If you were stuck indoors over May’s first, let’s call it changeable, Bank Holiday and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be ready for another! So here’s our roundup of Spring Bank Holiday fun from across the region. With something to suit all tastes you’re guaranteed to find plenty of ways to while away a sunny day or two (we live in hope)!
What: Bangers & Beer Weekend (28 – 29 May)
Where: Bodnant Welsh Food Centre (Tal-Y-Cafn, Conwy Valley)
No Bank Holiday would be complete without a barbecue and a few drinks, would it? Well, if you love your food as much as we do head to Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, in the heart of the Conwy Valley. It’s one of the region’s most popular attractions and prides itself on sourcing and supplying home-grown, locally produced food.
The centre has an action-packed Bank Holiday weekend planned so why not pop in and taste for yourself? On Saturday and Sunday visitors can enjoy a selection of delicious local sausages, including lamb and mint and Bodnant’s own Welsh Dragon flavour, cooked to perfection on the barbecue, accompanied by a little tipple in the form of some of great local ales, including varieties from Wild Horse, Great Orme and Snowdonia breweries.
Why not make a night of it? On Sunday 29 May the center is going all Oooooooooklahoma with the family-friendly Bodnant Barn Dance! Join in the fun from 6pm, which includes a barbecue and Ceilidh band with dancing until late. Tickets start from £5 but, to avoid disappointment, booking is essential.
For fitness fans
What: Snowdonia Half Marathon (29 May)
Where: Betws y Coed
Billed as the ‘UK’s toughest’, this half marathon is surely in the running to be the UK’s most picturesque too. Now in it’s 5th year this gruelling race has evolved in response to runner feedback and this year promises to be the most challenging – but rewarding – yet. The route has been revised to incorporate not one but two ascents of the notorious Forest Hill section. Along the way you’ll take in the stunning scenery of lake Geirionydd and the Gwydyr Forest, starting and ending in the pretty market town of Llanrwst.
For runners and spectators alike, Llanrwst is a quaint Welsh village with a long and fascinating history; it’s well worth a visit. With a good selection of private shops and plenty of places to eat and drink, you can relax and give yourself a well-earned pat on the back, saying: “I did it, I completed the Snowdonia Half Marathon” – or at least watched it!
What: 850th anniversary of the siege of Rhuddlan (29 & 30 May)
Where: Rhuddlan Castle (Denbighshire)
This site of this iconic castle, part of Edward I’s infamous ‘Ring of Steel’, had a tumultuous history even before the building of the castle. This year Cadw, national custodians for Welsh historic monuments, commemorates 850 years since the last siege and battle of Rhuddlan Castle on the site where the castle was eventually built.
Historical reenactors Cwmwd Ial will be setting up camp for the weekend to entertain and educate visitors about life in early Medieval Wales. From an authentic soldiers’ camp to a merchants’ market, there will be loads to see and get involved with, all culminating with a grand reenactment of the battle of Welsh versus English. As this is an open air event, make sure you bring a hat and sun cream to combat exposure to the sun!
What: Festival of Gardens (28 May – 5 June)
Where: Various sites across North Wales
The upcoming Bank Holiday weekend marks the opening of the very first ‘Festival of Gardens North Wales’, a brand-new event devoted to celebrating North Wales’s most beautiful gardens. With over 20 gardens from right across the region participating we guarantee there will be one throwing open its gates near you. The festival features an event packed week, with activities ranging from walks with the head gardener and music recitals, right through to children’s trails and historical reenactments.
As ever, beautiful Bodnant Garden in the Conwy Valley is playing host to a fantastic family friendly event ‘Fairies, Feet and Flying’ all weekend, between 10am and 4pm (normal admission fee applies). Kids can make a little house for Bodnant’s own ‘fairy village’, fly a kite in the Old Park Meadow or just kick off their shoes and feel the grass between their toes. For parents, there’s a chance to experience Bodnant’s fabled Laburnum Arch. Conditions permitting, it’s due to flower very soon, making Bank Holiday weekend the perfect time to see it in all its golden glory.
Whether or not you’re the green fingered type this wonderful inaugural festival is not to be missed!
Image: courtesy of Neil Kennedy via Wikimedia Commons