8 Welsh events to go down in history this Christmas

Tuesday 06 November 2018

As the festive season approaches, Cadw sites across Wales are busy decking the halls and hanging up the holly for a dazzling series of family events.

Caerphilly Castle Ice-skating

Caerphilly Castle Ice-skating

From traditional carol singing to crafty workshops and magical Christmas grottos, here are eight ways to join in with the festivities at some of the country’s most spectacular heritage sites.

1. Ice skate at Wales’s largest castle

A family ice-skating experience is coming to Caerphilly Castle this winter, allowing visitors to skate within the walls of Wales’s largest castle — for the first time ever.

For two weeks only, the fortress will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland, where guests can enjoy outdoor skating on a real ice rink, indulge in treats from a pop-up pancake house and visit Father Christmas in an enchanting medieval grotto (8 and 9 Dec only).

The debut event has been organised by Cadw in partnership with Heart FM, Castle Court Shopping Centre, Caerphilly County Council, Dragon Signs, Caerphilly Town Council, Dragons Rugby and Ice Arena Wales / Cardiff Devils.

Friday 23 November — Sunday 09 December: 12pm–9pm weekdays — 10am–9pm weekends
Skate sessions should be pre-booked online at ticketsource.co.uk/caerphilly-castle-ice-rink, tickets priced at £7 for adults, £5 for children (under 14) and £22 for families (two adults and two children). Children aged 3-7 years must be accompanied by an adult.

2. Create unique Christmas gifts at an Elizabethan town house

This December, visitors are invited to Plas Mawr for a weekend of Christmas crafts.
Activities will include spiced orange pomander workshops and a chance to make festive marchpane sweets — perfect stocking fillers for the whole family.

Saturday 8 — Sunday 9 December: 11am–3pm
No booking required and normal admission fees apply.

3. Meet Santa in his Ironworks grotto

Visitors to Blaenavon Ironworks can get into the Christmas spirit throughout December, with a winter trail on offer across the grounds.
What’s more, guests can step inside the Ironworks’ enchanting grotto to pay Father Christmas a special visit, with a small gift on offer for each child.

Every Saturday and Sunday between Saturday 1 — Sunday 23 December: 11am–4pm.
Blaenavon Ironworks is free to enter, with an additional £5 charge to meet Father Christmas — small gift included. Booking is essential — please call Blaenavon Ironworks on 01495 792615.

4. Explore a traditional Christmas Fayre

Tretower Court and Castle will come to life with holly, ivy, mistletoe and mulled wine this December, as the site’s ever-popular Christmas fayre returns.
The event will boast plenty of festive goings-on, including a chance for visitors to purchase some festive foodie treats and last-minute Christmas gifts. Plus, on Saturday, the Medieval Household will return to the site, inviting visitors to learn about how the Vaughan family retainers celebrated the festive season.

Saturday 14 — Sunday 15 December: 10am–3pm
No booking required and normal admission fees apply.

5. Attend a Christmas pomander making workshop

Castell Coch is gearing up for a busy weekend of Yule crafts and festive cheer.
Visitors can join a drop-in workshop to turn oranges, cloves, gilded pine cones, cinnamon sticks and ribbons into a festive scented swag or fragrant pomander — the perfect home-made, Christmas gift.

Saturday 15 — Sunday 16 December: 11am—4pm
Normal admission fees apply. All natural materials will be supplied — a small charge will apply for the decorative materials.

6. Make a Christmas wish with Santa Claus 

Families are invited to bring their Christmas wish-lists to Raglan Castle this festive season, as Father Christmas returns to his magical grotto. Very good boys and girls will receive a small gift.

Saturday 15 — Sunday 16 December: 12pm–3.30pm
Booking is essential — please call Raglan Castle on 01291 690228. Normal admission fees apply, plus an additional £5 to meet Father Christmas. 

7. Follow a festive trail around a medieval castle

Chepstow Castle is hosting a festive family trail this December, offering visitors a chance to explore the medieval fortress with a unique Christmas twist.

Saturday 15 — Monday 31 December.  The trail is available 10am–4pm Monday to Saturday and 11am–4pm on Sunday.

8. Enjoy festive tales of old at a Roman fort

Guests are invited to visit Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths for a festive day of fascinating stories and traditional merry tales with a popular storyteller.

Saturday 08 December: 11am–4pm
Storytelling at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. No booking required.

To see the full Christmas events programme, please visit cadw.gov.wales/events, follow @CadwWales on Twitter and find Cadw on Facebook.

Become a Cadw member at cadwmembership.service.gov.wales and gain unlimited access to over 100 historical sites from as little as £1.50 a month.