12 Reasons You Should Visit Wales This Summer

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Wales - rainy, cold, lots of sheep... Right?

Wrong! Wales has heaps of culture, celebrating history, food and music, just to name a few things. Not to mention spectacular scenery, and heaps of activities to get stuck into. There are loads of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, just over the Severn bridge.

So instead of the hassle of going abroad this summer, why not visit Wales this summer? Read on for some inspiration for your new favourite summer holiday.

 

1. Castles

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Did you know that Wales has 641 castles? Some of the most well-known include:

  • Cardiff Castle
  • Castell Coch
  • Cyfarthfa Castle
  • Caerphilly Castle

These hundreds of ancient monuments dotted around Wales have a rich history, and host a multitude of events that run throughout the year. At Cardiff Castle this summer, there will be open air theatre for the long sunny afternoons. For the kids – or the big kids out there – there's also a medieval melee to see some brave knights in action. And that's just at one castle!

From a Festival of Archaeology to art exhibitions, Wales does its heritage proud by preserving its ancient ruins and providing fun ways of learning about history for adults and children alike.]

 

2. Foodies

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Whoever said Wales was only famous for the Welsh Cake? Check out the best that Wales can put on your plates this summer at:

  • Cardiff international Food and Drink Festival (8-10 July)
  • Abergavenny Food Festival (17-18 September)
  • Menai Seafood Festival (20 August)

As well as fantastic tasting food, restaurants like The Clink Restaurant fund a good cause, staffed by prisoners working towards getting their NVQs in Food Service.

And once you've tasted Joe's famous Welsh ice cream, you'll never again think Wales is just a fish and chips deal!

 

3. Beaches

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Oh we do love to be beside the seaside! Don't let the stories about Welsh weather put you off experiencing some of the best beaches in the UK.

Beaches in Wales are the perfect getaway because they can cater for any event. Families won't be disappointed with sand castle building, donkey rides and classic tea with chips by the sea. And for quieter days, theses beaches are the ideal place to settle down with a book and watch life go by – until the tide comes in of course!

Places such as Swansea Bay and Gower are award winning beaches, including facilities for families such as access to public transport, watersports and wheelchair access. Gower was even included in The Times' Top 10 Coastal Walks and 25 Best Beaches in the World. So what are you waiting for?

 

4. Music Festivals

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It's summer, so 'tis the season for the music festival and Wales is second to none for variety. Events include:

  • Brecon Jazz Festival (Brecon, 12-14 August)
  • Festival No.6 (Portmeirion, September 3-6) boutique festival
  • Green Man (Brecon Beacons, August 20-23) hip indie festival
  • Kaya, Festival of World Music and Arts (5-7 August)

Events like the famous Green Man Festival and Festival No. 6 provide an all round experience including a range of different music venues, stalls selling clothing and instruments, workshops, great food, and different options of accommodation including camping, campervans, and yurts.

 

5. Museums

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Learn something new when you visit these gems of wisdom:

  • Cardiff Museum
  • Big Pit Museum
  • Waterfront Museum Swansea
  • Dylan Thomas Centre

There's something for everyone's interest in the museums of Wales. Big Pit Museum will be hosting a Miner's Fortnight, and if you find yourself in Cardiff, why not discover the wonderful world of worms!

So whether you're a history buff or a curious learner, get yourself to the Welsh museums.

 

6. Race Enthusiasts

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Summer is traditionally the season of ice cream and taking it easy, but it's also the season for a challenge. It's always better staying in shape in sunshine than on a cold rainy day so take to the trails of Wales for a variety of sports challenges:

  • Tenby Long Course Weekend (8-10 July) triathlon
  • International Snowdon Race (16 July)
  • Man vs. Mountain (3 September)
  • Brecon Beacons Canalathon (6 September)
  • Sandman Triathlon (17-18 September)

Coming up soonest is the Tenby Long Course Weekend; an intensive weekend of swimming, biking and running. Later on comes the challenge to beat the mountain, covering Snowdon Mountain. Some events such as The Sandman Triathlon include events for spectators and supporters of the racers, including live music.

So grab your trainers, get your event T-Shirt and put your muscles to the test!

 

7. TV Fans

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Oh; what's occurin'?

