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Embrace summer with the latest news from Wales

Upcoming Events and Information

June 2014

Bear Grylls Survival Academy launches 24 Hour Family Course

The Bear Grylls Survival Academy has launched a new site in Pontneddefechan, near Neath in South Wales, for its 24 Hour Family Course. Designed to inspire fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy offers a rare chance to learn Bear’s survival and adventure techniques. Skills taught include learning how to build and light a fire, how to navigate at night, the best ways to use a knife for survival, foraging for grubs and rodents, building a shelter, extreme weather survival and river crossings. The Academy has been designed by Bear Grylls, for parents and children aged 10-17, and is run by his close team of highly trained experts. The course starts from £429 for two places, one child and an adult, and includes all meals, selected kit and accommodation.


New Mountain Bike Park opens in South Wales

A new £1.8 million purpose built mountain bike park has just been officially opened in Merthyr Tydfil, aiming to make South Wales an internationally recognised mountain bike destination. With a soft launch at the end of last year, Bike Park Wales welcomed over 20,000 visitors within the first five months of opening, and held the Welsh National Downhill Championship in October 2013. The park has over 23 sections of mountain bike trails, ranging from black national downhill trails to a family trail and pump track, and has also just introduced special expert lessons for everyone from beginners to more experienced bikers. BikePark Wales also has a visitor centre with a café, bike shop and rental facilities, car park and vehicle uplift. The uplift service offers riders the chance to be transported to the summit of Mynydd Gethin so they can then bike down the descent.


The Royal Mint announces plans for its ever first visitor centre

The Royal Mint has unveiled plans to develop a visitor centre at its headquarters in South Wales. Construction of the purpose built visitor centre at The Royal Mint’s home in Llantrisant will begin this spring and is expected to be completed during 2015. For the first time in its 1,000 year history, Britain’s oldest manufacturing organisation, and the world’s leading export mint, will officially open its doors to the general public, allowing them to get behind the scenes and see for themselves the people and processes that put the pounds and pennies in their pockets. Visitors will even be able to strike their own coin as a souvenir of their visit.


National Trust opens new visitor centre

The new National Trust Coastal Tourism Centre of Excellence has just opened in Aberdaron, North Wales, celebrating the beauty and variety of activities available on the Llŷn Peninsula. Instead of a literal interpretation of the area, the Henfaes Centre Porth y Swnt evokes the area through a mix of poetry, visual arts and landscape that ends up being both thought-provoking and beautiful. Entry price is £2 for adults and £1 for children.


Britain’s only Roman gold mine reopens for spring 2014

Dolaucothi Gold Mines in Carmarthenshire, famous as the only known Roman goldmines in Britain, are open to the public once again, allowing visitors to explore the underground mine and workings of the unique site. 2,000 years ago the Romans brought their skills as water engineers to the site to remove vast amounts of rock and reveal the ore bearing seams which contained tiny particles of gold. Their original pick marks can still be seen in the Roman mine which can be visited on an underground tour, on which visitors will wear mining hats and travel deep underground. Entry price is £7.70 for adults and £3.85 for children.


New to the food scene


Experience award winning Welsh wine with Wine Trail Wales

The award-winning vineyards of Wales have come together to create the new Wine Trail Wales which helps visitors to explore the country’s growing number of wineries and vineyards. Wine Trail Wales includes 16 vineyards such as Ancre Hill Vineyard in the Wye Valley, whose sparkling wine was previously voted ‘Best Sparkling Wine in the World’ and winner of the Bollicine del Mondo 2012. Visitors can enjoy wine tours, tastings, gourmet meals and stay overnight at many of the vineyards. For example, Llanerch Vineyard, close to Cardiff, boasts a luxury hotel, gourmet bistro and an Angela Gray cookery school. Double rooms are available from just £90 per night including breakfast.


James Sommerin opens much anticipated restaurant in Penarth

Restaurant James Sommerin at The Esplanade in Penarth officially opened on 14 May 2014. Offering stunning views over the Severn Estuary, the restaurant seats 70 diners in total - including a private dining room that seats 12 and a special chef’s table for up to four diners. Michelin star chef James Sommerin and his wife Louise will offer their patrons a range of delectable tasting menus, each with the additional option of wine pairing. Diners can expect culinary pleasures such as duck, lavender and beetroot with soy sauce and cumin, and locally-produced Pantysgawn cheese with celery, artichoke and ginger. The bounty of the sea is never far from James’ menus either, with monkfish, seaweed and grilled leek on the Traeth (Beach) menu, and langoustine with turnip, tonka bean and white chocolate on the Clogwyn (Cliff) menu. Nine beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms for overnight guests are also available, and five of the rooms have fabulous sea views.


New seafront restaurant from the team behind The Grove, Narbeth

The team behind luxury hotel The Grove, Narbeth, have just opened a new seafront restaurant, Coast, near Saundersfoot in West Wales. The restaurant features front terracing, seating up to 80, which enjoys fabulous views of Coppet Hall beach whilst, inside, the restaurant seats an additional 60 guests. Headed by Michelin star awarded chef, Will Holland, Coast offers a unique food experience focusing on using Pembrokeshire and local produce, with almost all meat and fish coming from Pembrokeshire itself and the majority of vegetables and salads grown in local kitchen gardens. Evening main courses start from £13.

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

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