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August Bank Holiday: Out and about in Wales

Powis Castle and Gardens is one of the great places in Wales you can visit this bank holiday (Photo: Simon Bunting)

By Christina Deias

The heavy rain falling across Wales this week is set to head off to England by Friday, which means this bank holiday weekend there are plenty of reasons to get out and about.

Starting in the capital, Cardiff Bay’s harbour festival kicks off on Saturday 27th August. Here, you can spend the weekend strolling around the continental market, looking up to the sky at the Breitling Wing walkers, admiring the tall ships sailing around the Bay’s waters, listening to singers and comedy acts – and not forgetting keeping the kids amused with the fairground rides.

Heading to the west coast, why not take an adventure boat trip in Cardigan Bay to catch a glimpse of bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic grey seals and the wide variety of birdlife, all whilst your boat bobs amongst seas caves in West Wales’ stunning coastline.

Up North in Coed Llandegla Forest, get on your bike and ride the adventurous mountain trails. Each trail is designed to suit specific abilities and fitness levels, with family, beginner and intermediate routes – or, of course, black runs for the experts! Though if you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, there are many walking routes to meander along whilst enjoying the area’s beautiful forestry and views.

Children can make some friends with the animals at the Gower Heritage Centre (Photo: Daniel Hall)

For history lovers and keen explorers, a trip to the world-famous Powis Castle and Gardens is well worth a day out. Nestled in the east of Wales in Welshpool, this wonderful castle was originally built by Welsh princes. It now houses one of the most excellent collections of paintings and furniture in the country.

Perhaps not the most well-known of sports, the World bog snorkelling championships are taking place this August bank holiday in Llanwrtyd Well, Powys. The dense Waen Rhydd Peat bog on the southern outskirts of the smallest town in Britain plays host to the slimiest, dirtiest sporting event of the year – sure to be an interesting affair!

Visited recently by Wales’ own Catherine Zeta-Jones and family, the Gower Heritage Centre in Blackpill, Gower, is the perfect place for a relaxing time with the children. There are many animals including rabbits, guinea-pigs, ducks, goats and horses, which young ones can meet and feed with the centre’s friendly animal handlers. You can also take a look at the woollen mill and have a go at spinning and carding sheep’s wool. Complete your visit with a stop in the centre’s quaint tearooms, where there is Welsh cream tea to be enjoyed.

Just west of Cardiff, the National History Museum at St. Fagans is a fantastic place for a fun-filled bank holiday. The famous quack pack duck display will be ready to run over the weekend, as well as other heritage, art and craft showings. The Mynyddislwyn male voice choir and Baroque singers will be paying a visit too.

The beautiful gardens around the National History Museum at St. Fagans

The annual Mumbles RNLI raft race will see crews taking to the waters in their quirky self-built rafts on Sunday 28th August. The race from Norton to Knab Rock helps to raise money for the RNLI and creates a super spectacle of colourful boats across the bay.

One for the adults: this bank holiday sees a number of beer festivals taking place across the country. The Swansea Bay beer festival is being held in the Brangwyn Hall from the 25th until the 27th August and the Bridge End Inn beer festival in Wrexham takes place from 26th until the 29th. With both events and numerous real ales, perries and ciders on offer, you really are spoilt for choice!

If the weather does take a turn for the worst, at least you can get wet and still have a great time at Blue Lagoon water park in Narberth, Pembrokeshire. With a wild wave pool, sloping beach, water slides, lazy river and spa pool, there’s no option but to jump in! The complex further has an adventure area comprising a bouncy castle, climbing wall, sky trail, Lego room and even its own Techniquest. If your aim is to tire out the little ones, this is certainly the place to head to.

With so much going on this August bank holiday, get out and about and make the most of what Wales has to offer. Whatever you fancy, there’s something for everyone.

Christina is currently a student at Swansea University. You can follow her on Twitter: @weeny09

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