If you’re looking for things to do in Wales this summer, then we’ve got you covered.
Below we’ve got a list of the unique and quirkiest events throughout July and August. We’ve also added the best place to stay nearby, with the best selection of the Welsh Rarebits hotels.
05– 07 July.
Are you interested in competing in one of the most difficult triathlons in Wales?
Over the course of 3 treacherous days you’ll combine a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 marathon. Do you have what it takes to tackle the Welsh landscape and emerge the other end victorious? It may be worth it for the unbelievable sense of achievement and a chance to beat over 20,000 competitors who have entered. It’s a gruelling challenge and only half the racers manage to complete the course. If you can finish you’ll proudly collect the event’s much-coveted medal and hold the title of a Long Course Weekend triathlon champion.
Where to stay?
This challenge is not for the faint of hearted. That’s why you’ll need to stay in a destination that can soothe your aching body in between the gruelling strain you’ll put your body through.
Sitting on the headland above the Stunning Saundersfoot Harbour and Carmarthen Bay is the St Brides Spa Hotel (Saundersfoot)
Boasting of an extravagant seaside view, the modern and sophisticated hotel invites a wonderfully relaxing experience for all its guests. Especially when immersed in the marine spa with their stunning infinity pool capturing those breath-taking views. You can rest those aching muscles in the state-of-the-art spa, complete with aroma steam, rock sauna and treatment rooms, sensation shower, salt infusion room and ice fountain. You couldn’t ask for better TLC for a well-earned treat.
Find out more about the Tenby Long Course Weekend here.
Ever fancied battling the elements on the highest peak in Wales and England? Well, here you can compete with 600 other runners- yes runners, in the International Snowdon Race. You’ll have your work cut out for you as world-class runners and top athletes will be competing too.
But if you’d prefer to stand on the sidelines and support the athletes instead, we don’t blame you!
Where to stay?
We think the king of challenges deserves a break fit for a king too. That’s why nearby paradise Hotel Portmeirion & Castell Deudraeth (Portmeirion near Porthmadog) is the ideal destination to rest those tired feet while being true to a unique and awe-inspiring Welsh surrounding.
If you’ve never visited before Portmeirion has a beauty and charm like no other. The complete colourful village in its own private peninsula overlooking sand, sea and mountain.
With the choice from two wonderful accommodations, The Luxury Hotel and a classical Castel Deudraeth a Grade II listed 19th-century house
Aside from the fairy-tale village, the hotel and castle have incredible access to the village which includes the luxurious Mermaid Spa, an outdoor pool, lush gardens, woodlands, hidden coves and breath-taking beaches. The village is especially magical at night when you have the place to yourself.
To find out more about the International Snowdon Race here.
26- 28 July.
Every Year the hometown of the second biggest castle in Britain, Caerphilly is host to a fantastic food festival. The Caerphilly Big Cheese celebrates local and regional Welsh food & drink producers, including all that delicious cheese! This is quite possibly the largest in the country. It’s a foodies paradise.
With a range of delicious street food stalls, a live lounge bar area, 3 indulgent and huge food halls and live cookery demonstrations. There is something here for everyone. There’s even homage to the history of the castle with medieval re-enactments within the Castle grounds
The best part? The Big Cheese is a FREE event.
Where to stay?
Located a stone’s throw away settled amongst Penarth’s leafy ‘Millionaires’ Row’, you can make the most of the festivals weekend by accommodating in style.
Holm House is a charming part-country house, part-townhouse boutique with a dreamy spa. Overlooking the sea and located exceptionally close to the city centre, you’ll be in the prime location to take in the local sights but still feel like you’re a million miles away. That’s thanks to the modern but surprisingly creative rooms that simply take your breath away. We wish we could include pictures of every one of the 12 unique rooms but you’ll just have to see for yourselves.
Find out more about The Big Cheese Festival
26- 28 July.
Every fancied rocking out on the top of a mountain, soaking in the breathtaking valley views? Well, now you can with the Steelhouse Festival, held at the unique Hafod y Dafal Farm, Ebbw Vale. Saxon, Magnum, Europe, Black Star Riders and UFO have all graced the mountain top over the years.
The name Steelhouse is inspired by the local history of the nearby Ebbw Vale steelworks, which cast its last steel in 1978 and was finally wound down in 2002. Inspired to keep the passion of the valleys upbeat from the sad closures of the past, the festival has brought that welsh energy to many in celebration of the popular rock scene in the heartland of the valleys. The 5000 strong crowd sees just 40% of the locals, as many of rockers travel from across the world to headbang to legendary rock stars on a mountain top.
Where to stay?
