Side Street Style: Beyond the Border Festival, St Donats

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

04/07/2018

Beyond the Border Festival, St Donats


St Donats


Beyond the Border is a Storytelling festival that happens every two years at St Donats Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan and is a fantastic festival for families and those wanting something a little bit more slower paced than some of the more action-packed ones during the summer, this isn't to say there's not plenty going on because there is but equally its easy to just sit back and take it slow. This was actually the second year we have attended BTB Festival having worked with them in 2014. This time I wasn't there to review, in fact we bought our tickets the evening before as a last minute thing as we knew the weather was going to be good and we had so much fun last time it felt like a great way to spend a weekend, especially as it's only 45mins from where we live. 

Beyond the Border has taken many shapes over the years, I'm not sure if this is down to funding or organisation but this year was technically the "25th Birthday Barnstormer" and was much smaller in size in comparison to 2014 without camping on-site which I think was a real shame as camping and festivals go hand in hand and create somewhat of a community feel on site. Apparently, they will be returning to a full-scale festival next year which is an very exciting prospect.


Beyond the border

St Donats Castle


Despite the smaller scale of this year's barnstormer we all had a great time and it made the whole thing feel more intimate and laid back and besides the long walk from the car park once you're in the venue everything is nearby which is a real postive. The children's field also offered up plenty of activities to keep the boys occupied and we especially enjoyed the Flying Seagull Project's colorful and interactive storytelling performances as well as the circus skills with plate balancing, juggling and learning how to balance on stilts. 

There was also a good selection of street food with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options and a nice sized craft market with plenty of small local makers showcasing their goods. The venue itself is also breathtaking and a beautiful place to walk around. The boys and I spent nearly an hour just taking in the Mediterranean-style walled rose garden and the view out across the coastline never fails to make one smile and it's certainly the perfect venue for a weekend of stories and imagination. 


kids festival

St Donats Castle

St Donats castle


What is also great about the location is that the usually private medieval St Donats Castle which is also the home to the private Atlantic College, was open for the duration of the festival, meaning we were free to wander around within the grounds and as we love exploring new castles this was a great added bonus. Of course most of the college was still off limits although you could walk through the communal areas and it felt like a real-life Hogwarts.  They do open the doors up to the public for special tours a few times a year and I would recommend checking it out, you can find the dates on the St Donats Art Centre website.


St Donats Castle

Welsh Castle


When we attend festivals we usually have a plan of what we want to do and see but this time we just went with the flow, had no plans and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We stayed pretty late enjoying indulgent crepes and bedtime stories in the little tent. With it being such glorious weather we watched the lowering sun over the view of the ocean before heading back home and to reality after a day full of stories and fun. 


St Donats Castle

Festival kids

This is NOT an Ad - we purchased the tickets ourselves 

11 comments:

  1. This looks like such a good festival, will have to try and remember it next year as I would love to go. Jon was there shooting a wedding just last week, its so beautiful. Your boys are so stunning Laura!!

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    1. It really lovely and relaxing and perfect for younger children! Great day out and such a beautiful setting

      Laura x

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  2. This looks like such a lovely festival and location the kids look like they had an amazing time - I love it when you can just go with the flow at a festival!

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    1. Totally - this one is very relaxed and didn't feel rushed over too busy like other festivals

      Laura x

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  3. Sounds like you had a great time and lots of fun. It looks fab!

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  4. Lovely photos here. Good you all had a swell time. Hope to attend a festival this summer.

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    1. Ohh yes try and go to one this year, we always have so much fun

      Laura x

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  5. i love events like this, will have to keep an eye out for it next year

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    1. Yes do Kara - really recommend it

      Laura x

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  6. What a lovely location for a festival, looks like you had a great day.

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Lovely comments

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