Seasonal

Black Friday is back at the Hatchbag Company to kickstart your holiday season

hatchbag 10% off discount promotion

Black Friday Sale

Black Friday marks the start of the holiday season and here at the Hatchbag Company, we are excited to keep up this autumn tradition with a 10% discount on our entire range of products from November 23rd to 26th.

The term Black Friday was first coined in the 1950s in Philadelphia and has become an almost global sensation since then. It’s the day consumers like to make the most of lavish discounts and get a great deal on that product they’ve had their eye on for some time. Let’s look at the range of products you can save money on with our Black Friday discount.

If you are looking for a tailor-made liner that will cover and protect your car boot, then the Hatchbag Company has you covered. We sell over 400 different boot liners for a range of car models, with a host of accessories to take care of your every need.

Hatchbag products on offer

Our standard liner, made of high-quality pvc will become a second-skin for your boot, protecting your vehicle from muddy paws, sharp edges, or heavy goods. If you require more space, you may wish to upgrade your liner to either the rear plus or rear split version. The rear-plus liner allows you to fold down the back seat altogether. If you want to fold down your back seat down individually and altogether then the rear seat split option may be the one for you.  Please note, when you fold your seats down there will be a small gap at the top and side of the seats left exposed. You can cover this in one of two ways, rear seat flap or boot liner extension.

The rear seat flap attaches to the top of the liner and flaps over the headrests. If you order a split liner, the rear seat flap will also be split. The boot liner extension protects the back of the front passenger seat and driver seat and attached to the boot liner folded on the second row of seats. For dog owners, the bumper flap could also be a perfect addition in protecting your bumper from scratches. Finally, the tailgate cover offers protection to the inside of your boot door.

On top of our boot liners, we offer several mats to fit on top to suit a variety of needs. The Hatchbed mat has a carpeted surface that will provide a comfortable surface for your dog to lie on. The odour mat contains an activated carbon that can absorb and eliminate any bad odours, and our rubber mat is a perfect addition for extra protection for your car boot floor, especially from heavy goods or sharp edges.

Hatchbag discount

With a 10% Black Friday discount on all our products from November 23rd to 26th, we can customise your order specifically to your needs and send it direct to your doorstep. You don’t even need to worry about a discount code. The offer will be automatically applied at the checkout. So, save money off your Hatchbag boot liner this Black Friday and start your holiday season with a smile.

33 top tips for taking the stress out of camping with kids

There's no doubt about it, having children makes you do things differently – holidays being a prime example. Unless you have unlimited funds, foreign jaunts invariably go on hold when there's a young brood to cater for, presenting the question of how to find a cost-effective yet fun holiday to suit all members of the family.

One great family holiday option that ticks all of these boxes is camping. Not only is a brilliant way to escape from reality, it's the perfect way for kids to connect with nature, develop some valuable life skills and ultimately let loose and simply be kids.

The benefits of camping with kids

Far from being Enid Blyton idealism, camping really does put a different spin on spending time together as a family. We are all guilty of wasting too much time on our electrical devices – children included – so getting away from our screens and back to nature is a welcome change for many families, as numerous studies carried out by The Camping and Caravanning Club highlight:

  • 98% of parents said camping makes their kids appreciate and connect with nature.
  • 95% said their kids were happier when camping.
  • 93% felt that it provided useful skills for later life.
  • 4 out of 5 parents believe that camping had a positive effect on their children's school education.
  • Almost three quarters of parents think social media is affecting children's ability to interact and engage with others.
  • 64% of campers believe that taking their children camping improves social skills and mental health.
  • Over 50% of campers felt cooking when camping had a positive effect on their children's learning.

Despite these facts, camping does not appeal to everyone, not least parents of small children. This is no surprise because for first-time campers the idea of sleeping under nylon and cooking over coals can sound pretty daunting. With this in mind, we have compiled a 'camping must-have' guide, complete with 33 useful tips to help camping newbies work out what to buy, pack and prepare for a stress-free family camping trip.

baby in a tent

33 top tips for stress-free family camping

Where to start?

