24 'Epic' Heritage Adventures

Take your pick from these 24 truly ‘Epic’ heritage adventures to experience across Wales during Visit Wales’s 2016 Year of Adventure…

1. See Indiana Jones’s hat, whip & jacket up close
…as well as Inca gold, crystal skulls and an Egyptian mummy, during the Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology exhibition at National Museum Wales, open until 30 October.  

2. Stargaze amongst the ruins of Wales’s best preserved Abbey
Join Tintern Abbey’s special stargazing event on 22 April to catch the Lyrid meteor shower in the spectacular setting of one of Wales’s most famous ruins.


3. Smell the fresh gunpowder of a Civil War battle
Glamorganshire, May 1648. The River Ely runs red with the blood of the fallen as 11,000 men meet in bloody battle. Transport back to the drama at St Fagans National History Museum’s re-enactment, 28 & 29 May.  

4. Discover the charming illustrations of Quentin Blake
…at National Museum Cardiff, with a free display encompassing drawings from Roald Dahl classics as well as his own book, Clown, running 16 July–20 November.

5. Get up close to a ferocious mythical creature
It measures four metres in length and two metres wide, has reptile-like black and red scales, flaring nostrils that fire smoke, and an outreached claw ready to capture passers-by. Catch the Dragon at Caerphilly Castle until 1 July.

6. Explore what happens behind-the-scenes of a National Library
Get the scoop with a free guided tour of The National Library of Wales, every Monday at 11am and Wednesday at 2.15pm.  

7. Learn how Welsh slate once roofed the world
…by putting your head in a book! More specifically, the Royal Commission’s Welsh Slate–Archaeology and History of an Industry — which demonstrates the slate ‘way of life’ once lived by those in Snowdonia. The reviewers certainly didn’t slate it.

8. Cycle to Castell Coch
Visit a Victorian folly — via the scenic route! William Burges's masterpiece, Castell Coch, is on the high level route of the Taff Trail from Tongwynlais to Nantgarw.

9. Learn 2,000 year-old survival skills
Take a leaf out of the Romans’ book and learn basics such as lighting fires, making dens and using a bow drill at the National Roman Legion Museum. Warning: must love mud!

10. Become a chess piece on a life-size chess board
Head to Caernarfon Castle to play 'Game of Crowns’, a life-size chess board that explains the origins of the Welsh princes, from the pillar of Eliseg to the present day.


11. Go on a treasure hunt with a real archaeologist
…that’s the National Roman Legion Museum’s adventurer archeologist extraordinaire, Idaho Evans. Join him on the hunt and maybe even bag some prizes!

12. Get a unique look at Wales — from the sky
Britain from Above: Wales is the Royal Comission’s travelling collection of the oldest and most intriguing historical photographs of our nation. Catch it as it tours a number of Cadw sites this year.


13. Create your own Lego castle
Build your own castle replicas from more than 3,000 bricks of Lego at a ‘Create with Cadw’ workshops, running over the Easter holidays at Caerphilly Castle and Caernarfon Castle.

14. Come along in costume
On Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, why not dress up for a visit to St Fagans National History Museum and drop in to your favourite buildings to check if there’s anyone home. The perfect place to strut your stuff this Bank Holiday weekend! 

15. Meet ‘Una’ — a 111-year-old quarry steam engine
Fully operational and steamed on a regular basis, she is a splendid sight, steaming proudly along in her shiny Midland Railway Red livery. Meet her as part of an adventure to the National Slate Museum.

16. Sample home-cooked welsh cakes in a café with a view
…at Caffi Pendinas at The National Library of Wales — with a stunning view out over Cardigan Bay.  

17. Have a picnic at a World Heritage Site
Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech castles form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site — grab a blanket and have picnics at ‘the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe’.


18. Celebrate the one and only Roald Dahl
Head to the centre of Cardiff for the ‘City of the Unexpected’ celebration in September 2016 — a series of street performances celebrating all things Dahl through theatre and art spectacles.

19. Travel 300ft underground
See what life was like for thousands of men who worked at the coal face at Big Pit National Coal Museum, and take a ride to the depths below in the mine shaft.  

20. Discover puffins and Iron Age history on Skomer Island
Famous for its puffins and other breeding sea birds, Skomer is also home to some of the best-preserved hut settlements anywhere in Britain. Pay it a visit and see.

21. Imagine your very own adventure story
…in Hafan, The National Library of Wales’s space for families and children.


22. Watch a classic Welsh cartoon
Watch a classic Welsh children’s film or cartoon in the Drwm theatre at the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales.


23. Climb an Iron Age hillfort  
…and see earthworks over 2,000 years old during a visit to Pen Dinas Hill-Fort, Cardigan Bay. 

24. Sleep in castle
…at Caerphilly Castle’s Medieval sleepover, 11–14 May 2016. This eclectic event will include night-time storytelling, treasure hunts and trails.