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Guildford Spectrum Energy Level Gym & Spa (Guildford)
Gyms in General = = = = = = = = Gyms are a great way to lose weight, tone up and also stay fit and healthy. Although I am in my late 20's, I have never been to a gym before and the thought of going on my own put me off a little. None of my friends were interested in going to the gym and I always put it and used to exercise ... occasionally at home. A lot of people go to the gym nowadays to tone up and to stay fit and healthy. Some people prefer going to the gym on their own whilst others like to go with friends to give them some motivation to actually go to the gym rather than putting it off all the time. Different gyms vary in regards to size, equipment and members of staff. I have heard both good and bad things about a few of the gyms in my local area, how-ever I wanted to join a gym as the Guildford Spectrum was closest to where I lived I thought I would give this one a go to see what it was like. Although it's not the cheapest gym available in my area, this didn't really bother me.
About the Gym
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I live in Guildford which is in Surrey and although there are a few local gyms in this area, I chose to go to this particular gym because it's closer to where I live and it's easier to get to and from as I can cycle or walk there. Guildford Spectrum boasts one of the largest gyms in the region with over 100 pieces of unique and top of the range equipment which includes Cardio Wave, Excite Vario and Power Plates as well as a variety of free weights equipment. Members can also experience the spa area, Jacuzzi, aroma and steam rooms. Incorporated into the gym area is a cardio theatre. This means that you can plug your headphones into the CV machines and you can listen to the radio channel of your choice or tune in and watch your favourite soap or sports programme whilst you exercise. They have a unique upper level extension that has views over the athletics track which adds another dimension to the gym environment. The gym has seen a £236,000 face lift and now includes cutting edge technology unique to Guildford, provided by Beijing Olympics supplier, Techno gym. Their state of the art pieces of equipment includes unique cardio vascular machines and resistance equipment, designed to tone, shape and strengthen your body. The gym also offers equipment, facilities and programmes for people who have any kind of disability or impairment. They also provide GP referral schemes, concessionary prices and inclusive building access. At the gym they also have a physiotherapy and sports injury clinic. They also have male and female personal trainers who can help you at the gym and design a programme that's suitable for you.
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They have a range of different gym memberships to suit everyone. Prices start from £34 per month but can go up to £43.00 per month depending on what membership type you go for. Some of the memberships are restricted to what time you can go to the gym. I have the Energy Direct + Single Membership which is £43 per month. With this membership it means I have unlimited access to the gym and spa area, all use of the swimming facilities including Lane Swim, Adult Swim and Dawn Dippers in the 4 pools. I also get access to Guildford Lido lane swim sessions, squash, badminton and the athletics track. In the pack that they give you when joining there is also a leaflet which gives you some offers on different activities including bowling, ice skating and more. Every time you use your active card at the Spectrum you will receive points. These points can later be used to redeem many different things such as water bottles, activities, family fun tickets and more. You need a minimum of 50 metre points to able to redeem them. The most points you need is 5000 which is for a Hospitality Box (for 15 people) for an Ice Hockey match. It took just a few minutes to fill out the forms in order to get an active+ card. With this membership you have to set up a direct debit so the monthly fee comes out of your bank.
Personal Training sessions need to be booked with your personal trainer. Prices start from £35 per sessions which is an hour long. If you buy 5 of these in one go you get each session for a cheaper amount. This is what I normally do each month. Please note that this price will be on top of your gym membership price as well if you also wish to use the gym without your personal trainer.
Personal Trainer Experience
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Last year I wasn't happy with my body and I wanted to do something about it. Although I wasn't over-weight I wanted to tone up a little and also get fit so I decided to look at joining a gym. I've never been a member of a gym before and some of the machines looked a little scary so I decided that I would look into have Personal Trainer sessions for a while to help me. I contacted the gym and advised them what my goals were and that I wanted to tone up & get fit and healthy. They recommend a personal trainer for me (they have a few at the gym both male & female) and booked me a consultation appointment to go and see them. I went to my consultation and they asked me about my general health, if I had any problems such as asthma and if I currently did any exercise. I also told them what my goals were and what I wanted to get out of the personal trainer sessions. The consultation was good as they asked me questions about my asthma such as what inhalers I need to have on me, how often I need to take it and if I have suffered any attacks. They also asked me if there are certain exercises that can trigger my asthma. After a consultation I booked a session in with the personal trainer for the following week. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the first session and I would be lying if I said that I wasn't nervous. I had been shopping for new gym clothing and trainers so I was all ready for my sessions with the personal trainer.
