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Cadw camping - ten things to do in Wales this summer

July 23, 2012
by Laura Canning | destinations

Caerphilly Castle. Photo by alecea@flickr Going to Wales this summer? Course you are. We have over 800 sites there with everything you need for a weekend, week or fortnight away, whether that’s a family-friendly break or an escape from work that’s adults only .

You can take your pick from golf , fishing , mountain biking , surfing , canoeing and events like the Corris Festival and the Narbeth Food Festival , all near campsites, caravan parks and holiday parks where you can pitch up your tent , motorhome or tourer , or cosy up in a lodge or caravan for hire. But if you’re looking for some inspiration for things to do in Wales this summer, we have ten ideas for you here:

Get ready for the Olympics : The 2012 Cardiff Festival started in May and has tons of stuff running through until September including open-air theatre, the Welsh Proms, Cardiff Castle’s Grande Medieval Mêlée and the LGBT Mardi Gras. This Wednesday (25 July) sees the On Your Marks events day, marking the opening event of the Olympic Games with entertainment including sport, music and comedy. There’ll be inflatable netball and football pitches in Cardiff city centre as well as the Van Dunk brothers’ award-winning dry land synchronised swimming display.

I, Caerleon : Pull on your toga and head to Caerleon on August 18-19 where there’ll be a weekend of Roman re-enactment at Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths . Highlights include the Ermine Street Guard, Britain’s top Roman re-enactment group, which will be celebrating its fortieth anniversary. Tickets are £4.50 for adults, £2.50 for children and £12 per family. The centre’s also running A March With Maximus on 1 August where you can take a stroll with a Roman soldier.

Enter the TARDIS : Cardiff Bay’s new Doctor Who Experience opened on July 20 and gives fans the chance to come face to face with all types of goodies and baddies from the Who universe, including helping the Doctor fly the TARDIS and meeting Daleks and Cybermen. Why anyone would want to meet a Dalek we don't know, but as long as those scary weeping angels aren't there we think it should be OK. Tickets in advance are £13 for adults and £9 for children.

I’m a real live boy : Foster a love of theatre in your kids or other half by taking them along to the Everyman Open Air Theatre at St Fagans: National History Museum in Cardiff. Running from now until August 4 is Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and there are also performances of Pinocchio in the morning and afternoons for the less cultured. We think both sound mighty fine. Tickets from £7.

Taste the culture : Take in hundreds of years’ worth of Welsh music, art, food, poetry and dance at A Taste of Welsh Culture at Strata Florida, including sampling some medieval fare for lunch. Strata Florida is one of Wales’s most significant religious and cultural sites, developed by Cistercian monks in the Middle Ages and the burial place of medieval poet Dafydd ap Gwilym. Tickets from £2.80 with family tickets available for £9.20.

The Big Cheese : It’s a festival, it’s set in the grounds of one of Europe’s biggest castles and it’s named after one of our favourite foods. All good reasons to go to The Big Cheese at Caerphilly Castle this weekend (July 27-29), where you can see street entertainers, fireworks, living history encampments, dance, music, a funfair, fire eating, falconry and more. Over 80,000 people are expected at the festival this weekend and it’s all free.

Flag-waving and picnics : Also at Caerphilly, round off the summer festival season in style with the BBC Proms in the Park on September 8. Performers are still to be announced, but the Prom theme is ‘magical’ and will be led by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the backdrop of Caerphilly Castle.

Showcase : Even the most 21 st century kid should enjoy wandering around the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show , held on August 22 at Fonmon Castle. There’ll be cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, dogs and more than 200 trade stands as well as classes in everything from pony riding to calf handling. Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children. Whet the kids’ appetite first by taking them to the Big Welsh Bite , a three day fete in Pontypridd from August 3-5, with children’s entertainment, funfair rides, falconry, animal displays, craft shows and music – all free.

Shake it up : Take the kids to Rhyl this weekend and let them run riot at Channel 5’s milkshake! live tour . It stars Little Princess and Scruff, Noddy and Tessie Bear, Roary and Big Chris, Fifi and Bumble and the Bananas in Pyjamas, with singing, dancing and that phrase you love when taking kids to shows – audience interaction. Tickets are £11 for children and £13 for adults with family tickets available for £44.

Rock it out : Merthyr Rock debuted as a festival last year and is back this year with a line-up including Razorlight, Kids in Glass Houses and Skindred alongside new and upcoming talent. It’s been called ‘the best collection of Welsh acts that has ever been put together’ and all takes place at Cyfarthfa Park from 31 August – 2 September. Day tickets are £20-25 and a weekend pass is £65.

Now that you know what you’ll be doing in Wales, here are a few of our favourite places to stay:

Cefn Mably Lakes Cefn Mably Lakes : An ideal base for both Cardiff and Caerphilly, and where you can fish from dawn to dusk at one of this park’s nine coarse and carp lakes, or book a camping pod to use your own pod fishing swim. If you’re camping with kids, bring them across the road to the Cefn Mably Farm Park, with animals, pony rides and play areas including a heated play barn. Prices for the camping pod start at £35 per night.

Bwlchgwyn Farm and Pony Trekking : Trot along with the ponies at this Gwynedd farm overlooking the Mawddach Estuary and Llyn peninsula, with on-site trekking for both beginners and experts. The Blue Flag beach of Fairbourne is a mile away from the farm, with options for watersports and swimming as well as a miniature steam railway to Penrhyn Point. Pitches start from £12 per night, with electric hook-up available as an optional extra.

Foxdale Campsite : This Pembrokeshire site starts from just £12 per night for a grass tent or motorhome pitch, with electric hook-up available as an extra option. There’s an on-site restaurant and the owners will also make up packed lunches if you’re going out exploring for the day – ideal if you want to spend as long as possible on nearby Marloes Sands or go birdwatching on Skomer Island.

Grondre Holiday Park : Pitch up in the grounds of an eighteenth century manor house on the Pembrokeshire/Carmarthenshire border, where you’ll find plenty of facilities on site including a pub serving food, wifi access, evening entertainment in peak season, an amusement arcade and a 24-hour tourist information centre. A non-electric grass tent pitch starts from £9.50 per night.

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