Open doors 2019 – Enjoy a free family day out in North Wales this September?
If you are anything like us, its scary to realise just how much money was spent keeping the kids entertained over the Summer. Even ‘free’ days out ended up racking up some costs with the obligatory ice cream and other hidden costs. Therefore, we are incredibly excited about this years Open Doors 2019. Organised by CADW, Open Doors offers all visitors, whether local or travelling from further afield, the opportunity to explore some of Wales’ fantastic treasures and to immerse themselves in Wales’ rich and diverse history and culture for FREE!
So where can families go off on a little adventure to explore the best North Wales has to offer? Well we have put together a handy little guide which may help you to keep you Clued in with what’s on offer and provide inspiration for some excellent and free days out with the kids.
Please note that this is a round up. For more information, please visit https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/whats-on/find-a-cadw-event
When: 6th, 7th, 8th September 2019 from 10am until 5pm.
Where: Chirk Castle, Chirk, LL14 5AF
What’s included: Free admission to both castle and gardens.
Description: Chirk Castle is a magnificent 14th-century castle owned and run by the the National Trust. Home to the Myddelton family since 1595, the Castle’s interiors show 400 years of changing fashions. Discover Medieval Life in the Adams Tower where you can descend down into the dark dungeons.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/chirk-castle-national-trust/
*Powis Castle And Gardens
When: 6th, 7th, 8th September 2019 from 10am until 5pm.
Where: Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool, SY21 8RF.
What’s included: Free entry to castle and gardens.
Description: Visit this medieval fortress come family home, furnished with sumptuous fabrics and exquisite works of art from around the world. Scratch beneath the surface and the castle hides an unexpected Second World War story of the Welsh Girls School which was evacuated to the castle. There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained, including a children’s trail in the castle and gardens.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/powis-castle-and-garden-national-trust/
Image credit: National Trust
When: 7th September 2019 from 10am until 5pm
Where: Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn, nr Colwyn Bay, Conwy, LL28 5RE.
What’s included: Free entrance to garden.
Description: Nestling in the Snowdonia foothills is one of the world’s most magical gardens. This 80-acre paradise is filled with plants collected by famous global explorers.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/bodnant-garden-national-trust/
*Caenarfon sailing club
When: 7th September 2019 from 10am until 3pm
Where: Caernarfon Sailing Club, Silent Battery, Victoria Dock, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL551SR.
What’s included: Free entry into this historical building.
Description: The site was a former gun battery, housing large guns which protected the entrance to the Menai Straits. Visitors are invited to talk about the history of the building.
When: 7th September 2019 from 12.30 until 3.30pm.
Where: Erddig, Wrexham, LL13 0YT
What’s included: Free admission to house and gardens.
Description: Erddig tells the 250-year story of a gentry family’s relationship with its servants. Explore the 1200 acre estate complete with gardens, and don’t forget to get back to nature and play to your hearts content on the natural wooden play structures in the Wolf’s Den.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/erddig/
*London House Ruthin
When: 7th and 8th September 2019 from 9.30am until 4pm.
Where: State of Distress, 14 St Peter’s Sq, Ruthin, LL15 1AA
What’s included: Tour of cellar.
Description: London House has been used many things over the years from a pub, watch makers, bakery, betting shop, hotel, off license and now a craft & gift shop. The cellar will be open to the public to see the structure of the large hidden cellar underneath the premises and provide some of the information and stories passed to on by Walter Chandler about customers they had during the war.
Image credit: Plas Newydd House And Garden (National Trust)
When: 7th September from 10.30am until 4.30pm.
Where: Plas Newydd, Llanfairpwll, LL61 6DQ
What’s included: Free entry to house and gardens.
Description: On the banks of the Menai Strait sits Plas Newydd, the ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey, with breathtaking views of Snowdonia. Plas Newydd consists of 40 acres of garden and 129 acres of woodland and parkland for families to explore and of course there’s a fantastic childrens play area.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit
* Segontium Roman Fort
Image credit The Journal of antiquities
When: 7th and 8th September, from 10am until 2pm.
Where: Llanbeblig Rd, Caernarfon LL55 2LN
What’s included: Free event and tours operate at 10am in Welsh and 12 noon in English.
Description: Established nearly two millennia ago, this strategically-placed fort at the edge of the Roman Empire bustled with life for more than three hundred years. Find out more about this Roman stronghold that passed into Welsh legend.
* St Winefride’s Chapel and Holy Well
Image credit CIWK
When: 7th and 8th September 2019 from 11am until 4pm.
Where: Plessington House, Greenfield St, Holywell CH8 7PN
What’s included: Free tour at 11am and 2pm.
Description: Join in for a special tour of the chapel and Holy Well. A holy well and chapel dating to the early sixteenth century, though the site was a place of pilgrimage from at least 1115.
Image credit Denbighshire Council
When: 8th September from 11am until 3.30pm
Where: Ruthin Gaol, Clwyd Sreet, Ruthin, LL15 1HP.
