Imagine the scenario; you’ve planned a trip to Wales, home of roaring fires in holiday cottages and acres of stunning scenery. Travelling with you are your partner, three children and the family dog, all of which are looking for a thrilling holiday with something for everyone to explore and a good place to recharge before the next day’s adventure. What do you do? What do you do? Luckily for you, deciding to visit Wales means that you have already won half the battle, because the region is home to some remarkable contrasts, ranging from its stunning mountain ranges to miles of unspoilt natural beaches. Factor in a plethora of varied and unique attractions and the problem becomes less about ‘What to Do?’ and more about ‘Where to Start?’
Keeping the Children Happy
From my collected experiences of family holidays, I have deduced that children are amongst the most discerning of travellers who have ever lived. This naturally poses some serious questions when it comes to convincing them to abandon last Christmases’ toys, games consoles and smart TV’s and to accompany you on a journey to your chosen holiday destination. Fortunately, Wales represents an almost mythical land of adventure and inspiration that offers everything from stunning mountains and beaches to dragons, theme parks and cultural getaways. There is so much on offer that even the most demanding of travellers will find something to delight and entertain them, including a wealth of parks and attractions.
Although not dragons in the strictest sense, The Dinosaur Park Tenby for example, enables visitors both young and old to learn more about prehistory’s ‘terrible-lizards’, as well as to participate in a wealth of facilities and attractions, such as a dinosaur trail; indoor and outdoor play areas; rides and activities; an information centre for inquisitive minds; and the Ribcage Café, serving delicious refreshments. The park’s picnic tables also allow visitors to bring their own special meal to enjoy scenic al fresco dining during the sunny summer months.
Elsewhere, the Oakwood Theme Park in Narberth, Pembrokeshire is another attraction that offers a dizzying variety of things to do and great value for money. Officially Wales’ biggest theme park, Oakwood is home to plenty of adrenalin-pumping rides including ‘Megafobia’, which was recently voted the UK’s best wooden rollercoaster. The park also has several splach-tastic water rides, such as the aptly named ‘Drenched’ that will carry you more than 100 feet into the air, before plunging you down at speeds of up to 56mph!
Oakwood is also home to several more relaxed attractions, such as its ‘Spooky 3D’ ride for family adventures and classic rides including its spinning Tea Cups and Carousel ride for younger visitors. There is even a Peter Pan themed ‘Neverland’ area, which houses the ‘Aerodrome’, ‘London Taxi’ and ‘Hooks House of Havoc’ rides amongst others, so that you will never be short of a new experience to explore and discover.
Mum, Dad and the Dog
No visit to Wales would be complete without exploring some of the country’s fantastic beaches and countryside. While the children (and dog) are busy running around, building sand castles and braving the occasional paddle in the sea, parents might want to take a moment to take a closer look at the backdrops for some of their favourite TV and Film productions. In fact, parents and children can enjoy a shared experience by visiting locations such as Southerndown Beach, which was the location for some of the most iconic scenes from the adventures of Dr. Who and Rose Tyler. Moving inland, the beautiful city of Cardiff is also home to many such iconic locations.
Wales is also home to a tempting selection of gastric delights and local food festivals that will allow grown-ups to sample some fine foods over a glass of wine, while younger diners have the opportunity to learn more about foods they might not have tried previously. The Narberth Festival, Pembrokeshire for example, is held during the last week in September and was previously voted Best Event in Pembrokeshire during 2012 and 2013. While visiting the event you can expect to discover more than 50 selected food stalls, showcasing independent Welsh producers and a bar serving fantastic beers from local micro-breweries. There is also an eclectic selection of live music, street theatre and children’s activities, which all combine to create a real festival atmosphere!
When it’s Time to Rest
Once you’ve sampled a good selection of some of the many treats that Wales has to offer, it’s time to settle in for a cosy evening of relaxation while you plan your next adventure. Wales is home to an impressive array of cottages, with locally based firms offering locations set across North Wales and Snowdonia; West Wales and Pembrokeshire; as well as Mid Wales and the Brecon Beacons. Wales Cottage Holidays is based in Newtown, Powys and its local team is on-hand to ensure that you discover the perfect holiday cottage for you.
With so much on offer to see and do, a visit to Wales can be the beginning of a love affair that will make you want to visit time and time again.