  1. One of the best ways to venture into the camping world is to talk to – or even tag along with – friends with children who have camped before. Learning from other families' camping successes – and failures – is a great way to get a realistic view of what to expect.
  1. Before investing in all of the camping gear it is worth trying to beg, steal and borrow as much equipment as you can to see if you actually like camping. More often than not, seasoned campers will have refined their 'must-haves' and worked out what gear is necessary, which will give you a good idea of what to buy if you decide to commit to tent life.
  1. There are a wide range of campsites available, all offering different amenities and attractions, so think about what you want out of your holiday. Very basic sites are great for 'wild' camping but they may be a little ambitious for first-time family camping. In most family-friendly sites you can expect to find showers, toilets and pot-washing facilities; many also have a small shop in case you have forgotten any essentials. Some sites have playgrounds and arranged activities, while farm sites often allow children to interact with the animals.
a car boot full of equipent
  1. Another benefit of choosing a family-friendly site is that other campers will be sympathetic if your little darling decides to throw a midnight wobble. The camping community is generally a friendly bunch, who will have most likely experienced exactly the same with their own children at some point or another.

Choosing the right equipment

  1. Before going wild in your local outdoor store, consider the size of your car. Although most camping equipment is designed to fold down flat – even a large tent can pack away into a pretty compact holdall – it will still fill a car boot pretty quickly. Investing in a roof box for stowing lighter belongings may free up valuable space inside your car.
  1. When selecting your tent think about how you will use it in regards to your children's ages, sizes and needs. Tents with individual sleeping pods positioned around a living area are especially helpful in bad weather when the whole family has to be inside the tent in the evening, or if toddlers have daytime naps. Families with older kids are also likely to benefit from the additional privacy these extra compartments offer.
  1. Everything is better after a good night's sleep – not least dealing with small children – which is why it is worth investing in good-quality air mattresses and sleeping bags. Unless you are hiking to your campsite, roll mats aren't really advisable and they may take the concept of 'connecting with nature' a step too far for family camping!
  1. Plastic storage boxes are a lifesaver when camping for keeping belongings dry, clean and insect-free. Use separate boxes for food, cooking equipment, toiletries etc. so that everything can be easily accessed then stacked neatly away to maximise space in the tent.
  1. Camping with little ones will undoubtedly be easier if you have an electric hook-up. Not only will it make heating up bottles – or making a well-needed brew – much easier, it is also much less stressful than constantly monitoring boiling pans of water on the stove.
  1. An electric cool box is another reason why you may want to invest in an electric hook-up. It's a great way to ensure that food stays fresh throughout your whole trip, not to mention keeping drinks ice-cold for essential BBQ refreshment. If you prefer a traditional cool box, double up on freezer blocks as many campsites have facilities for refreezing.
  1. Boot liners are invaluable for protecting the interior of your boot from mud, water and damage from lugging bulky equipment in and out. They also transform your car boot into a storage area for muddy boots, wet-weather gear and play equipment – basically everything that you don't want cluttering up your tent.
  1. Tent carpets may sound like a gimmick but they really add to the cosiness and comfort of the tent, especially if children want to play on the floor. Alternatively, as a cheaper option you could use a few plastic-backed picnic blankets to cover the tent floor.
  1. Even in the nicest weather the grass is likely to be wet with dew in the morning so don't rely on picnic blankets as your only seating method. Telescopic canvas chairs and camping tables will certainly make meal times and child entertainment easier.
children by a campfire

Cooking and eating

  1. Preparing food whilst camping doesn't have to be daunting – realistically it is just a simplified version of how you would cook at home. You will only need basic cooking equipment such as a stove, BBQ, kettle, frying pan, saucepan, plastic or tin crockery, cutlery, utensils and a chopping board.
  1. The key to eating well on a camping trip is to keep it simple. Think picnics, BBQs and easy-cook staples like baked beans or pasta. Cooking outdoors on the BBQ or gas stove is one of the best parts of camping, but it is certainly not the speediest way of putting food on the table. With this in mind, make sure you bring plenty of snacks and nibbles to keep everyone going between meals.
  1. Don't forget a washing-up bowl, cloths, tea towels and washing-up liquid. Get the kids involved in outdoor pot-washing, making the most of the fact that camping crockery is practically indestructible! The washing-up bowl can also double up as a splash bowl for toddlers.
dirty feet

