8 Welsh Festivals You Don’t Want To Miss
Wales is teeming with exhilarating and vibrant festivals of all forms, ranging from grand music events with over 25,000 attendees to intimate yet impactful literary gatherings and mouthwatering food festivals. In this blog, we will showcase a selection of the annual recurring festivals in Wales that you definitely won't want to miss!
Food And Drink Festivals In Wales
Wales has some incredible food cuisine to offer, and why better way to tickle you taste buds than at a food festival, the ones listed below are some of our and the communities’ favourite events to sample the food that Wales has to offer.
Mid Wales Autumn Fair
Experience a delightful day out for the entire family at the Mid Wales Autumn Fair. Indulge in delectable treats from over 70 skilled artisan food and drink producers hailing from various regions of Wales. The event also features captivating cookery demonstrations by renowned Welsh chefs, a pop-up restaurant, and a trendy cocktail bar. Explore the offerings of more than 40 Welsh Arts & Craft vendors, showcasing locally handcrafted products. This exceptional fair typically takes place in mid-Autumn, during the enchanting month of October.
Abergavenny Food Festival
The Abergavenny Food Festival has earned an exceptional reputation as a gathering place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers, and food producers. This inclusive and welcoming event provides a delicious opportunity for people from all walks of life to delve into the world of food. With an outstanding lineup of activities, including product tastings, engaging kids' activities, enriching masterclasses, hands-on cookery lessons, and insightful debates, the festival offers insider knowledge on food-related matters. It presents fresh ideas about the future of our culinary experiences and shines a spotlight on emerging stars in the industry. By challenging and promoting new concepts, pushing boundaries, and encouraging a different perspective on food sources, the Abergavenny Gastronomic Festival transforms the way people think about food. This wonderful festival, marking the end of summer, is typically held in September.
Cardigan River and Food Festival
Since the late 1990s, the Cardigan River and Food Festival has been a celebrated event. Delight in sampling the finest locally sourced food from independent Welsh producers while enjoying a plethora of water-based activities on the scenic River Teifi. This festival goes beyond seafood and highlights the diverse food scene in Cardigan. Nestled beside the expansive River Teifi, it serves as a delightful platform for discovering small, independent Welsh food producers, including award-winning cheesemakers and rare breed livestock farmers. Unique river events such as coracle races and RNLI demonstrations add to the festival's charm. With plenty to explore in Cardigan, it's the perfect opportunity for a memorable mini-break in Wales. The Cardigan River and Food Festival takes place in August.
Cultural Festivals in Wales
Wales in a country with a long and rich history, filled to the bring with incredible creativity and culture which is showcased in the inspiring day and weekend-long festivals. Celebrating all the Welsh culture, and in particular literature, has to offer is a staple of the below-mentioned culture festivals.
GladFest stands as the flagship festival of the Gladstone Library. It prides itself on being the friendliest event in the UK literary scene, eschewing green rooms and VIP tickets to ensure inclusivity. The festival aims to keep prices affordable for all attendees, welcoming those who wish to try something new. Since its inception in 2013, GladFest has attracted thousands of visitors and consistently offered a diverse program, featuring storytelling, captivating author talks, bibliotherapy sessions, live drama, panels, and interactive activities.
Past speakers have included esteemed authors such as Sarah Perry, Stella Duffy, Val McDermid, Scarlett Thomas, Michel Faber, and Lloyd Grossman. Taking place in the scenic grounds of Gladstone's Library, a Grade I listed Victorian neo-Gothic building, the festival seamlessly blends literature and surroundings, allowing attendees to bask in both ticketed activities and the beauty of the venue. GladFest typically commences at the start of September.
The Hay Festival
Nestled in the picturesque town of Hay-on-Wye, the Hay Festival is one of the world's largest and most prestigious literary festivals. Originating over 30 years ago, the festival was conceived by the Florence family around a kitchen table. From its humble beginnings in a pub garden, the Hay Festival has evolved into an 11-day extravaganza that attracts over 100,000 visitors.
Attendees have the opportunity to engage with renowned writers, poets, philosophers, historians, scientists, comedians, and musicians. The festival now takes place in a large tented village on the outskirts of town, boasting 10 venues, pop-up cafes, shops, and restaurants. In addition to the stimulating sessions, visitors can relax on the village green in comfortable deckchairs, peruse the stalls, and explore the festival bookshop, stocked with an impressive 55,000 titles by visiting speakers. Evenings are filled with captivating music, comedy, and film. The Hay Festival spans 11 days and typically takes place in late spring, coinciding with the summer half-term holidays.
The Laugharne Weekend
If there is one individual who embodies the creative spirit of Wales, it is Dylan Thomas. And if there is one place that encapsulates this spirit, it is Laugharne. The Laugharne Weekend, an annual literary and arts festival, brings together these elements in the charming town of Laugharne in West Wales each spring.
This unique festival showcases unconventional literary and musical talent from around the world. Deliberately small-scale, the festival's size is dictated by the town itself, allowing festival-goers and townspeople to mingle with artists and performers. The Laugharne Weekend usually takes place in the month of March, providing a captivating experience that celebrates literature and the arts.
Music Festivals in Wales
Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a music festival, and lucky Wales has countless! Single-day ones and full weekends can feel like a real break from reality as you make memories and dance in the sunshine with your loved one. Below are two of our favourite picks for Welsh music festivals.
Green Man Festival
The Green Man Festival, held annually in the breathtaking Brecon Beacons of Wales, has grown into an independent music, science, and arts extravaganza. Taking place in mid-August, this week-long event attracts a crowd of 25,000 and showcases a wide array of live music genres, including alternative, indie, rock, folk, dance, and Americana. The festival site encompasses ten distinct areas that host a diverse range of activities, such as literature, film screenings, comedy shows, scientific discussions, theatrical performances, wellness sessions, and family-friendly acts. Attendees also have the option to extend their stay by camping on-site, known as the Settlement, and exploring the stunning surroundings.
Brecon Jazz Festival
Every year in August, the town of Brecon in Wales hosts the renowned Brecon Jazz Festival. The festival, which originated in 1984 through the efforts of local jazz enthusiasts, showcases a captivating lineup of jazz musicians from across the globe. Initially conceived as a community event inspired by New Orleans-style jazz gatherings, the festival featured live jazz performances on the streets, in pubs, and in cafes. Today, it remains a celebration of jazz music, attracting both local and international talents. The Brecon Jazz Festival provides a harmonious atmosphere where visitors can immerse themselves in the melodies and rhythms of jazz.
We hope that you will consider Wales as a staycation destination in the future and that you will immerse yourself in the culture and beauty this incredible country has to offer. Lake Country House is a perfectly positioned hotel in mid-Wales, serving as an ideal base for a variety of day trips. Additionally, you can enjoy our on-site spa, restaurant, and the picturesque countryside that surrounds us.