ASIDE from my husband spotting former wild man Keith Allen in the crowd for The Gruffalo main stage appearance, our trip to the wonder that is Camp Bestival (CB) at Castle Lulworth in Dorset was not very rock ‘n’ roll.

Now that we are parents, trips to festivals are going to be focused on our young daughter, not on our desire to drink pints in the sun and reminisce about our wild youth.

For families of any age, this safe, welcoming and fun-filled few days must surely now be established as an annual must-do. Since starting in 2008, an off-shoot of Rob Da Bank’s Isle of Wight’s September celebration Bestival, it has gone, to borrow a cliché, from strength to strength, its programme an unparalleled combination of credible music, book talks, live theatre, children’s entertainment and much, much more.

It won best new festival in its first year, and has been crowned best family festival for the last two seasons. Surely it will win again in 2011.

Because our daughter is, for want of a better expression, high-maintenance, camping was out of the question, but our two hour drive to the gorgeous setting was filled with excitement – mostly ours. On cue the rain stopped and after a swift park in a supervised field, reasonably priced at £5 per day, we headed through the campsite on a mission to make the most of it.

We’d missed Friday’s headliner Blondie – Mark Ronson and Primal Scream were the other two top billed evening events – but we followed the crowds past the glorious Big Top to get to the main stage before the afore-mentioned Gruffalo was about to begin. I was slightly tempted to step into the Top and watch Labyrinth (David Bowie as goblin king Jareth being one of my earliest crushes) but thought it best not to separate early.

We watched enthralled as CBeebies’ Zingzillas performed some tunes to a crowd of thousands, among them our favourite of their songs Bhangra Beat, before Mr Tumble had everyone on their feet doing actions and then Dick and Dom took over to MC the rest of the proceedings.

By this stage my bad back issues were causing drama, but CB has the answer to that, too. It was straight off to the lower kids' garden for me to have an instant massage whilst the rest of the family savoured the soft play tent, book reading session, and the jingle jangle workshop in the Little Big Top. Later we saw the amazing Amoeba to Zebra here; a band wittily and winningly played their way through the evolution of species, adopting relevant masks and costumes throughout. And it was also where Shrek and Fiona carried out their singalong and meet and greet later in the day.

It was hard to know what to do next, so much was now on offer in the afternoon sun. Parents are always spoiled at CB, and can take their pick from classic funfair attractions such as a huge helter skelter, a swing boat and a merry go round or have a look at something more elaborate, such as the insect circus. There were also countless participatory tents, including English National Ballet, the knitting tent and the dressing up tent. Fantastic outfits for all ages could be found at the treasure trove that is Smiffy’s fancy dress. We also gasped in delight at the giant Hungry Hippos game and the family nonchalantly eating their lunch around the giant table and chairs made out of wood. The live jousting, appropriately enough given our castle location and this year’s medieval dress-up theme, was also quite something to see.

What is so refreshing and reassuring about CB is to see the boring side of things taken care of so well: the Kids’ Garden had a baby temple with high chairs, changing mats and chillout areas where fractious infants could calm their overexcited selves; there were bins and portable loos (including cute painted door mini kids’ toilets) everywhere; chilled festival staff also stood on hand at every corner, ready to help if the need arose. Our only dilemma came when tummies rumbled and we had to finally make a choice between the myriad of catering options. We ended up gorging on an amazing chicken burrito, chunky chips, fish goujons for our daughter and then fitting in a cup of tea and bit of cake from the Women’s Institute tent too. Oh, and an ice cream!

We were only sorry not to have had four days in which to make it round everywhere to sample the River Cottage mutton burgers, Higgidy Pies, Byron Burgers and the Underground Restaurant.

It’s not that we are now wishing our daughter’s life away; instead, we’re just dying for her to be old enough to last four days and three nights at Camp Bestival, family festival fun of the highest calibre.