I had a male personal trainer which didn't really bother me. The very first session I had with him I felt extremely sore the following day where my muscles had obviously been worked well and them not being used to the different exercises. The more sessions I had with my personal trainer the more I enjoyed going to the gym and loved the feeling of aching the following day as I knew I had, had a really good work-out the previous day. I have now been having personal training sessions for around 1 year which varies from once to twice a week for 1 hour, depending on his availability. I have been really impressed with how toned my body has become and how much fitter I have felt in general. When I first started having my personal trainer sessions I used to have to take my inhaler, how-ever now 1 year later and I don't have to take it at all during my one hour sessions with the trainer. I have become more confident as I now know how to complete exercises properly and also how to use the different machines and gym equipment. I feel much healthier in myself and I am also pleased with the way my body shape has changed. If I hadn't of had a personal trainer I don't think I would have achieved what I have so far in terms of feeling healthy and my body shape.
Using the Gym
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The gym is located on the middle level of Guildford Spectrum and is on the same level as the Wimpy restaurant. This is clearly marked as you enter the main Leisure Centre. As you walk through the main doors of the gym, you have to walk down a few steps which take you into the main gym. A reception desk will be located in front of you and you will see the various equipment such as bikes, cross trainers, treadmills, rowing machines, weight machines and matted areas. When I was having PT (Personal Trainer) sessions I didn't actually have a gym membership and just paid monthly for my PT sessions. How-ever I recently joined the gym so I could also exercise between my PT sessions. When you join the gym you will get an active card. You need to take this when you go the gym as they swipe this which enables you to get points on your card. Even if you are having a PT session you can also use the card as well.
Once the card is swiped you can then use the gym. The male and female changing rooms are located on the left hand side of the gym. There is a large matted area at the top of the gym which is the weights area, this contains different weights and a number of adjustable benches that you can use when exercising or weight-training. There are also large mirrors in this area so you can see yourself when lifting the weights or exercising. On some of the machines there are guides who tell you how to use the machine; how-ever staffs is always on hand to help you if you are unsure of anything. If you are joining the gym for the first time someone will go through all the machines with you anyway and how to use them if you are unsure. There is another matted area at the bottom end of the gym which has a cable machine and kettle bells as well as mats where you can do various other exercises. On the upper level is more cross trainers, tread-mills, another cables machine and other various machines as well. I very rarely go upstairs and always tend to stay downstairs when at the gym.
I normally visit the gym after work any-when between 7pm - 9pm. I always normally go to the gym for around an hour even if I don't have any PT sessions booked in. I always cycle to the gym as they have a bike park which has a security camera on the bikes. I always lock my bike up and feel that it's quite safe here. Depending what time you go to the gym depends on how busy it gets. I find that some evenings can be busier than others. With regards to using the machines I always tend to use the cross trainer to warm up and I can always get on one of these machines, as there is at least 6-7 of these machines downstairs. The treadmills get quite busy, how-ever there is normally always 1-2 one's which aren't being used. The cross trainers, treadmills and bikes are all in front of various TV's so you can watch the TV whilst exercising. I don't really tend to do this much as I don't go to the gym to watch TV!
The weights area gets quite busy at times and there have been times where I have had to weight to find a space in this area. This area is mainly full of men lifting various weights such as dumbbells and doing bench presses. I tend to use this area a lot as I do a fair bit of weight training. The other matted area at the bottom of the gym is quite small, how-ever you can normally get at least 4 people in here. I am often able to find space in this area to exercise. This area also has mirrors as well which helps to ensure you can see that you are completing the exercise correctly. I have been in the upper level of the gym; how-ever it tends to get slightly busier up here, which I think is because it always feels slightly cooler up there. All the machines in the gym are very modern and they allow you to see the amount of time you are on the machine along with calories burnt and an average heart rate. The only information I tend to look at is the time spent on the machine as my sports watch does the rest for me. Occasionally one or two of the machines are out of order how-ever they always get fixed very quickly.
