20 Reasons Why 2017 Will Be Legendary in Wales

With 2017 being Wales' Year of Legends, it's important to know what, where and when the biggest things are happening across the country. We've put together a list of twenty legendary events and celebrations that are happening in Wales over the next few months. Come rain or shine, there are plenty of ways to enjoy our epic country.

Artist's impression of the Arthur's Cave installation

'Arthur's Cave' boutique pop-up boutique hotel experience 

 by Miller Kendrick Architects

Headline Acts for 2017

Hay Festival, 25 May-4 June, Hay-On-Wye

Colourful letters spelling out 'HAY' at the festival

Hay Festival, Wye Valley and the Vale of Usk 

It's the 30th anniversary of the first Hay Festival – an annual celebration of great writing. Famous writers, filmmakers, comedians, politicians and musicians gather in the quaint book town, Hay-On-Wye, to inspire, delight, debate and entertain. Register for updates on their website to be the first to hear about line-up confirmations.

Hedd Wyn centenary, May 29th, Trawsfynydd, North Wales

Exterior image of Hedd Wyn's childhood home

Yr Ysgwrn: home of Hedd Wyn, Snowdonia Mountains and Coast 

 by Yr Ysgwrn
Hedd Wyn (Welsh: ‘white peace’) was the most celebrated Welsh language poets of the early 20th century, he died with thousands of other soldiers during World War I and his story is poignant because his poem won the National Eisteddfod’s ‘Chairing of the Bard’ ceremony, where it was solemnly announced he had been killed in battle 6 weeks previously. There will be special events in 2017 marking the centenary of Hedd Wyn’s death, including the reopening of his home Yr Ysgwrn in 2017 as a museum where visitors can learn about the bard’s life. 

UEFA Champions League Final / UEFA Women’s Champions League 1 – 3 June, Cardiff, South Wales

Image of the Champions League Trophies

UEFA Champions League Final 2017, Cardiff 

The greatest annual sporting event in the world takes place in Cardiff in June.  The 2016/17 UEFA Women’s Final will kick things off on the 1st June, before the men’s decider on the 3rd June at the 74,500 capacity stadium.  Although we won’t find out until April which teams will make the final, you can be sure that this event will be the greatest Final yet…and Cardiff promises to host one heck of an after party.  

The Tournament, 24-25 June, Conwy, North Wales 

Conwy castle on a hill

Conwy Castle, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay 

Conwy is going full legend this summer as the entire town prepares to host a (free) wild weekend of knights, Vikings, musicians, jesters and archers. As well as medieval markets, jousting and history camps, you’ll get the chance to live the legend, via live reenactments, jousting, banquets and in-character actors strolling the walls of the medieval fortified walled town. 

Epic Retreats, June – September, Across Wales

Artist's impression of the slate cabin surrounded by hills

'Slate cabin', pop up boutique hotels, Epic Retreats 

 by Trias Studio
 For the first time in 2017, Wales will host a legendary and exclusive pop-up boutique hotel experience for just 200 lucky people. Llŷn Peninsula, Southern Snowdonia and West Wales are to be the locations for this luxury one-of-a-kind experience inspired by Welsh legends including King Arthur, the iconic Welsh dragon and the country’s famous industrial heritage.  

Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod – 70 year anniversary celebration, 3-9 July, Llangollen, North Wales

A Llangollen sign on a platform at Llangollen train station

Llangollen train station, North East Wales 

  The International Eisteddfod at Llangollen is always one of the most colourful, vibrant and upbeat event in the Welsh social calendar, with countries all over the world convening in this little Welsh town to celebrate the very best of international music, song and dance. This year, the festival celebrates 70 years – with lots in store including a ‘celebration chorus’ and a concert series featuring Bryn Terfel, Gregory Porter and The Manic Street Preachers. 

