We’re a relaxed bunch here at TGLE HQ, so you’ll never hear us telling you how to spend your weekend. Our job is simply to lay on fun, engaging, insightful stuff all weekend long. It’s up to you what you choose to do next… but, just in case you’re looking for somewhere to start, here’s 10 good things to spark your imagination.



There’s nothing better than socialising around a roaring fire. We’re big fans of the flames here at TGLE so we’ll be cooking on it, walking over it and sitting around it. Our legendary Campfire Cooking sessions will be hosted by Valentine Warner, Sandor Katz, Olia Hercules, Mikkel Karstad, Tom Hunt and many more. Meanwhile, in another corner of Hawarden, the brave amongst you will be rolling up your trousers to walk over hot coals - life affirming stuff!

Be sure to catch the spectacular lighting of the beacon beside Hawarden Old Castle on Saturday night. And, of course, there’ll be plenty of time to sit around the fire late at night, putting the world to rights with new-found friends.

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We’re excited to present our biggest ever craft programme this year with 30 of Britain’s finest makers and craftspeople populating seven areas - Makers Row, The Print Room, The Cutting Room, The Workshop, The Studio, The Whittling Circle and The Botanical Lab.

Create beautiful print pieces, transform old garments, whittle your own camping tools, distill botanicals from foraged ingredients, learn how to grow a terrarium, try raku pottery or take part in our Big Weave. And by night, we dance, with the Vintage Mobile Disco - AKA Donna Somerset - spinning floor fillers on 7” vinyl.



For the first time, TGLE 2019 will see talks and small workshops take place in Speakers’ Corner, Hawarden Old Castle (C13th), and the Drawing Room of Hawarden Castle (C18th). This is a rare opportunity to explore these beautiful, historic buildings which aren’t open to the public at any other time.

We’ll hear from speakers including: Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space; Dame Stella Rimington, former DG of M15; The Guardian’s Anna Jones; TGLE co-founder Cerys Matthews and many more. On Friday at TGLE, Mark Shayler will present ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ - a set of talks designed to get the weekend off to a ridiculously positive start.

And you must not miss the incredible Guy Chambers’ intimate piano performance in the Drawing Room. Guy has written chart topping hits with artists including Kylie, Rufus Wainright, Robbie Williams and Katie Melua. His talk will allow us insight into the brains and soul behind these mega hits and melodies.


Earlier this year, Xanthe made a career switch to sustainable food and supporting local and organic food systems. Since then, she has taken over her grandparents’ beautiful old greenhouse where she is growing seasonal food. After taking a sustainable food course at Ballymaloe Cookery School, Xanthe is bringing her knowledge back to TGLE where she will host a special feast in the greenhouse.

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Wild Swimming expert, and friend of TGLE, Vivienne Rickman-Poole will return to The Lake to lead swims, encourage creativity and keep the lakeside campfire stoked all weekend long.

Viv is an artist, educator and outdoor swimmer who has lived in the mountains of Snowdonia for 15 years. Her project #swimsnowdonia was listed amongst 'The 10 most inspiring adventures' in The Guardian and has been the focus of several short films including a music video for the band Elbow. Her film 'Afterglow' won Best Woman in Adventure Gold Award at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival.



Dogs will take centre stage at The Good Life Experience 2019. Vet, potter and CBBC host Dr James Greenwood will preside over a dedicated arena that will host all manner of relaxed competitions including shaggiest dog, worst behaved dog and best dressed hound.

James will also be able to offer advice on any health issues your hound might have. And for those dogs that enjoy wild swimming, the lake will be the venue for Britain’s first dog diving competition. Yes, seriously, and all in aid of Shelter Cymru.



Co-founder Cerys Matthews curates a knock-out music line-up of jazz, blues, classical, world, folk and funk at The Good Life Experience. Taking cues from her superb BBC 6 Music show, expect to discover new sounds, new bands, and dance with new friends at The Good Life Experience.

This year’s line-up features Norman Jay MBE, Tankus the Henge and Hacienda legend Dave Haslam. Top tip from Cerys? Do not miss Jnr. Williams - ‘think Nina Simone and James Blake and you’ll be getting close’ - in one of his first live performances on the Main Stage on Saturday.


Trigger warning for vertigo sufferers! We're scaling new heights at The Good Life Experience this year, with flying trapeze on the cricket pitch and abseiling off the old castle. Step out of your comfort zone and fly high above Hawarden before enjoying a well-earned pint from the bar.



At The Good Life Experience we're in the business of spreading happiness, and helping our guests live The Good Life, not just for one magical weekend in Wales, but for the other 51 weeks of the year too! Learn about good gut health with the Happy Tummy Company; book a massage with Helisa Therapies; bake the healthiest loaf in the world with Tom Herbert; discover ‘What we learn when we make fear our friend’ with Hillary Gallo; turn the Zen up to 11 with a yoga or Tai Chi session or go on a foraging walk with Roger Phillips.

Our mission is for you to leave TGLE feeling high on life, ready to take on the world!

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10. FOOD

Great food has always been at the heart of TGLE: from our Campfire Cooking Sessions to the long table feasts in the cricket pavilion; the delicious fare cooked up by our traders to the ultra local produce on offer in the Hawarden Estate Farm Shop. This year’s feasts come courtesy of Thomasina Miers, Honey & Co and Petersham Nursery’s Damien Clisby among others. Or if self-catering is more your style, you can pre-order a hamper of goodies from the farm shop, or just drop in for supplies over the weekend.

As Virginia Woolf said: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well”.


Over 85% of tickets now sold, so book today!

Tom Cronk