10 things to enjoy this autumn in Wales
Some people mourn the passing of summer, but in Wales, autumn is the season where the action really begins to ramp up. Don’t believe us? Read on…
1. Spooky Rambles
Llandaff Cathedral, Cardiff by ndallIt’s not just Halloween. There’s something about the autumnal months in general, with their cooler evenings and creeping mists that’s just a little bit spooky. In other words it’s the perfect time of year for a ghost walk. If you’re brave enough, try a sinister stroll around Bodelwyddan Castle and Plas Mawr in North Wales; The Ghost Walk of Tenby in Pembrokeshire and in South Wales, you can get your chills at Llancaiach Fawr, the ancient village of Llandaff and the Creepy Cardiff Ghost Tour.
2. Foodie Festivals
Crowds enjoying Gwledd Conwy Feast, North Wales by Gwledd Conwy FeastAutumn equals food festival season in Wales and that means you can chow down in fine style from September straight through to Christmas (and there’s some pretty excellent Christmas fayres and festivals too!). Key dates for foodies’ diaries include the Gwledd Conwy Feast (October 27-29), Neath Food & Drink Festival (October 29 – November 1), Winter Food & Craft Festival at Coed-y-Dinas (November 11-12), Portmeirion Food & Craft Festival (December 1-3) and the Mid Wales Beer Festival (November 17-26).
3. Snowdonia Walking Festival
Capel Curig, Snowdonia by Wales On ViewIf your boots were made for walking, autumn in Wales promises a romp of yomps around our varied landscape. Tie up your laces for walking festivals around Wales, including the Snowdonia Walking Festival (November 4-5), which showcases the breath taking Capel Curig and Betws y Coed area of Snowdonia.
4. Getting Halloweeny with the kids
Pumpkins at Hendrewennol Farm, Glamorgan Heritage Coast by HendrewennolThere are dozens of child-friendly Halloween-inspired events across Wales this October that will have your little ones celebrating the spooky holiday in fangtastic style. Like a Gremlins movie night sleepover (October 31) at Ceredigion Museum (the film is loosely inspired by a 1943 children’s book from Welsh-born author Roald Dahl). And broomstick making, pumpkin carving and cobweb designing at Halloween at Hendrewennol (October 26 – November 1) and the fun-filled Spooktacular at Rhondda Heritage Park (October 30 – 31). Great for those #SquadGhouls Insta snaps.
5. Autumn colours at Bodnant Garden
Autumn in Bodnant Gardens, near Colwyn Bay by tedesco57 Werner A carpet of crimson and a canopy of gold, ochre and amber awaits you at Bodnant Garden, the National Trust owned world famous gardens in North Wales that is home to national collections and Champion Trees. And while Bodnant could be described as alive at any time of the year, it really pulls out all the stops during the autumn months when it puts on a dazzling colour show to rival anywhere in the world.
6. Autumn Internationals
Principality Stadium, Cardiff“And we were singing hymns and arias, Land of my Fathers, Ar hyd y nos…”
The spectacle of Wales playing at the Principality Stadium will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. The passion of the Welsh crowds is truly something to behold. So the up-coming Autumn Internationals schedule inevitably has rugby fans from Wales and further afield chomping at the bit. The action kicks off on November 11 when Wales take on Australia, followed by Georgia (November 18), New Zealand (November 25) and South Africa (December 2).
7. Music and cultural festivals
Sŵn Festival, Cardiff by Steve MalpassAutumn is packed with musical and cultural festivals to make even the most ardent culture vulture look cool to their online communities. Sŵn Festival (September 22 – October 21) celebrates new music coming in and out of Wales in a month long series of events that culminates on Discovery Day on October 21, a day long series of gigs and events at locations across Cardiff. Then there’s the Dylan Thomas Festival (October 27 – November 9) in Swansea, the Brecon Baroque Festival (October 26 – 30) and the Welsh Museums Festival (28 October - 5 November) . Also, if horror is your vibe Abertoir – the International Horror Festival of Wales (November 14-19) is a must-see.
8. Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair
Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair, Mid Wales by Henry KinchinWell regarded as playing host to Europe’s finest livestock the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair in Builth Wells (November 27 – 28) sees leading stockmen from all over the UK compete for the top accolades. The event is also a delicious destination for foodies in search of award-winning Welsh produce. Festive fan? Then lap up the pre-Christmas atmosphere and stock up on artisan gifts.
9. Tiger Bay the Musical
Tiger Bay the Musical, Cardiff by Nardus EngelbrechtTiger Bay the Musical is the epic new musical set in Cardiff’s iconic docklands in the early 1900s when coal was king. The show follows a young woman’s determination to challenge society’s injustices, follow her heart and realise her dreams. Featuring a cast of colourful characters including John Owen-Jones as the Third Marquess of Bute, Tiger Bay takes you on a passionate and technicolour tour of the area’s notorious public houses and alleyways of what was once the busiest port in the world. The show takes to the stage of the Wales Millennium Centre for its inaugural performance on November 15th.
10. Autumn Adrenaline
Surfing, Gower PeninsulaFor adrenaline junkies autumn in Wales is the season to live for. Surfing on the Gower Peninsula is at its peak (the sea is at its warmest and the mid-Atlantic storms pump more swell onto the beaches). And canyoning in the Brecon Beacons is made all the more exciting as the increased rainfalls intensify the region’s wonderful waterfalls. If you don’t fancy donning a wetsuit, head to ‘mountain bike mecca’ Coed-y-Brenin Forest in Snowdonia, which is home to an ever-increasing network of bespoke built, all-weather tracks. Gutsy travellers can try out ‘Falseteeth’, which incorporates the biggest feature in the forest, ‘The Cavity’. Pob lwc!