Bear Gryll's Gone Wild Festival is the ultimate family adventure - and it's returning in 2023

We went along for the ride and caught up with Bear

If you're searching for a fun-filled, alternative adventure in the UK with your family, then look no further than the Gone Wild Festival.

Situated in the expansive and picturesque grounds of Powderham Castle, in Exeter, the four day extravaganza over the August bank holiday was nothing short of incredible.

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Having paid £350 for a family of four and making the most of the limited children go free option, the festival's founders, Bear Grylls and Oliver Mason made true on their promise to provide families with an affordable option to holiday together. 

The festival was held in the grounds of Powderham Castle in Exeter 

My children got to experience everything from rock climbing, to abseiling, tree climbing and commando survival skills to science shows, raft making, silent discos, caving and much, much more.

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What is included in the price of your ticket at Gone Wild Festival?

In addition to the activities - nearly all of which are included in your ticket price, as was the camping - there's an array of musical performers with adults and children boogying into the night to the likes of Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Script, Ministry of Sound and Reef. 

There was musical enertainment on tap too

Speaking to HELLO! at the festival - which is only in the second year - Bear explained: "I think there has been a gap for a safe, fun adventure based family festival. So many festivals fall into a category where they're meant to be safe places, but they end up being an unsafe, safe place.

"This is the safe, unsafe place. You can do all of these activities, like axe throwing, and everything which looks incredibly dangerous and exciting, that puts smiles on the children's faces, but in a safe way."

Gone Wild Festival is an alternative and affordable holiday 

Bear added that while the cost of living is rising and many families are facing a cash crisis, adventure doesn't have to come from a costly holiday overseas. 

"It's ever harder to go on holidays abroad and I've learned from a lifetime of stuff that you don't need to go to the ends of the earth to have an adventure. Adventure is a state of mind. If you are with the people you really love and you're doing things that are challenging but fun, then you're winning."

Children and adults got to experience a multitude of activities included in the price

And winning we most certainly were. Both my children, seven and nine, could not have been entertained more, as were their friends who had come along for the ride - and they even got to meet their idol, Bear!

Not only that, but with a fabulous array of food and drink, music, exercise classes, river activities and green space, adults could be as active or as relaxed as they wanted to be. 

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Guest speakers, such as legendary explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, drew in the crowds, as did Mr. Motivator for a morning of fitness. 

Bear hopes to bring families together for an alternative holiday with Gone Wild 

WimHoff's ice bath workshop was a huge hit and don't even get me started on Andy and the Odd Socks and the Red Devils display.

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Of course, the glorious sunshine made the experience even more magical but rain or shine I believe this festival will only get bigger and better - if that is even possible. 

Bringing families and loved ones together 

"The goal is to bring a family together and give them experiences which are hard to get in every day life," Bear added.

And as for his favourite activity from the very long list? He said: "It's the things that bring mums, dad, and kids together like the commando Gone Wild challenge which you do with your family.

Bear with his fans at the festival 

"You end up muddy, wet, covered in paint but feeling like a million dollars, with your Gone Wild medallion hung around your neck and a feeling of achievement like no other."

Of course, none of this would be possible without the dedicated team behind it all. 

"A big part of Gone Wild is supporting the veteran community," said Bear who pointed out the many charities including Royal Marines Charity, REORG, Rock 2 Recovery and RV One, involved in the festival.

Tickets for Gone Wild Festival 2023 are already on sale 

"It's down to an amazing team. Oli Mason left the marines and we said, 'let's do this full time'. He assembled a team and let me tell you that this sort of stuff doesn't happen by accident, or safely by accident. All credit to him and his team and volunteers for creating this wonderful space."

During the closing night festival director Oliver took to the stage to announce that tickets for Gone Wild Festival 2023 are now on sale, and that some had been sold even before the 2022 event had finished!

Tickets for Gone Wild Festival 2023 are on sale now here!

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