Wales is often overlooked when planning a trip to the United Kingdom, but it shouldn’t be! It’s an amazing gem, with delicious food, fantastic people and ridiculously long place names. It may surprise you to learn that Wales is officially bilingual with the majority of people speaking Welsh along with English. Despite being boarded by England to the East, when visiting Wales you’ll experience a unique cultural identity all its own. We’ve made a list of awesome things to do this November and onwards to make your trip worthwhile!
The Real Ale Wobble: Mid-November
The Real Ale Wobble takes place at the start of a 10-day long beer festival in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales. Split into two separate courses, this alcohol-fueled bike ride will weave you through some stunning views of mountains and forests in Mid Wales, while giving you a taste of some genuine local brews and some new folks to ride with. There is one course for more avid bikers, and one for eager amateurs, and it’s non competitive; because really, when you’re drinking handcrafted Welsh ale, everyone wins.
There are two checkpoints along the way along with a final checkpoint at the end and at each checkpoint, tokens can be exchanged for delicious ales — all which have been brewed locally (they also have other drinks available, but why would you want that?) and the main station will also have a BBQ and a “Coffee Pod,” and spots where you can buy food and more drinks. When you factor in the beautiful scenery, the amazing ales, and the added bonus of live entertainment and nighttime festivities, there’s absolutely every reason to grab your bike and get drinking!
Abertoir in Aberystwyth and Cardiff: Mid-November
This festival has gained so much popularity that it’s begun to take over Cardiff (the country’s capital) as well! Every year, the festival showcases some of the best in new and classic horror films, along with a short film competition that allows you to explore some really good (and some very student-based) new horror as well. In addition to the films on show, you can attend scary story readings, panel discussions, and this year a Vincent Price themed dinner. If you’re into horror movies, or if you just didn’t quite get your fill of spooky stuff this Hallowe’en, then the Abertoir festival is for you!.
Hay-On-Wye Winter Food Festival: Late November
Held in a place of the same name (Hay-On-Wye), this one day food festival comes a few weeks after the end of the main Hay Festival. As far as food vendors go, it’s actually quite limited with no more than 50 vendors allowed to partake in the festival, which allows for a bit of competition and an assurance that the food and the experience will be a good one. There’s an arts and crafts fair that takes place the same day at the Butter Market, and once you’ve filled your belly you’ll be able to listen to some traditional music, including male choir performances.
The Hay festival itself, which is held at Hay Castle is a solid meeting of minds for discussions of literature, film and political agendas which proves to be good fun for those whole like a good debate and enjoy being entertained.