The Green Gathering is held just outside Chepstow, a walled Welsh border town full of history and charm yet easily accessible. Chepstow has a busy train station and is close to the M4, just 18 miles from Bristol and 125 miles from London.
Box office and campsite open at noon on Thursday, the day the festival begins. You’ll need to leave site by noon on Monday once the festival’s over. The box office is otherwise open 10am-10pm. Please arrive between these times to access carpark, campsites and festival.
The festival site is a mile or so from town, on a hill with spectacular views across the Severn estuary and Wye Valley. The neoclassical ruins of Piercefield House provide an atmospheric backdrop (some festivals build ruined buildings as stage sets – we’re lucky and have a real one!).
The surrounding countryside – complete with ancient woodland, standing stones, grottoes, look-outs, caves and local legends – is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The box office and carparks are ‘off site’ with a free shuttle bus service. More info can be found on our camping page.
TRAVEL: can you do us a favour?
As you know, we are facing a climate emergency.
The Green Gathering has won a heap of awards for its work on the environment and reducing our impact but we have plenty more to do. This year, we have a BIG favour to ask.
The travel footprint of the festival accounts for over 98% of the entire festival emissions. Here’s where you come in. This page has a whole host of tips, info and incentives to help you travel to the festival in a greener way.
We’re asking everyone to try and take at least one step (and hopefully some can take a giant leap) to make their travel greener this year.
Read on for info about easy and cheap public transport, free shuttle buses, and how even car users can green up.
And then we really want to hear about it – email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us how you would have travelled before reading this, what you’ve done to make your travel greener, and what motivated you and helped you to make the change.
You can use the Energy Revolution Carbon Calculator to check the carbon footprint of your usual means of transport then check other methods; how much smaller can you make your footprint?
The Green Traveller Guide
Step 1: Pack lighter
Every kilo we carry increases emissions, especially in a car. Plus, packing lighter makes it easier to achieve Steps 2, 3 or 4 which will have the biggest impact. Check out our Joys of Packing Less for more reasons to pack light.
Help to pack lighter
This year we will have an on-site fruit & veg stall, Tat 4 Tibet have promised to come back with a stock of wholefoods and camping essentials, and Wigmore’s Bakery will be on site with fresh bread and pastries. For other grocery items there’s a small supermarket (locally franchised) just spitting distance from Lion Gate and plenty of shops in town a lovely stroll or quick bus ride from the festival. By saving your shopping until you get to site, you can save carbon and support the local economy. We also have plenty of delicious, reasonably priced ethical food outlets on site.
We have a host of sample Kit-Lists supplied by happy festival goers who last year packed light enough to carry their gear to the Gathering.
You will be able to access the ‘Quick Turnaround Bus’ if you pack light enough to carry all your gear in one go. This will help you get onto site quicker and start your festival even earlier ☺.
If you pack more than you can carry, you will still be able to take the standard shuttle bus from the carpark to the festival site, but you may have to wait a little longer and make multiple journeys to and from the carpark. Every year we find the people who bring most stuff start the festival somewhat tired and stressed. We hope you’ll give yourself a break and cut your and our carbon emissions at the same time.
Please don’t bring a wheeled cart – they don’t fit on the buses and you’ll have to unload them and fold them up, causing you delays and hassle. Once you get off the shuttle bus, there’ll be luggage trikes and wheelbarrows available to help you reach your favourite camping spot.
We’ve also made a list of Things NOT to Bring – these are things that weigh you down that we just don’t think you’ll need.
If you don’t have the camping gear for packing light, check out Camplight (the brilliant people who rescue, clean and re-use perfectly good festival gear) or one of the other pre-pitched camping experiences at the festival.
Want to pack light AND bring your own tent? Camplight is introducing a special service this year. Usually their ‘extras’ are only for people who hire a Camplight tent. This year ANY Green Gathering attendee can hire a sleeping bag, sleeping mat or camping chair (or all 3) from Camplight, making it super easy to pack light and travel greener! Just click on this link and go to ‘grab some extras’ to hire the items you need.
