I posted on my Instagram recently about a family trip we took to watch the Mini Festival at Brands Hatch and got quite a few questions about it. I thought it might be easier to write about it in a blog. This way I can hopefully answer everything in one go.
I don’t claim to be an expert, we have only been twice (both times to the Mini Festival), so I am just talking about the experiences that we have had. Other people may have different advice and opinions.
Do you need to know about Motorsport?
NO! I know absolutely nothing about motorsport or cars in general. I can’t even drive! You don’t need any insider knowledge or an understanding of the sport to be able to enjoy a day out. If you are like me, I would advise buying a programme though as this will tell you about the races and give you a little bit of information about what’s going on.
Is it expensive?
I don’t think so. We bought our tickets online which made them slightly cheaper. It was £22 for an adult and children under 12 were free. We are considering going to a different event in November which is the same price. To put it into perspective, we looked at booking crazy golf for us and the 4 youngest children earlier in the summer. That was going to be £50 for one round of golf. Compared to that, I would say that the Mini Festival was better value for money.
What are the facilities like?
I would say that they are good. Like all places, it depends on what other people are like to a certain extent. There is always a chance of finding a toilet which has been left in a bit of a state. But we didn’t have that issue at all. There were plenty of toilets to choose from and we never had to queue, which was great with so many children.
Can I take a picnic?
Yes. In fact, I would advise taking a picnic if you can. Although there are plenty of options when it comes to eating there, it is very expensive. We took a picnic the first time we went to the Mini Festival and I wish we had done the same this time too. In the end, we spent almost £50 on pizza while we were there. A single Mr Whippy ice cream with a flake was £3!
My biggest tip for eating while you’re there would be to eat just before the lunch break starts. That way you get to avoid being stuck in a queue.
Is it good for kids?
Mine certainly seemed to enjoy it. As well as the racing, there are often displays and stands to see. You can also go down into the paddock and see the cars before and after they have raced. You can often do pit walks too, but we haven’t done this.
Should I pay for grandstand tickets?
I have only ever paid for general admission tickets and I don’t really see the point in pay extra for grandstand seating. There are plenty of places where you can get a really good view of the track without paying the extra. Both times that we’ve gone, we have been able to sit right next to the finish line.
The only time I would consider paying extra would be for a really big event when there might be more crowds.
What should I take with me?
Here is a list of the things I like to take:
- Ear defenders for children – it can get very loud, so it’s always worth having them in case the noise gets too much.
- Your tickets – print them off ahead of time.
- Picnic blanket or camping chairs – there is plenty of grass to sit on, but it’s sometimes nice to have a blanket.
- Food – even if you are planning on buying food while you are there, it is still worth taking snacks and drinks with you.
- Sun cream or raincoats – obviously this depends on what the weather is like