Cadw – the Welsh Government’s historic environment service – is serving up a packed programme of family activities for the May half-term break.
From May 27 to June 4, Cadw sites – including an ancient fortress, abbeys and castles, are playing host to a wide range of historical and cultural activities providing an exciting and fun day out.
Top picks from the Cadw programme are:-
Men at Arms (Beaumaris Castle)
Across the bank holiday weekend, you can train to be a medieval knight at Beaumaris Castle’s Knight’s School for Children, learning how to attack and defend the castle in combat. Adults can master basic sword fighting skills and find out about weapons used in
the medieval period.
For the jokesters, there will also be a jester’s circus skills workshop to learn tips and tricks, and families will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in medieval Wales through cooking displays, medieval medicine, music, leather work, and storytelling.
Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29, 10:00 – 17:00.
Living History in the Castle (Harlech Castle)
For those who enjoy re-enactment style events, Harlech Castle will be hosting its very own tournament of fully armoured knights in battle. Witness the clash of steel and the thundering hooves of the warhorses as they charge towards each other in a display of strength and skill.
And as if that wasn’t enough, precision archery displays, graceful dances and musicians will make you feel like you’ve spent a day in the Middle Ages.
Saturday, May 27 – Monday, May 29, 11:00 – 16:00
Minstrel Tom (St. Davids Bishop’s Palace)
Keeping in with the medieval theme, families can be transported back in time with music from Minstrel Tom at St Davids Bishop’s Palace. Learn about the instruments and style of music from the 12th century while roaming the walls of the palace’s remains.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet two significant figures in the history of the site: Bishop Henry de Gower and Dame Agatha Barlow. Listen to their stories and discover their roles in the rise and fall of the palace throughout time.
Wednesday, May 31 – Thursday, June 1, 10:00 – 16:30
Summer of Stories (Various sites)
The half-term break kicks off Cadw’s Summer of Stories – a celebration of Wales’ rich oral traditions across 12 sites this summer.
Join a storyteller to experience the best of Welsh tale-spinning, including historical characters, legends, myths, culture, and heritage. Taking place at Tretower Court and Castle, Beaumaris Castle, Conwy Castle, DenbighCastle, Blaenavon Ironworks, Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths, Castell Coch, Chepstow Castle, Tintern Abbey, St Davids Bishop’s Palace, Criccieth Castle, Kidwelly Castle.
Visit the Cadw website – cadw.gov.wales– for individual dates and times.
Falconry at the Abbey (Tintern Abbey)
Discover how our ancestors used birds of prey during the Tudor period and why falconry was one of the favoured sports of this era. Have your photo taken with one of the majestic birds and take home a unique souvenir.
Saturday, June 3, 10:00 – 16:00
*This event is also available at Kidwelly Castle on Sunday, May 28.
Medieval Murder Mystery (Raglan Castle)
Put your detective skills to the test at Raglan as you scour the castle for clues, interview suspects and solve puzzles to uncover what happened to the body of Sir Charles’ trusted army captain. This will transport you back to 1489, as Raglan’s mystery will give you a taste of medieval life – complete with intrigue, drama, and a murder to solve.
Sunday, May 28 – Monday, May 29, 11:00 – 15:30
Search for the Caesars (Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths)
If your family likes searching for hidden treasures, this is the event for you. Head to Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths to see if you can find the famous Roman Caesar in hidden locations around the site.
Legend has it they’ve been at the baths for nearly 2,000 years, so keep your eyes peeled as you make your way around this legionary fortress from first century Wales.
Saturday, May 27 – Sunday, June 4, 10:00 – 16:00
A full list of events and more information is available on Cadw’s website cadw.gov.wales/visit/whats-on/find-a-cadw-event
Minstrel Tom (St. Davids Bishop’s Palace)