The Good Life Experience is a festival on the Hawarden Estate in Flintshire, Wales. Founded in 2014 by Cerys Matthews, Steve Abbot, and Charlie and Caroline Gladstone. The festival celebrates family, friends, and dogs, and activities include music, poetry, talks, adventure, workshops, good food and drink, and the great outdoors. Housed in a Victorian canvas marquee is The Market Place, a vibrant group of traders. A variety of merchandise includes Pedlars Vintage Market, books courtesy of The Dylan Thomas Mobile Bookshop and Notting Hill’s The Idler, lavender body products from local Welsh famers, Welsh wool blankets and sheepskins, art, ceramics, cooking pots and hats. Poler, from Portland, USA, is one of the brands selling an array of equipment for every outdoor pursuit. Not forgetting our four legged friends, The Magnificent Hound is setting up shop with great looking products for dog lovers. Drink purveyors range from small batch whiskey, gin, and vodka makers to craft beer makers, local organic milk suppliers and Allpress coffee. There is a line up of amazing local food offerings alongside fare from the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. Best Made and Deus ex Machina will be on hand throughout the weekend giving demonstrations and selling merchandise. There is a plethora of activities for all; a vintage fairground, crafts, archery, axe throwing, screen printing, dancing and live music to mention a few. Check out The Good Life Experience website to buy tickets, for full details of the line up, places to stay, and more.
An ongoing discussion about ‘The search for The Good Life’ bought four friends together to create a festival with a difference. Broadcaster, author, and singer Cerys Matthews works with music manager Steve Abbot to handpick the music and poetry programme. Veteran retailers, founders of homewares brand Pedlars and the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, provide the location for the festival, which is held on their farm. They believe it is a weekend of fun filled recreation that makes life richer and more rewarding.
On The Good Life Experience
“The idea was simple, to create a festival unlike any other and curated entirely by the founders. If it fitted with the founders’ idea of The Good Life, it would feature at the festival; great food, axe throwing, campfire cooking, mass sing-a-longs, comedy, beer served by experts, talks by explorers, raucous music, abseiling, a 1930s fairground, butchery displays, poetry, literature, endless How To… talks. And everything aimed at adults and children alike; there aren’t many festivals that truly do that.”
Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, Chester Road, Hawarden, Flintshire
Photos courtesy of The Good Life Experience & Nenad Obradovic