The National Eisteddfod is a celebration of the culture and language in Wales. The festival travels from place to place, alternating between north and south Wales, attracting around 150,000 visitors and over 250 trade stands and stalls. The history of the Eisteddfod in Wales can be traced back to 1176, with the modern history of the organisation dating back to 1861. The festival has been held every year, other than 1914, when the outbreak of the First World War saw it postponed for a year.
Traditionally a competition-based festival, attracting over 6,000 competitors every year, the festival has developed and evolved over recent years, and whilst the competitions form the central focus for the week, the Maes (site) itself has grown and developed into a vibrant festival with hundreds of events and activities for the whole family.
With over 250 trade stands its a mecca for shoppers and with a wide choice of food and drink stalls its the perfect venue it catch up with friends old and new.
……..and this year its coming to Abergavenny!
Need to know!
Where is it? Castle Meadows, Abergavenny Monmouthshire NP7 5DG – convenient for the town centre
When is it? 29 July – 6 August 2016. Maes open from 08.00 each day. Reduced rate entry from 16.00 every day
- Regular shuttle bus service throughout the day and evenin
g from the car parks and caravan site
- Free translation equipment available from the Cymen stand, in front of the Pavilion. Look for the logo
- Free daily guided tours available for new visitors Licensed restaurant on-site, and a wide selection of food and drink stands available in the Food Village, showcasing the best Welsh produce Family caravan and campsite available on the Llanover Estate (shuttle bus service)For all information on everything you’ll need and to buy tickets, go to http://www.eisteddfod.wales or ring us on 0845 4090 800.
Only Men Aloud, firm Eisteddfod favourites, open the festivities with Gwawr Edwards and Rebecca Trehearn, performing a great mix of old favourites and newer songs. Rhys Taylor’s Big Band provides the accompaniment on Saturday night, as West End star, Caroline Sheen and the swing and soul singer, James Williams, take the stage with the Eisteddfod Choir. Catrin Finch curates a special evening on Tuesday night, Serenestial: Adventure through Time and Space, a light classical evening with world music influences, awakening the senses through music, dance and literature. Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, will be joined with Candelas, Yr Ods and Sŵnami, the current stars of the Welsh rock scene. The bands will be accompanied by the Welsh Pops Orchestra, conducted by musician Owain Llwyd-A new way to enjoy some of Wales’ best known pop and rock songs.
More info here
No Welsh? No worries!
You dont have to speak Welsh to enjoy the Eisteddfod with plenty of music, art and dance on offer, and theres free translation in the Pavillion so you can follow everything. For those with an interest in learning Welsh- Maes D is the place for you! This is the centre for learners on the Maes and is a hub of activity during the week.
Why is Abergavenny a great place for the Eisteddfod?
With over 1,000 miles of public footpaths to explore, plenty of cycle tracks and a reputation as the food and drink capital of Wales, Monmouthshire is located between the Brecon Beacons and the Wye Valley, with excellent transport links making it an accessible and attractive destination for visitors from all directions.
Did you know the county has more castles per square mile than any other part of the UK? The story of the Romans can be seen clearly in the remains of the old town at Caerwent. And if you want to find out more about Lady Llanover and her unique links with the language and culture, come to Abergavenny Museum and Castle – there’s a fantastic view of the Eisteddfod Maes from the castle gardens. It’s a potted history of Wales – all in one county.
2016 is the year of adventure, and you won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a little excitement during your visit. The area is famous for all types of activities – whether you want a leisurely Sunday walk or the next adrenaline hit. Monmouthshire marks the start – and the end – of the Welsh Coast Path, and with paths exploring the mountains, the beautiful valleys and coastline, the landscape truly offers something for everyone.
If you’re looking for the best food and drink. look no further. Monmouthshire is the home of award winning food and drink here in Wales. It is the only county to have won the prestigious Top Food Tourism Destination at the ‘Wales The True Taste Awards’, and with a wide range of producers and plenty of restaurants of all kinds, this is definitely foodie heaven.
Want to see more? Take a look at this short film: