no new restrictions set by the government during this time.
How can I book activities for the day?
The premium activities are bookable in advance and can be booked via the Gone Wild website now. However, they’ve taken a more relaxed approach with the majority of activities, as they want you to be able to turn up, look around, and have a go at new things that catch your eye. Some of the activities will be bookable on the day, so you can register in the morning for a timed slot to return later. There will also be lots of activities you can just walk up and do with no booking.
Can I use cash at the festival?
The festival will be a cashless event, so you won’t be able to use cash. Instead, you can load up a wristband with money in advance (or at a top-up machine on site) and use this as payment instead. For more info on how this works and how to top up see here.
Can I visit the castle during the festival?
The castle will be closed during the festival unless you’ve booked the special Michelin dining experience at the Pickle Shack, which takes place within the castle itself. Otherwise, you’ll be able to see the exterior of the castle from various vantage points in the grounds.
Is there an easy way to add this to my calendar?
YES! We’ve created this calendar event file which you can use to save the festival to your preferred calendar.
For more FAQs, take a look at the official Gone Wild website.
Do you have any other questions we haven’t covered? Drop us a line in the comments below and we’ll try to help you if we can.