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Take the train to Cardiff … to celebrate St. David’s Day

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Wales honours its patron saint in style – so if you’re looking for a party on March 1, jump on board a train and head off to the land of song to add your voice to the St. David’s Day celebrations.

But before you set off, check our journey planner for cheap train tickets first – and use the money you save to treat yourself to a traditional Welsh breakfast or some tasty Welsh cakes.

March 1 is a day of celebration in Wales – it’s St. David’s Day, the traditional feast day commemorating the country’s patron saint. If you fancy donning a daffodil and heading off to join in the fun, jump on a train to Cardiff – the Welsh capital has a whole host of events taking place, so you’ll find plenty to see and do.

Make sure you arrive in Cardiff before 12.30 on St. David’s Day – that’s when the St. David’s Day Parade kicks off. The procession begins outside of City Hall and winds its way through the streets of central Cardiff, ending up at The Hayes, a recently redeveloped commercial district in the south of the city centre, where a rousing rendition of the Welsh National Anthem will be sung.

You can even take part in the parade yourself, as long as you come dressed in Welsh costume – whether that’s traditional Welsh dress, the colours of the Welsh flag or a Red Dragon costume.

The St. David’s Day Parade includes musicians and dancers wearing traditional Welsh costume, as well as the ‘Giants of Wales’ – huge figures of Welsh icons, which were introduced into the procession in 2011.

The original ‘Giants of Wales’, created by local school children, consisted of singer Shirley Bassey and Owain Glyndwr, the last Welshman to hold the title of Prince of Wales. This year, they will be joined by three more icons, details of which are yet to be announced.

After the parade, head to the St. David’s Day Market opposite the city’s St. David’s Hall, and indulge in some traditional Welsh treats. The market is packed with stalls selling goodies like Welsh Cakes and locally produced cheeses, and you can also pick up some beautiful arts and crafts to take home with you.

The St. David’s Day celebrations in Cardiff continue well into the evening, so you can really make a night of it. The BBC National Orchestra of Wales will be performing a St. David’s Day Gala Concert at St. David’s Hall, whilst opera lovers can head to the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay to see the Welsh National Opera perform ‘The Marriage of Figaro’. Many restaurants within the city will be holding special St. David’s Day dinners too.

If you fancy extending your break in Cardiff, you can also watch (or even take part in) the annual St. David’s Day Run. This year, the charity event – which includes 5k and 10k options – takes place on Sunday 4 March.

If you want to take part, make sure you register via the St. David’s Day Run website now. But if running’s not your thing, take your place along the route and cheer the participants on – before putting your feet up on the train journey home.

Will you be taking the train to a St. David’s Day celebration this year? Let us know by leaving a comment below…

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