Bear Hotel (Crickhowell)
Nearby is one of the Welsh Rarebits favourite home from homes, the Bear Hotel in Crickhowell.
With a sharp contrast to the rocker festival, we couldn’t recommend this convivial, characterful old coaching inn in higher esteem. Dating back to 1432, the award-winning inn has a wonderful Welsh atmosphere that is boosted by the local patrons in the restaurant bar.
While from another time, the Bear Hotel is an old stop-off point in times past. Living up to its history, many still stop off at this welcoming destination for the historic character, convivial surroundings and good food. We are sure our fellow rockers will enjoy it, as it’s even achieved many accolades for hospitality, including a prestigious Good Pub Guide ‘Inn of the Year’ award in 2010. The Bear is the social hub of the pretty little town of Crickhowell, nestled between the black mountains and the Brecon Beacons it’s a beautiful town you won’t soon forget!
Find out more about the Steelhouse Festival
03- 10 August.
The National Eisteddfod is the festival of Wales! With a long and proud history, the Eisteddfod can be traced back to 1176. The festival was traditionally a competition attracting over 6,000 competitors every year in the first week in August.
While the event still has a focus on competition, it has now evolved to celebrate a celebration of culture and language of Wales with activities and events for the whole family to enjoy.
You’ll be witness to music, dance, visual arts, literature, original performances and more, all of which continue to bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to Wales every year. Who knows maybe you’ll see the next Welsh star perform, as history has shown a number of leading Welsh writers, musicians and poets have first competed at the Eisteddfod, with many performers appearing on a national stage for the first time during the festival.
Where to stay?
With the event this year being held in North Wales, we couldn’t think of a more suited destination than Bodysgallen Hall and Spa in Llandudno.
Surrounded by its own historic National Trust gardens, the true Welsh historic house is nestled like a gem in a treasure chest. Not surprisingly, Bodysgallen Hall and Spa hold the title as one of Britain’s top country house hotels. The luxurious and stylish 17th-century house is an immaculate condition, you’re sure to find only the best rooms, food and wine.
You’ll find more peace and tranquillity at the first-class spa and leisure complex. Complete with a 50ft swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, gymnasium, beauty treatment rooms, club room and sun terraces.
This is surely a breakaway that will complete your Welsh celebrations in style.
Find out more about the National Eisteddfod
09– 11 August.
Back to the weird and wonderful, Wales is also host to a fascinating event the Solarsphere.
While immersed in the Welsh countryside of Builth Wells, you can be part of a Cosmos journey in this educational festival. The festival aims to educate beginners and the more experienced amateur about various aspects of the Cosmos via talks and workshops. Live music and talks from special guests will take you on a journey to expand the mind and learn in a fun and relaxing environment. There are even workshops for children specifically designed for young and inquisitive minds.
Where to stay?
The Metropole Hotel (Llandrindod)
A classic favourite of ours who we have highlighted previously (See our past post here.)
Famous from when spa towns in the Victorian era were all the rage, the hotel has stayed true to its roots and has created a laid-back and relaxing home-from-home.
As you would expect from a historic spa destination The Metropole has not only a warm and inviting atmosphere, but also boasts of a stunning and awe-inspiring spa too. With a wonderful restoration, the spa has kept elements of its 19th-century charm but has transformed into an inviting and indulgent place to unwind.
See our past post here on the Metropole spa features.
Find out more about Solarsphere here.
13– 14 August.
Attracting over 60,000 spectators, Angelsea is host to one of Wales’ premier agricultural shows. Attracting competitors from across the UK, the Anglesey County Show is a fun and wonderful event where you can see the finest presented animals and livestock at the Mona Showground. There’s also an incredible choice of shopping in their exhibition pavilions, equestrian events, craft exhibitors, food hall, produce exhibitions, machinery and vehicle stands as well as much more to see.
Where to stay?
We could think of no better place to stay than the Exceptional Tre-Ysgawen Hall Hotel & Spa on the Isle of Anglesey.
Immerse yourself in Anglesey’s culture with a true and historic country house hotel built in 1882. With much of its Victorian architecture still a prominent feature throughout the mansion, you’ll be blown away by its exquisite but welcoming taste. Generous hosts Neil and Emma Rowlands have gone to great lengths to make sure the grand hotel is as far away from intimidating as possible. You’ll be welcomed with the warmest of Welsh smiles that go hand in hand with the atmosphere of the Anglesey County Show.
Of course, comfort and delight are at the heart of this welcoming hotel. With inviting bedrooms and a choice of mouth savouring restaurants. Choose from the more formal Noëlle’s Restaurant or the Clock Tower Bistro.
