The dramatic landscape of Wales has been inspiring people for hundreds of years, the breath-taking scenery and fascinating history encourages creativity and expression. All over the country you will discover captivating museums which are home to glimpses of years gone by, as well as galleries filled to the brim with original and imaginative pieces of art. Here are some of my favourites from this stunning part of the UK:
Oriel Ynys Môn, Anglesey’s Centre for Art and History
Anglesey has a rich and diverse history, with evidence of humans on the isle since 7000BC. Gain an insight and enjoy the journey through the past at the Oriel Môn during your stay at your Anglesey holiday cottages, admiring the treasures and exhibits on show. The diverse collection delves deep into the islands maritime history from ancient shipwrecks which are now thriving underwater habitats to the visitors who arrived on Anglesey after travelling unimaginable distances across the open ocean. The heritage of this stunning part of Wales is fascinating, with an affluent copper mine during the 17th and 18th century, the world-famous Menai Bridge, 17th-century windmills, historical ports and harbours and much, much more.
The art exhibitions at the Oriel Môn frequently change throughout the year, yet many of them share the same inspiration. People, culture, and landscapes are at the heart of several of the collections. The range of mediums, styles, and subjects ensures there is something to suit all tastes and interests.
Free admission and open daily, excluding the Christmas period.
St Fagans National Museum of History
The open-air museum in Cardiff is one of the leading of its kind in the whole of Europe. There are over 40 ancient buildings, which have been cautiously restored, using traditional methods and materials and re-erected within the stunning setting of the grounds of the St Fagans Castle. Within each captivating building, visitors are transported back in time, as inside you will discover artifacts which provide visitors with a tangible insight into life during that period, as well as in-depth information displays and enlightening staff on hand to answer your queries and illustrate that period of history.
The buildings have a huge variety, and an abundance of fascinations are held within each one. From a 20th-century bakehouse, a 19th-century workmen’s Institute and a tailor’s workshop to a 17th-century woolen mill and an 18th-century pigsty – the diversity of the exhibition buildings ensure a fantastic and memorable day out for all.
Free admission (£5.00 charge for the carpark) and open daily, excluding the Christmas period.
National Wool Museum
As one of the most prosperous industries in Wales, wool production is an integral and intertwined part of the country’s history. Nestled within the stunning Cambrian hills, the ancient and sensitively restored mill remains open for visitors interested in uncovering and learning the processes involved to get the freshly shaven sheep’s wool and turn it into various items of clothing, carpets, and bedsheets, amongst other textiles. Throughout the tour, visitors can see the historical machinery, much of which is still operational today, to gain an understanding of how the beautiful items were made.
If after your trip you are interested in giving some of these ancient and often forgotten skills a go, there is a range of regular workshops that take place at the mill. Examples of these include the Natural Dyeing Workshop, Welsh Basket Making, Knitting Club and the Spinner and Weavers Group. All are welcome (some have age restrictions), and many of them are free to attend.
Free admission. Open daily from April-September. Open Tuesday-Saturday from October-March.
Mostyn Contemporary Gallery
The collection at the Mostyn Gallery presents work from a diverse pool of artists from Wales and further afield, each one ranging in technique and the mediums used. With six spaces enclosed inside the Edwardian building, each turn during your journey brings more visual delights of contemporary art.
There are frequent talks and seminars as well as a range of interesting and fun craft and art workshops such as life drawing, graffiti tags and comic book sketching.
Free admission. Open Tuesday-Sunday.
Which museum or gallery will you be visiting during your stay in Wales? I would love to hear your recommendations, let me know via my social media channels!
Written by: Quality Cottages
Quality Cottages have an extensive range of superb self-catered holiday cottages all over Wales, in some of the most stunning locations in the area. From popular seaside historical towns, secluded and rural locations offering peace and tranquillity, to cottages surrounded by the picturesque rolling hills of the Welsh countryside and much, much more! Your stay in a Quality Cottage in Wales will be a holiday that you’ll cherish for many years to come.
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