A few others to tickle your fancy…

Merlin Festival, 24-25 March, Carmarthenshire

Swords up against a wall

Arthurian legend, Owain Glyndŵr Centre, Machynlleth, Mid Wales 

What better way to mark the Year of Legends than with a huge event to celebrate a legendary man from Arthurian legends and medieval Welsh poetry? The first account of Merlin the wizard was written in the 12th Century,  when it is mentioned that he lives in Carmarthen. This festival will take over the town with Merlin-themed street entertainment, magic, a market, a sculpture trail and more.

Children's Literature Festival, 25 March - 2 April, Cardiff

Little girl on her Dad's shoulders looking at an outdoor art display

Children's literature events in Cardiff 

After celebrating Dahl’s splendiferous City of the Unexpected, Cardiff will host more book-tastic fun when authors and illustrators play with words and pictures in iconic venues across the city. Expect amazing tales and performances featuring a cast of wonderful characters. 

RHS Flower Show, 7-9 April, Cardiff

Stop to see and smell the beautiful flowers at the annual RHS Flower Show Cardiff. Floral displays, water features, show gardens and demonstrations show the best of gardening practice and encourage visitors to take up the hobby. 

The Laugharne Weekend, 7-9 April, Laugharne

Exterior image of Laugharne castle

Laugharne, Carmathenshire 

This quirky annual festival sees the coolest cult novelists, musicians, thinkers and controversialists turn up in what was once Dylan Thomas' home town. On the line-up are Tessa Hadley, Irvine Welsh, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Jeremy Deller, Roger McGough and many more.

Pembrokeshire Wakeboard Park, Easter weekend (TBC), Pembrokeshire

Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire.

Ramsey Island, Pembrokeshire
 Just in time for the Easter holidays, a new inland wakeboard park is coming to Pembrokeshire. The family-run business will include a lake and a cable system to tow wakeboarders across the water for exhilarating fun.

Wonderwool Wales, 22-23 April, Builth Wells

This annual wool and natural fibre extravaganza will be bursting at the seams with stalls, exhibitions, daily demonstrations and have-a-go sessions. 

Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza, 29 April - 1 May, Llandudno

Over the May bank holiday weekend, Llandudno turns into a festival of all things Victorian. There'll be sideshows, vintage cars, steam engines, musical organs, curiosities and street performances to bring the period into modern day.

Caerphilly Food Festival, 6 May, Caerphilly

The sixth Caerphilly Food Festival will see the high street filled with over 70 stalls of scrumptious food and drink, as well as a farmers market, a craft fair, cookery demonstrations and street entertainment.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, 12 May, across Wales

King Arthur's Labyrynth.

King Arthur's Labyrynth
A brand new film about the (probably Welsh) legend that was King Arthur hits cinemas around the country. It stars Charlie Hunnan, Jude Law, Annabelle Wallis and other big names directed by Guy Ritchie. 

FOCUS Wales, 11-13 May, Wrexham

Enjoy three days of music showcasing over 200 bands on 20 stages, plus interactive sessions, films, comedy and performances. On the line-up are British Sea Power, Astroid Boys, Cabbage, Georgia Ruth, Islet, Right Hand Left Hand, CaStLeS and Gulp, to name but a few.

International Dylan Thomas Day 2017, 14 May, across Wales

Exterior of the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea

Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
This new annual day of celebration marks the date that Welsh legend Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood' was first read on stage in 1953. Near the date, the team behind the celebration will release information about Wales-wide events, including performances, online happenings, walking tours and more – just keep an eye on their webpage for the latest information.

Dylan's opens in Llandudno, late May, Llandudno

Image of Llandudno seaside

Llandudno, Llandudno and Colwyn Bay 

Having successfully established restaurants in Menai Bridge and Criccieth, Dylan’s Restaurant group is adding Dylan’s in Llandudno to its portfolio. The fine dining restaurant will move into the fully refurbished Grade II listed Washington Hotel on the East Parade. 

Rooftop dining from Marco Pierre White, late May, Cardiff

Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White is set to open a rooftop restaurant in Cardiff, with 360 degree views over the city. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill will serve British and French dishes and will sit on top of Hotel Indigo, a new boutique hotel being built at Dominions House in Queen Street.