As usual, there is lots going on in North Wales over the Spring Bank Holiday and we know you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re planning a visit here. To help, we’ve searched high and low to find the best events and activities and compiled a fantastic and fun itinerary for you. We’ve chosen things we think are exciting and a bit out of the ordinary and we guarantee they’ll keep you and the family entertained over the Bank Holiday and into the half term break!
Sunday 29 May
The Menai Raft Race
This annual splashfest starts in Y Felinheli just a few miles from Caernarfon. Intrepid rafters take to the water in all kinds of crazy contraptions, with plenty of “don’t try this at home” watercraft, all racing one another up the Menai Strait. They head past Plas Newydd on Anglesey and underneath the two spectacular bridges before ending – mostly wet – at Menai Bridge. It’s all for a good cause.
All the entrants really appreciate a good send off and a cheer as they paddle through the fast-flowing tidal reaches of the Swellies. Come down and give them a wave!
More details at www.greatstraitraftrun.co.uk
Sunday 29 May
Anglesey Walking Festival (Isle of Anglesey)
The annual Anglesey Walking Festival will be in full swing over the Bank Holiday weekend and, as usual, the festival has a packed schedule, with guided walks taking place all over the island. Two very special walks, suitable for the whole family, are taking place on 30 May – both a great introduction to this beautiful and historic island.
Join walkers on Sunday morning for a leisurely walk from Aberffraw and back along the Anglesey Coastal Path – don’t leave Abberfraw without trying the famous biscuits! In the afternoon take a walk back in time and learn about the mysterious Cymmrodorion and ancient Mynydd Bodafon, the highest point on Anglesey. The island is little more than 10 minutes’ drive from the Celtic Royal Hotel, making us a great base from which to enjoy the festival and some great walking.
Monday 30 May
Antique & Collector’s Fair, St Mary’s Church Hall (Betws y Coed)
If the weather takes a turn for the worse or you just fancy a change of pace after a busy weekend, Betws y Coed’s well-loved and well-established antiques fair is a great way to spend an hour or two. At just fifty pence admission (children and OAPs free of charge), it’s worth a look just for the chance to walk away with a bargain!
Items on sale include china, jewellery (fine and costume), books, paintings, postcards, vintage fashion, memorabilia and a great deal more. There is something to interest everyone here plus it’s a great way to introduce the kids to collecting, why not give them a fiver and organise your own Bargain Hunt? The fair is open between 9:15am – 4pm, giving plenty of time to browse the stalls at your leisure. With a pay-and-display car park located in the church grounds you won’t have to lug your new ‘old’ purchases very far either!
Bank Holiday and beyond
Festival of Gardens, various sites across North Wales
This year marks the first ‘Festival of Gardens’ in North Wales; an event devoted to celebrating our beautifully preserved gardens. With over twenty gardens across North Wales taking part there is a packed schedule of events running from the 28 May to the 5 June. We’ve chosen two of our favourites to get you started.
Billed as ‘the highest private garden in Wales’, Caerau Uchaf Gardens perch above the pretty Welsh village of Bala. The garden is throwing open its gates for the festival and is looking forward to welcoming visitors, especially young gardeners! Children can take a woodland walk, scale the wooden fortress or zoom on the zipwire and – if they’ve still got the energy – take part in a treasure hunt (£3 per child).
We think Penrhyn Castle near Bangor is one of the most family friendly National Trust properties in North Wales. With stunning gardens and a fascinating stately home to explore, it’s a great way to spend a day. Lady Sybil’s Water Garden will be opened especially for the festival and the castle will be playing host to several ‘Steam Days’ at the Railway Museum too. Find out more here.
Image: © Copyright Robin Drayton and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence