Top 10 things to do in Wales in March

March is a fantastic time to visit Wales! Winter is in retreat, and spring is well and truly on its way. The temperature starts to climb, the days get longer, and the events on offer are some of the best of the year!

March is the month of the Six Nations Rugby and St David’s Day! National pride is at an all-time high, and as the countryside fills with daffodils and sprightly baby lambs, it’s time to celebrate the beauty of nature and the changing of the seasons.

Of course, early spring can also be an unpredictable time, weather-wise. So pack some layers, remember your raincoat, and maybe bring some welly boots to do a little puddle jumping.

And if you need more inspiration for your spring holiday, here’s our list of the top 10 things to do in Wales in March.

1

Celebrate the Saint

March kicks off with the most Welsh of all events, Saint David’s Day (Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant)! This honouring of Wales’ patron saint takes place on the 1st of March and is marked by celebrations throughout the country.

St David was born in Wales – the only native-born saint in the British Isles. He dedicated his life to acts of service, founded many religious centres, delivered passionate sermons, and performed miracles. He died on the 1st of March in 589 and was buried in St Davids city, where the impressive cathedral now stands. The location became a popular pilgrimage location after the saint’s death and remains the religious centre of Wales.

Before he died, St David bade his followers to ‘do the little things in life’. A phrase which is well known in Wales and encourages people to perform small acts of kindness on St Davids’s Day to commemorate the saint’s memory.

We also celebrate with festivities in most cities and towns. Most of Wales’ national museums have St David’s Day events, as do many castles and National Trust properties. Cardiff naturally hosts the largest events, but Swansea, Aberystwyth, Carmarthen and, of course, St Davids have excellent ones too.

Celebrations include parades, parties, eisteddfods (festivals of Welsh music), much flag waving and singing of the national anthem and welsh folk songs. You’ll also see people enjoying traditional Welsh food, wearing daffodils and leeks – both iconic symbols of Wales – pinned to their clothes, and sending their children off to school dressed as old-fashioned Welsh ladies and gentlemen.

2

Cheer Wales To victory

In February, we talked about the start of the biggest sporting event in this country’s calendar, the Six Nations Rugby Tournament! By March, the tournament is well underway, and it’s clear which teams are on form and which ones are in with the chance of that all-important grand slam victory!

If Wales has been playing well – and of course, they will be – the atmosphere of excitement and national pride will only increase as each game progresses. And if a Wales game falls on St David’s Day? Well, you’ll experience an atmosphere like no other!

Head to Cardiff to catch a game live in the Principality Stadium or enjoy the electric atmosphere in the streets and pubs of the capital. If you can’t get to Cardiff, don’t worry. Rugby is Wales’ national sport and is taken very seriously. You’ll find games being shown in all possible venues across the country, so wherever you’re staying, you’ll be able to find a pub with a screen and a crowd waiting to cheer Wales on to victory alongside you.

3

Have fun at a festival

A new month, a new collection of festivals and events to be enjoyed in Wales! Here are some of the biggest ones happening in Wales in March:

  • North Wales Choir Festival: The pretty seaside town of Llandudno hosts this international festival that draws choirs from all over the world for a weekend of competitions, concerts, and celebrations to delight choral music lovers.
  • Crickhowell Walking Festival: Hikers from all over the UK come to participate in this nine-day event that includes over 80 different walks for all ages and abilities, including 3-mile strolls, themed walks, mountain treks and four-day hikes. All take place amidst the stunning landscapes of the Usk Valley.
  • St Patrick’s Day: He might not be the patron saint of Wales, but many say he was, in fact, born in Wales. And the Welsh celebrate this day as most places do – with alcohol-fuelled parties. Think green beer, shamrock shots, and Irish bands. You’ll find the best parties in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea’s infamous Wind Street (aka Wine Street).
  • The Laugharne Weekend: A literature and arts festival with a difference. Held in the tiny South Wales town of Dylan Thomas fame – this festival celebrates music, poetry, literature and comedy in a mildly chaotic way. Intentionally kept small and unpolished, the events occur in small local venues around the town, where artists rub shoulders with the locals, and no one takes themselves too seriously.
  • Charity Beer & Cider Festival: Head to Cardiff to drink all the cider and beer you fancy in the name of charity! Enjoy live music, food stalls, a gin bar and a guaranteed party atmosphere. Especially in 2023 when this festival coincides with St Paddy’s Day!
4

Support Welsh women

If you missed the men’s six nations tournament or are sad that it’s over, don’t worry! There’s more rugby on the way. The Women’s Six Nations tournament starts up straight after the men’s, running from the end of March into April with the same format of six teams battling it out for that grand slam title!

