A weekend at The Good Life Experience

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We finished off our summer with a weekend at The Good Life Experience this past weekend. It was the kiddos and mine third festival this summer, and the closet to home. It’s located at Hawarden Estate Farm Shop,it’s only a 25 minute drive from home for us. We haven’t been before, so were excited to check it out. It’s a lot smaller than any other festival that we’ve been too, this was its third year running, and its first year as a three-day festival.

We arrived on Friday lunch time, and yet again had to set up tents in the rain {though only drizzle thankfully}. The parking/camping situation seemed a little unorganised, we’d expected there would be a trolley hire system in place, as is pretty much standard at festivals, but unfortunately there wasn’t. This is probably not an issue if you are a single person, or an older couple with no kids… family camping seems to mean taking the whole house – six of us need lots of stuff – tents, gazebos, sleeping bags, duvets, clothes, food, cookers, etc etc… the car park was an awfully long way from the camping fields, especially when you have to carry everything. Thankfully on Friday, one of the security staff were helpful enough to let us drive the car to the edge of the camping fields, unload and then head back to the car park, which made setting up so much easier and less stressful {apart from the tent pole we’d forgotten and had to go home for. Ooops.}

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By the time we’d set up and made some dinner, we were ready to explore the site. As I said, we’re used to much bigger festivals so the scale seemed small to us – but this proved good as it meant our girls could wander off together whilst we sat and caught some acts. Friday night we watched Dr John Cooper Clarke {with the girls safely away elsewhere as this was definitely not a child-friendly show!}. Then with Beastie and Baya tucked up in bed, the big girls and I caught The Magnetic North and Stealing Sheep on the Caught By The River stage.

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After not the best night’s sleep {thanks cold September weather} we were pleased to see some sunshine on Saturday morning. While we didn’t know many acts on the line-up, we were happy just to wander around, enjoying the sunshine and a little reprieve from real-life. The kids loved the vintage fairground – which is all included in the ticket price, meaning they could ride over and over again. They also loved the blackberry bushes that were near the main stage, we spent Saturday afternoon sitting on the grass, listening to some acts and the kids running around eating blackberries. Perfect.

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We did find ourselves at a loose end a couple of times – while there was lots going on, a lot of it was workshops/talks that perhaps weren’t geared to us, or practical when we had a toddler with us. I’m sure as the festival grows more and more will be added to the line-up. Lola found a Creative Writing workshop to take part in, which she really enjoyed.

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Kiki and Baya made plenty of new friends whilst we were there, we discovered some great new music {Aldous Harding} caught up with some old friends and rested after a tough week. Kiki and Baya also both tested out hte climbing wall, and they all loved the play park.

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All in all we had a good weekend, it’s a great festival on a lovely site and I think it’ll be interesting to watch it grow as it becomes more popular. It’s a lovely way to round off the summer, and my girls have already been talking about ‘when we go next year..’

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5 Comments

  1. September 21, 2016 / 10:51

    Gorgeous photos Polly – how cute is Beastie’s hair?! I love family festivals, they’re such a fun way to escape from real life for a bit aren’t they? This looks like it could be a brilliant one to try for a family who’s never been to a festival before. Perhaps a “starter” festival so to speak, to get to grips with the camping and atmosphere of a festival without being overwhelmed by the scale of a huge event.

  2. September 21, 2016 / 14:14

    You say it is a small festival, but it sounds like there was loads going on! I love the sound of the vintage fairground.

  3. September 21, 2016 / 15:50

    Looks fab! I have heard brilliant things and I think you are a SUPERHERO for bringing your kids to these festivals! I’m not a massive camper so I just imagine it’s stressful, but you make it look easy! xo

  4. September 21, 2016 / 16:13

    Beastie’s growing so big!! Looks like you had an amazing time – I take my hat off for you for taking 4 kids to festivals. You always make it look like so much fun! xx

  5. September 21, 2016 / 22:51

    Sounds like a good weekend. I like the sound of the vintage fairground. X

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