The Big Cheese Festival, Caerphilly

The Big Cheese is one of my favourite days of the year. It’s a weekend long festival of all things Welsh and of course medieval as it’s set in one of the greatest European medieval castles, Caerphilly Castle. Caerphilly Castle is actually the second largest castle in Britain with only Windsor Castle being bigger. 

Caerphilly Castle Wales
Caerphilly Castle, Wales

If you’d like to know more about the castles history check out this link where you can find lots more impressive photographs. 

The Big Cheese Festival has lots of craft stalls from all around Wales with demonstrations in a variety of crafts, including wood carving, wool spinning on a wheel, smelting of arrow heads as well as more modern crafts. 

Wool that has been spun by hand and dyed.

Examples of tools used for smelting arrow heads or jewellery from molten metals.

There is also the obligatory funfair with all the rides and games that you can think of. That’s not really my thing but L’il Miss turned out to be a dab hand at ‘hook a duck’. I don’t trust her yet with darts! 🙂

Mr Ty Siriol’s favourite part was the food festival. He loves anything food! There are so many stalls to choose from that you’ll never go hungry. 

Mine and L’il Miss’ favourite part of the festival was the re-enactments of medieval life and military. As well as having a medieval village set up in the castle itself there were also demonstrations of the different weapons they used and how they were trained. Boys as young as 7 years were recruited and trained to fight. Mock battles between rival tribes were re-enacted followed by demonstrations of different swords and later on, muskets and canons. Yes, they fired a cannon for us! L’il Miss didn’t like the loud noise much though. After the demonstrations we were free to go and talk to the musketeers and swordsmen, and even hold some of the weapons! 

Ty Siriol clan at Caerphilly Castle
Re-enactment of a battle between tribes. Note the dead lying on the ground.

Cooking dinner on an open fire in the medieval village at Caerphilly Castle
Cooking dinner on an open fire in the medieval village at Caerphilly Castle

L'il Miss Ty Siriol ready for battle at Caerphilly Castle
L’il Miss Ty Siriol ready for battle!

Family life in the medieval village at Caerphilly Castle
Family life in the medieval village at Caerphilly Castle

Mrs Ty Siriol going into battle at Caerphilly Castle
Mrs Ty Siriol going into battle. Maybe I need to work on the camouflage?

Mr Ty Siriol ready to protect his clan at Caerphilly Castle
Mr Ty Siriol ready to protect his clan! My hero!

Ty Siriol at Caerphilly Castle
Master John demonstrating the musket. In the foreground is the canon!

Demonstrating the long sword and hand canon.

It was a fantastic day out and there really is something for everyone. As over 80,000 people attended last year I do however recommend that you use the park and rides (there are several of them) rather than try to park in the town. The park and ride was free last time I used it. In fact the event itself is free! Maybe I should have mentioned that sooner. 

I’m now looking forward to the next date in my calendar, the Caerphilly Medieval Christmas market. Another one not to be missed and what little one wouldn’t want to see Santa in such a gorgeous setting? Link below for more info.

That’s all from me for now. I hope you enjoyed the review and maybe I’ll see you at the next event?

Cathy x

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  1. Ty Siriol says:

    I can definitely recommend them. The night before is also fantastic as they have fireworks go off over the castle. Even better, you're less likely to be rained on in the summer!
    Cath x

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