We can’t go without mentioning the beautiful spa. Inspired from the surrounding beauty and natural body healing properties, the spa has an indulgent salt inhalation therapy room that releases particles of prized Halen Môn, Anglesey Sea Salt. To accompany the – a thermal suite there is also an ice fountain and experience shower alongside a large indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi and fully equipped gym.
Find out more about the Anglesey County Show here.
13– 15 August.
The very best of country shows in Britain and the biggest in Wales, The Pembrokeshire County Show jam-packed with attractions and events- enough to entertain everyone.
This unique summer event has a focus on agriculture, farming and food and highlights the important connection we all have with our rural communities. You’ll get to see a Motorcycle display as the headlining act, a sheaf throwing competition, classic car displays, indoor go-karting as just a taste of what’s to come.
Without breaking tradition you will witness cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses to poultry & dog agility competitions take centre stage competing for top honours. Bringing back the nostalgia from childhood classic film Babe.
Where to stay?
If you’re going to attend Wales’ finest country show, then you need to be staying at Wales’ finest hotel. Roch Castle was awarded officially 2018’s Best Bed and Breakfast in Wales voted for by the National Tourism Awards for Wales.
Most impressively this delightful hotel started life as an imposing Norman castle. It now retains the original architectural features but has been brought into the 21st century with its award-winning stylish and contemporary design.
The D-shaped tower is perched on a rocky landscape overlooking the picturesque St Brides Bay. Inside you are instantly welcomed with modern and chic surroundings, with each room designed to immerse all the senses. There are not any details left out. Just the bedroom ocean views alone are enough to send you off into a relaxing haven.
We are so impressed by this hotel that we have previously featured them in another article, you can check it out here.
You then get to be whisked away to sister hotel Twr Y Felin and dine in award-winning, two Rosette Blas Restaurant.
The experience at Roach Castle will rival any of the finest hotels in the UK, a perfect accompaniment to the delightful Pembrokeshire County Show
Find out more about Pembrokeshire County Show
15– 18 August.
The Green Man festival is back with a boom!
As the beautiful Brecon Beacons steals another huge Welsh event, we can’t help but think it’s the destination match made in heaven for this event.
Whether you visit for a day or get a settlers pass for the week the Green Man event at Glanusk Estate is a wonderful family-friendly experience that will leave memories imprinted forever. There’s so much to do, you can choose from literature, art, science, mischief or music.
Where to stay?
Glanusk Estate (Usk)
If camping in the Welsh surroundings is too rural for you, then why not stay in the more comfortable option in the Glanusk Estate to truly enjoy the Green Man experience.
Glanusk Estate is a stunning manor house dating back to 1826. Nestled in the beautiful Usk valley the estate is sitting comfortably within its 400 acres of parkland.
Glanusk offers accommodation from the beautiful cottage, the lodge or their apartments. The best thing about Glanusk is that there is so much more to do. After the festival, you should stay at the hotel longer and take part in their wide range of outdoor activities from fishing to clay pigeon shooting.
See here for more information on the Green Man festival.
Let’s finish our list with a bang! Or shall we say bog?
Possibly one of the funniest events to attend this summer is the world bog snorkelling championships held at Llanwrtyd Wells in Mid Wales. Listed as one of the top 50 “must do” things from around the world by Lonely Planet, it’s probably a must-see too!
Visitors come from all over the world to participate and spectate. Including past participants from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Eire, Italy, Iran, Korea and USA. The world record was broken last year with a time of 1 minute 18.82 seconds.
Overall it’s a super fun day out with food and drink stalls, crafts, a bouncy castle, live music and a real ale and cider bar on the site.
Where to stay?
If you want to make a weekend of it book fast! A wonderful hotel to stay is the Lake Country House & Spa in Llangammarch Wells.
After the long and treacherous run, (or lengthy stand while supporting) the Lake country house is the perfect place to put your feet up and unwind.
This quarter of a century destination has been made with relaxation at its core. It boasts of a state of the art inviting spa, which is harmonious with the calming lake upon which it blends beautifully in amongst its secluded surroundings. After a day of TLC why not sample some of the hotels famous fine dining, it boasts one of the best wine lists in Wales. How could you resist?
Find out more about the World Bog Snorkelling Championships here.
There you have it, here’s our list of things to do in Wales for this summer!
Most of the hotels we mentioned above are part of the Welsh Rarebits Hotels group. If your looking for the perfect gift, then look no further than a Welsh Rarebits gift experience voucher, which you can use at any of their hotels across Wales. You can see a complete list of the Welsh Rarebits gift vouchers here.
For more things to do in Wales this summer check out the Visit Wales ‘things to do’ page here.