Step back in time with Visit Wales’ Year of Legends

Step back in time with the Year of Legends

Historic Caernarfon looks forward to welcoming the Year of Legends!


2017 is the Visit Wales Year of Legends, and we couldn’t be more excited. A whole year to celebrate and explore the immense history of Wales, as well as learning all about its fascinating stories, myths and legends.

2016 marked the start of the Welsh Government’s three year plan to promote all that is best about Wales, based on three themes: ‘Adventure’ in 2016, ‘Legends’ in 2017, and ‘The Sea’ in 2018.

Now coming to an end, the Year of Adventure created an incredible buzz about Wales, nationally and internationally. It saw a series of major events supported by official ambassadors, including Bear Grylls, and unofficial ambassadors, such as the Welsh national football squad who dazzled at the European Championships this summer.

In fact, we’ve had such a successful year that North Wales features in the Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Places to Visit in the world in 2017. Yes, you heard right – in the world!

So what is the Year of Legends all about?

The Year of Legends will rediscover Wales’ culture, heritage and mythical landscapes but, while we will be sharing this rich history with visitors, it’s not all about looking back.

2017 will bring the very essence of Wales to life, celebrating ancient and modern day Welsh legends, products and events the Welsh are proud to call their own.

The Year of Legends will help us appreciate everything that is unique, beautiful and intriguing about our country. Old and new will intertwine to showcase our ageless heritage and our bright future to visitors.

Building on the buzz created by the Year of Adventure, the Year of Legends aims to further elevate Wales as a must-visit destination on the international stage and attract even more visitors in 2017.

The Royal Victoria Hotel is very excited to be a part of this and we’re looking forward to sharing our local heritage with you over the next twelve months, through our blogs and events.

What will be happening in Wales in 2017?

2017 will play host to a vast array of activities, events and attractions for visitors to discover our culture.

From learning more about our legendary figures, everyone from Merlin to Hedd Wyn; to understanding our industrial heritage as told by the musical, Tiger Bay; to literally stepping back in time on historic trails around the country – the choice is endless.

There will be an abundance of fun and creative activities for all ages set to the stunning backdrop of Wales’ formidable fortresses. The highlight will be The Tournament, a dazzling medieval festival taking place in June, the first of its kind in Conwy.

We Welsh are fiercely proud of our storytelling heritage – from the bards, to the Mabinogion, to myth of King Arthur – and we aim to share our love of stories with all who visit next year – look out for CADWsSummer of Stories.

Visit Wales is teaming up with Visit Britain to promote the release of the epic new movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Due to hit cinemas in the spring, this reboot of a classic Celtic myth was filmed extensively on location in Snowdonia.

Finally, Wales will host the UEFA Champions League Final, heading to Cardiff in June and set to be one of the sporting events of the year!

A year to remember?

We think so. The Year of Legends is our opportunity to tell the story of Wales from our perspective. Anyone who visits in 2017 will hear the story of Wales firsthand from the people who know it best.

If you love adventure, romance, magic and mystery then a trip to Wales should be top of your New Year’s Resolutions!

(Image: courtesy of James Petts 2012, via Flickr and available for re-use under the Creative Commons License)

What’s on in North Wales this Christmas


For a traditional Christmas experience, visit North Wales this December.


Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and where better to spend it than in the magical and picturesque surroundings of North Wales?

Sumptuous feasting and enchanting atmosphere are a must, and the Royal Victoria Hotel will help you celebrate this Christmas in style.

Step into the Jazz Age as we celebrate a sparkling festive season with our 1920s-themed soirées with showstopping dinners and drinks. Prefer a more traditional experience? There will be delicious seasonal fayre on our menus throughout December plus a fabulous Christmas Day Lunch on the big day. Why not make a stay of it and choose from a range of festive accommodation packages?

Guarded by the craggy Welsh peaks of the Snowdonia National Park and nestled between two stunning lakes, our hotel boasts one of the finest locations in Llanberis. With such an unrivalled aspect, be sure to bring a camera for some fantastic winter photo opportunities.

Snowdonia during the winter is a wonderland in every sense of the word. From exploring the myths and legends of the region, many within a stones’ throw of the hotel, to simply roaming the snow covered hills on a crisp December’s day, there’s no need to stray far from the warmth and hospitality of our hotel!

If you’re keen to get the most from your visit, you’ve come to the right place. There is so much going on across North Wales this Christmas it could be difficult to decide what to do! To help, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Christmas events and activities within a short drive of the Royal Victoria.

What’s on this Christmas

Extended to four days this year by popular demand, the Plas Newydd Christmas Fair promises to deliver a sackful of unique craft and food gifts to treat yourself and loved ones to.

Running right up to Christmas Week, Penrhyn Castle’s Victorian Christmas will provide a charming look back at the origins of some of our most treasured seasonal traditions.

Take a trip to yesteryear at the Beaumaris Victorian Christmas event at the end of November. For one day, Victoriana takes over the town, with gift stalls and local food vendors, plus horse and carriage rides, people in period costume and even the prospect of a blizzard (created with slightly more modern technology)!

While the jolly red elf himself has his main mode of transport in for repair, you’ll find Santa on a very special train at the lake railway near Bala, between the 4-18 of December. Book to avoid disappointment, as to quote Thomas the Tank Engine himself, these are ‘very special specials’!

Prefer Christmas to have additional thrills to what you’ll find in your stocking? Head along to the very first Surf Snowdonia Christmas Market. The wave garden may be closed for the winter but there’ll be warming fire pits, some great live music, stalls selling local produce and handmade wares, plus a real ale tent for a well-earned pint after some extreme Christmas shopping.

Within walking distance of the hotel, the National Slate Museum is hosting a winter fair with a Welsh flavour. First, wander around the site visiting the Quarrymen’s Houses, many traditionally decorated for Christmas, then join in with seasonal crafting sessions, post a letter to Santa, listen to a spellbinding storyteller and generally get in the mood for Christmas!

Staying close to the hotel, the Llanberis Christmas Fair is a annual event not to be missed. The evening commences with a dazzling lantern parade before the grand lighting ceremony, with Santa the guest of honour. Carol singing around the Christmas tree, plus lashings of mulled wine and mice pies, makes this a really special local tradition we would love to share with you.

Pontio Arts Centre in Bangor is hosting an impressive programme of events suitable for all the family this Christmas. Head along to see a unique world-screening of The Nutcracker between the 8 -11 December, resplendent with Tchaikovsky’s mesmerising score and a host of dancers. Meanwhile, the little princesses in your life will love the sing-along screening of Disney’s Frozen on the 10 December, while for grown-ups a performance of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony from Bangor University Symphony Orchestra takes place later that same day.

If Christmas is a family affair, you should make a date to visit Greenwood Forest Park. North Wales’ premier amusement park is playing host to a whole range of Christmas-themed events suitable for children big and small. Join Santa for afternoon tea or pop into the grotto for a photo opp and a gift, then head to the Enchanted Woodbarn, Greenwood’s impressive soft play facility for hours of fun.

Be our guest

We look forward to welcoming you to North Wales this Christmas and while we can’t promise snow, we can promise warm Welsh hospitality and an unforgettable visit with memories to treasure this Christmas and many more.