I am forever trying to come up with new places to take the kids, places that aren’t too pricey and that will ultimately ware them out, force mountains of air into their lungs and make them sleep like kings! Here are my top five places to take the kids in and around South and West Wales:
1. My favourite place in Pembrokeshire has to be Solva Harbour. It’s a quaint little place, with a few pubs, a super nick-nack shop and a harbour so picturesque it will set your heart on fire! It is without a doubt the best place to do a good bit of crabbing too. Plenty of places to pitch up and have a picnic (and grab a cold beer).
You will need: Buckets, crab lines, bacon trimmings and a pack up to keep you going. Its ace – have fun!
2. The next best place in this area is White Sands Bay. There is a small shop/café at the top of the hill, but otherwise generally uncommercial (which I definitely prefer). The surf is good, so you may well be accompanied by some rather lovely eye candy to keep you going!
You will need: I advise kitting up with wet suits for the kids and a few body boards, although you can hire these from a lovely chap with a hut on the beach. Bring plenty of food to keep your energy levels up and go grab a cuppa from the café or an ice cream when you’re ready to warm up or cool off…
3. Somewhere a bit closer to home that I love is Caerphilly Mountain View Ranch. It’s one of those places tucked away that you don’t hear too much about. Lots of open space for the kids to run wild, and a great little map/walk for you to follow. The Indian village and the fairy forest is my favourite (I mean the kids favourite). It costs a few quid to get in and if you really want to – there is a paid for tree top activity for the braver monkeys.
You will need: There is a café/park area, but as always I bring a pack up and head to the café at the end of the walk for hot chocolate, marsh mallows a whipped cream – and why not? You may also want to bring wellies…
4. We love the beach – and my favourite one in South Wales is Southerndown. Again, another non-commercial beach, with a small kiosk for hot drinks etc. When the tide is out the beach is huge, clean and mega fun! If you walk further on from the slip to the right, there are plenty of spots by the rocks with rock pools big enough to use as your own personal swimming pool for the kids. My kids love this place and so do I. We have been known to stay all day long, and just before the tide heads back in to light up the disposable BBQ and have a few burgers and hot dogs before we all head home, tired, salty and full of more great memories.
You will need: west suits/bathers, towels, buckets, spades, a picnic/BBQ, fishing nets (you may discover some hermit crabs and starfish if you are lucky) and a wind breaker to set up camp. If you arrive early and the tide hasn’t quite gone out, go for a walk behind the back of the back….some secret gardens for you and the kids to explore.
5. A place I recently discovered with some friends was Garwnant (Merthyr/Brecon way). Tucked away in the Brecon Beacons is a perfect little day out for the kids. The place is set up for junior walks, and you can even collect your map/walks/activities from the visitors centre. Lots of things to spot along the way, and the views are sensational. If you want to let the kids really have fun, let them walk along the stream and GET WET! I always take a pack up with me, but as always there is a café on site should you come up prepared.
You will need: Wellies and a change of clothes for the kids is a must if you are going to let them run free! A pack up, plenty to drink and tons of energy! Be warned, the views are sensational.
So, for now, those are my top 5 places to visit with the kids in and around south and West Wales. If you know of any other fantastic places that are less commercial and more about having free and healthy fun with the kids – then leave your ideas in the comments section below. Let’s share our ideas…and have lots more fun!