Summer 2014: out and about in South Wales!

Whether you like to party, appreciate cultural entertainments, like to explore the great outdoors or sample fine foods, South Wales offers you lots of opportunities to enjoy yourself this summer.

Porthcawl Carnival

How to make most of the summer

A few notes about summer events in Wales:

  • Most big events are on weekends. There’s something on every weekend, so there’s no excuses for sitting around at home in front of the TV.
  • Some events will sell out in advance. If you want to make sure you don’t get turned away, pre-book tickets.
  • Don’t limit yourself to the area right near the campus you study, be that Treforest, Cardiff, Newport or Caerleon. Stretch your legs and explore Wales! We’ve included a selection of events throughout South Wales, so you can use them as an excuse to venture out into the parts of the principality you might not have seen yet.
  • Many spectacular events are free. Even those that aren’t shouldn’t break the bank – and there are often student discounts and advance ticket discounts.
  • We only list a limited selection of events. There are hundreds more listed in the websites at the end of the article – if our selection doesn’t excite you, check those websites!
  • It’s not all about events – with national parks, coastal walks and beautiful landscapes, you can organise your own excursions and enjoy nature. Or maybe pay a visit to special exhibitions in one of the many museums if the weather is particularly bleak.

August 2014

  • 14th-17th August: Grand Medieval Mêlée= – Those medieval knights were a bloodthirsty lot! Lots of brutal brawls and ferocious fights and it is going to be a high octane thriller of a weekend. See the most skilled knights in the land as they look to impress nobility and crowd alike and win the coveted title of best in show!
  • 15th-18th August: Greenman Festival – Located in the lovely Black Mountains, this medium-sized music festival has ten entertainment areas, 24 hour entertainments, comedy, poetry, literature, art & science, spas, therapies, hot piping showers, local ale and cider, all night bonfires and locally sourced food.
  • 16th August: Cardiff Wales, LGBT Mardi Gras – Wales’ largest celebration of sexual diversity and equality sees the Mardi Gras Parade and The Mardi Gras Festival at the Millennium Stadium.
  • 22nd August – 25th August: Extreme Sailing Series – The Extreme 40 fleet will return to the Welsh capital, Cardiff as the centerpiece to the Cardiff Harbour Festival where the 8 Extreme 40s will race on Europe’s largest waterfront development over the UK August bank holiday weekend.
  • 25th August: World Bogsnorkelling Championships – the 29th World Bog Snorkelling Championships, held annually in Llanwrtyd Wells. Hundreds of participants from around the world and plenty of spectators are expected once again.
  • 30th-31st August: Barry Wartime Weekend, including a performance of the Red Arrows over Barry Island Beach on Saturday, 30th August.

September 2014

  • 6th-7th September: St Fagans Food Festival – Take some stalls showcasing the finest Welsh foods and drinks, add a healthy helping of history, mix it up with free admission and serve it all in the unique open-air setting!
  • 18th September – 21st September: ISPS Handa Wales Open – The ISPS Handa Wales Open has grown into one of the leading events on The European Tour International Schedule since its inception in 2000.
  • 26th-28th September: Elvis Festival – thousands of Elvis fans descend on the Welsh seaside town of Porthcawl for a unique celebration of The King. The feature events are the Official Shows taking place in the magnificent Grand Pavilion. The Hi Tide host over 100 shows over the weekend, many with free admission. Also, over twenty venues in and around the Town form the Fringe Festival, making Porthcawl the largest Elvis event in Europe.

Events Websites

This article contains only a small selection of the events this summer. If you want the full overview, try the following sites:

  • www.visitwales.com – a wealth of information on exciting and interesting events from all around Wales.
  • Buzz magazine – for listings and reviews, Buzz is the main free magazine for Wales. You can look through it online if you cannot find a paper copy nearby.
  • National Museums of Wales events – we’ve listed several of their events above, but there are always things going on at any of their several South Wales locations.

Avoiding the crowds

If you’re less keen on organised events, you can, of course, make the most of the summer with a group of friends, or on your own. Here’s some inspiration for making the most of what Wales has to offer:

  • The Valleys – An interesting visitor guide to the valleys, though it is not always easy to navigate.
  • Tripadvisor’s Things to do in Cardiff – Did you know there are regular ghost walks taking place in Llandaff (Cardiff)? Glance through Tripadvisor to see if there are any attractions around Cardiff that you haven’t yet tried…

Summer Seasonal Excursion Opportunities

  • Brecon Bike Bus runs between Cardiff and Brecon every Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from May 25th until September 28th this year. This is in addition to the regular year-round Traws Cymru T4 service that connects Cardiff, Brecon and Powys.
  • Penarth Pier Bus runs on Sundays from June 1st until September 28th.
  • Flat Holm Ferry Services – There is a ferry connecting Weston-Super-Mare with Cardiff and travelling onwards to Flat Holm Island on some days.
  • Waverley Excursions in the Bristol Channel offer paddle steamer and steam boat tours from Penarth Pier on some days.