The Good Life means many things to many people. To us it means good food enjoyed in great company, stories over campfires, endless free rides on the fairground, music you can lose yourself to, new ideas, new friends and new experiences.
free vintage fairground /
street food /
AND MUCH MORE
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The Vintage Fairground
Our 1930s vintage fairground will return in 2019, and in a brand new -more beautiful- location! As the festival site has shifted towards Hawarden Castle, so has the fairground. Head to the top of the helter skelter for a perfect panoramic view of our incredible new site.
Unlimited rides. Free to all. All weekend long.
Campfires are great. We all know that. And at The Good Life Experience they’re as important as any band, speaker or activity.
We’ll encourage you to learn how to start them, speak around them and make new friends, roast marshmallows on foraged sticks, and we’ll also be challenging our 2019 line-up of world-renowned chefs to use nothing more than a campfire to cook up a storm.
2018 saw TGLE offer a glamping option for the first time. We wanted to get things right from the start, so initially limited numbers to a small group of tents. With demand far outstripping supply, this year we have added another handful of these wonderfully equipped bell tents so more of you can enjoy camping -in style- at TGLE 2019.
Each large bell tent will have a proper wooden double bed, mattress, sheets, duvet, blankets, 2 directors' chairs, a bedside table and lamp, plus proper showers and loos will be close by all weekend. The glamping bell tents can include up to two camp beds for children, with sleeping bags supplied, as well as your double bed. Guests will enjoy a daily bed-making service and phone charging facilities.
Great Bars + Street Food
We couldn’t call ourselves The Good Life Experience without laying on a knock-out selection of great booze and mouth-watering street food. From craft beer served by experts, to the best pop-up food stalls Britain has to offer.
Meet you 2019 food vendors here.
Prime Minister William Gladstone was many things, but most of all he was a reader. His daily diary entries are brief, but he always made sure to note down the book he finished that day. Gladstone knew the power of a good book, and the happiness that comes from a willingness to learn with an open mind. Gladstone's Library -Britain’s only Prime Ministerial library, and one of it’s finest residential libraries- is bringing a pop-up Library and debate space to The Good Life Experience, complete with a range of aromatic teas and the famous Gladstone’s biscuit.
“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness.” - William Ewart Gladstone
The Idler is a literary and philosophical magazine devoted to its ethos of 'idling'. Founded in 1993 by Tom Hodgkinson and Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the publication's intention is to return dignity to the art of loafing, to make idling into something to aspire towards rather than reject. It combines the aesthetics of 1990s slacker culture and pre-industrial revolution idealism. The title comes from a series of essays by Samuel Johnson, published in 1758–59.
The good news is that the people behind The Idler are bringing a flavour of what they do in London to The Good Life this year. Alongside selling books you will be able to drop in for classes inside or -weather permitting- outside their tent. In Tom's words, “characteristic of the idler's work is that it looks suspiciously like play”.
photography workshops with department two
Learn how to create beautiful imagery on your smart phone with Fern and Arran from Department Two Creative Projects. Fern and Arran will share tips on lighting, composition and editing as they lead you on a tour around Hawarden Estate’s most photogenic spots.
Held during Saturday's golden hours: Meet at 7:30am or 6:30pm.
Limited to 12 people per session. Learn more at the Info Tent over the weekend.
Axe & Paddle
Axe & Paddle Bushcraft was founded by Steven Say who practices and teaches traditional green woodworking crafts and bushcraft skills through outdoor courses. Having worked as a jeweller for many years, Stephen drastically changed direction in 2005 to pursue his love of The Great Outdoors and became a gardener and tree surgeon, eventually founding Axe & Paddle Bushcraft in early 2012. He has been practicing and teaching traditional crafts as a hobby for as long as he can remember, so beginning Axe & Paddle was a natural progression. Stephen is passionate about passing on these skills to as many people as possible, and at The Good Life he and his team will be teaching a number of workshops; flint and steel fire lighting, bow drill fire lighting and natural fibre cord making, and they will also be bow making.
