10 Royally Fun Activities for May Half-term in Wales
Half-term has rolled around again. It seems no time since the last one and you may be starting to panic about how to fill the time. Why not consider a trip to one of Wales’ majestic Cadw sites? From 27th May to 4th June, Welsh history will come to life through their ‘Year of Trails’ experience – giving families the opportunity to create their own epic historical adventures.
Whether you train to be a medieval knight, learn about huge birds of prey or dissect a fake poo (yes, you did read that right), Wales’ many castles, fortresses and abbeys will entertain and inspire the whole family.
So, keep kiddie cabin fever at bay with our list of 10 royally fun activities for May half-term in Wales.
1. Men at Arms
When: Saturday 27th May to Monday 29th May, 10am – 5pm
A dream come true for children and adults alike, Beaumaris Castle Knight’s School for Children offers real medieval knight training. Kids will learn how to attack and defend the castle while the grown-ups can have a go at sword fighting and learn about medieval weapons.
Medieval Wales will be showcased through cooking displays, medieval medicine, music, leather work and storytelling. And for the family’s jokers, why not participate in the jester’s circus skills workshop?
2. Living History in the Castle
When: Saturday 27th May to Monday 29th May, 11am – 4pm
Something everyone will get excited about. Harlech Castle is proud to present its very own tournament of fully armoured knights in battle. Mouths will drop open in awe at the impressive warhorses as they charge toward each other, showing their skill and strength. Travel back in time as dancers and musicians serenade with medieval music while you watch precision archery displays.
This re-enactment event will be a big hit with the whole family as you soak up the sights and sounds of the Middle Ages.
3. Minstrel Tom
St Davids Bishop’s Palace
When: Wednesday 31st May to Thursday 1st June, 10am – 4:30pm
For any budding musicians, St Davids Bishop’s Palace will transport you back to the 12th century with music from Minstrel Tom. Learn about the instruments and style of music as you wander the palace’s remains.
You will also have the opportunity to meet Bishop Henry de Gower and Dame Agatha Barlow – two significant palace figures. Listen to their stories and hear how they are linked to this intriguing palace.
4. Summer of Stories
When: Visit the Cadw website for individual dates and times
Celebrate Wales’ rich oral traditions across 12 sites with Cadw’s Summer of Stories. Kicking off at half-term, visitors can listen to a storyteller who will regale them with the best of Welsh tale-spinning.
Learn about historical characters, myths, legends and Welsh heritage and culture through an engaging and entertaining 30–minute tale during your visit. Here’s a full list of participating sites:
- Tretower Court and Castle
- Beaumaris Castle
- Conwy Castle
- Denbigh Castle
- Blaenavon Ironworks
- Caerleon Roman Fortress and Baths
- Castell Coch
- Chepstow Castle
- Tintern Abbey
- St Davids Bishop’s Palace
- Criccieth Castle
- Kidwelly Castle
5. Let’s Discover… Whose Poo?
When: Saturday 3rd June to Sunday 4th June, 10am – 4pm
For any Horrible Histories fans, Chepstow Castle just might be a dream come true. Let’s Discover… Whose Poo? focuses on the dietary habits of the castle’s inhabitants in the Tudor ages and even lets those with strong stomachs dissect a fake poo!
This event is great for kids who like to learn about history and science in a hands-on way. Just make sure everyone washes their hands before lunch!
6. The Wise Woman and the Surgeon
When: Sunday 28th May to Monday 29th May, 11am – 4pm
A beautiful Elizabethan townhouse, Plas Mawr in Conwy gives visitors a real taste of Tudor medicine and surgery. Get hands-on with medicinal herbs and remedies and interact with replica surgical instruments as you learn about Tudor surgeons.
The perfect multi-sensory experience for all the family.
7. Falconry at the Abbey
When: Saturday 3rd June, 10am – 4pm
Tintern Abbey offers an exciting opportunity to meet majestic birds of prey and learn why falconry was so popular in the Tudor period.
Visitors have the chance to get their photo taken with one of these beautiful birds and take home a unique souvenir.
If an alternative date suits you better, this event is also available at Kidwelly Castle on Sunday 28th May.
8. Medieval Murder Mystery
When: Sunday 28th May to Monday 29th May, 11am – 3:30pm
Be transported back to 1489 at Raglan Castle and get a taste of medieval life – complete with intrigue, drama and a murder to solve. Sir Charles’ trusted army captain has been killed and his body has disappeared.
Each member of the family can turn detective as you look for clues in the castle, solve puzzles and interview suspects.
9. Search for the Caesars
Caerlon Roman Fortress and Baths
When: Saturday 27th May to Sunday 4th June, 10am – 4pm
For those who enjoy a bit of treasure hunting, the Caerlon Roman Fortress and Baths are the perfect day out. Search for the famous Roman Caesar in hidden places around the site.
Legend has it they’ve been at the baths for nearly 2,000 years, so look out for them as you explore this legionary first-century fortress.
10. Birds of Prey
When: Saturday 27th May to Sunday 28th May, 11am – 4pm
Give your family a truly awesome experience by seeing magnificent birds of prey up close at Laugharne Castle.
You will have the opportunity to learn from experts all about these incredible creatures. The falconry event is not to be missed, with the displays running twice a day at 12pm and 3pm.
Find out more about Cadw half-term events
Cadw’s May half-term events are created to give everyone an educational and entertaining experience, regardless of age and interests. You can find a full list of events on Cadw’s website.
For those interested in a Cadw membership, you can enjoy the full range of half-term events by getting free event entry and unlimited access to over 130 historic places – giving you a unique way to discover Wales’s rich heritage.
Plan your perfect visit to Wales
Love Wales? Planning a visit soon, but not sure what to do? As well as finding things to do, areas of interest and holiday ideas, you can find the top upcoming events in Wales here on wales.org. If you’re running an event that isn’t listed, get in contact with us.