Over the last twelve months Wales, and North Wales in particular, has basked in the international limelight like never before. Thanks to the courage and tenacity of our national football squad, underdogs who won the hearts of thousands of fans of all nationalities, Wales was put firmly on the map this summer.
When Visit Wales, the organisation responsible for promoting Wales to visitors, masterminded the Year of Adventure, we don’t think they could have written it any better! And what an adventure it’s been.
Snowdonia has cemented its place as the new home of extreme sports; we’ve hosted some truly world-class sporting events, including the Wales Rally GB and the World Half Marathon; and we’ve partied ’til dawn at some nationally-regarded new festivals.
Next year, Wales enters a new phase with the Year of Legends when we’ll be looking forward as well as back to celebrate our richly diverse culture with visitors.
For a little taster of what to expect we’ve picked out some highlights, all a brilliant starting point for planning your Great Escape 2017.
Get ready for legendary experiences
Summer of sports
With an amazing year of sport under our belts, and topped off by 10 Olympic Medals won by Welsh athletes for Team GB, Wales is set to host the illustrious UEFA Champions League final at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Wales is proud to host the climax of this world-renowned festival of football; an event that will be seen by no less than 380 million viewers in over 200 countries. If you want to witness world-class football at it’s finest while soaking up the party atmosphere, put Wales on your list.
Festival of festivals
We hesitate to say Wales came late to the party when it comes to festivals but it’s true that Wales has really put itself on the festival map in recent years.
In North Wales alone we can boast Festival Number 6, Gwledd Conwy Feast, Glass Butter Beach, Gorjys Secrets, the Good Life Experience and many more fabulous lifestyle events featuring top-class exhibitors and artists.
2017 continues the tradition with the arrival of another fabulous festival – the first of its kind.
The Tournament, a grand medieval melee, will besiege the town of Conwy in June, and promises to be one of the biggest historical events in the UK. Proud knights, beautiful ladies, hilarious fools, bloodthirsty outlaws and haughty kings will rub shoulders for a unique living history celebration in the truly befitting surroundings of this UNESCO world heritage site.
We may be known for our lamb and seafood but Welsh cuisine, both old and new, is a legend in itself.
With chefs such as Bryn Williams turning the spotlight on a host of up-and-coming local culinary names such as the Wild Horse Brewing Company, Gwinllan Conwy vineyard, and Sosban & the Old Butchers, North Wales is the new favourite hangout for foodies with a taste for the delicious!
Ever wanted a sleepover in a castle? How about designing a landmark?
Well, alongside hosting a number of unique pop-up accommodation spots at iconic heritage sites Cadw are holding a ‘design and build’ open competition to create an innovative piece of modern art to be installed at two historic sites – think Angel of the North with a Welsh slant and you’re on the right lines.
What makes a legend? Is it a person’s achievements… a story… an experience?
To some of you, tales of Llywelyn the Great, Owain Glyndwr and King Arthur are considered legendary, but 2017 will recognise our modern and living legends too.
Names – some familiar, others not – including Mari Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Gareth Bale, Dwynwen, Nick Lord, Hedd Wyn, Dylan Thomas, Branwen and Roald Dahl will join our heroes as we retell the stories and introduce you to real people behind the Welsh legends.
Find your epic
Want to join in? It’s easy! Simply tag your posts and pictures on social media with Visit Wales’ hashtags #FindYourEpic or #GwladGwlad or follow @VisitWales or @GoNorthWales on Twitter to keep updated with Year of Legends activities and events happening across North Wales.
Our blog will be bringing you the best of the Year of Legends too – we’ll be sharing stories and secrets of our region as well as bringing you information about all the legendary events taking place in 2017. Follow Great Escapes Wales on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.
Our properties make the perfect base for your legendary experience in 2017. With cottages located right across North Wales, you’ll be well-placed to step back in time and explore all our epic region has to offer. Why not book one of our luxury houses or check out our special offers?
Image: © Copyright Alan Tunnicliffe and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.