Winter frees

Whatever the weather this January, you can rely on a Mediterranean experience in the Great Glasshouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales – where admission is FREE for the whole month.
A series of weekend-long events has been arranged throughout the month to help encourage more people to visit the Garden – which The Times newspaper branded the “Number 1 Winter Wonderland in the UK”. Through the month, the highlights include: an Antiques Fair , Woodcraft Weekend and a ‘Local Producer’ Food Fair – all taking place in the stunning surrounds of Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse. The Antiques Fair is on Saturday and Sunday, January 14-15, and is billed as two days of high-quality antiques stalls with china, jewellery and furniture – organised by Derwen Fairs. Saturday and Sunday, January 21-22, sees the return of the popular Woodcraft Weekend, an event for all woodworkers including demonstrations of woodturning, toy-making, carving, intarsia, pyrography, with international craftsmen such as Mark Raby, Mick Hanbury, Bob Neill, Mark Baker, Simon Hope showing off their skills. In addition, there will be a number of trade stands, including Robert Sorby, Trend, Ashley Iles, Timberman, Turners Retreat and many more. On the last weekend of FREE January (Saturday and Sunday, January 28-29), there will be a festival of local food and drink with more than 30 stalls offering the best that the west has to offer in terms of local produce. Head of Marketing and Communications David Hardy said: “Our ‘FREE January’ was such a big hit with visitors last year we are hoping – with some additional events – we will be able to tempt even more folk along to the Garden.” Also on at the Garden in FREE January are the next two performances in the Celtic Women Concert Series which feature singer, pianist, and entertainer Amanda Painting (Sunday January 8 at 2pm) and harpist, songwriter, poet and storyteller Hazel Saville on Sunday January 15. For more information, call 01558 667149 or info@gardenofwales.org.uk. For a full list of what’s on at the Garden, go to www.gardenofwales.org.uk   National Garden of Wales, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire

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