Practicalities

  1. An absolute must-have for any camping trip is a first-aid kit. Stock up on plasters, bite and burn cream and antiseptic wipes, as well as kiddy-strength paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  1. Trekking across a field in the middle of the night to take a small child to the loo isn't ideal so don't forget a potty – or a lid with a bucket – plus lots of loo roll to facilitate night-time toilet trips.
  1. Although most campsites have shower facilities, wet wipes are a godsend for keeping little ones – and big ones – clean and fresh.
  1. Insect bites can sometimes be a nuisance when camping so it is well worth stocking up on insect repellent spray and lighting a few citronella candles to keep bugs at bay. Seasoned campers swear by putting a bunch of sage on the campfire as an additional deterrent.
  1. Torches and lanterns are also essential, both for lighting the tent at night and finding your way to the amenities after dark. Low-light night lights or battery-operated fairy lights can be helpful for comforting young children at bedtime as there will invariably be unfamiliar noises during the night.
  1. If you are able to park your car close to your tent it is a good idea to leave the bags containing clothing inside the car and take items out as and when you need them. This will prevent clean clothes from getting unnecessarily damp or muddy.
  1. Modern tents come complete with many useful features, but blocking out early-morning daylight isn't usually one of them. Being forced awake to entertain small children at daybreak can be pretty brutal so investing in sleep masks for the whole family might prove to be a real sanity-saver. Obviously sleep masks aren't advisable for babies and toddlers but you could try positioning a portable blackout shade by their cot to reduce the glare.
splashing in puddles in wellies

Weatherproofing

  1. Always check the weather forecast before you go and be realistic about whether camping in gale-force conditions or 30-degree heat is a good idea! If in doubt, pick a site that isn't too far away – worst-case scenario, you can always pack up early and come home.
  1. Although there is nothing better than glorious sunny weather for a camping trip, it is easy to get sunburned without realising when you are outside all day. Make sure you pack some high-factor sun lotion and sun hats and, if possible, create a shady play area for the kiddies so they can escape the fierce midday rays.
  1. Extra blankets always come in handy on a camping trip. Aside from being great for snuggling up in around the campfire, they also double up as makeshift sun shades, pillows, picnic blankets or even play dens.
  1. Wet-weather gear is also worth its weight in gold if the heavens open. Drying sodden clothes can be a real chore in a tent so prevention is definitely better than cure here. Dress kids in lightweight waterproofs and they can enjoy the great outdoors regardless of the weather, whilst keeping clothes dry underneath.
  1. Even if the weather is glorious in the day, temperatures can plummet at night so take plenty of layers to wrap up in. It's also advisable to pack a hat and gloves just in case. Fingers crossed you won't need them but it's better to have them unused in your bag than not at all.
children walking on a trail in the woods

Entertainment

  1. Don't forget to pack some games suitable for playing outside the tent – balls, skipping ropes, bubbles, Nerf guns, boules etc. can provide hours of entertainment. Calmer activities such as board games, colouring books and playing cards also provide welcome entertainment in the evenings or if rain stops outdoor play.
  1. Windbreaks can be handy for cordoning off a play space for children whilst obviously providing protection from the wind.
  1. Another great way of containing tiny tots who may be prone to wandering is to multi-task their travel cot as a play pen.
  1. Research the area and see if there is anywhere local that could provide a family-friendly outing. While away the walk by creating a simple scavenger hunt, challenging the kids to tick off sightings of streams, flowers, wildlife and landmarks.
  1. Finally, don't forget to bring a couple of home comforts such as favourite toys or special blankets to help your little ones settle into the unfamiliar environment.

Bad weather ‘most stressful part of UK car holidays’

Over a third of Britons find the poor weather in this country the most stressful part of driving to UK holiday destinations, research shows.

