Culture, food and the great outdoors

The Good Life Experience takes place every year at Hawarden Estate in Flintshire, North East Wales, a great location for a pared back, nature inspired event which celebrates all the outdoors has to offer. 

Cerys Matthews herself has curated the event, along with Caroline and Charlie Gladstone, owners of the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. If ever there was an event begging you to ‘down tools’, put down your phone and get back to basics, this is it. 

The 2019 festival takes place over 12 - 15 September. Follow their Twitter account @TheGoodLifeExp for the latest line up news!

Image of Cerys Matthews at The Good Life Experience in 2017
Cerys Matthews at The Good Life Experience, Flintshire, North Wales

So what makes the Good Life Experience so different?

The music and food are big draws, but you’ll also almost definitely learn something new. The festival organisers bill it as a voyage of discovery, which gives it broad family appeal. Bored kids do not make for good festival companions and this festival positively embraces a child like wonder and sense of being unafraid to jump in and try something completely out of the ordinary. So even if you’ve never learned how to tie a rope, make a S’more or how to chop properly so far in life, now is the time to grab the bull by the horns!

This is an event with therapeutic qualities – good food, a focus on wellbeing and the gifts of the outdoors. You can expect a low impact and sustainably responsible event, with locally sourced entertainment, foods and artisan beers. Then of course, there’s the axe throwing… so you may be downing the tools that many see as a scourge of modern living, but you could also pick up an axe, operate a sausage stuffer or learn to make a rope. If you hanker for a simpler life, this festival is for you.

Image of two girls learning archery at The Good Life Experience
Learning archery at The Good Life Experience, Flintshire, North Wales

What kind of music can I expect?

Variety is the spice of life. In 2017 Fanfare Ciocarlia, a twelve-piece Romani Balkan brass band headlined on the Saturday night and the Flint male voice choir also featured on the line up playing to their home crowd, as well as the festival co-founder Cerys Matthews.

Image of performers at The Good Life Experience Festival 2017
Performers at The Good Life Experience in 2017, Flintshire, North Wales

Anything else on the menu?

If fine foods and artisan producers are your forte, you’ll love what’s on offer. In the food tent, you’ll find master classes galore with butchery, sausage and coffee making, and visits by special guests Bill Granger, Tom Herbert and Thomasina Miers, founder of the Mexican street food restaurant chain Wahaca. The Great Outdoors Tent will feature traditionally ‘countryside’ pursuits such as skinning and plucking along with older traditions and crafts and the site’s yoga retreat serves up activities to feed and nurture the soul, with a range of yoga, hypnotherapy and relaxation sessions.

On offer all day are a range of bush craft activities, abseiling, Tai Chi, theatre and vintage funfair pursuits to keep family members of all ages suitably entertained. A perfect treat for those after a stylish, whimsical and avant-garde event that stands out from the crowd, this one-day event will see the season off to a good start.  

Image of a woman serving food at The Good Life Experience
Yummy food at The Good Life Experience, Flintshire, North Wales