Dylans Mobile Bookstore
Dylans Mobile Bookstore is bringing Britain's biggest and bestest (and possibly only) Book Bus to The Good Life Experience this year, and we can't wait. DMB is a bunch of independent Welsh Gonzo booksellers and book lovers who drive around in an old ex-library bus full of books flogging a fine selection of books on Welsh life, literature, legend, history and art. Dylans Mobile Bookstore stocks second hand, used, new, old and antiquarian books, plus vinyl, vintage magazines, prints and postcards. It has books on everything - Rock and Roll, Rugby, Feminism, Witchcraft, Wizards... Welsh wizards... RS Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Edward Thomas... any Thomas! There will be daily poetry readings, bedtime story sessions, acoustic music session and impromptu happenings. And make sure you drop in to meet the Poetry Bunny, who reads poetry on request and also doubles up as The Book Doctor, prescribing you books to cure your aches and pains!
Lucie Sheridan is an illustrator and print maker. She creates her work within her studio at Centrespace located in central Bristol, which is a long standing co-operative studio and gallery space of which she is a full-time member. Lucie has over 18 years experience and specialises in silk screen printing.
Lucie has channeled her creative and social skills into her latest concept ‘Rubbish Portraits’. TGLE 2019 will see Lucie’s live art experience head to Hawarden and offer very quick, while-you-sit, brilliant brush and ink portraits - they’re not rubbish but actually very good! It’s her version of the familiar photo booth, but far more exciting and unique… just remember… no smiling please.
Found Fiction is a global artistic collective bringing together guerrilla publishing, creative engagement and storytelling workshops. The idea behind #foundfiction is simple. Writers send it short stories, which it prints out, folds into envelopes marked READ ME, and leaves in public spaces for people to find. When someone stumbles upon a piece of #foundfiction, they’re invited to share their experience on social media under the hashtag #foundfiction. This moment marks a special connection between writers and readers, as you’ll see from the hundreds of #foundfiction posts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Pump Street Chocolate
Founded in November 2010 by father and daughter team Chris and Joanna Brennan, Pump Street is an award-winning bakery in the village of Orford on Suffolk’s Heritage Coast. It is the result of Chris’ years developing his skills as a self-taught baker and later chocolate maker, and Joanna’s enthusiasm for all things gourmande.
Join the Pump Street team for s’more making and roasting by the campfire at TGLE.
The Mavericks Podcast
In his podcast ‘Mavericks’, TGLE co-founder Charlie Gladstone talks to people who have swum against the tide and done something truly unusual and inspiring. From famous comedians to chefs to authors and campaigners, it’s is about doers and creators.
“There's no agenda; I just talk to people that will, I hope, interest you.” - Charlie.
Aber Falls Distillery
The team at Aber Falls Distillery sponsored our film competition at TGLE 2018, and ever since we've been sure to have a bottle of Aber Falls in the cocktail cabinet.
Their distillery is one of only four in Wales, and the first in North Wales since the early 1900s. Located within a stone’s throw of Rhaeadr Fawr, the famous Aber Falls waterfall, the whisky is distilled, bottled and matured in the distillery, using specially crafted Welsh ingredients from the surrounding area.
Hawarden Estate Farm Shop
Home to The Good Life Experience, and a host of great things -big and small- all year, Hawarden Estate Farm Shop is one of the best of it’s kind. But of course we would say that!
The Farm Shop will be open all weekend long to fuel your breakfasts, provide the odd can of craft beer, and to keep your barbecues well-stocked.
The Glynne Arms
Located in the heart of Hawarden village, The Glynne Arms is a 200-year-old coaching inn owned and run by TGLE co-founders Charlie & Caroline Gladstone. The pub is the place to go for great food, excellent beer, and well-crafted cocktails. It was voted as one of the best 30 pubs in Wales, and has featured in the Good Food Guide and the Michelin Eating Out Guide for many years.
The pub will be open to the public and festival goers all weekend, just be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment!
Glen Dye Cabins & Cottages
Built, designed and owned by TGLE co-founder Charlie & Caroline Gladstone, Glen Dye is a private estate of around 30,000 acres and these cabins and cottages sit slap bang at its centre, surrounded by wilderness forest and moorland on the banks of the River Dye. The location is fabled; watched over by the massive granite tor of Clachnaben and at the northern end of the Cairn o Mount mountain pass. This is where the Howe of the Mearns finally gives in to the Highland boundary fault; wild, beautiful and very, very quiet.
Find the Glen Dye team by their beautiful 1960s Land Rover for good music and free whisky!