Ice Skating at Caerphilly Castle -December 2019

After the tremendous success of last year’s event, a fantastic Ice Skating Rink will return  to Caerphilly Castle this Christmas!

The wonderful experience of ice skating within the grounds of Wales’  largest castle will be even more magical this year with the opportunity to go ice skating on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve too!

Skate sessions for last year’s event were a sell out for all weekend bookings, so book your tickets soon if you would like to go ice skating  within the grounds of this magnificent 750 year old castle.

The ice rink will be open from  Friday 6th December (in time for the Caerphilly Christmas Market) and will continue for a WHOLE month until Monday 6th January 2020. During this time, Caerphilly Castle will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland, where guests can enjoy outdoor skating on a real ice rink, indulge in treats from a pop-up cafe and visits from Father Christmas are also planned.

The ice rink will be open from 12pm to 9pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 10am to 9pm on Friday, Saturday and Sundays – last skate at 8pm – with each slot lasting 45 minutes. The rink will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Skate sessions, within the walls of Wales’s largest castle, should be pre-booked online at, with tickets priced at £6.50 for children under 14, £9.00 for adults and £27.00 for families (two adults and two children) with standard skate hire included in the skate price.

This event has been organised by Cadw in partnership with Castle Court Shopping Centre, Caerphilly County Council, Caerphilly Town Council, Transport for Wales and 11th Hour.

Further Information

1. Ten penguin-shaped ‘ice walkers’ per session will be available at an extra cost for younger guests, (first come first served) with children aged 3-7 years only permitted to skate when accompanied by an adult.

 2. Discounted school bookings are available from 12pm to 5pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday by calling 02920 099087.

3. Special concessions are also available on weekday group bookings for clubs, choirs, local sports teams and office parties from 12pm-5pm.

4. Visitors in wheelchairs are welcome to enter the ice rink, but must be joined by a companion. Meanwhile, Autism friendly sessions will take place on Sunday, 15 December at 10am and Wednesday 18 December at 12pm.

5. The event ties into Cadw’s three year £5.3m investment plan which aims to transform the Castle into a world class heritage attraction, increasing visitor numbers and making the monument more sustainable.  Based on a recently completed masterplan, this new ambitious programme will truly enhance visitors’ experience through improved welcome, floodlighting, catering offer and innovative interpretation.  Critical conservation work will also help improve their understanding and enjoyment of one Wales’s most important historic sites.

Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said: “Following the success of last year, we are delighted to announce that the ice-skating experience will be returning to Caerphilly Castle this December. We look forward to seeing people of all ages enjoying the surrounding of this magnificent castle in the lead up to Christmas.

Cllr Sean Morgan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet member with responsibility for tourism at Caerphilly County Borough Council, said:“The return of the ice rink to Caerphilly Castle is welcome news, not only for our residents but also for visitors to the area.  We work closely with Cadw to promote Caerphilly as a tourist destination of choice and are pleased to support them in launching this year’s ice rink and festive events.’

Need a taxi this festive season? Then, why not click here and follow 1st Choice Caerphilly Taxis to find out more about their offers and loyalty scheme.

For other events this Christmas, please go here:

A Medieval Christmas 2019 at Caerphilly Castle (including the chance to meet Father Christmas!)


Caerphilly Christmas Market in Caerphilly Town Centre

River of Light Lantern Workshops at Caerphilly Leisure Centre

River of Light Lantern Parade in Caerphilly Town Centre 2019


1. REFUNDS – ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL. No refunds, for whatever reason, shall be given on any booking, in full or in part.

2. EXCHANGES – Customers may exchange bookings, subject to availability, to different skate session date / time, of the same value. If an off-peak ticket was bought, the difference must be paid by the customer to exchange to a peak session. Exchanges should be made at least 12 hours before the skating session you are booked onto. Any Exchanges requested within 12 hours will not be permitted. All exchanges will incur a £1.00 processing fee, per booking. All exchange requests should be made by calling 0333 666 3366.

