In search of The Good Life Experience

What’s that shining, golden orb in the sky?

I *think* it might be the sun but, it’s been such a long since I last saw it, I can’t be totally sure.

The breeze feels warm today; we’ve thrown open the windows and the stale, winter fug that has been occupying the rooms of our little cottage, has silently escaped and been replaced by fresh, sweetly scented, spring air.


Spring is here.

Just a shame it couldn’t have arrived last weekend, when we really needed it.

We went on a whistle-stop tour of the New Forest in Dolly; four nights on the Black Knowl caravan site with some of our bests.

Spring was also invited to join us but I think it missed the memo.

Our mini-break consisted of boggy walks, crazy golf and a daytrip to Beaulieu Motor Museum; accompanied by incessant, drizzly rain and grey skies. Plus some very, waterlogged wellies.

Regardless of the inclement conditions, we still had fun.

Plus, there’s something rather lovely about lying in a warm and cosy caravan, listening to the rain jumping and tapping on the roof above you.

It made me think of festival season; predominantly last year’s trip to Camp Bestival when it rained and rained.

And Glastonbury in 2015 when, it poured so much, the weight of the water collapsed our caravan awning.

True story.

And, wet weather aside, it made me excited for this summer’s adventures.

We’ve got a few festivals pencilled in the diary but the one I’m most looking forward to is one we’ve never been to before.

The Good Life Experience

Touting itself as ‘a weekend of discovery’, The Good Life Experience is the brainchild of two husband and wife teams; Cerys Matthews (remember Mulder and Scully?) and Steve ‘Abbo’ Abbott, together with Charlie and Caroline Gladstone, who founded Pedlars (one of my very favourite homeware shops).

The premise was to create an environment that celebrated the good old days; simple food and homespun crafts, music and the written word.

A chance to reconnect with nature and our fellow man.

Now, in it’s 5th year, the festival has grown bigger and better with every event — whilst still managing to maintain it’s original wholesome ethic — and boasts everything from campfire cooking sessions to craft workshops.

It sounds idyllic.

Thomasina Miers at The Good Life Experience
Image courtesy of Bruce Stanley

Campfire Cooking at The Good Life Experience

Feasting at The Good Life Experience

Feasting at The Good Life Experience
The three above images are courtesy of Jonathan Cherry

So where is The Good Life Experience?

Nestling in Flintshire, North Wales, the Good Life Experience is set on the Hawarden Estate, overlooked by a castle on a lake.

This September — 14th to 16th — we can leave the real world for a few days and try our hands at silver jewellery making or calligraphy.

Learn the art of foraging or smokehouse cooking, whilst accompanied by a soundtrack of music or poetry.

Castle at The Good Life Experience
Pic courtesy of Andrew Lai
The lake at The Good Life Experience
Image taken by Rachel Kay
Painting and craft at The Good Life Experience
Pic courtesy of Jonathan Cherry
Fire-making at The Good Life Experience
Image by Jonathan Cherry

Good Times and Dungarees

I was obsessed by The Good Life when I was a child.

Tom and Barbara Good with their home allotment; chickens, goats and simple living. 

I was utterly captivated by them (not to mention Felicity Kendall’s dungarees).

It’s no surprise that, as an adult, I’m striving to recreate the same kind of life for myself. Dungarees and all.

Tom and Barbara’s Surbiton-based idyll, combined with a real-life festival, sounds right up my street.

Plus, the idea of leaving the fast-paced digital world behind for a while (even if it is just for a long weekend); to kick back and enjoy some good simple fun with my friends and family — or indeed — a bunch of likeminded strangers, sounds very lovely indeed.

Let the good times roll.

Good times at The Good Life Experience
Image courtesy of Capture This Moment
Helter Skelter at The Good Life Experience
Image by Jonathan Cherry
Bunting at The Good Life Experience
Pic courtesy of Simon Shoulders
Live music at The Good Life Experience
Original image courtesy of Paul Johnson
Walking back to camp at The Good Life Experience
Image by Rachel Kay
Night time at The Good Life Experience
Pic courtesy of Phil Roberts Jones
Website | + posts

Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

Home | The Listed Home Blog | In search of The Good Life Experience

4 thoughts on “In search of The Good Life Experience”

    • It sounds amazing doesn’t it? :) I love the thought of trying my hand at arm knitting — whilst at a festival!!! Such a fab concept — I’m so looking forward to it! :)

  1. Well Hello! I found you whilst researching caravan ideas! we’ve bought an 80’s van, anyway the reason I feel compelled to reply is that we went to TGLE last year, and we have our tickets for this year too? Did you take Dolly? or Dollytoo?

    • Hi Katie!! We DID indeed — we took Dolly 2! It was brilliant!! You can see what we got up to in this post. Still undecided as to whether we’re going to go this year but, if we do, I’ll be looking out for your 80s caravan! :)

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Listed Home featured publications