A survey carried out by boot liner manufacturer Hatchbag asked members of the public ‘What is the most stressful thing about driving around the UK on holiday?’.

More than a third (34.4%) named ‘bad weather’ as the most stressful element of holiday trips around the UK.

Despite the unpredictable UK weather patterns, the popularity of ‘staycations’ has rocketed among Britons in recent years. Research carried out by travel marketing group Sojern shows that last summer saw a 23.8% rise in UK holiday bookings compared with the same period the previous year.

Claudia Finamore, the commercial manager at Hatchbag, said: “More and more Britons are choosing to holiday in the UK – regardless of the weather – making the most of the stunning scenery and coastline that the country has to offer and increasingly embracing the great outdoors. And why wouldn’t they, Britain has some of the most beautiful landscapes found anywhere in the world.”

Camping, glamping, and idyllic forest-style retreats have put a new spin on domestic tourism. Increasing numbers of Britons are turning to the less expensive — and environmentally friendly — UK-based option and away from the hassle and inflated costs associated with holidaying abroad.

The shift has led to a significant boost in the UK tourist industry, with market analysts Mintel predicting that the caravanning and camping market will be worth £3.2 billion by 2020.

Another issue associated with UK holiday road trips was ‘space management’, with one in five people admitting to finding packing and unpacking the car vexing.

This was particularly true among 25 to 44 year olds — the demographic most likely to be holidaying with children.

In fact, cramped conditions and mess created by mud and sand brought into a vehicle were cited by 17.9%  as a point of stress.

Claudia explains: “Unfortunately the car journeys to and from British holiday destinations can be stressful, particularly for young families who are likely to fill every bit of space in the car with holiday necessities.

“One way to help make car journeys more pleasant is to fit a wipe clean, protective bootliner into the car. Aside from reducing the amount of mess that is brought into the car, bootliners also help simplify packing and unpacking luggage and equipment. Bespoke configurations also allow flexibility with different seating configurations, ultimately increasing passenger comfort on the journey.”

According to Tourism Alliance statistics for 2017, almost 20 million UK sightseeing trips were taken by car.

Best Winter Cars 2017

There are few things more frustrating than buying a car in the warmer months, only to have it let you down once the winter weather sets in. With the days now drawing in, the evenings getting darker and temperatures winding down, the roads often require a little more care from drivers.

If you’re in search of a new car that’s able to tackle heavy rain, snow and ice-covered roads head-on, then take a look at our list of the best winter cars for 2017. Here at The Hatchbag Company, we can help protect the inside of your car, but you’ll want a vehicle that is able to grip roads and perform well when faced with rough winter conditions and offer the best to your daily drive even when roads turn tricky.

Dacia Duster SUV

The Dacia Duster offers fantastic value for money. In fact, it’s one of the most affordable SUV’s available on the market at present. It’s not only comfortable and spacious, but also easy to drive. When ordered with the four-wheel drive option, the Duster is extremely capable off-road, while its strong grip makes it easy to drive safely over icy and leaf-covered roads.

The Dacia Duster also includes anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control with traction control and power-assisted steering, which all goes towards making your winter commutes a lot less daunting!

For our range of bespoke Dacia boot liners, visit: https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners/dacia

Range Rover Sport

If you’re looking for something a little more up-market, then the Range Rover Sport is the perfect option for winter. It’s cheaper than the full-sized Range Rover and yet offers the same level of luxury and off-road capability as its more expensive counterpart.

This SUV has a stunning interior and drives exceptionally well on-road, even when winter is in full force.  Range Rover Sport vehicles include an intelligent “terrain response” system which controls the car’s ABS, traction control and electronic stability control. The SVR trim comes with a heated steering wheel and passenger seats to keep you and your passengers nice and toasty.

To see all of our custom Range Rover boot liners, click here: https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners/range-rover

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is one of the most celebrated cars available in the UK right now, offering a strong all-round performance in terms of style, driving experience and interior finish. You can choose from an extensive range of engines and trims whilst enjoying BMW’s strong badge appeal.