3. By purchasing this ticket, it is your responsibility as the skater / participant / ticket holder to understand and assume liability for the risks and dangers inherent to ice-related sports and recreational ice skating.
These risks and dangers include, but are not limited to:
Minor injuries such as scratches, bruises, blisters and sprains
Major injuries such as eye injury, loss of sight, joint or back sprains, strains, breaks, concussions, sever cuts, head trauma, dismemberment, cardiac arrest, partial or total paralysis and death.
We recommend you consulting a doctor before you participate in any sporting activity.

4. WARNING – ICE IS A SLIPPERY SURFACE, this presents skaters with many hazards, which all skaters should fully understand before entering the ice pad, point 3 above refers.

5. CODE OF CONDUCT FOR SKATING –All skaters (ticket holders) agree to all the terms and conditions of skating, and agree to obey all posted signage, and instructions given to them by rink staff and management. Skaters found disobeying rules shall be ejected from the site. Skaters code of conduct rules, and terms and conditions can be found at You are advised to read and understand fully these terms and conditions for skating, before confirming your booking.

By confirming your booking, you are agree to the terms and conditions for skating, and the skaters’ code of conduct.

6. Customers not complying to the rules for skating, appear drunk and disorderly, or under, or suspected to be under the influence of drugs, management have the rights to refuse admission to the ticket holder, and also reserve the right to remove members of the public from the site.

7. 24H CCTV CAMERAS IN OPERATION – CCTV Cameras are in use across the event site including the ice rink and ice surface for safety, insurance and fraudulent claim purposes. All video images and audio, from all cameras are recorded, and kept for a minimum of 6 years.

8. Children between the ages of 3 and 7 years of age inclusive, must be accompanied by a responsible adult when ice skating at this rink. Children under 3 are not permitted on the ice.


The Big Phill Christmas Guide 2019

Whether it’s ice skating in the castle or a festive market, there are so many wonderful things happening in Caerphilly this Christmas that there will be something to suit everyone!

Ystrad Mynach Festive Fayre 2019

Christmas Light Switch On 2019 – Caerphilly Town Centre

Caerphilly By Twilight 2019 in Caerphilly Town Centre

Bargoed Ice Rink 2019

Blackwood Winter Fair

Wind in the Willows at Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall

Aladdin at Blackwood Miners’ Institute

Ice Skating at Caerphilly Castle -December 2019

Caerphilly Christmas Market in Caerphilly Town Centre

A Medieval Christmas 2019 at Caerphilly Castle (including the chance to meet Father Christmas!)

Santa’s Winter Wonderland at Cwmcarn Forest Visitor Centre

Christmas Market at Deri Community Centre

Santa’s Christmas Countdown at Newbridge Memo

River of Light Lantern Workshops at Caerphilly Leisure Centre

River of Light Lantern Parade in Caerphilly Town Centre 2019


Need a taxi home afterwards? Then, why not click here and follow 1st Choice Caerphilly Taxis to find out more about their offers and loyalty scheme.




The Zutons at Caerphilly Castle – July 2019

Amazing news for all indie music fans; The Zutons are heading to Caerphilly Castle!

The Zutons are the latest band to be announced at Wales’ largest castle and are part of a busy July line up of live music in South Wales.

This 750 year old castle (with the help of Welsh promoters Orchard Live) has really established itself as a top music venue since 2016. With many popular bands, including Ocean Colour  and The Levellers, playing there in recent years. The magnificent backdrop and excellent acoustics have proved a real hit with music fans around the countr.y. Leading Orchard Live to bring more and more bands to the majestic Caerphilly Castle.

The July gig will see The Zutons perform their iconic, double platinum album ‘Who Killed The Zutons?’ and coincides with the 15th anniversary of its release.

This news of the first Zutons tour in nine years has delighted fans everywhere.

