Treat yourself to lashings of festive cheer by enjoying a Welsh Christmas with all the trimmings. With a slew of open-air ice rinks, Christmas markets, Santas’ grottos and cheery shopping experiences (phew!), Wales has plenty to offer anyone seeking a bit of Chrimbo va-va-voom.
Rewind to Victorian times with a visit to Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, on December 11 and 12. Opulent rooms will be decked out in festive decorations and carol singing will echo through the halls. Glug back some hot punch and munch on roasted chestnuts to get that cosy festive feeling.
Get more info: nationaltrust.org.uk
Get your skates on at Cardiff’s open-air ice rink, part of its Winter Wonderland on City Hall Lawn, which also includes a big wheel and a cafe bar. The rink is open until January 3. The seaside town of Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum will morph into the annual Waterfront Winterland with an open-air ice rink and traditional fairground rides, such as a big wheel and a carousel. It’s open until January 3 and there will be plenty of food stalls to refuelat.
Get more info: cardiff.gov.uk; swanseachristmas.com
Shopaholics should get their credit cards poised and ready for action at the Caerphilly Medieval Fayre, rated one of the best Christmas markets in Wales by those in the know. Offering more than 22 stalls selling crafts and tasty tucker, the market will open on December 11 and 12 with an entry fee of £3.30. If that’s not enough for you, there will also be a continental and farmers market bursting with potential Christmas presents and seasonal goodies.
Get more info: caerphilly.gov.uk
Rugby fans can have a sticky beak behind the scenes of Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium during a dedicated Christmas tour. The national stadium of Wales is home to the Welsh rugby union and football teams, as well as playing host to a host of music concerts. Check out the dressing rooms, walk down the players’ tunnel and sit in the president’s box. The tour finishes up with hot drinks and mince pies. Tours are available every day from December 17-24 and at weekends throughout December, for £9.99.
Get more info: millenniumstadium.com
If you’re brave enough to take bracing dip in Wales’ chilly waters, join 600 swimmers who jump in the sea every year for the Tenby Boxing Day Swim. If you’re too chicken to take part, watch the event from the promenade above.
Get more info: tenbyboxingdayswim.co.uk.