The addition of four-wheel drive gives the current BMW 3 Series all of the extra grip that you’d ever need. The only downside is that this option is significantly more expensive than some of the other, as well as reducing your fuel economy in comparison to rear-wheel drive versions of the car.

Our custom BMW boot liner options are available at: https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners/bmw

Volvo XC90

If safety is your main concern during the winter months, then the Volvo XC90 is probably the most competent in this area. The Volvo model boasts a five-star safety rating, and it also includes a number of additional high-tech features to keep passengers and pedestrians out of harm’s way.

You can put the car into “winter mode”, which will help a lot when you’re starting it up on slippery roads, as it allows you to put your vehicle automatically into third gear. There’s also a “safe positioning” system which is able to detect imminent collisions and respond by tightening the front seatbelts to reduce a passenger’s acceleration in the event of an accident.

You can find our range of custom Volvo boot liners at: https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners/volvo

Skoda Octavia Scout

Today, the Skoda is more popular than ever, and there’s a reason that the Octavia has become known as the “family car”. Skoda’s Octavia Scout model is practical, reliable and very economical for a four-wheel drive. The car has slightly raised suspension, which gives extra traction and grip; something that you’ll find to be very reassuring when making your way down an icy road!

It also includes additional ground clearance which is great for dealing with rougher rounds, and the Skoda Octavia Scout comes with a number of safety features as standard. These include lane assist, light assist for optimal illumination of the roads, hill-hold control, ABS and up to nine airbags.

Our full range of bespoke Skoda boot liners are over at: https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners/skoda


We hope that you’ve found this list to be useful. Safe and capable cars for winter can now be found whatever your budget and design preferences may be. Now that you know what to look out for, you can be ready for the cold season and make sure you’re fully protected against any pitfalls of winter driving.

Here at The Hatchbag Company, we produce tailor-made boot liners for over 400 different car models, including the brands on this list. Each one is designed to fit perfectly whilst providing the car with a protective layer against dirt and scratches. We also provide a number of accessories to give car owners complete flexibility and cater to specific lifestyle requirements such as pets, tools or sports equipment.

Three alternative activities for the whole family this summer

With just over three weeks of the summer holidays left, we at Hatchbag appreciate the need to get out of town, enjoy new experiences and create some family fun memories. So, with your boot liner in tow, making sure that your car boot’s interior stays in tip-top condition from mucky shoes, clothes and four-legged-friends, we have come up with some alternative activities for you and the whole family this summer.

Trampoline Parks

One of the fastest growing trends in the UK are trampoline parks, so, instead of just bouncing around your back garden on one trampoline, you can now go to one of the many trampoline parks/locations across the UK and get the ultimate work-out by bouncing across numerous trampolines, undertaking obstacles or participating in a trampoline style workout.

Flip-out currently offers thirteen trampoline parks across the UK and is looking to open three more sites in the near future. At flip-out you can experience the different areas to bounce around or if you’re looking to do something with the older members of the family, then why not try out their Flip Fit exercise class, which will test your strength, balance and flexibility.

Zip-Wiring

For the adrenaline junkies within the family then here’s an activity to get that heart pumping, zip wiring. Zip World currently have three locations and are just about to open a fourth in London, for all those daring individuals who want to zip-wire through the sky. Each location offers a different zip-wiring experience, so, you can either choose the location that takes your interest the most, or, work your way round all four locations.

So, whether you want to zip-wire across at Penrhyn Quarry, which boasts at being ‘the fastest zip wire in Europe,’ or, take on Titan, in which you and three others can experience the zip wire together at the ‘largest zip zone in Europe,’ or, Fforest Caffi, where you can zip wire through the top of the trees, there is surely something for everyone. And, for all thrill-seekers in the big City, soon you will be able to zip-wire down London Southbank and take in the sights of London.

Outdoor-Obstacle-Course

For all those who like an outdoor challenge, enjoy being harnessed in, as well as taking on different obstacles then Go Ape’s outdoor adventure could be the right choice for a family fun day out.

climbing in the trees at Go Ape

Go Ape have over thirty-one locations in the country and offer obstacle courses in the trees. So, strap yourself in, complete the obstacles and all whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the forests.

