There’s always something going on in North Wales, making it the a perfect destination for a visit all year round. Whether you like festivals or fayres, galleries or gigs, museums or markets our region has something to appeal to every taste and interest.
The team at Great Escapes Wales thought it would be useful to bring you their top picks of North Wales events 2015 (we wouldn’t want you to miss out!). Diaries at the ready, here they come!
Conwy Beer Festival, Conwy
26th – 27th June
You don’t have to be a beer enthusiast to attend this event, but it helps! As festivals go this one’s still in its infancy but has already proved incredibly popular with locals and holidaymakers.
A huge range of beers and real ales are available to be sampled, sold by a selection of artisan brewers, many of whom are local microbreweries. However, it isn’t all about booze! The Conwy Beer Festival includes some great live music events, a funfair for the young at heart (perhaps not the best idea if you’ve hit the grog hard!) and some delicious local food stalls.
International Music Eisteddfod, Llangollen
6th – 12th July
Llangollen’s International Music Eisteddfod is an annual festival in which performers from all over the world are invited to compete. Daily competitions are followed by concerts each evening, where the day’s successful competitors share the stage with professional artists.
This year’s star-studded programme includes the world-renowned harpist, Catrin Finch, playing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; West End heartthrob, Alfie Boe, who will be performing songs from well-loved musical theatre and movies; and, one of the most hotly anticipated events of the whole festival, Gareth Malone’s ‘Choir of the World’. On Sunday Britiain’s best-loved and best-known reggae band, UB40, will be playing at the festival. UB40’s Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey Virtue will be playing new tracks as well as their greatest hits.
Llangollen itself is considered the ‘historic gateway’ to North Wales and there’s plenty to see and do beyond the festival. Boasting a wealth of natural, medieval and industrial history this pretty market town and the surrounding area create the perfect excuse for an extended stay!
Festival No. 6, Portmeirion
3rd – 6th September
Festival No. 6 takes place in the beautiful Italianate village of Portmeirion and is a festival like no other in North Wales. A young festival by UK standards, nevertheless, it has gained rave reviews and a shelf load of awards since launching in 2011.
Festival No. 6 showcases a vibrant and diverse selection of musical genres and this year’s enviable line up includes chart-topper James Bay, songsmiths Belle & Sebastian, local band made good Catfish and the Bottlemen, movie diva Grace Jones, 80s electronica group 808 State and the Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir – to name but a few.
Talks from famous names in the arts and culture will also take place with guest speakers including Fight Club author, Irvine Welsh, comedian Dom Joly, actress Maxine Peake and Radio 1 DJ Edith Bowman.
But it’s very much a family festival too. Family highlights include a dedicated family camping zone away from the hustle and bustle of the main camp and the Mischief Meadows. Here kids can enrol in pirate training, have pillow fights or join in a plethora of arts and crafts activities – a real Neverland in the making, we think!
And if that’s not enough there will be a host of comedy and theatre performances, yoga and meditation sessions, storytelling, music, arts and theatre masterclasses plus the magical Gwyllt Woods will be transformed into a fantasyland, with pop-up raves and a floating dance floor on a lake!
Gwledd Conwy Feast, Conwy
24th – 25th October
The Conwy Feast is the largest food festival in North Wales. The Feast, or Gwledd as it’s known in Welsh, takes place every October in a majestic and memorable location – the impressive UNESCO medieval walled town of Conwy.
Conwy Feast attracts thousands of visitors each year but it’s much more than just a food fest. Highlights of previous years include spectacular laser displays, fireworks to music and Feast Fringe, a host of local music and talent performing at various location around the town. All this on top of more than 150 stalls showcasing the selling the finest food and produce our region has to offer!
Plans for this year are being kept well under wraps but the packed weekend programme is expected to include cookery classes with professional chefs, art and music workshops, a banqueting hall with a difference and demonstrations of traditional Welsh building skills. Oh, and did we mention the food?
The feast attracts well over a hundred artisanal food producers (mostly Welsh), as well as a selection of award-winning local micro brewers and distillers. Whether you enjoy supping oysters and champagne quayside, or fancy trying locally made chocolate or liqueurs the Feast has it all. It’s very much a ‘try before you buy’ atmosphere so we guarantee there will be plenty of tasty treats on offer as you wander!
What events will you be going to in North Wales this year? Are there any “hidden gems” you’d like to share with us?