The gym is fully air conditioned which keeps the gym nice & cool especially during the warmer weather. I find the air conditioning in here is really good, especially if you manage to get a spot underneath or near it to help you cool down when exercising. There is various tissue dispensers located around the gym which can be used to wipe your hands and face if you get hot and sweaty. I use this occasionally for my hands and to wipe my neck. Next to the tissue is some spray which is use for the machines. If you have been on a machine such as the cross trainer or tread-mill for a long time and the areas on the machine which you hold have become covered in your sweat you can use the tissue and the spray to wipe down the equipment ready for the next person. I often see a few people doing this after exercising which I think is really good. There are a few drinking fountains in the gym which you can drink straight from or you can re-fill your own bottle up with water. The staff in the gym are always really friendly, polite and helpful and they will help you with any queries you may have with regards to the gym or the equipment. There are always at least 4 different members of staff in the gym when I go here. I haven't used the spa, Jacuzzi or steam room so I can't really comment on these.
Female Changing Area
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The female change is towards the middle of the gym on the left and the male is towards the bottom of the gym on the left. As you walk into the changing area there are lots of lockers available to choose from where you can put your bag and other items whilst in the gym. You need a £1 coin or one of those trolley tokens for the lockers which you get back afterwards. The changing area is big and always very clean. There are 2 toilets in this area which have their own small sink and they are always clean and well stocked with toilet tissue and soap. There are approximately 5 showers with glass doors that you can use after your sessions at the gym. There are various areas with mirrors and hair-dryers that you can use and there is also a set of weighing scales too. There are around 4 cubicles with locking doors which enable you to change in privacy. The lockers are a reasonable size and I can easily git my gym bag, coat/jumper and other things in here. One you have locked your locker the key has a pin which you can pin to your clothing or pop into your pocket. There is a number on the key so you can find your locker easily. I have never had any problems when using the female change in the gym. There are always lockers free to use although some of them don't have the small shelf in them but this doesn't really bother me. The lockers go down to the floor so disabled people can easily get to the lockers although there is a separate area for disabled users lockers which are slightly easier to reach and to get to. Although many people use the showers in here, I haven't personally used them. This is because I normally cycle home from the gym so I always have a shower when I get back home.
Group Fitness Classes
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There are a range of different fitness classes at the gym that you can join if you wish. These classes are held at different times and days of the week. I personally haven't joined or been to any of the fitness classes but some of the classes includes the following:
* Adult Ballet
* Back to Basics
* Belly Dancing
* Body Combat
* Body Balance
* Body Pump
* Body Step
* Buggy Boot camp
* Contemporary Dancer
* Fitness Yoga
* Just Jhoom
* Kettle bell Class
* LBT (Legs, Bum & Tum)
* Peak Performance
* Step Express
* Street Dance
To find out more information about the classes you can ask at the reception in the gym. You can also pick up a leaflet with a time table all of the classes in the gym. I got a time-table with my membership pack which tells me about each class, what it involves and what times and days they are. If you are a member of the gym you can book any of the classes 14 days in advance. Non-members can book classes on the day. Times of the classes are subject to change and may not run during school half term. Non-members you can pay for the classes as they go.