Go Ape offer two versions of the obstacle course - Tree Top Adventure for those 10+ and Tree Top Junior for those aged between 6 and 12. Therefore, young and old alike can all experience the thrill of being up in the air, climbing around the obstacles. Just don’t forget to bring a spare change of clothes and shoes in case you all get muddy or wet.

Whatever you and the family get up to this summer, we love seeing your photos so don’t forget to share them on our Facebook page, Twitter @HatchBagCompany or on Instagram @thehatchbagcompany.

Preparation tips for a road trip with kids

Whether you’re going on a day trip, taking a staycation or driving to the airport for a holiday in the sun, bringing children along for the ride can be a challenge. From cries of ‘are we there yet?’, to requests for snacks, to car sickness, there’s a lot to deal with when you’ve got little ones in the backseat. But you don’t have to dread your next road trip with the kids. Follow our tips for a smoother car journey and happier memories.

Check your car seats

When it comes to kids, safety should always be the first consideration. Remember that until children are 12 years old or 135cm tall, they must be strapped into a car seat. Before you set off, make sure you have an appropriate car seat for each of your children and check that they’re fitted securely. Ensure that seat belts aren’t twisted, harnesses aren’t too loose (you should only be able to fit one or two fingers between the harness and the child’s chest) and if you’re using an Isofix seat, make sure all the points are connected properly.

Pack sensibly

To avoid ransacking your car looking for your toddler’s favourite toy or having to stop the car to get nappies out of the boot, pack in a way that means you’ll have what you need to hand throughout the journey. For example, keep a changing bag (with essentials like nappies, wipes and a change of clothes), a snack box and a busy bag full of toys and activities close by so you can keep your kids comfortable, dish out nibbles and drinks and rotate the sticker books, sorting puzzles and rattles whenever you need to.

Plan breaks

Little kids are likely to get very irritable if they’re made to sit still for too long. To avoid sibling squabbles and fretful tots, plan in some pit stops along your road trip. Allow your children to get some fresh air, stretch their legs and burn some energy by stopping off at playgrounds, parks or other open spaces along the way.

Motion sickness

Unfortunately, car sickness is common in children from the ages of 3 to 12. Taking headrests that will prevent your child’s head from moving too much or putting acupressure bands on their wrists might be a good idea. You should also encourage them to look at a stable object such as the horizon or close their eyes if they’re feeling unwell. Calm music may also help your child to relax. If your children struggle with motion sickness, you may need to give them medication before you set off. Ask a doctor or pharmacist for more advice.

Protect your car

If you’ve been on a long road trip with kids before, you may be familiar with their ability to transform a pristine vehicle into total chaos. While you’re bound to get the odd crumb on the floor, you can do some damage limitation with a few simple tricks. Firstly, always ensure you have a bag for rubbish in the car. You should also take a packet of surface wipes so you can mop up spills and reduce the risk of stains. Lastly, don’t neglect your boot. If you’re transporting prams, bikes, trikes, scooters or roller blades, you’ll want to ensure you have a boot liner that can protect your upholstery and keep your boot clean.

The UK's Best Bank Holiday May Festivals & Parades

May Day is a public holiday usually celebrated on May 1st. It is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures, with dancing, singing and cakes usually making up a part of the celebrations. With the May Bank holiday fast approaching, we’ve shortlisted the best celebrations to get to this weekend.

Jack in the Green May Day festival, Hastings

The Jack in the Green Festival is an annual event that takes place in various parts of the seaside resort. Attracting thousands of attendees each year, the festival spans a total of four days, and, if the residents of Hastings are anything to go by, it truly is an event not to be missed.

The long weekend promises to deliver music of all genres and dance performances, as well as numerous activities to keep the whole family entertained. The weekend is topped off by the main event on the May Bank Holiday Monday with the Jack in the Green parade itself.

Setting off at 9:45am from the Fisherman’s Huts on Rock-a-Nore Road, you’ll see traditional folk dancers and music throughout the afternoon. The festival finishes with the slaying of Jack to release the spirit of summer for this year.