Now, as with most women’s sports, this tournament doesn’t get anywhere near as much support, publicity, or attention as the men’s game. The matches are played at smaller venues, and the ticket prices are a fraction of the cost. As unfair as this may be, it does mean that the women’s games are more accessible for people who missed out on or couldn’t afford to watch the men’s games live. The tournament is still super professional and sleeky run but comes with a friendly, inclusive vibe that makes it a fun day out for families or newcomers to the sport.

And if you’re concerned that the women’s game isn’t as entertaining to watch? Forget that right now! These women are fiercely talented, dedicated athletes who’ve had to fight incredibly hard for the chance to step out onto that pitch. Watch one game, and you’ll see how much these women love their sport and how much they deserve to play it on the same level as their male counterparts.

And the best way to make that happen, to ensure that women’s rugby keeps growing and gaining the respect it deserves, is by showing up for them. By supporting, buying tickets, watching matches and posting loudly about how much you enjoyed the experience!

5

Eat like the Welsh

What better way to celebrate St David’s Day (or any day) than by sampling all the Welsh food you can get your hands on? See how many of these tasty treats you can tick off your list while in Wales:

  • Welsh Cakes: A super easy-to-make treat, these little round cakes are like flat scones. They can be eaten plain, rolled in sugar, spread with jam, or – best of all – hot from the pan, dripping with melted butter.
  • Bara Brith: This might look like a traditional fruit cake, but taste it to discover the unique flavour imparted by the tea used alongside the dried fruit and spices. Best eaten spread with a layer of butter, the thicker, the better.
  • Cawl: Wales’ national dish, this hearty meat and vegetable stew is not just delicious but contains two other must-try Welsh food items – leaks and Welsh lamb. Enjoy it with crusty bread and a chunk of welsh cheese.
  • Welsh Rarebit: The name puts a lot of people off, but it’s simply a take on cheese on toast. A sauce made with strong cheese, mustard and spices is poured over thick toast for a delicious and warming dish that does not contain rabbit!
  • Laverbread This love-it-or-hate-it dish is not bread but seaweed picked off the Welsh coastline and cooked into a green puree. It may not look pretty, but it’s highly nutritious, packed with iron and has a strong ocean-salty flavour. Sample it as part of a full Welsh Breakfast, mixed with shellfish or spread on buttered bread.
  • Conwy Mussels: Widely regarded as the best in the UK, these mussels are known for their plump, meaty texture and rich taste. Farmed sustainably and harvested by hand, they can only be enjoyed in season, from September to April.
  • Glamorgan Sausages: Wales was creating vegetarian sausages well before Greggs got in on the act! There’s no meat in these delicious sausages. Instead, they’re made with strong Welsh cheese, leaks, and breadcrumbs.
6

Dive into spring

How about blowing away those winter cobwebs by diving into spring? Literally. Out of a plane!

After a winter break, Sky Dive Swansea re-opens its door for jumps from the 1st of March until the end of November. So why not get in there early and book an experience of a lifetime? The sky diving centre offers jumps starting at 7,000 ft, with tandem dives, group dives and charity dives all available. And since you’ll be flying high above Swansea, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the Gower Peninsula as you parachute down!

And if you love the rush, why not stick with it? Skydive Swansea offers freefall courses to get you certified as a solo diver!

7

Hit the trails

March is the perfect time to emerge from your winter cocoon, get back outdoors, and rediscover the hiking trails of Wales. The countryside is waking up from winter, and there are signs of spring everywhere, with new flower growth and wildlife emerging in droves. Yet the walking trails remain quiet thanks to the lack of school holidays in March and the notoriously changeable weather, which keeps many people away. But so long as you come prepared with a raincoat and waterproof boots, March is a beautiful time for hiking in Wales.