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This gym is very local to me which is why I decided to choose a membership with this gym. I was used to using the gym for my PT sessions as well so knew where everything was and how the majority of the machines worked. Although the gym is slightly more expensive than the other gyms in the Guildford area, I think the benefits are much better for example the fitness classes and use of the pool which is included in your membership. The gym is a good size with a good amount of different machines and areas in to ensure that you get the work out you want/need. If I go here later in the evening I find that the gym isn't too busy and you can normally get to where you want to in the gym without having to wait for people to finish. You get a mixture of people in the gym which includes young and older people. I have noticed that the older people tend to go to the gym during the early hours of the morning whereas the younger people tend to do in the evening, probably after work. All the members of staff in here are really friendly and helpful and you can easily go to them for help or advice if you are unsure about something. When I go the gym in the evening, I normally only get 2 points, so it will take quite a while for the metre points to build up unless I start any classes or using any of the other facilities. I have now been going to the gym for about 1 year and I haven't encountered any problems or issues when visiting the gym. This is a gym that I would definitely recommend to others, whether you want to get fit or just have personal trainer sessions, here you will find everything you need to ensure you get a good work out. Without my personal trainer I don't think I would have got as far as I have now in terms of training, weight training and general fitness.
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Guildford Spectrum, Parkway, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1UP.
Tel: 01483 443322
The energy level opens: Mon - Fri from 6:30am - 10:30pm
: Sat from 8:30am - 10pm (I'm not 100% sure about this)
: Sun - I am unsure of these times.
Guildford Spectrum is easy to get to from the M25 London Orbital, From the A3 Northbound & Portsmouth and From Dorking. They have plenty of parking on site with designated areas for mother and baby and disabled users. You can also catch the park ride bus to and from the Leisure Centre from the main town centre which takes about 10mins.
(review may also appear on ciao)
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Download Festival (Donington Park)
This is a review based on my experience at Download 2013, but some parts will be about the festival in general. Download Festival is an annual rock and metal festival held at the legendary Donington Park (previously home to Monsters of Rock) usually in mid-June. I bought my ticket for the 2013 festival as soon as the headline ... acts were announced in September 2012 so had a long time to wait for it! The social media team did a great job of getting me excited through regular updates and information via facebook and twitter. They also have an app which was really good both in the lead up and while I was there. It was my first ever festival so I wasn't sure what to expect, but my boyfriend had been twice before and gave me loads of tips.
My ticket was £202 for 5 nights camping, entrance to the arena. I also forked out £12 for a locker (recommended - see below) and also I bought insurance just in case.
We arrived at 10.30am and the gates opened at 12 so there was quite a wait. With camping equipment for the weekend as well as food, drink and clothes we had quite a lot of stuff and it was heavy. The queue would inch forward every few minutes which was incredibly uncomfortable. This was by far the worst part of the weekend. I'd seriously consider investing in some kind of trolley if I were to go again as having to keep picking up heavy bags to move a few inches was unpleasant to say the least!
Once we were in we headed to Blue Campsite - there are 8 different campsites as far as I'm aware and they are all named after colours. They're all in different locations and you have to look on the map beforehand to see which one best suits your needs. The campsites fill up pretty quickly - especially the most convenient ones so it's definitely worth getting there early to get a good spot.
As I mentioned earlier I bought a locker with LockerHouse which was one of the best decisions. Everyone at Download is really friendly and I never felt unsafe, but it was nice to throw my purse, keys and phone in a locker so I didn't have to worry about it at all. They were located in the centre of the campsite and they also have electricity in them - the same as a car cigarette lighter. You can usually buy a phone charger that fits into one of these for about £5 and it was so nice to be able to charge my phone for free while I was there.
The facilities in the campsite were pretty good. Each campsite has a big block of toilets, a block of urinals and a load of taps for drinking water (or washing up). The toilets rarely had toilet paper, but other than that they were better than I was expecting. There weren't usually long queues and they didn't smell nearly as much as I thought they would.
There's also a help point in each campsite with really friendly people to help with any problems you have. My biggest issue with the campsite was the lack of lights. I couldn't see where I was going to go to the toilet at night and it was quite dangerous with guy ropes everywhere! Definitely bring a good torch or lamp!
The close proximity to East Midlands Airport means that planes are going over the campsite every few minutes. And they are LOUD. I live near an airport so I thought I'd be prepared for it, but I have never experienced anything so loud. I thought the world was ending every time one went over - and you don't really get used to it! But when you're listening to very loud rock music every day, you can't really complain about it being too noisy - it's just annoying when you're trying to sleep.