What’s included: Free admission
Description: Come and join in with Unlocking the Asylum. Unlocking the Asylum is a two year Welcome funded project to catalogue the records of the North Wales Hospital, Denbigh. There will be mini talks on Women in the North Wales Asylum and Work and Recreation: A look at daily life in the Asylum, and an exhibition of original documents from the North Wales Hospital collection.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/ruthin-gaol-museum-amgueddfa-carchar-rhuthun/
When: 14th September from 12noon until 4om.
Where: The Old Post Office, Conway Old Rd, Penmaenmawr, LL34 6UU
What’s included: Free admission into museum.
Description: Newly refurbished Museum showcasing the history of the town from the Neolithic and Industrial era. Meet the medieval pilgrim who will be providing activities for all ages in the new tea room.
* Barclodiad y Gawres Burial Chamber
Image credit CADW.gov.wales
When: 21st and 22nd September 2019 from 11am until 4pm
Where: Ty Croes LL63 5TE
What’s included: Free tour. Tours will be at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
Description: A chance to investigate this unique and important passage tomb which is not generally open to the public. Find out more about its architecture and enjoy special access to view the ancient decorated stones.
* Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant
Image credit National Trust
When: 21st September 2019 from 12noon until 5pm.
Where: Tŷ Mawr, Penmachno, LL25 OHJ.
What’s included: Free entrance into house and grounds.
Description: One of the most important houses in the history of the Welsh language and home to William Morgan, who translated the Bible into Welsh in 1588. Head on a walk through Snowdonia National Park or explore the Tudor Garden with its 140 plants traditionally used in all sorts of medicines.
*Beatrix Potter Garden, Gwaenynog Hall
When: 28th and 29th September 2019 from 12noon to 4pm.
Where: Gwaenynog Hall, Pentrefoelas Road, Denbigh, LL16 5NU.
What’s included: Free admission to garden.
Description: A chance to see the garden and potting shed that inspired the Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, when Beatrix Potter stayed at the hall with relatives.
*Britannia Bridge Lions
When: 28th September from 10.30am until 4.30pm
Where: Station Buildings North Wales Expressway, Bangor, LL57 2NX,
What’s included: Free walk and tour but booking is essential.
Description: Take a walk with Menai Heritage to view the hidden Britannia Bridge lions! The sculptures once flanked the entrance to the tubular bridge, but now lie below the road deck, seldom seen. Qualified tour guides will be leading walking tours to the base of the Britannia Bridge, where the impressive structure of the bridge can be appreciated, and where you can see the magnificent lion sculptures. You will learn about the history of the bridge and how it was constructed, as well as general information about the Menai Strait.
Image credit Davis Ross, editor of Britain Express
When: 28th and 29th September 2019 from 11am until 4pm.
Where: Castle Hill, Denbigh LL16 3NB
What’s included: Free admission to castle.
Description: Denbigh Castle is one of the fortresses that formed King Edward I’s “ring of castles”, four of which (Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris) have been named World Heritage sites. Come and explore this historical castle for yourselves.
For more information about this venue in terms of what there normally is for kids, plus its upcoming events, please visit https://www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk/days-out-with-kids/denbigh-castle-castell-dinbych-cadw/
When: 28th September 2019 from 10am until 4pm.
Where: LL30 1AB.
What’s included: Free guided tours at 11am and 2pm.
Description: From its beautiful terracotta frontage to the stunning modern architecture within, the Mostyn building holds stories of local, national and international significance.
Join the engagement team and history researchers on a tour and talk to find out about the gallery’s fascinating heritage, its former uses and its reputation today as the foremost contemporary art gallery in Wales.
* Rhuddlan Castle
Image credit Castlewales.com
When: 28th to 29th September 2019 from 11am until 4pm.
Where: Castle St, Rhuddlan LL18 5AD
What’s included: Free admission to castle.
Description: For centuries Rhuddlan Castle had been a fiercely contested strategic location leading to much bloodshed. Edward I’s muscle power triumphed long enough to build a muscle-bound symmetrical castle, showcasing the latest ‘walls within walls’ technology. Learn all about the castles rich history and its tales of war.
* Valle Crucis Abbey
When: 28th and 29th September from 11am until 4pm.
Where: Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio, Llangollen LL20 8DD
What’s included: Free guided tour at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.
Description: Building work began on the Abbey in 1201. Eight centuries later and the abbey is one of the best preserved in Wales. Even the monks’ fishpond is still full of water! Valle Crucis Abbey suffered a serious fire and numerous attacks but went on to earn a reputation for its appreciation of the literary arts.
There are also plenty of churches and historical societies if you think your little historians will enjoy a good look around. Please visit https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/whats-on/find-a-cadw-event for more details.
To keep in the know of other local events, days out, kids groups and more, please feel free to visit our website www.cluedinwithkids.co.uk or follow us via social media.
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