Wales has been used a prime location for many shows including Dr Who, Torchwood and Gavin & Stacey. So while you're exploring Wales, check out the spots where your favourite series was filmed. Take the Gavin & Stacey Tour on Barry Island, including the chance to win a prize in the official quiz!

For sci-fi fans, Cardiff has the Dr Who Exhibition with tours of the TARDIS studio and an interactive adventure with the Doctor.

And there's also something for history buffs: Blaenavon Ironworks, site of the BBC Coalhouse series refurbishes the cottages to create an authentic experience to visitors.

Tidy.

 

8. Traditional Wales

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While there's loads of modern entertainment around, take the time to appreciate the more traditional aspects of Wales. There are plenty of events for an authentic Welsh experience:

  • Royal Welsh Agricultural Show (18-12 July)
  • Anglesey County Show (11-12 August)
  • Pembrokeshire County Show (16-18 August) biggest county show in Wales
  • Eisteddfods (August)
  • St Fagans National History Museum
  • Brecon Mountain Railway

Go along to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show to see the finest Welsh livestock. Also on display are the crème de la crème of locally produced food and drink, and plenty of activities to fill the day.

If you're not too full from the food at the Agricultural show then roll on to St Fagans History Museum, where the Food Market is on every Sunday. The Museum includes a Bat Walk at dusk, and First World War collections.

 

9. Nature Lovers

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Summer is here, so get out, smell it, touch it and walk through it! Among the best of Wales' beautiful countryside is:

  • Forest of Dean
  • Brecon Beacons National Park
  • Bear Grylls’ Survival Academy

Wales is famous for its lush greenery, so get down there and explore the great outdoors for yourself. Whether you're watching the stars in a tent, or experiencing warm hearted welsh hospitality in a B&B, there' plenty to get up to including horse trekking, bike riding, star gazing and as many walks as your feet can take!

For the more adventurous out there, why not have a go at wild living with Bear Grylls' Survival Academy? Courses are available for all ages, so get your whole family down and you're guaranteed to survive an apocalypse.

 

10. Culture and Other Festivals

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Take a break from all the music to check out the less well known festivals Wales has to offer:

  • Llangollen Festival (5-11 July)
  • The Big Cheese Festival (29-31 July)
  • Tafwyl (2-3 July) Welsh language festival
  • Solarsphere (12-15 August) astronomy festival
  • Roald Dahl’s City of the Unexpected (17-18 September)
  • Pride Cymru (13 August) LGBT festival

For a taste of all things festival, make a bee line for The Big Cheese Festival which plays host to arrange of events: street entertainers, music and dance, falconry, fire eating... and possibly some actual cheese!

Later this year, take the kids along to discover Roald Dahl's City of the Unexpected...expect the unexpected!

Not all festivals are about the music, and there are loads to explore at this selection.

 

11. Water Fanatics

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Create a splash this summer and jump into Wales'  best watersports events:

  • Conwy River Festival (17-24 August)
  • Glass Butter Beach (19-21 August) wakeboarding and music festival
  • Powerboat P1 Superstock Series (28-29 August) powerboat and jet ski racers
  • World Bogsnorkelling Championships (28 August)

Yes, you read it right - there is such a thing as Bogsnorkelling! Conwy River Festival is sure to be a hit with the kids, including many free chows to go and see. And don't forget Cardiff Bay is always there for relaxing walks.

So whether or not you're up for taking part, or just want to go along to cheer everyone on, grab your ice creams and take a seat.

 

12. Family Fun

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Make a day of Wales and take on the best family experiences:

Test your luck and go dolphin spotting in Cardigan Bay and marvel at the cathedral cave in the Dan yrOgof Caves. Make like a monkey with Go Ape; this obstacle course takes you through the mud and up into the tree tops.

Take two experiences in one day and go to Oakwood Park as well as Folly Farm – they're next to each other! It's sure to be a day that younger members of the family will never forget.

 

Conclusion

Feeling ready for the summer yet? You don't have to go the far corners of the earth to find the best summer experiences. Yes, Wales does have sheep and yes - sometimes it does rain. But there's definitely no shortage of fun, tasty and memorable experiences to make a holiday that you'll always remember. So get down there, and remember to cael hwyl (or have fun)!

Posted in Lifestyle on 5th Jul 2016

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