Weather obviously plays a huge part in any festival with no reflection on the festival itself. It did rain quite a bit when we were there and we were not prepared clothing wise. Macs and Wellies are an absolute necessity as well as a decent tent that won't let rain in. There are a lot of shops in the campsite that sell all kinds of camping gear and wet weather clothing, but at inflated prices so it's best to plan ahead.
You can also buy day tickets if you don't fancy camping or if you only want to see the bands on one day.
=Food and Drink=
I was incredibly impressed with the food variety here. I'm a vegetarian and I never had any problem getting anything. It was reasonably priced as well. A meal was around £5 - £10 which is a lot cheaper than I was expecting for a festival. There was every food imaginable from Mexican to Chinese to Yorkshire Puddings. It was mostly quite unhealthy, but there were some options if you're trying to keep away from really high fat foods (such as wraps with salad and yoghurt).
I know the alcohol selection is limited because of sponsoring issues, but I would prefer a greater choice. There was one choice for beer and once choice for cider as well as red or white wine and VKs in some areas. Drinking the same old thing all day every day gets pretty unpleasant, but I can't imagine this will change anytime soon! I brought a lot of my own alcohol to drink in the campsite, but in the arena you're not allowed to take anything in so it's only the options they offer.
Little snacks like biscuits or crisps were hard to come by so I'd definitely recommend brining snacks with you.
Most of the bands playing Download Festival are categorised as metal or a metal sub-genre. There are occasionally other genres playing such as punk or even electronica, but like I say, it's mostly metal. In 2013 the headliners were Slipknot, Iron Maiden and Rammstein with some of the other big names being Korn, Bullet for my Valentine, Queens of the Stone Age and Limp Bizkit. Previous years have included Metallica, AC/DC, The Prodigy, Black Sabbath and Linkin Park and it almost always appeals to a wide variety of rock fans.
I like the mix between old and new talent. Big classic names are mixed in with the new generation of metal bands to create a really diverse weekend. There are usually 4 or 5 stages with the main stage and second stage being open air and most of the other smaller stages in undercover tents and music goes on from about 11am to 11.30pm. The nature of the music means that crowds are often very energetic with violent mosh pits and lots of jumping. Everyone is really friendly though, so people help each other out if they're getting hurt.
The Arena is about a 20 minute walk from the campsite. One way to get there is across the racetrack which is quite fun. There is security at the entrance to the arena that conduct a quick search for banned materials (such as food, drink, glass, recording equipment), but this doesn't usually take too long to get through. I'd always leave plenty of time to get between the campsite and the stage so you don't miss the band you want to see!
There's a huge selection of food and drink in the arena and it's similar prices to the campsite. Alcohol is really only available from the big bars at either end of the arena - the food stalls don't serve alcohol.
The arena is huge, but still very accessible. It doesn't take too long to get between stages, but because of the huge crowds (around 90,000 people) it isn't too easy. Leave plenty of time if you want to change stages.
Other than stages and food and drink, there are also a few clothing tents selling merchandise and other clothing. The prices are usually quite high with fairly limited stock, but worth a look! There is also usually a signing tent (with huge queues) and some fairground rides. This year they also had a zipwire which apparently gave a great view of the arena and cost £15.
The main attraction is obviously the music! I found it really easy to get a good view of the stage and/or screens for every band I went to see. I am fairly short as well so if you're tall you should have no problem! The screens are placed in prime view and the footage on them captures everything you want to see. Sound quality was always fantastic - you could hear everything even near the back thanks to fantastic PAs. Some bands put on really spectacular stage shows with pyrotechnics and spinning drums etc.
=Getting to and from=
Donington Park is in Leicestershire and very close to the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire county borders so it's a fairly central location in the country, making it quite accessible for most people.
I chose to get the Megabus to and from the Festival. The bus was £8 each way per person from York to East Midlands Parkway so a real bargain. Megabus was not the official bus partner of the festival, but it was the most convenient for me.
The Festival organised shuttle busses to and from the closest train stations (Derby and East Midlands Parkway) to Donnington Park. In 2013 it was £6 return from EMP and I believe £10 from Derby. This isn't too pricey, but you have to be careful not to lose your return ticket over the course of the weekend.
