Beyond the Border 25th Birthday Barnstormer!

Two children and a man walking towards St Donat's Castle at Beyond the Border Birthday Barnstormer 2018

*Thanks to Beyond the Border for press tickets for this fantastic festival. All opinions are 100% honest an my own.


Beyond the Border 25th Birthday Barnstormer has left our little family with some wonderful memories. I’m so excited to be able to share some of our wonderful experiences with you on the blog today. Beyond the Border takes place in St Donat’s Castle, and we first experienced the wonders of this storytelling festival in 2016.

Beyond the Border 25th Birthday Barnstormer!

This festival celebrates the spoken word, the traditions of storytelling and the coming together of like-minded people. It’s hard not to feel inspired whilst there, since poetry, music and performance at the heart of the celebrations.

Paper starfish sculptures at Beyond the Border.

Apart from my family, writing and words are my main joy in life. I love poetry, stories, performances and all things word, so this festival is perfect for someone like me.

This year the festival was a lot smaller compared to 2018, but there was still a lot on offer for storytelling folk. The grounds were split up into a few sections, including a family area, stalls and food stalls. There was also an area for more grown-up events, such as author talks and book signings.

Obviously we spent most of our time in the family zone with The Flying Seagull Project. We first met them in 2016 and we have adored them ever since. They have so much energy and enthusiasm, it’s hard not to be drawn into their crazy fun world.

We also tried out some very tasty food (there were vegan options!) and enjoyed a bit of storytelling with Sally Pomme Clayton. Sally was full of so much energy and passion as she told us her stories – Molly and I loved her session!

It was also really lovely to have a selection of vegan food on offer. I plumped for onion bhaji’s from Samosa Co and they were delicious! The kids enjoyed curly fries from one of our old neighbour’s Franco Welsh Ltd!

The stalls were also really interesting, with lots of different things on sale. George and Warren bought Molly and me a lovely flower wreath each. We adore them!


We Love Beyond the Border

We really loved the vibe at Beyond the Border. It seems to offer such a relaxing and comforting environment for families and friends alike. We were really lucky to meet up with Laura from Side Street Style, as well as Alina from We Made This Life‘s (don’t forget to check out her thoughts on Beyond the Border 2018!).

We had such a lovely relaxed weekend; the sun shone and so much fun was had. I loved how safe and free it felt; George and Molly were able to play and have fun in an environment created for families. Everyone was very friendly too, adding to the lovely atmosphere.


A boy thinking with the background of a castle at Beyond the Border.

George contemplating life…

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to check out the adult focused bits and bobs. There were a few age restrictions on some of the events, so it would have been a nightmare trying to negotiate who would go with who and to what. In the end we decided to focus on being together as family, but this did mean I missed out on seeing Joanne Harris.

The adult areas seemed to be buzzing with excitement so I can safely say I think their events were good too! There were certainly plenty of happy faces all round! I also loved seeing the various gorgeous and inspiring areas within the grounds of St Donat’s…

Grounds of St Donat's at Beyond the Border.

We had such a wonderful time and the sun shone for the whole weekend – surprising for Wales, right?!  There were lots of lovely things to do, a chance to relax in the sunshine and the best bit? Spending time with my lovely family.

Did you manage to visit Beyond the Border’s 25th Birthday Barnstormer last weekend? What was your favourite part?


  1. 18th June 2018 / 7:12 pm

    We loved our weekend there, the sun was shining and there was such a lovely relaxed atmosphere! It was lovely to see you and Laura too!

    • Kelly Allen
      19th June 2018 / 8:53 pm

      I agree, fab atmosphere. Loved seeing you all!

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