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Archive for tag: Celtic

Celtic Festival of Wales

Event - Cwlwm Celtaidd, Wales' Interceltic Festival
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 27 February - 1 March 2015

Website

It's almost that time of year again when the seaside resort of Porthcawl reverberates to the sound of some great Celtic music.  It's time for the annual Cwlwm Celtaidd, Wales' Interceltic Festival.

Singers, dancers and musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and of course Wales descend on the seaside resort of Porthcawl and its Grand Pavilion for three days of concerts, performances and sessions. 

Although the pavilion is the base for the weekend's festivities, the whole town gets into the Celtic spirit with events happening throughout the resort.

To find out more, including which artisits are appearing and the programme for the weekend, please visit the website.

Wales Open Golf

Continuing to build on the success of hosting the 2010 Ryder Cup, the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport will find itself back in the golfing spotlight this week as it hosts the 2014 Wales Open.

First held in 2000 the tournament is now firmly established on the European Tour and attracts some of the biggest names in golf.  This year's competitors include Lee Westwood, Jamie Donaldson and Thomas Bjorn.

More information is available on the website

Historic Newport

Don't be fooled by the name.  Whilst it has plenty of modern features, NEWport has an abundance of historic attractions.

In fact, you can trace the area's history all the way back to Roman times.  Just to the north of Newport City Centre lies Caerleon.  A pretty, quiet town today, but 2000 years ago it was one of the furthest outposts of the might Roman Empire. 

And you don't have to look far to find traces of its past.  The remains of the amphitheatre, once the site of blood thirsty "entertainment" and the barracks, once home to 5000 soldiers are prominent, whilst the baths and National Roman Legion Museum are also well worth a visit.

Elsewhere, the area's history encompasses a medieval ship discovered beneath the mud of the River Usk, a 17th century mansion, once home to some rather eccentric aristocrats, and one of only eight Transporter Bridges still operating anywhere in the world.

It's not all about the history though.  The area does contemporary too.  It boasts some of the best and most luxurious hotels and resorts in the Southern Wales region. 

For instance, the Celtic Manor can be found here - you can stay in one of their five star bedrooms, enjoy a sumptuous meal in one of the restaurants, relax and unwind in the spa or enjoy a round of golf on one of their three courses - just like some of the world's best golfers did when the Ryder Cup was hosted here in 2010.

To find out more about visiting Newport, click on the link

Newport 360

Roman CaerleonStanding on the banks of the River Usk, the city of Newport and the surrounding area is packed with things to see and do.

And now to help you find your way about, a new tourism guide has been launched.  Called Newport 360, the guide hears from local people about what visitors can expect to find on a visit to the city and the wider region.

Amongst the highlights you can expect to find on a visit is the iconic Transporter Bridge.  It is one of only eight such bridges remaining in the world.  Built in 1906, the elaborate design was needed in order to allow tall ships to pass up the river to Newport Docks.  Today visitors can cross the river on the suspended gondola or the brave can climb the stairs and cross the high level walkway, a mere 177 feet above the ground.  Enjoy the view.

From the top of the Transporter Bridge, you should be able to spot Tredegar House on the outskirts of the city.  Standing in 90 acres of glorious parkland, the estate was once the home of the aristocratic and somewhat eccentric Morgan family.  Visitors can explore this National Trust property and discover how both the masters and their servants lived and worked.

Newport's history goes back even further.  All the way back to Roman times in fact.  The small town of Caerleon to the north of the city was once the furthest outpost of the Roman Empire and home to hundreds of soldiers.  Today, visitors can explore the remains of the legion's amphitheatre, barracks and baths whilst the National Roman Legion Museum tells the town's story.

Head from Roman times up to the 21st century, and 2010 in particular.  The  eyes of the sporting world focused on Newport when Golf's Ryder Cup was staged at the Celtic Manor Resort.  The tournament put this world class resort firmly in the spotlight and it now boasts 3 world class golf courses including the famous 2010 course which saw Europe triumph in dramatic circumstances.

It's not only the golf that makes a visit to the Celtic Manor worthwhile.  The resort boasts a luxurious 400 room hotel together with fine dining restaurants and spa facilities. 

There's plenty of other accommodation available in the area with high quality accommodation available from the like of Hilton and Holiday Inn whilst for something a little bit different you can stay in a lighthouse overlooking the Severn Estuary.

To download your copy of the Newport 360 visitor guide, please click here

Pedal Power

Event - Cycling, National Road Race Championships
Location - Abergavenny

Date - 26 - 29 June 2014

Website for further details


This week saw British Cycling unveil the race routes of the 2014 National Road Race and Time Trial Championships.  The event will be based in Abergavenny but the routes of the various races will take in most of the Monmouthshire countryside.