Both EMP and Derby are well connected to the rest of the country through trains and busses and East Midlands Airport is very close by if you choose to fly in.
Although I have never driven to the festival, I have been told there are pros and cons. The pros are that you can take large amounts of stuff with ease and you can leave items in your car and come back for them later which avoids my problem of lugging all my things through the long queue to get in. The cons are that traffic is very heavy around the park and there are lots of traffic jams to get in and out. I've heard of people being stuck in traffic for hours just to get out the car park! There is also the issue that everyone is drinking large amounts and so driving home on the Monday morning could be potentially dangerous and illegal, especially if you've been drinking the night before. There is also a cost to park your car in the car park.
Overall it was an unforgettable experience. Although there were some small organisational things I would like to see changed for future years, the fact is that it was organised pretty well considering the sheer amount of people and scale of the festival.
I would probably go again, depending on line-up of course, but I think I would look into the price of a nearby hotel. This is because I'm simply not a camping person and nothing to do with Download's camping facilities in particular. I would probably also invest in better waterproof clothing!
4/5 for Download Festival - recommended as long as you come prepared.
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Download Festival (Donington Park)
I went to Download 2013 and it was my first big festival so I don't really have anything to compare it to. All I can do is write it from my point of view. Download Festival is a rock/ metal festival which takes place at Donington Park in Leicestershire in the second or third weekend in June. ***The ... Campsite***
The campsites are split into different colours so you can easily find where you are as it's so huge. The grass is firm with plenty of pathways in between. They open from the Wednesday if you have a five day camping ticket and I would recommend getting there early unless you have a tiny tent as they get full up quite quickly. I arrived on the Friday and my sister had been there since Wednesday and managed to keep me a spot, but it was very tight.
The campsites have portaloos, showers and running water. The portaloos are the quality that are to be expected at festivals. They start off clean enough with toilet roll and hand sanitiser but they soon disappear. I would definitely recommend taking your own of both of these. The toilets are cleaned daily but they do still end up pretty grim by the end. First thing in the morning, the queue is humongous for several hours.
If you are queueing for toilets in the shape of three sides of a square, I recommend joining a diagonal queue heading for the corner as you are queueing for twice as many toilets as the ones along the straight.
If you are a lady, I would recommend taking a she-wee type device to enable you to go for a wee without having to touch anything in the toilet, or for weeing into a bottle in the night if you don't want to leave your tent, and emptying it in the morning.
I didn't use the showers so I can't comment on these, but the queue was always very long. If you can manage three days without going for a shower, baby wipes, deoderant and dry shampoo are life savers!
There was running water in each campsite which was apparently suitable for drinking, but I only used it for washing up. Towards the end of the festival, the 'troughs' ended up blocked and full of suspicious gunge and only 10% of the taps were working.
There are marshals to the entrance of every campsite, The Village and The Arena and you need to show your wristband to them each time you enter any of these. In The Arena, they can be a bit over zealous. To give an example, at one point, I lost the party I was with so I placed half of one foot on the disabled runway, which was a couple of inches higher, so I could see over the crowd. The runway was about eight feet wide, but a marshal was instantly on my back telling me to get off.
There are uniformed and also plain clothes police patrolling the site at all times, which was reassuring and made me feel safe. However, at no point did I see any fights, hear about anyone being robbed or causing any trouble so I felt safe and at ease at all times.
What everyone is interested in. They have an excellent bar system; first you go to a kiosk to buy tokens. You can buy as many as you like in one go and, if you don't spend them all, you get a refund at the end of the last day.
Once you have your tokens, you choose your drink at the bar where everything is the same price, which is a rather steep £4.50. All the drinks are already lined up and ready so the visit to the bar literally takes about 10 seconds. However, the over zealous marshals are once again in force; if you dawdle or consider your purchase for more than two seconds, they're out with the loudhailers, herding everyone to the exit.
I only had lager and cider while I was there and I'm sure they were watered down, which made the steep price even more hard to swallow.