Dave McCabe, The Zutons frontman, has said: “We’ve all been off doing  for a little while, and it’s only with hindsight and a bit of space that you see how special something really is.. It’s easy to take things for granted when you’re younger, but now it’s just amazing to think of those songs still having a place in the world, and for people to come and hear us play them again.”

The Stranglers and Ruts DC will play Caerphilly Castle a week prior to The Zutons as this July proves to be heating up in this friendly Welsh town. The  US rockers, Black Stone Cherry, will then be performing the day after The Zutons on Saturday 13th July.

Tickets will go on general sale at 10am on Friday 15th February at 10am. To book online, please head to: :

Alternatively, book locally through Blackwood Miners’ Institute or by calling 0844 844 0444.

Visit Father Christmas in his Grotto at Caerphilly Castle in 2018

Winter is coming and things are looking really interesting at the iconic Caerphilly Castle in 2018. As part of their magical Christmas celebrations, there’s the chance to see Father Christmas in their fantastic, medieval castle – what better way to get into the Christmas spirit?

Indeed the town of Caerphilly will be alive with festive magic on the second weekend of December,  when you cannot only visit Father Christmas in his grotto but also take a walk around their famous Christmas Markets and enjoy a mulled wine or two. There will also be the amazing opportunity to skate on Caerphilly Castle’s first ever ice rink as well.   The perfect way to relax and enjoy the festivities within these stunning castle grounds.

The ticket price will include a present for your little one and their entry to the castle.

Tickets will be available to buy  at Caerphilly Castle from 1st November 2018. Please call 02920 883143.

To find out more about the fantastic Christmas events running in and around the castle, please click below:

Ice Skating at Caerphilly Castle

Christmas Tree Festival 

Christmas Markets

Visiting Father Christmas

River of Light Lantern Parade

River of Light Lantern Workshops

Heading out over Christmas? Then, why not book your taxi with 1st Choice Caerphilly Taxi and enjoy a 20% off Christmas and New Year’s rates. Simply click here for details.




Emma Burns Complementary Therapies Review

 To be honest, I felt a little nervous about having a reflexology treatment. Like many of us, I’ve seen these things but always thought that they weren’t really for me. Well, the first thing to say is that this afternoon totally changed my mind on this….

When Emma (from Emma Burns Complementary Therapies) arrived at my home, I was immediately made to feel at ease. I sat down in the suitable chair she had brought with her for the session and we then started to chat through what I was to expect. The benefits of reflexology were explained to me in a clear and understandable way. I liked her honest and clear approach. I was also surprised at how relaxed I felt just talking to her. 

After Emma collected some information about me (to analyse my requirements), it was time for the session to start. The reflexologist talked me through some breathing exercises to begin with and as she began to work on my feet, I began to feel instantly calmer. Within minutes, I felt totally ‘in the zone’ and was enjoying the chance to take a ‘time-out’ from all those everyday tasks and worries. Having trained ten years ago, Emma is an experienced reflexologist and this was demonstrated to me clearly during the session. Not just in the way that she enabled me to relax (music, breathing exercises and her technique), but also in the advice she gave before and after the session.

Once the reflexology had finished (and I was given time to ‘come round’), Emma spoke to me about the importance of keeping myself hydrating after reflexology and about what I could do moving forward. Personally, I couldn’t believe the sense of relaxation I felt during and afterwards. I was also astonished at how rejuvenated I felt. I was full of energy and things that had been bothering me no longer seemed so important.

 So, would I recommend Emma’s reflexology sessions to a friend? Definitely. I think they would be particularly useful to anyone feeling stressed; be it work, home or exam related.  So, if you’re someone (or know of someone) who has been feeling anxious, needs help relieving the symptoms of an ailment, having a tough pregnancy or simply in need of a better work life balance, I would definitely recommend a session with Emma!

Please click here to go to the Facebook page for Emma Burns Complementary Therapies.


Disclosure: This was a complimentary session.



The Big Phill Comedy Night at Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall

Yeah – The Big Phill Comedy Night is back!

