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Cadw ‘Open Doors’ heritage festival returns to Swansea and south west Wales this September

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As part of Cadw’s Open Doors heritage festival, more than 200 of Wales’ historic sites, landmarks and hidden gems will offer visitors free entry this September – 12 of which are in Swansea, Neath, and Carmarthenshire.

The ever-popular festival of Wales’ built heritage runs throughout September and will encourage Swansea, Neath and Carmarthenshire residents and visitors alike to explore some of the county’s lesser-known sites – several of which are usually closed to the public.

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In Swansea, Neath and Carmarthenshire, the 2022 programme features a range of historic venues, including Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles, Neath Abbey and Ironworks in Neath, and Aberglasney Gardens in Llangathen.

Across Wales, 17 Cadw sites in total will be opening their doors to visitors during September, as part of the celebration of Welsh heritage.

staffed Cadw sites, including two of Wales’ iconic medieval fortresses ― Harlech Castle in north Wales and Laugharne Castle in west Wales ― will be offering members of the public free site access during the month-long heritage celebration.

Meanwhile, 11 of Cadw’s unstaffed sites, many of which are usually closed to the public, will also offer guided tours for free on select dates in September ― including Neath Abbey’s gatehouse.

Non-Cadw sites such as Oystermouth Castle are also offering free tours, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about the history, architecture and archaeology at the site.

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Gwilym Hughes, Head of Cadw and Deputy Director in Welsh Government, said: “We warmly welcome the return of Open Doors – Wales’ annual contribution to European Heritage Days – running throughout September.

“Not only is it a celebration of the rich and fascinating history Wales has to offer, but an opportunity for more people than ever before to inspire a life-long love of history and culture – especially our younger generations.

“And by opening these sites for free, we hope to provide an equal opportunity for all to explore, enjoy and uncover the untold stories of Welsh history on their doorstep.”

Pre-booking for Cadw sites, whether staffed unstaffed, is not necessary – walk-ins are encouraged to simply turn up to visit their favourite monument and can even join the complimentary guided tours at select sites.

For the full list of Cadw and non-Cadw heritage sites taking part in Open Doors across Wales, visit the CADW website.

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(Lead image: CADW)

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