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7 ways for families to step back in time at Welsh castles this summer

Wide view of the great tower and gatehouse Raglan Castle. Credit: Cadw

The historical monuments of Wales will come to life this summer — with thanks to Cadw’s epic calendar of family-friendly events.

With events spanning across July and August, families can experience the role of an archaeologist at Castell Coch; soak up the sights, smells and sounds of medieval Wales at Beaumaris Castle, and even step into the 1940s, with thanks to a WW2 living history event at Blaenavon Ironworks.

Including all of the above, here are 7 of the best ways to unearth the treasures of Welsh history this summer. To see Cadw’s full line-up of family-friendly events visit cadw.gov.wales.

For those who fancy making the most of the events on offer, Cadw membership offers free event entry and unlimited access to over 130 historic sites across Wales.

1. Live history through the ages at Raglan Castle

Visitors can walk through centuries of Welsh history this summer — as a weekend of multi-historical living heritage arrives at Raglan Castle.

Featuring living history groups from many eras, visitors can marvel as the characters go about their daily lives and watch re-enactments and displays in an immersive, experiential day out for the whole family.

Raglan Castle Odyssey – Living History through the Ages

Sunday 28 August – Monday 29 August, 11:00 am – 4:00pm.

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.

2. Dig for long lost treasures at Castell Coch

Become an archaeologist for the day at Castell Coch where children of all ages will be able to dig for the long-lost coronet of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd — whilst discovering many treasures including coins and ancient shield replicas.

Visitors will get the chance to learn all about Llywelyn ap Gruffydd’s lost coronet, with families young and old helping to search for the lost crown jewels of Wales. 

Castell Coch

Rediscover History: Discovery Dig at Castell Coch

Saturday 30 – Sunday 31 July 2022: 11am – 3pm

Standard admission prices apply. Online booking required.

3. Enjoy medieval merriment at Beaumaris Castle

Visitors to Beaumaris Castle over the bank holiday weekend can delve into 12th century life at its best — with the return of the site’s annual medieval festival.

Visitors can begin by exploring the site’s medieval encampment — where they can learn about everything from arrow making and leather work to medieval cooking, games and more.

Plus, children under 13 can grab a sword and join in with drill training at the Castle’s prestigious Knight School, before being put to the test in an unmissable battle between Lord Gerard de Rhodes and Captain Nicholas Horton at the end of each day.


Medieval Festival at Beaumaris Castle

Saturday 27 August – Monday 29 August 2022: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.

4. Meet the Ardudwy Knights at Harlech Castle

For a family day out filled with historical fun and medieval drama, Harlech Castle welcomes visitors to experience the thrill of life in a medieval castle. With weapon demonstrations, archery and combat displays, visitors can discover how their ancestors lived and fought through the Middle Ages.

Visitors will also be flying high with birds of prey as they showcase incredible skill and swoop overhead.

Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle Ardudwy Knights

Saturday 27 – Sunday 28 August: 11:00am – 4:00pm.

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.

5. Discover the defence of Blaenavon during WW2

Blaenavon Ironworks is welcoming visitors to experience the sights and sounds of World War Two, in an immersive weekend event transporting travellers back to the 1940s.

Visitors can watch history unfold with re-enactments, storytelling, music, and living history displays — as WW2 returns to Wales for one weekend only.

Blaenavon Ironworks

Saturday 6 August – Sunday 7 August, 11:00 am – 4:00pm.

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.

6. Attend silly knight school at Kidwelly Castle

Visitors can jump in and get silly as Juggling Jim brings a mix of circus workshops and silly knight school sessions to Kidwelly Castle.

Alongside opportunities to try juggling, diablo and plate spinning, visitors will be challenged to complete zany tasks to become an official ‘silly knight’. 

Juggling Jim at Kidwelly Castle

Wednesday 24 August – Thursday 25 August, 11:00 am – 4:00pm.

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.

7. Friday Frolics and Fun at Conwy Castle

From 26 July until 26 August, Friday visitors to Conwy Castle will be entertained by the comical town jester and enjoy tales of time gone by — as told by the resident storyteller.

Children will also be able to try their hand at archery and attend magical wand workshops — fit for a wizard! 

Conwy Castle

Every Friday from 29 July – 26 August, 10:00 am – 4:00pm.

Standard admission prices apply. No prior booking required.