There is a large choice of food to choose from such as burgers, fish and chips, Chinese, Mexican, pizzas, hot dogs and Yorkshire puddings. On the first day I had Chinese; sweet and sour chicken with rice. While the quality was fine, I paid £7 for a carton full of rice with three pieces of chicken and sauce on top, so the value for money wasn't there, which I suppose is to be expected at a festiva. On the second day I had a hot dog, which was hideous. The bread was stale so I couldn't even eat it and there was no ketchup; definitely not worth the £6. I was considering trying a giant Yorkshire pudding filled with meat and gravy but, judging by the discarded pile of Yorkshires I saw on the ground, I decided not to risk it! For most of my meals, I took my own food and ate at the campsite.
Well, it's what we're all here for. As Download Festival is a rock/ metal festival, most of the music is on the heavy side, natch. Some of the bands playing this year were Slipknot, Iron Maiden, Rammstein, Korn, 30 Seconds to Mars, Queens of the Stone Age and Gogol Bordello. Over the three days, I think we saw 15 bands. As tickets are £195, this works out at £13 a band which is good value for money considering you'd pay £50 to see each of the headliners.
There is plenty of room for the 90,000 attendees in the main arena and, if you are a long way back from the stage, there are three big screens to make sure you don't miss out on what's going on. There are several stages with a good mix of bands but, if you want to move between the stages to see different bands, give yourself at least 20 minutes to fight through the crowd!
There are loads of cool things in The Village including merchandise stalls (VERY expensive, get the merch on eBay instead!), fairground rides, phone charging stations, camping stalls in case you forgot to bring anything and entertainment tents with music going on until 3am.
***The Site in general***
As this is my first big festival, the site seemed enormous to me, but looking at the map for Glastonbury, Download seems like its baby brother. From my car to my tent it was about two miles and from my tent to the arena, it was about one mile. You will be doing a LOT of walking during the three days so it's not for the faint hearted. Make sure you take boots that can withstand a lot of mud and water and are also really comfortable for long periods; walking boots would be perfect, I wore my Doc Martins which were fine.
Wheelchair access seems to be adequate as there are plenty of hard walkways and ramps everywhere.
When you first arrive and when you leave with all of your stuff, use the shuttle bus! I wasn't aware of the shuttle bus when I arrived and walked the two miles with my 38lb bag on my back as well as blanket roll, tent and camping chair. It took me two hours as I kept having to stop! When I was leaving, I used the shuttle bus and it was like a drem come true as it cut about 1.5 miles off my journey. Plus, the bus drives around Donington Park racetrack, which is very exciting, albeit at about 5mph.
All in all, I had a fantastic time at Download and was very impressed with the organisation and the relative cleanliness. I felt safe and happy at all times and, although the toilets were unpleasant and the walks were very long, I cannot fault the organisers one bit and can't really think of a way to improve it. Definitely recommended.
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Other UK / Ireland topic / Holiday park in Brixham, Devon.
Other UK / Ireland topic / Multiplex cinema in Cromer, Norfolk.
Other UK / Ireland topic / Britain's two-day August summer show . Quarry Lodge, Shrewsbury SY1 1RN. Tel: +44(0)1743 234050 (General Enquiries)Fax: +44(0)1743 233555.
Other UK / Ireland topic / The Reading and Leeds Festivals, officially called the Carling Weekend, are a pair of annual music festivals that take place in Reading and Leeds in England. The events both happen on the bank holiday weekend in August (on Friday, Saturday, Sunday), and share the same bill (usually with on...
Other UK / Ireland topic / London Olympia. 31 July- 4 August 2001. For more information: CAMRA, 34 Alma Rd., St. Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3BW. tel = +44-727-867-201, Fax: +44-727-867-270. Also check the website below.
Other UK / Ireland topic / Caravan and Camping Site in Bedfordshire with on-site fishing lakes.
Other UK / Ireland topic / Caravan Park in Bridgnorth, Shropshire.
Address: Chapel / Other UK / Ireland topic / Lane,Wythall / Birmingham / B47 6JX / West Midlands
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