August bank holiday weekend highlights

If you had to pick just one weekend to come to Wales, then may we be so bold as to suggest August bank holiday? It’s absolute peak season for fun family activities, with events held all over Wales, to suit all ages and interests. 

  • Bog Snorkelling
    World Bog Snorkelling Championship, Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales by Rudgr

    The 27th World Bog Snorkelling Championships is a highlight of a whole season of daft events that make up the World Alternative Games, staged over two weeks in August in the little town of Llanwrtyd Wells. Some of the contests are aimed purely at youngsters – like Pooh Sticks and Rock, Paper, Scissors. For others, like the Wife Carrying Championships, you’ll need to supply a wife.

  • Rafting the Tryweryn
    Trywern, Bala, Snowdonia by Eddie Evans

    Here’s another way to cool off:  by plunging into the rapids of the River Tryweryn at the National White Water Centre near Bala. The river’s flow is controlled by releasing water from a dam, so there’s white water all year round, even when other rivers are dry. Try the Family Raft Safari, which is ideal for ages 10 and up.

  • Two children buying ice cream at Heavenly Chocolate store
    Heavenly Chocolates, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire by discover carmarthenshire

    After a day in the August sun the best way to cool off is with an ice cream from Heavenly, a fabulously old-fashioned sweet shop in the market town of Llandeilo, whose ices come in stunning flavours. Our current favourite is Lime and Stem Ginger. Or Wild Strawberry Ripple. We haven’t decided, but urgent research still continues.

  • Cottage Holiday
    The Old Mill, Llanigon, Brecon Beacons by Wales Holidays

    The beautiful coastline around Wales is perfect for a summer holiday cottage. Cottages are often only a short drive away from picturesque seaside towns and award winning beaches where families can frolic all day long building sandcastles and rock pooling. Much of Wales’ coastline is a watersports haven so it’s also a great opportunity for kids to learn to surf, go coasteering or sea kayaking. Make your summer holiday one to remember.

  • Manor House, Wildlife Park
    Manor House Wildlife Park, Pembrokeshire by HuwNeath

    Children love the walkthrough enclosures of wallabies and lemurs at TV presenter Anna Ryder Richardson’s zoo near Tenby. The meerkats and rhinos are also a big draw, as are the indoor and outdoor play areas, while Anna herself is often around, chatting with visitors about the Park’s strong conservation message.

  • Two people canoeing on the River Wye

    Canoeing on the River Wye, Wye Valley

     by Matt Cope

    Hay-on-Wye is the starting point for this international travel odyssey. You hire canoes (or kayaks, or they can strap two Canadian canoes together to form a family raft) and head downstream on the beautiful River Wye. For most of the journey, the left bank of the river is Welsh, while the right is English. At the end of your half-or full-day trip (it’s your choice) they’ll pick you up and drive you back to base on the Welsh side of the border. Oh, and don’t forget to pack a picnic. 

  • Paddle Boarding
    Rhosneigr, Anglesey

    Stand-up paddle boards originated in Hawaii, and it’s now the most popular form of surfing off the California coast. Its great advantage is that you can catch much smaller waves, and also explore flat-calm inland waterways. The sport is catching on fast in Wales, too, and you can try it at plenty of places along our 850-mile coastline, from Rhos-on-Sea in the north to Gower in the south.

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  • Racing with Peppa
    Ffos Las Racecourse, Carmarthenshire by Discover Carmarthenshire

    Wales’s newest racecourse sits on what was the largest open cast coalmine in Europe, although you’d never guess from today’s lushly green setting. It’s the most family-friendly of tracks, and on August 21 they’re holding a special Family Fun Raceday featuring The Panic Circus. While you enjoy a flutter, the little ones are kept entertained by a day-long programme of child-friendly events.

  • A view of Offas Dyke on a sunny summer day
    Offas Dyke, Clwydian Range, North Wales Borderlands by Paul Thickitt

    This massive earthwork was built by 9th century King Offa to defend his Wessex kingdom from the Welsh. A 177-mile National Trail runs the entire length of the old England-Wales border, but for a weekend taster, head for the mid-way point and the towns of Knighton and Presteigne. Together they’re perfectly geared up for a weekend’s gentle exploration of this lovely landscape. The Knighton Show & Carnival happens on August Bank Holiday weekend, too.

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  • A view of Tryfan mountain, Snowdonia with blue skies and a few clouds
    Tryfan, Snowdonia by dazcrawley88

    Tryfan looks like a giant stegosaurus, its spiny back rising dramatically from the side of the A5 in the Ogwen Valley. It’s a short, sharp, brilliant clamber to the top – a reasonably fit family can be up and down in around three hours. The final approach to the summit is quite a scramble, though, and not suitable for pre-teens. Enjoy the breath-taking views, which include an aerial view of Llyn Bochlwyd, a lake that’s shaped curiously like Australia. 

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