Step 2: Carshare
If you really want to travel by car to the festival; car share! This also works for campervans! ☺
Now we’ve helped you pack lighter, there’s room to share your vehicle with more friendly festive folks. We would love to see all cars arriving with at least 3 people inside, and vans with as many people as seats. Will you help us achieve our goal?
Advantages of car sharing:
You reduce the per person carbon footprint of your journey big time!
Your journey is much cheaper because you share the costs of petrol – Blablacar works this out for you so it’s easy peasy.
You meet other great people going to the fest – you can make solid friends this way.
You feel good for helping The Green Gathering cut its carbon footprint.
You can use any car sharing platform but, for this Green Gathering, we encourage everyone offering and requesting lifts to use Blablacar to maximise the chance of lift matches. If you’re planning to drive, please consider putting in an ‘offer’ of a ride AND a ‘request’ for a ride. We need to get a balance of offers and requests to make it work – if everyone wants to drive their own car, we’re gonna have trouble finding enough people to fill those spare seats and vice versa! Flexibility works.
You can use Blablacar’s offer and request tools to get started. Enter ‘Chepstow Racecourse’ as the destination for the outward journey and starting point for the return journey. (Chepstow Racecourse is next to the festival site.)
Step 3: Come by public transport
If you’re reading this far, we already love and appreciate your commitment to helping us cut down our carbon emissions and yours.
Unfortunately public transport can work out quite expensive if you don’t know the tricks of the trade, so here are some Tips To Keep Costs Down. For example, using these tips, you could travel to the festival from London and back for just £10 each way. And below are some freebies you can take advantage of too.
If you take public transport to the fest, we’d like to show our appreciation by offering you a free programme on arrival – simply show your public transport ticket when you collect your wristband to receive your free programme.
Train Station Shuttle Bus – we’ll be running a shuttle bus from Chepstow train station to the box office and from there onto site. Train Station Shuttle Bus timings are here. A shuttle bus steward will be at the station to greet you. This bus is a free service but ‘magic hat’ donations are much appreciated to help us cover costs.
If you need to travel outside shuttle bus times, the number 69 public bus runs from the town centre bus station to near the festival entrance – if the driver is unsure where the festival is, ask for ‘Chepstow Racecourse’ and when you get to the racecourse entrance, follow the Green Gathering signs. There’s also a taxi rank outside the railway station.
To walk from the station to the festival, head into town (5 minutes walk) and then out of town towards the racecourse (approx. 20 min). The public bus station is in the town centre.
Camplight will throw in FREE hire of a thermarest* or a double roll mat and camping chair for EVERY public transport traveller who books a tent with them. That’s £11 worth of freebies to help you travel light! Here’s how to do it.
*while stocks last
Step 4: Cycling or walking – the zero carbon emission options!
OK. So if you’re considering this you’re one of a growing number of hard-core heroes! There are a couple of freebies below you can take advantage of which may make your decision easier.
If you travel this way we definitely want your story so we can share it and encourage others! ☺Email email@example.com
We’re planning a Guided Cycle Ride from Bath via Bristol train station, there’s a heap of info and sign-up details about that over here.
If you want to plan your own cycle route the Sustrans national cycle network routes usually avoid heavy traffic and huge hills. National route 4 passes through Chepstow and links to others including route 41 which passes through Bristol and route 32.
There will be a free bicycle lock up facility; please bring your own secure locks.
If you walk more than a couple of miles or cycle to the Gathering we’d like to show our appreciation by offering you a free programme on arrival: cyclists, show your bicycle or cycle paraphernalia when you collect your wristband at the box office and you’ll be given a free programme; walkers, just bring some evidence e.g. photos of yourself en route, along with dusty/muddy walking boots and an OS map or two!
Camplight will throw in FREE hire of a thermarest* or a double roll mat and camping chair for EVERY cyclist or long distance walker who books a tent with them. That’s £11 worth of freebies to help you travel light! Here’s how to do it.
*while stocks last
We want your stories!
Whether you’ve taken a small step or a giant leap in greening your transport this year, we want to hear about it. Send us your story, photos or even just a one liner (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Your stories will help us calculate how much carbon we’ve saved together and give us ideas for spreading the green travel bug in future years.