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Visit Wales!

Upcoming Events and Information

May 2014


Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations
2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Welsh poet and author Dylan Thomas, which is being celebrated across Wales with a year-long festival. The Dylan Thomas 100 festival incorporates events ranging from touring theatre productions and exhibitions, to special celebrity-led walking tours and even a BBC drama. Although events are taking place across Wales, the areas particularly associated with the poet include his birth-town of Swansea, Laugharne and wider Carmarthenshire and New Quay in Ceredigion.


New Alice in Wonderland e-tour
A new augmented reality tour of Llandudno has been created to recount how the town inspired the Alice in Wonderland books. Alice Liddell, the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, spent four to six months in Llandudno every year during her childhood. It was in Llandudno that she gathered together her childhood inspirations, which family friend Lewis Carroll collated to write the classic books. The brand new e-tour augmented reality app takes visitors on a 90 minute tour of the town, which explains key parts of the books such as the Zig Zag path and the Rabbit Hole. The app is also dotted with characters such as the MadHatter, the White Rabbit and the March Hare to entertain users along the way. There is also a town trail map for the less digitally minded!


The Metropole, Llandrindod Wells
The family-run four-star Metropole Hotel is Llandrindod Wells, Mid Wales, has just undergone a £5 million refurbishment programme, which has included a state of the art spa extension. The Rock Spa offers bespoke contemporary spa treatments in the elegant surroundings of the hotel’s Victorian style conservatory, as well as an 18 metre heated swimming pool with thermal whirlpool spa, a sauna and steam room. Seamlessly blending Victorian elegance with modern facilities, the Metropole has also recently refurbished all 110 of its bedrooms as well as developing the kitchen garden which supplies the restaurant with vegetables and herbs.


Blaenavon World Heritage Centre launches a digital guide
Located at the gateway to the South Wales Valleys, the attractions and landscape of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site tell the story of an area that was the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Visitors can now download a special ‘Blaenavon Passport’ from the iTunes app store and be taken on an audio-tour of the town by ‘Lewis Browning’, who lived in Blaenavon in 1906. Alternatively, they can follow the ‘Hidden Landscapes of Forgeside’ trail, which demonstrates how the landscape played an integral part in the Industrial Revolution and use QR codes to discover the history of the site through videos, audio clips and photographs.


The Snowdon Lily is back for a second year
After the popular introduction of the Snowdon Lily steam train to the Snowdon Mountain Railway last year, she will be back on the mountain in May 2014. Although built on the original chassis and bogey of a Victorian carriage from 1896, the Snowdon Lily has nonetheless been updated to introduce a roof and windows as passengerswere known to lose their hats! The unique nature of the SnowdonMountain Railway means that visitors can experience the journey to the summit of the highest mountainin Wales in just the same way that the Victorians would have.

New attractions of Snowdonia
Attractions of Snowdonia has confirmed two world-class new members for 2014 - Europe's fastest and longest zipwire Zip World and the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre. The group, which is a consortium of 27 attractions working together to bring more visitors to the Snowdonia area, has just celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Also new for 2014 is a family friendly zipwire experience at Llechwedd Slate Caverns in partnership with Zip World. Four zip wires have been installed side by side underground, allowing kids to race down into the cavern together!


Celtic Royal Hotel refurbishment
The Celtic Royal Hotel, perfectly situated in Caernarfon on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, has recently undergone a refurbishment to bring the property bang up to date. There is now a stylish new Y Copa /Summit bar & bistro as well as conferencing facilities for 300 delegates, a leisure club and a superb fine dining restaurant serving Mediterranean inspired food.


Cardiff celebrates new tours and important anniversaries
As the city’s iconic Wales Millennium Centre celebrates its 10th anniversary later this year, Cardiff has seen the launch of a number of specialist new tours. Cardiff Castle has announced a new tour of the iconic Clock Tower to travel trade and group operators, Cardiff Mansion House (the Grade II listed official residence of the mayor) has started bespoke tours, lectures and afternoon teas, and there are also brand new group tours to St Donats Castle just outside Cardiff. Also new for 2014 is an enhanced group pass for half day visits to Cardiff, whilst the luxury city centre hotel, Hilton Cardiff, has begun work on a £2 million bedroom refurbishment project. This is part of The Escape Spa and a new Costa Coffee.


Ceredigion welcomes new accommodation
Wales is gaining a reputation for its luxurious yet quirky accommodation options and there are a series of new openings in Ceredigion that will reinforce this view. A new fully-sustainable treehouse opened last month at Living Room near Machynlleth, which floats 40ft above the floor and is part of a five treehouse ‘complex’ on a 200 acre sheep farm. In addition, luxury hotel Ynyshir Hall has opened two brand new Garden Suites, which are now the largest and most luxurious rooms in the hotel, and a new seaside writing retreat has been launched in New Quay, Ceredigion: Write by the Coast is a fantastic two person property offering writing courses and breaks.

All images are credited to © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales

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