Good Life Experience

Good Life Experience
We missed out on going to any festivals last year as we had to save all our pennies for moving house. So we’re excited that we’ll be going to at least one this year! The Good Life Experience is actually 10 minutes up the road for us in Hawarden, it falls just before G’s birthday in September so will make a great pre-birthday celebration for him! Started by Cerys Matthews, Steve ‘Abbo’ Abott and Charlie & Caroline Gladstone, it’s described as ‘a weekend of fun & discovery with great music, books, food and the great outdoors’

We’re looking forward to a weekend of camping, of dancing away to some great music, trying some delicious foods and maybe learning a new skill or two. The kids love festival life, all the late nights, new friends and wide open spaces to run around in.

Here’s a little more about the festival, from the fabulous Cerys Matthews herself

What is the Good Life Experience all about?

At its core, it’s about reconnecting with nature and acknowledging the joy of the simpler things in life. We live in an increasingly hectic and digitally connected world, so the festival is a real breath of fresh air. It’s a great opportunity for all the family to log off and get together, try some new experiences and enjoy ‘real-world’ adventures in the great outdoors instead.

Good Life Experience

What else is different about the Good Life Experience?

Once you’re in, all the activities are free and open to everyone! So, on top of the usual music, literature and food line-up, there are heaps of things to learn and try out. For example, you can give yoga, abseiling or even axe-throwing a go, get stuck in to a tug of war, try your hand at leatherworking or bushcraft, learn from the likes of adventurer Ben Fogle, or watch demonstrations like butchery and campfire cooking. Little (and not-so-little) ones will also love the vintage fairground rides, the coconut shy and the helter skelter. It’s the perfect place to have fun and try new things without spending a fortune.

So there’s lots for children to do?

Yes, loads! Apart from all the free activities and the opportunity to acquire some real countryside skills – like learning how to build a campfire and carve wood – our children’s cafe run by under-14s will be returning. Adults are banned and children will be doing all the taking orders, cooking and serving food.

Good Life Experience

What’s new for this year’s festival?

We have 40 craftspeople gathering in one tent to give demonstrations and teach everything from knot-tying and leatherwork to sketching and mosaic making. The general ‘maker’ trend where people learn to do things from scratch is huge at the moment and we really want our festival visitors to go away feeling they’ve learned valuable skills. Here is just a fraction of what you can expect from this year’s festival:

Workshops • Woodworking • Writing • Reading • Singing • Painting • Adventure • Talks • Building • Walking • Running • Tree Climbing • Picking • Sitting • Eating • Drinking • Axe Throwing • Dancing • Listening • Eating some more • Learning • Throwing • Sliding

What about the food side of things?

There will be campfire-cooking demonstrations from great chefs like Thomasina Miers and Bill Grainger.


And where is it, and where can we stay?

It’s being held in the rolling hills of Flintshire, at the magical estate of New Hawarden Castle in Hawarden, North Wales, the estate of former British Prime Minister William Gladstone and current home of his descendants Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, who co-founded the festival. It’s only ten minutes from Chester by car (parking is £5/day). If you’re coming by train, Hawarden Station is the closest stop and from there, it’s a 20-minute walk to the festival. If you’re laden-down, there are lots of local taxi companies, too. Although it’s only ten minutes from Chester by car, some people may find it easier to stay on site. To prevent people from having to lug their tents with them, you can opt for a pre-erected bell tent.

How much is the Good Life Experience?

Our Early Bird Tickets (priced £65 for adults for the whole weekend) will finish at the end of March, so if you know you’re coming but haven’t quite got round to sorting out your tickets yet, now’s the time to do it! And don’t forget that this year all children under 12 years old go free, and we’ve also raised the upper age for the youth tickets to 17 years old.


The Good Life Experience have kindly gifted us tickets to attend this years festival. Photo credits to Obradovic photography


  1. Cerys {mascara & mud}

    April 1, 2016 at 09:23

    We’ve been the last couple of years – it’s great, you’ll love it! I don’t live too far away myself, might see you there!

    1. polly

      April 1, 2016 at 10:01

      Oh glad to hear you enjoyed it! Will keep my eyes open for you when we’re there! x

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