Castaway: Welcome notes to campers

The campsite at Castaway in one of the hay fields on the island

Once you have booked Castaway camping tickets, it is helpful to know what to expect! We hope you'll enjoy your stay with us on Northey Island. The note below explains a few things about the event and how you can enjoy your stay, while protecting your environment.

The island is exactly that – an island - and because of that you’ll need to take care while you’re here with us. We work hard to make the event as safe as possible, but there are a few things you need to bear in mind to make sure you have a great time.

The event itself will be centred around the house, garden and in the camping field next door on the island. We recommend that you stay in these areas at all times, unless you are attending a guided walk around the sea wall. If you want to walk on the sea wall that is fine, but please stay on the path. The area outside the sea wall is a saltmarsh and, while it may look solid enough to walk on, some areas are very soft, and the whole marsh is criss-crossed with channels of varying depths. The mud in these channels is very deep and very sticky, so please stay away from the saltmarsh for your own safety.

One of the reasons we run Castaway is to give you the chance to experience the island at high tide – something that most people are unable to do, as we usually only open to visitors at low tide. While the tide is in, you will be unable to leave the island.  Once your car is on the island, you won’t be able to leave until Sunday morning.  If you wish to leave before then, you will need to let us know, so that we can make arrangements for you.

The campsite is located in the field next to the house. Toilets and water points are located in the camping area and the bar near the house. There are no showers on the island. 
In the camping area itself, space will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis when you arrive. You will park on one side of the field and then walk your camping kit over to the opposite end of the field (about 200m), where you'll set up camp. So we recommend packing carefully and perhaps bringing some kind of folding trolley with you. There will be a very limited supply of wheelbarrows so we ask people to return these immediately after use. There will be enough allocated space for everyone with a pre-booked camping ticket. Please be considerate to other campers when pitching your tents, as it’s in the spirit of the weekend for all Castaways to have sufficient and fair space. 
When you arrive you will be greeted by a steward who will direct you to your parking location. You'll then be able to unpack at your leisure and walk things over to your camp. For fire safety reasons, a distance of 2m must be left between each tent, and tents must not be linked with awnings or canopies.  Please leave sufficient space between tents, or you may be asked to move. If there is insufficient space in the immediate vicinity, you will be asked to move to another area of the field.  
If you have any problems during your stay, if you hurt yourself or are separated from your children, please come to the house and talk to us. We have trained first aiders on site, and these will be in or around the house, or in the National Trust tent on the lawn in front of the house.  
There is a licensed bar on site serving beers from local breweries.  There will also be hot food available throughout the weekend.  
This is a family event, please would you and your family respect the ethos of Castaway as a friendly, respectful environment by thinking of others. Please take your rubbish home with you, or drop it off at the local refuse tip near Promenade Park. If you are deemed to be acting in an irresponsible way you may be escorted from the island.

Items to bring or leave behind

You will of course need to bring a tent!  We also recommend you bring the following:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Plenty of warm clothes
  • Torch
  • Insect repellent
  • Wellies or waterproof boots
  • Hat
  • Appropriate footwear for paddling, if you intend to go in the water
  • Suntan lotion 
  • A container to carry your dirty dishes or a refillable bottle to carry water as there is no ‘washing area’ – you will experience camping on the wild side!
  • Dog poo bags if you bring your dog
Due to the risk of fires on the camp site and to limit environmental impact and protect wildlife, we would ask you to not bring with you fireworks, Chinese lanterns, balloons or barbecues. Any banned items that are found will be confiscated.
You are welcome to bring a gas stove, on the understanding that these are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, and never inside a tent.  

Something to look forward to in the future!