If you’d rather run than walk, why not tackle a spring marathon through the stunning Welsh landscapes? The Ras Dewi Sant Marathon takes place in early March in the stunning landscapes around St Davids in Pembrokeshire. Full and half marathon distances plus a 10-kilometre course are available, and routes lead past some of Wales’ most impressive historical sights, through beautiful countryside and along spectacular coastal paths.

The location, changeable terrain and unpredictable weather have earned this race a reputation for being one of the country’s most scenic but toughest courses. So grab your running shoes and prepare for a muddy but rewarding challenge.

8

Show mothers some love

With March comes Mother’s day, and what better way to show some love for your mum (or mam in Welsh) than with a weekend of pampering at one of Wales’ excellent spas? Here are some of our favourite relaxation locations:

  • St Brides, Saundersfoot: An absolute gem tucked into this tiny village on the Pembrokeshire coast. Enjoy exceptional service and treatments with stunning views of Saundersfoot beach. The restaurant is outstanding and specialises in seasonal, locally sourced fare.
  • Celtic Manor Resort, Newport: This 5-star resort set in over 2,000 acres of beautiful parkland is an iconic Welsh landmark. The spa is award-winning, and the facilities are endless.
  • The Quay Hotel & Spa, Deganwy: is the place for pure tranquillity. The hotel commands stunning views across the estuary to Conwy castle, and the excellent restaurant specialises in the famous local seafood.
  • Voco St Davids, Cardiff: This luxurious option pairs perfectly with a weekend break in the capital. This 5-star hotel is the preferred spa destination for celebrities in Cardiff, so keep your eyes peeled for famous faces as you relax between treatments.
  • Lake Vyrnwy Spa and Hotel, Powys: Combine luxurious accommodation, excellent food and exquisite treatments with the chance to reconnect with nature in this fabulous spa. Its lakeside location, surrounded by Welsh woodland, is simply breathtaking.
9

Celebrate spring

In February, we talked about going hunting for the first hints of spring, but by March, there’s no hunting required. Signs of spring are everywhere in Wales, and they won’t fail to lift your spirits.

One of the most uplifting spring sights is the thousands of daffodils that shoot up to carpet the country just in time for St David’s Day. You’ll notice them nodding at you from roadsides, gardens, and hedgerows. But if you want to see some of the most impressive displays, head to Bute Park or Dyffryn Gardens in Cardiff, Bodnant Gardens in Conwy, Powis Castle and Gardens, or Colby Woodland Garden in Pembrokeshire.

Another wonderful sign of spring and an enduring symbol of Wales is the lambs appearing in the fields. Take a hike through the Welsh countryside to spot these playful creatures larking about with their friends, or take your kids to a petting zoo to get a closer look at these adorable animals. Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, Greenacres Animal Park in North Wales and Foel Farm Park in Anglesey are great places to get up close with the lambs and maybe bottle feed one. Or head to St Fagans living museum and farm outside Cardiff, where if you time it right, you might even see lambs being born.

10

Visit St Davids

What better time of year to visit this city than in the month of St David’s Day? If you arrive on or around March 1st, you’ll find the city in full celebration mode as it honours the patron saint for whom it was named. Bunting and flags festoon every surface, Welsh language and music events happen in the cathedral and venues throughout the city, and the famous Dragon Parade takes to the streets.

If you can’t make it for St David’s Day, don’t worry. The UK’s smallest city is worth a visit at any time of year. Start with the Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitors Centre for a quick course in local history before viewing the spectacular cathedral. This 12th-century building, made of locally sourced stone, is the most recent in a line of cathedrals which have stood on the spot where St David himself was laid to rest.

Next, explore the rest of the city. This won’t take you long as it’s barely bigger than a village, but it manages to pack its atmospheric streets with an impressive array of independent shops, excellent cafes, restaurants and traditional pubs. Leave plenty of time for exploring the surrounding area too.

St Davids is located in a pretty, sheltered valley in the heart of the Pembrokeshire National Coastal Park and the surrounding landscape is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers.

That’s it.

Come and celebrate early spring in Wales by tackling a muddy marathon, bottle-feeding baby lambs, waving a Welsh flag on St David’s Day or cheering on the nation’s rugby teams. Book your dream accommodation now and start planning your holiday in Wales in March.

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