Sweeps Festival, Rochester

Sweeps Festival is a modern mix of music, dancing and entertainment with more than 60 Morris performances and entertainers celebrating throughout the three-day festival.

The festival began back in 1868 after the Climbing Boys’ Act 1868 made it illegal to employ young boys to carry out the trade of chimney sweeping. During the days of underage chimney sweeping, the boys were allowed one holiday per year which was May 1st.

The festival year on year promises to recreate the joy and laughter enjoyed by the chimney sweeps from April 29th – May 1st with multiple dance performances.

At the festival, expect to find a jam-packed programme with The Mayor of Medway officially opening the festival with a dance showcase at Guildhall Museum Forecourt.

Full details can be found here.

Festival of Fools, Belfast

The Festival of Fools promises to be a festival like no other with daredevil street performers, fast paced acrobats, heart-stopping Hip Hop dancers as well as laugh out loud comedy acts.

With more than 120 performances taking place across the streets of Belfast City Centre and Cathedral Quarter, you’d be crazy to miss this.

The line-up won’t disappoint with world class acts coming from all over the world including Poland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, USA, Canada, Ireland & Holland.

If you live in Belfast, get ready to gather up your loved ones and come join in for the best weekend of the year.

Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh

Celebrate the first signs of summer with the Beltane Fire Society which marks the changing season with a wild mix of drums, fire and physical theatre.

According to the festival organisers, “as darkness falls and the fire torches are lit, our drums will thunder and the May Queen will awaken. Across the night She leads her court around the hill and through great arch of fire; the Green Man will be stripped of his winter guise and reborn, and together they will light the traditional Beltane bonfire.“

To find out more or to buy your tickets, visit the website here.

Whatever activity you end up doing this weekend, we’d love to see what you get up to. Send us a snap or tag us in your picture by finding us; @HatchbagCompany on Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram and The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

Happy May Bank Holiday!

Best Garden Events of 2017

With Spring peeking its head around the corner, it’s time to find inspiration for your garden. Here at Hatchbag, we’ve put together a list of our top garden events for 2017. So whether you’re an avid horticulturist or just starting to get green fingers, there’s sure to be a show to encourage your creative side.

Chelsea Flower Show 23rd-27th May

One of the UK’s leading flower and garden shows returns this year, with a host of displays and collaborations. From artisan and show gardens created and produced by top designers to gardens with ‘out of the box’ ideas for smaller spaces.

Experience floral-inspired delicacies, sip on champagne or eat your way through three courses featuring ‘The Best of British’ products. The Chelsea Flower Show incorporates beautiful gardens with high-class food.

Visit the website here: RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Gardening Scotland 2nd-4th June

Discover the latest gardening trends, purchase new tools and track down plants to make your garden space at home unique to you. With over 400 exhibitors and 35,000 people in attendance, the Royal Highland Centre is a stunning celebration of gardening.

Schools and gardening groups will be able to take part in creating their very own mini pallet gardens. Children and parents can also learn how they can make their outside spaces more eco-friendly.

Enthusiastic gardeners will be able to enjoy speaking to experts from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society who will be on-hand to answer questions and give advice.

Visit the website here: Gardening Scotland

pexels-photo-89796

Spring Festival 20th-21st May

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Spring Festival is back again this year. With a range of activities, workshops and displays that celebrate the best of rural life, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Gardening Hall will have exhibitors from all over the UK displaying plants & flowers, holding competitions and activities; from creating a hedgehog feeding station, to finding that perfect bulb to plant in shaded areas.

Visit the website here: Royal Welsh Spring Festival

Southport Flower Show 17th-20th August

With previous celebrity guests such as David Dormoney and Ainsley Harriott, the Southport Flower Show is not to be missed in 2017!

Last year the Southport Flower Show also hosted a food festival, a British flower display, an edible garden and Spanish dancing horses. This year’s event has the theme of ‘The Curious Garden’ and is inspired by mystery, wonder and curiosity. We’re looking forward to another embellished show this year.

