5 Cool things to do in Wales
Fancy an activity holiday with the kids or an adreneline fuelled weekend with friends? Snowdonia is my new favourite staycation!
Every New Year we pick something as a family that we want to achieve and this year it was to climb a mountain. So this summer, the Muddy household decamped to a remote Air B’n’B cottage in Snowdonia and embarked on a week of family adventures.
Here are my top five cool things to do in Wales:
There are six official routes and the Rhyd-Ddu path is one of the more family friendly paths. It was my third time climbing this stunning mountain and this was absolutely my favourite. There’s a pay and display carpark at the bottom (£4 for all day, coins only) and a mile down the road is the lovely Cwellyn Arms – a great post climb pint and chips stop.
At 3,500 feet this is quite a challenge for little legs, however my girls (aged 7, 11 & 13) exceeded my expectations and absolutely embraced the climb (my back pack was full of Haribo bribes just in case).
Bank Holiday weekend and sunshine meant it was incredibly busy at the top. Muddy tip – make sure you book the train back down in advance . We didn’t (city folk expectations) and much to our horror the train was fully booked. Allow 6-8 hours if you’re walking with children (it took us about four to reach the top) and be prepared, click here for some moutain hiking essentials.
There are some lovely walking routes in Snowdonia including a few smaller mountains, waterfalls and lake paths if you’re nervous about taking on Snowdon. Click here for 10 easier walks.
Zip World Adventure
These guys have absolutely capitalised on the landscape with three sites offering adreneline fuelled zip wires across quarry mines, bouncing underground in caves and toboggan style rollercoasters through the forests.
For the brave – Velocity 2 is the fastest zip line in the world – you can travel at speeds of over 100mph. There is a minimum age of 10 and be warned you do have to get on the scales to be weighed!
For the adventurous – Bounce Below is an enormous underground net adventure, where you get to jump and slide your way through the disused mine.
For the thrill seekers – Fforest Coaster – one kilometer of gravity driven twists, turns and thrills through the trees. Toboggans can take two – so good for the little mudlings.
Loads more activities from zip safaris through the trees to flying, climbing and traversing your way through underground disused slate mines.
For more information visit www.zipworld.co.uk
Portmeirion feels more akin to the Amalfi Coast than Wales. With its brightly coloured Mediterranean style buildings, landscaped sub-tropical gardens, exotic forests and breathtaking beaches – it’s an incredibly surreal day out.
The place had a utopian feel to it (picture the ‘Good Place’) and bizarrely, despite being a tourist attraction, people do actually live here. I imagine the waiting list is decades long, however there are two stylish hotels and self-catering cottages available if you fancy a little Italian escape without the flight. Plus, shops, a spa, cafes, restaurants and an authentic Italian style gelateria.
Drive on the beach
The great thing about Snowdonia is that you have everything in one place – lakes, mountains and fabulous beaches. Head west to the exapnsive beach at Black Rock Sands which is a popular spot not just for picnickers and sandcastle builders, but for a bit of beach driving action. Kids absolutely love it plus at low-tide there are plenty of caves and rock pools to explore. Little Muddy tip – check the tides and go off peak so you can have a real good burn!
Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, Lake Bala has lots to offer both off and on the water. Bala Adventure and Watersports offer canoeing, sailing, mountain biking and climbing. For those not feeling the adreneline, there are some nice walks in the area or take it easy and jump on ‘Alice’ the old fashioned steam train which runs the length of the lake. There are several lakeside Camping spots plus lots of wild swimming opportunities too.
Cael hwyl (Have fun!)