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…
It’s not just Halloween that makes autumn a little bit eerie; cooler evenings and creeping mists add their own touch of mystery to the season. This makes autumn the perfect time of year for a ghost walk or a stay in a haunted house. If you’re brave enough, take a stroll around the grounds of Plas Mawr in North Wales, the Ghost Walk of Tenby in Pembrokeshire or a ghost tour of Llancaiach Fawr in Caerphilly.
Autumn is THE food festival season in Wales, meaning you can chow down in style at foodie events from September straight through to Christmas (that's not even including the Christmas fayres and festivals). Key dates for the diary include the Gwledd Conwy Feast, Abergavenny Food Festival, Neath Food & Drink Festival and Portmeirion Food & Craft Festival.
If your boots were made for walking, autumn in Wales promises boundless yomping opportunities around our varied landscape. Tie up your laces for walking festivals around Wales, including the Snowdonia Walking Festival, Hay on Wye Walking Festival, The Real Ale Ramble in Llanwrtyd Wells and Barmouth Walking Festival. Many of them have routes with pub stops along the way, if that's the kind of incentive you like.
For thrill-seekers, autumn in Wales is the season to live for. Surfing on the Gower Peninsula is at its best, because the sea is at its warmest and the mid-Atlantic storms pump more swell onto the beaches. Canyoning in the Brecon Beacons is made all the more exciting as the increased rainfall intensifies 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 all-weather tracks; gutsy travellers can try out ‘Falseteeth’, which incorporates the biggest feature in the forest, ‘The Cavity’.
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 are home to national collections and champion trees that come into full colour at this time of year. Other beautiful gardens to visit in autumn include Aberglasney, The National Botanic Garden of Wales and Dyffryn Gardens.
Music and cultural festivals
Autumn is packed with musical and cultural festivals to keep even the most ardent culture vulture happy. Sŵn Festival (October) celebrates new music coming in and out of Wales, then there’s the Brecon Baroque Festival (October). If horror is your vibe, Abertoir – the International Horror Festival of Wales (November) is a must-visit.
What could be more on-brand with autumn than a night sat beside the ice? We joke, though, because going to an evening Cardiff Devils match at the Viola Arena is anything but cold. There's the fiery energy of the excited crowd in the stands, the warmth of half-time hot dogs (well, third-time, because each match is split into three) and the thrill of watching grown men hurtle across the rink , smashing through anything and anyone that gets between them, the puck and the goal. Don't worry if you've not been before; everyone is welcome.
Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair
Well regarded as playing host to Europe’s finest livestock, the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Winter Fair in Builth Wells (November) 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. While you’re there, lap up the pre-Christmas atmosphere and stock up on artisan gifts.