Raglan Castle will also be entering into the Christmas spirit with late night shopping until 8pm on Tuesday 7th December with a special 10% off purchases for visitors and 20% off for Heritage in Wales members. In turn, a number of special events to mark the festive season will take place during December at Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle.
Tretower Court, which recently reopened following a major conservation programme, and which now boasts a new visitor centre hopes to welcome many more visitors looking to experience a household preparing for the colder months. Sunday will be a particularly special day for the Tretower household as re-enactment group, the Marcher Stuarts, don their Sunday best for their guests.
At Blaenavon, which is free to enter, visitors can view substantial remains of five early blast furnaces and associated workers' housing, dating from the late eighteenth century onwards. Two of the cottages are furnished, and other cottages in the row contain an exhibition and models of the site and surrounding landscape.
Castell Coch’s Victorian Christmas Tale, on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th December (5.30pm-9pm), will see visitors joining in the fun as the servants of the Bute household prepare for the arrival of the family for the Christmas season. There will be Christmas carols, juggling displays, punch and judy, crafts, mulled wine and mince pies and a visit from a certain old gentleman in red!
Caerphilly’s Medieval Christmas Fayre on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 December will ensure visitors get a unique experience of the sights, sounds and smells of a busy town and castle preparing for Christmas. At the medieval market traders and craftspeople will be selling traditional, seasonal and decorative goods and there will be plenty of hot and cold refreshments on offer.
Tickets for the Victorian Christmas Tale events are available direct from Castell Coch on 029 20 810101 priced at £15 for adults (concessions £10). Family tickets are also available priced at £40. All other events are included in the normal admission price unless stated otherwise. However, it is free to visit Raglan Castle’s visitor centre and Blaenavon Ironworks.
The National Slate Museum, Llanberis will host a Christmas Party on Tuesday, 21st December (12pm-3pm) Free entry (£2 to see Santa, £1 for crafts.) Get set for Christmas in the National Slate Museum’s festive fun days for all the family. Will Santa make it to the museum in time on UNA the engine? Will he have a present for you in the grotto? Post your letter to Santa in the special post box (replies for each letter) make a Christmas craft to take home and enjoy entertainment, music and lots of seasonal cheer.
A last chance to see Santa before the big day so why not make a last minute Christmas craft in our craft workshops. They say that North Wales slate put a roof on the world. Which is a pretty big job by anyone’s standards. But it does underline the fact that our slate is the strongest and most durable known to man.
The National Slate Museum at Llanberis is a living celebration of this most Welsh of Welsh industries. You can still see blacksmiths at work and slate being split.
And in the Victorian workshops that once serviced the huge Dinorwic slate quarry, you will believe that the workmen have only just downed their tools. So the museum is like one big time machine. With a giant all of its own: the largest working water wheel in mainland Britain. More than 15 metres wide and still working perfectly almost a century and half after it was built in 1870.
St Asaph Choral Society’s Christmas concert will take place at the St Asaph Cathedral on Saturday 11th December (7.30pm)and Choral Evensong by Candlenight, Saturday 19th December (6pm) St Asaph Cathedral is a strange sort of giant. It is famous for its diminutive stature – the smallest ancient cathedral in Britain. But it also plays a big role in the spiritual and cultural life of Wales.
The building, mostly 14th century with some Victorian additions, is beautiful. No thanks to Owain Glyndŵr, whose troops tried to burn it down in 1402, or the Welsh weather. A storm of 1715 wrecked the tower before it was rebuilt in its current iconic form. The cathedral is the final resting place of Bishop William Morgan, who translated the bible into Welsh. Much to the delight of Queen Elizabeth I, who knew the Welsh would only become Protestant by worshipping in their own tongue. Y Beibl is arguably the most important book in Welsh history – because it ensured the survival of the language. You can see a rare first edition of the 1588 Morgan bible in the Translators’ Chapel inside the cathedral. And there’s a memorial to this giant of a man outside.