If you were asked the question ‘where’s your happy place’ the answers would, of course be different for all of us. But the idea of a personal “happy place” – somewhere you can escape the stress of everyday life and feel completely at ease is a good one.

For some, it may be a busy shopping centre. For others, it could be the beauty of the beach, and let’s be honest we have many to choose from here in South Wales. Think of it as that place you go to be fully present with yourself, and you can enjoy the whole experience.

Welsh swimmers, Daniel Jervis and Xavier Castelli, are part of a new portrait series called ‘Ticket To Your Happy Place’ shot by photographer Tom Oldham and commissioned by The National Lottery. The portrait series celebrates all the places that make us happy, that we love to visit, and have missed over the past year. Daniel and Xavier’s happy place is The Wales National Pool in Swansea.

The Wales National Pool in Swansea

The portraits have been commissioned to celebrate The National Lottery Open Week, which offers discounts and free entry at participating venues from 5 -13 June, and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend, which offers free cinema tickets at more than 500 cinema sites across the UK on 19 and 20 June. All as a thank you for the £30million raised for good causes every week by National Lottery players. 

The Wales National Pool in Swansea will off a free swim throughout The National Lottery Open Week.

When asked why Wales National Pool is his happy place, swimmer Daniel, who recently confirmed his Team GB place for the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, told us…..

“I have so many memories of my time here at The Wales National Pool – this is where I won my first gold medal. What I love most about being in the pool is how calm it makes me feel. I’ve trained every day since I was a child, so I’ve really missed this place while it’s been closed. I’m really glad to be back under water and back with my friends.”

Olympic hopeful, Daniel Jervis, is captured in his happy place by iconic photographer Tom Oldham.

Fellow high-performance swimmer, Xavier said….

“The National Pool here in Swansea is a place we can be ourselves. Being in the water makes me feel relaxed and where I feel most comfortable, so I’m really looking forward to competing again with a proper crowd and being in a club environment with my teammates.”

Welsh swimmer Xavier Castelli is captured in his happy place by iconic photographer Tom Oldham. Wales National Pool in Swansea is one of hundreds of venues taking part in The National Lottery Open Week, offering National Lottery players free entry and special offers to say thank you for the £30m they raise for good causes each week.

Port Talbot resident, Kate Jones, has hers and is also part of the portrait series ‘Ticket To Your Happy Place’. Kate’s happy place is St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff.

Kate Jones is captured in her happy place by iconic photographer Tom Oldham

St Fagans National Museum of History – which already offers free entry – will give a 20% discount in its gift shop, and the shops in the other six National Museums of Wales throughout The National Lottery Open Week.

When asked why St Fagans National Museum of History is her happy place, 20-year-old student Kate told us…….

“I have been a regular visitor here for as long as I can remember. I have so many home videos of me playing in the grounds as a toddler and picnicking outside the bakery, and we still talk about the school trip where we all came dressed as Victorian school children. Now that I’m older, I still love visiting all the amazing houses and displays.”

Kate credits St Fagans National Museum of History with making her the history-obsessed person she is today. In fact, she now runs a Cardiff-based history Instagram account, which largely consists of photographs she has taken while at St Fagans and other Welsh historical sites. 

“Everything about St Fagans is quintessentially Welsh to me. It’s a place that makes you feel at home despite being largely outdoors. The smell is probably my favourite part; the baking bread and warm Welsh cakes mixed in with a smoky fire lit in almost every house. I don’t think there is anywhere on Earth that smells as amazing as the museum.”

Bethan Lewis, Head of St Fagans National Museum of History told us……

“We’re thrilled that Kate picked St Fagans as her ‘happy place’ – we’re pleased that our visitors have such a strong affection for our museum.

“We’re excited to be taking part in The National Lottery Open Week this June.  In 2012 we were awarded a grant of £11.5 million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the largest grant ever awarded in Wales, to transform St Fagans which included constructing new buildings, opening new galleries and improving the visitor facilities. So, this is our way of saying thank you to everyone who has bought a National Lottery ticket, helped us on our journey and made a vital contribution to supporting good causes. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back.”

St Fagans National Museum of History is open every day 10am – 5pm

The Museum remains FREE TO ENTER. However, to keep you and staff safe, they have had to reduce the number of people they can welcome on site at any one time. To manage this, all visitors will need to have booked a free ticket in advance HERE. Sadly, if you don’t book and present a valid ticket, you’ll be turned away. They can make no exceptions. 

Recent research from The National Lottery reveals eight in ten (81%) of UK adults have missed their ‘happy place’ during lockdown, whilst over half (57%) intend to visit their happy place at the earliest possible opportunity. Over three-quarters (79%) agree that we are fortunate in the UK to have a wide range of attractions, cultural sites, history, and art on the doorstep.

Until Sunday (13th June), The National Lottery Open Week line-up includes free entry as well as exclusive discounts and offers at incredible venues and experiences across the UK, for anyone with a valid National Lottery ticket or scratchcard. From galleries and museums, to historic castles and gardens as well as sports stadiums and nature reserves, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.  

And for those whose happy place is enjoying a film at the cinema, The National Lottery Cinema Weekend, in partnership with the BFI, will take place on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th June at around 500 cinema sites across the UK. Cinema Weekend will make over 200,000 free adult tickets available for any film screening across the weekend, as a thank you to National Lottery players for their vital contribution to film.To search for your nearest participating happy place venues and cinemas, where your National Lottery ticket or scratchcard will unlock these special offers, head  HERE.

Terms and conditions and booking instructions across special offers will vary, check the individual offer listing for details. Please check your relevant national and local authority website for more information on COVID-19 restrictions where you live before booking. Also check local guidance before travelling.

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