We have to say it’s feeling very Christmassy at Wales Tourists Online HQ. The Christmas tree is up, the obligatory string of silver bells have been hung across our window. All we need to complete the Christmas picture is an open fire, a plate of mince pies and maybe a glass (or two) of whiskey.
Although we’re feeling Christmassy, we know not everyone is, which is why we’ve put together a list of fun Christmas activities you can do in Wales this December, 2014. So, pop on the Michael Buble Christmas album and get reading – you’ll be feeling more festive in no time:
Follow some Welsh Christmas traditions
Sometimes it can be all too easy to get disillusioned by Christmas. Surely it’s just a time of year that’s manipulated by big corporations to make us spend more? Well, although some people may feel that way, one remedy that might make Christmas taste sweet again is to hark back to some old Christmas traditions. And thankfully Wales has quite a few you can enjoy this December!
In many Welsh farmhouses families would make a treacle toffee known as cyflaith. Fancy making some of this tasty Welsh treat? You’ll find a cyfliath recipe here – let us know if you try it out. We always like to hear from you!
Carol singing was also popular back in the day. In fact, it still is in many parts of Wales. According to tradition, carols would be sung for several hours at what is known as the plygain service. Wondering what plygain means? It translates as cock crow, which refers to the fact that plygain services were normally held in the early morning, between three and six in the morning. If you’re not a morning person you’ll be glad to hear that plygain parties are normally held in the evenings now.
At plygain services, carols are typically sung in Welsh, are not accompanied by music and the songs sung have not been pre-planned. It’s a spontaneous affair. Want to hear a traditional Welsh carol? We love this one:
Catch the Santa Special train to visit Father Christmas
We know Saint Nick normally prefers to travel by reindeer, but in Wales he can’t resist travelling by stream train on the odd occasion.
If you fancy catching a train to visit Santa – or at least if your kids do – then take a trip to Brecon Beacons Railway. Here you can catch a train from to see Father Christmas and his grotto. Every child and adult receives a present. There’s mince pies and sherry too.
The trains can get fully booked, so it’s best to book your tickets for the Santa Specials in advance. Trains also run up until the 23rd of December.
Family Trains on:
November 29th 30th
December 6th 7th 13th 14th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd
Trains leave at 11.00 12.30 2.00 3.30 5.00
Babies - (under 3 years) FREE
Children - (3-15years) £11.50
Adults - £13.50
Telephone: 01685 722988
Go and see a Christmas ballet in Cardiff
Did you know that the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia are performing in Cardiff this Christmas? They’re one of the world’s greatest ballet companies and this Christmas (2014) you can see them perform three ballets – The Nutcracker, Coppélia or Swan Lake.
Tip: Not sure what the ballets are about? You can find out the storyline for each ballet here.
Dressing up and going to see a Christmas ballet will definitely help to make you feel more festive this December. Or, if you’re stuck for a gift, why not surprise someone with a Christmas outing and treat them to tickets to one of the ballet shows? You could go out for a meal beforehand and then on to the show.
Here’s a video of the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia performing – impressive:
The Nutcracker: 20 -24 December
Coppélia: 27 -29 December
Swan Lake: 30 December -3 January