Also, not only is there the chance of seeing five top comedians for a tenner, if we sell over 100 tickets before the event, we’re going to throw in a free drink* too!

We’re pleased to announce that our MC will  be the fantastic Lorna Pritchard, fresh from her monthly sellout comedy shows in Cardiff.

Joining Lorna, will be the amazing Andrew Rutledge, the heart warming Col Howarth and the hilarious Karen Sherrard. Our headliner for the evening will be none other than the super funny award-winning Simon Emanuel!

To purchase a £10 ticket for the event, please go to either Eds Attic Music Store, The Old Library, The Visitor’s Centre and Caerphilly Rugby Club. They will also be available on and shortly. Tickets will be £12 on the door.

Time to bring the fun to the Philly!!!

* The free drink offer will be available to all ticket holders once 100 tickets have been purchased before the night of the event. The free drink available will be a small glass of wine (125ml) or a soft drink.*

All tickets purchased for the event dated 3rd March 2018 are valid for this new date!

** To be resheduled due to adverse weather conditions** The Big Phill Comedy Night at Caerphilly Workmen’s Hall

Don’t miss out on your chance to enjoy a fantastic night of comedy and celebrate St.David’s Weekend in style!

Our fantastic headliner will be none other than the absolutely hilarious Tiff Stephenson! She’s delighted the TV audiences of Mock the Week, Show Me The Funny and Russell Howard’s Good News  -and now she’s coming to Caerphilly!

Joining Tiff will be not one – but four – of the best Welsh comedians on the circuit at the moment; the fantastically funny Andrew Rutledge, award winning Simon Emanuel, heart warming Col Howarth and our MC (from the most popular sellout comedy shows in Cardiff) is the fabulous Lorna Pritchard!

So,  that’s five comedians for a tenner!



Here’s some more details on our comedians!

1, Our MC for the evening,  fresh from her successful sellout comedy shows in Cardiff,  will be the absolutely fantastic – Lorna Pritchard!

Why I’m not a bald man called Phill

Now, if you (like one of my lovely followers that I bumped into the other week) thought I was a big, bald guy called Phill, I’m sad to say that I’m about to disappoint you. The truth is; I’m not bald, I’m not big and I’m not called Phill. Well, at least, I never used to be….

The truth is I’m only 5ft 2 (and a half) inches, I have lots of hair and well, umm, how can I say this…. I’m a woman. Is this all a bit too much to take in? I’m sorry. Maybe I should take it back a bit….

So, let’s return to that night in the kitchen. You know the night, the one where I was making the dinner and deciding to come up with a page to promote Caerphilly. Well, as I stood there (stirring the curry), it occurred to me that maybe it (my Facebook page) should have a name. So, I wrote down lots of words that came into my head when I thought of Caerphilly… Beautiful, castle, mountains, wild flowers, forests, wildlife, dragons, festivals, cheese etc.

I then decided to come up with a name that would show all of this. But, what term would make people think of a medieval castle and forest green mountains at the same time? What kind of name could reflect the warmth of the people and the fun events that are held here? What name could show just how awesome Caerphilly is?

Well, I thought and I thought and I thought. And then, I came up with… nothing. Turns out I’m not very good at coming up with names. In fact, if I’m honest (and that does seem to be the point of this blog), it turns out I’m diabolical at coming up with names.

So, at this point, I gave up. I stirred my curry some more and poured myself a glass of wine. I then decided to go with something I’d heard before… A name that I liked, a name that I affectionately used for my chosen home, a name that I thought suited Caerphilly… And that is when (dear followers), that I decided to type in – The Big Phill!

It’s not the most common name for Caerphilly I know, but it’s the one that stuck with me. With its big mountains, its big castle, its big tower, its big countryside and its big-hearted people; to me, Caerphilly was The Big Phill.

The only problem is that it turns out that a lot of people, who were hoping I was a hunky, tall, bald man called Phill, will be awfully disappointed. Maybe I should get a mask? Or set up a dating app?