Visit the website here: Southport Flower Show

Whichever event you happen to attend, be sure to take your Hatchbag boot-liner to protect your boot from any soil spillages or fallen pollen. Also, we’d love to see pictures from the event. Send us your snaps in on social to @HatchbagCompany for Twitter, @thehatchbagcompany on Instagram & The Hatchbag Company on Facebook.

The best UK festivals of 2017

It might not feel like it at the moment with the colder days looming, but it won’t be long before the festival season is upon us once more.  With literally hundreds of festivals to choose from, the team at Hatchbag have shortlisted four which are definitely worth considering.

Festival No.6

A stunning art and music festival held every year in the heart of Portmeirion, Wales, Festival No.6 presents a wide range of eclectic music genres including; rock and roll, folk, house, techno and dance music.

Festival No.6 is renowned for more than just the music. Think arts & culture shows, amazing food and drink to indulge in and fantastic activities, such as yoga, paddle boarding and swimming.

Find out more here.

FESTIVAL-NO.6

Green Man Festival

With a tradition for championing great music and even better causes, the Brecon Beacons has become one of the best UK summer festivals going, drawing in crowds from all over the UK.

Undoubtedly Wales’s biggest music event, Green Man is a non-corporate and ethically minded festival that combines great music and echoes the swinging 60’s spirit.

Find out more here.

The Good Life Festival

We love this newcomer to the UK festival offering. Part-curated by Cerys Matthews, this festival is a  combination of fantastic folk music, amazing foods to try and activities to partake in, such as pottery classes.

Welsh Sweetheart, Cerys Matthews from Catatonia, curates the event, along with the owners of Hawarden Farm Shop where the festival is held.

If ever there was an event that begged you to switch off and relax, this is it.

Find out more here.

Bestival

Originally set up by radio DJ, Rob Da Bank, Bestival is based at Robin Hill Country Park on the Isle of Wight and plays host to some of the biggest names in music.

Year after year, Bestival showcases some of the most amazing musical acts, such as Elton John, The Chemical Brothers and Missy Elliot. Your eyes are also in for a treat as the festival replicates a magical fairytale, with fancy dress and fairground rides to enjoy.

More information can be found here.

Whichever festival you attend this summer, be sure to take your Hatchbag boot-liner to protect your boot from muddy wellies and tents.

For more information about our range, visit the website here.

Where to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks

When the Christmas festivities are over, it’s time to look forward to bringing in the New Year with the ones you love.

If you haven’t decided what to do yet, then why not see one of the UK’s best firework displays? We’ve made life easier for you by shortlisting the ones we think sound the best.

Manchester

The city of Manchester is always lively on New Year’s Eve, with the city acting as a magnet to residents and visitors from the local area, who are attracted to the bright lights on Oxford Street or the buzzing nightlife down Canal Street.

The Manchester New Year fireworks display never disappoints, with a spectacular display on Oxford Street. Make sure you catch these fireworks for yourself, or, if you’re not close enough you can watch the display live here.

London

Over the years, the popularity of London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display has rocketed, and for good reason too.

Thousands of spectators will line the Thames to watch an incredible fireworks display as well as viewers across the UK. Each year the London New Year fireworks display is broadcasted via most major UK news sites to officially bring the New Year in.

The last chance to get tickets for this year’s event is Friday, December 2nd costing £10 per person. If you don’t fancy paying, there will be five viewing areas along the Thames, Waterloo Bridge and Westminster Bridge too.

Edinburgh

Why welcome in the New Year with just one firework display when you can enjoy four spectacular displays in one night.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is Scotland’s world-famous New Year festival featuring a three-day line of up of spectacular events, fantastic live acts and of course, incredible firework displays.

Check out the full line-up: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Birmingham

Taking place at Centenary Square, it will be all eyes to the sky for residents in Birmingham this New Year’s Eve as the city promises to host a dazzling fireworks display.

Taking place just around the corner from Birmingham’s vibrant Broad Sheet, you can find a list of fantastic venues to watch the display here.

The Hatchbag team wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year and the best of wishes for 2017. We do kindly ask that you make sure any pets are kept indoors this New Year to avoid them being scared by the fireworks.