The elite Men's Road Race will see household names battle it out over a tough 183km course.  Sprinter Mark Cavendish will be the defending champion, but the route might be a bit too hilly for him.  Amongst the favourites will be Tour de France champion Chris Froome and Cardiff's Geraint Thomas.

The women's road race will be held over shorter 71km course, but promises to be just as tough.  Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead will be the clear favourite.

The time trial course, based at Newport's Celtic Manor, is 40km long and is sure to feature 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins as he goes head to head with the winner of one of the 2013 Giro d'Italia time trial stages, Alex Dowsett. 

The 20km long women's time trial coast will see defending champion Joanna Rowsell attempt to defend her title against the likes of Elinor Barker and Joanna Trott.

Cwlwm Celtaidd - Porthcawl Interceltic Festival

Event - Interceltic Festival
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 7 - 9 March 2014

Website

It's almost that time of year again when the seaside resort of Porthcawl reverberates to the sound of some great Celtic music.  It's time for the annual Porthcawl Interceltic Festival.

Singers, dancers and musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and of course Wales descend on the town's Grand Pavilion for three days of concerts, performances and sessions. 

Although the pavilion is the base for the weekend's festivities, the whole town gets into the Celtic spirit with events happening throughout the resort.

St David's Day

Welsh FlagDydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus (Happy St David's Day).  Okay, I'm a couple of days early, but this week does mark our National Day and on 1st March, up and down the country, people will be celebrating.

The day commemorates our patron saint St David and marks the day he died in 589AD.  He is said to have performed many miracles including when he caused the ground to rise beneath him when preaching so that everyone could see and hear him.

The Cathedral of St David's in Pembrokeshire, where his remains are buried, became a popular place of pilgrimage.  It was said that two pilgrimages to St David's equalled one to Rome.

The highlight of the festivities is the annual St David's Day Parade through Cardiff City Centre.  Beginning from outside City Hall at 12:30 pm the parade snakes its way through the capital's streets before ending up outside (quite fittingly) St David's Hall where there will be traditional musical entertainment as well as a St David's Day Market.

If you fancy taking in one of our castles then Cadw, the organisation responsible for most of our historic sites have announced that their properties will be opened free of charge on the day.

These include the biggest castle in Wales at Caerphilly, one of the oldest at Chepstow and the best preserved medieval abbey in Wales, Tintern Abbey.  More details can be found on the Cadw website.

Porthcawl will also be marking the occasion, when the town hosts the annual Celtic Music Festival.  Dancers, singers and entertainers from all over the world descend on the seaside town for a weekend celebration of all things Celtic.

Celtic Fun

Event - Interceltic Festival
Location - Porthcawl
Date - 1 - 3 March 2013

Website

It's almost that time of year again when the seaside resort of Porthcawl reverberates to the sound of some great Celtic music.  It's time for the annual Porthcawl Interceltic Festival.

Singers, dancers and musicians from Scotland, Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany, the Isle of Man and of course Wales descend on the town's Grand Pavilion for three days of concerts, performances and sessions. 

Although the pavilion is the base for the weekend's festivities, the whole town gets into the Celtic spirit with events happening throughout the resort.  The highlight being the Parade of the Celts - a colourful procession through the town's streets by the festival's participants, many in their National Dress.  The parade heralds the start of the proceedings which then continue all weekend.

Happy New Year

Llancaiach GhostHappy New Year.  No, we're not 2 months early.  Today is actually the ancient Celtic New Year or Calan Gaeaf.

The traditional festival marks the end of summer and the beginning of winter.  Like the more widely celebrated Halloween, the ancient Celts believed that this was a spooky time and that there was only a thin line between living and dying.

Families would build a big bonfire and place stones bearing their names on it.  Once the flames had died down the stones would be retrieved and if one was missing then that person would die within the next year.

They would also mark the occasion with a number of other rituals including the wearing of masks whilst children would carve out faces in turnips or swedes and place them in their windows to ward of evil spirits - not too dissimilar to today's celebrations then.

What other Celtic New Year traditions do you know of?  Please share them with us below.

Wales Open Golf

 Following the unequivocal success of last year's Ryder Cup, the Celtic Manor Resort near Newport will find itself back in the golfing spotlight next week as it hosts the 2011 Wales Open.

First held in 2000 the tournament is now firmly established on the European Tour and attracts some of the biggest names in golf.  One of the European heroes of that unforgettable Ryder Cup was Graeme McDowell and he'll be back this year hoping to defend the trophy he won last year. 

As well as all the action out on the course there's plenty of other activities to keep everyone occupied including bars and food outlets, exhibition stands, a big screen to watch the golf and the popular Junior Golf area.

More information is available on the website