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; there’s something about the autumnal months in general that’s a little bit spooky – think cooler evenings and creeping mists. This makes it the perfect time of year for a ghost walk or spooky stay in a haunted house. If you’re brave enough, try a sinister stroll around the grounds of Plas Mawr in North Wales, the Ghost Walk of Tenby in Pembrokeshire, a ghost tour of Llancaiach Fawr in Caerphilly or the ancient village of Llandaff in South Wales.
Autumn is food festival season in Wales, meaning you can chow down in style at these events from September straight through to Christmas (not to mention the excellent Christmas fayres and festivals too!) Key dates for foodies’ diaries include the Gwledd Conwy Feast, Neath Food & Drink Festival and Portmeirion Food & Craft Festival.
Snowdonia Walking 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 – a weekend festival that showcases the breathtaking scenery in and around Snowdon.
For adrenaline junkies, 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’. Pob lwc!
Autumn colours at Bodnant Garden
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.
'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.
Music and cultural festivals
Autumn is packed with musical and cultural festivals to make even the most ardent culture vulture look cool to their online communities. Sŵn Festival (October) celebrates new music coming in and out of Wales. Then there’s the Brecon Baroque Festival (October) and if horror is your vibe Abertoir – the International Horror Festival of Wales (November) is a must-see.
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.