How do we all feel about taking children to festivals? Being both cool and groovy (did I just shatter the illusion?) I’m absolutely up for it. In theory. In practice, however, the experience is slightly marred by 7am as you stumble through an apocalyptic landscape of sweaty, collapsed tents, occasionally bumping into other shell-shocked parents all repeating the same desperate plea: “Have you found somewhere – anywhere – serving coffee yet?”
Which is why we decide to travel to Glen Dye, 45 minutes south-west of Aberdeen. Gladstone once lived in this awe-inspiring private estate, fringed by wild mountains and towering pines, and intersected by the mighty river Dye.
Now it is home to three self-catering cottages, a refurbished vintage Airstream, a converted seed store, riverside cabins and outdoor wood-fired hot tubs. You can rent self-catering accommodation all year, or attend Camp Glen Dye – a series of four-day micro-festivals, kicking off in June – I visit in the depths of January, but I can assure you that the Highlands gets a good dose of heat in high summer. It’s fully catered and capped at just 30 people who take workshops like “wild wellness” and “wild food”.
Children are welcomed. Thus I bundle kids, dog and husband on to the sleeper train to Aberdeen, and thence into the hills in a hire car, to test a tailor-made taste of this year’s offering. The kids, I’m sure, will be naturals at the ‘wild’ bit. It’s the rest I’m worried about. Our accommodation, at least, comforts.