Posted 1st Mar 2016
With St David's Day upon us we've rounded up the best things to see and do in celebration of the patron saint of Wales
Watch a parade
If you're in the country's capital on 1st March don't miss out on the National St David's Day Parade. Witness the flamboyant red and yellow carnival travel across the centre of the city, join in on the mass rendition of the national anthem and finish the procession outside St David's Hall. If you want to continue your celebrations into the evening, head back to the hall and enjoy an extraordinary performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Don't worry if you're not planning on being in Cardiff on St David's Day, as there are plenty of parades going on elsewhere in Wales. Head to the historic market town of Aberystwyth, the beautiful Victorian seaside resort of Llandudno, or the largest town in North Wales, Wrexham.
Explore the daffodil gardens
Honour St David's Day by going to see and admire the national flower of Wales. Many of the National Trust's gardens will be bursting with bright daffodils throughout March and April, so venture outside and celebrate both St David's Day and the start of spring. One of the National Trust's finest daffodil displays is located at the 1,200-acre estate of Erddig in Wales, where you can easily spend the whole day exploring the beautiful gardens. Some of the National Trust's best daffodil displays are also located at Blickling Estate in Norfolk, Dunham Massey in Cheshire, Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, Nymans in West Sussex, Trelissick in Cornwall and Wallington in Northumberland, so wherever you are in Britain, you can appreciate the colourful Welsh emblem.
Visit a heritage site
Many Welsh heritage sites and castles open their doors for free on St David's Day, encouraging people to reconnect with their ancestry. One of the best places to visit includes the biggest castle in Wales at Caerphilly, where they will also be hosting a Welsh Craft Fair in the Great Hall as part of the celebrations. Other popular free sites to visit on St David's Day include one of the oldest castles in Britain at Chepstow, and the best preserved medieval abbey in Wales at Tintern.
Go to St David's
Located on the far South-West coast of Wales, St David's is the final resting place of the Welsh patron saint. There's plenty to do in Britain's smallest city including visiting the cathedral and the ruined Bishop's Palace, which will also be marking the special day with free admission. Situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, St David's is surrounded by beautiful coastal scenery and is renowned for its abundance of wildlife, so put on your walking boots and enjoy a coastal walk or nature tour.
Walk in the Welsh countryside
Wales is well known for its beautiful farmland, valleys and woodland, so why not celebrate St David's Day with a leisurely walk? Visit a popular walking spot like the Brecon Beacons National Park, explore the soaring mountains of Snowdonia, discover the cliffs and vineyards of Glamorgan Heritage Coast, or experience the castle-dotted hills of Carmarthenshire.
Make Welsh cakes
Cooking and eating Welsh cakes has been a tradition in Wales for as long as anyone can remember. It is believed that Welsh coal miners took the cakes, which were loaded with lard, butter and sugar, to work in their coat pockets for a high energy snack. The tasty little cakes, which are flavoured with spices and dried fruits before being baked on a griddle and eaten warm with sprinkled sugar, make a delicious treat for St David's Day. The best thing is that Welsh cakes are easy to make, so the kids can join in too.
Try making Welsh cakes on St David's Day with this traditional recipe from The Penny Farthing Café in south Wales.
225g plain flour
75g caster sugar
¼ teaspoon mixed spice
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 medium egg
1. Sift the flour, sugar, mixed spice, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
2. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub into the flour mixture with your fingers until it becomes crumbly in texture.
3. Mix in the currants.
4. Work the egg into the mixture until you have a soft dough. You may need to add a splash of milk if the mixture seems a little dry. It should be the same consistency as shortcrust pastry.
5. Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to the thickness of your little finger.
6. Cut out rounds using a cutter, re-rolling any trimmings.
7. Cook the cakes on a greased baked stone or griddle for about 3 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy. The heat should not be too high, as the cakes will cook on the outside too quickly and will not cook in the middle.
8. Serve sprinkled with caster sugar or warm with butter and jam.
Tip: The cakes will stay fresh for up to 1 week if kept in a tin.
Recipe courtesy of www.quarterpennycafe.co.uk
Images courtesy of © Crown copyright (2016) Visit Wales and © National Trust Images Robert Morris