Singing the Praises of Welsh Choirs

By Rick Steves

Wafting through pubs and churches across Wales, one of the most enduring features of that seductive culture is the sound of its choirs singing traditional Welsh songs. Nearly every town has a choir (men's or mixed) that practices weekly, and visitors are usually welcome to observe the session. (As these choir rehearsals have become something of a tourist attraction, many choirs ask attendees for a small donation — fair enough.) Most start at 19:30, 19:45, or 20:00, and last about 1.5–2 hours — and sometimes the choir heads to the pub afterward for a good old-fashioned, beer-lubricated sing-along that you can join.

Take in a weekly evening choir practice at one of the following towns in North Wales (note that some towns have more than one choir, and schedules are subject to change — confirm the schedule with a local tourism office or your B&B before making the trip):

  • Maelgwn Choir (men's) in Llandudno Junction, near Conwy (Monday nights except August)
  • Meibion Choir (men's) in Caernarfon (Tuesday nights except August, arrive 15 minutes early to get a seat)
  • Ruthin Choir (mixed) in Pwllglass, three miles south of Ruthin (Thursdays except August)
  • Llangollen Male Voice Choir (Friday nights, pub singsong afterward)

Additionally, many choirs regularly perform concerts — inquire for the latest schedule.