Last summer we decided to spend a few days in Wales. After doing lots of research we decided on trying out North Wales. We felt that the perfect place for our first trip within the UK was North Wales with the family.
Having researched things to do we knew the rough area that we wanted to stay in. I am not always keen on hotels and bed and breakfasts. I prefer the ease of having our own ‘home’ with a kitchen to allow us to cook if we need to; I also just like the privacy. Having heard of AirBnB, (referral link), I nervously decided to give it a try. As it was a last minute trip some of the really nice accommodation in the areas I was looking at had already been booked up….or it ended up booked up while I was taking my time to decide whether to push the ‘book’ button! In the end we found a lovely little cottage in Rowen which was central to the places we wanted to visit.
The cottage was cosy with stunning views from the conservatory. We could have actually spent all our time there as it was so peaceful and relaxing. There was also a squirrel that could be seen every morning from the conservatory if you were up early enough.
Things to do in Wales
Llandudno was around 25 minutes from our accommodation in Rowen so once we arrived, unpacked and rested a bit we decided to drive there. It is a coastal town in North Wales with a popular North Shore beach and a 19th century pier.
As we went in the evening a lot of the attractions had shut down for the day, including the cable cars. However the pier with the games arcade was still open. So we got some ice cream (which then got stolen by a seagull) and had a peaceful walk around and some fun in the arcade.
Day 2 was a full packed day.
Greenwood Family Park
Greenwood Family Park has been voted the Best Family Attraction in North Wales so we had to take the girls. Located in Gwynedd, it was around 30 minutes from our accommodation.
Greenwood family park has plenty of activities to keep the family entertained. It is a unique eco attraction with the first people powered rollercoaster! Other activities include:
- The Wild Web
- Giant Jumper
- Tunnel Warren
- Treetop Towers
- Enchanted Woodbarn
- Great green run
- Solar Splash
- Enchanted River Ride and much more
Prices vary according to the season you go but at peak times adult prices are £16.75 an child is £16.20. Under 3’s go free.
The place isn’t extremely big but it is quite easy to spend the whole day there. However as we were trying to pack in as many activities as we could in one day we only spent the morning there, had some lunch at the cafe and moved on.
Pila Pilas Nature World
After a spot of googling we realised that Pila Pilas Nature World was not far from Greenwood Family Park.
Pila Pilas Nature World is Anglesey’s top attraction. With girls who love animals and nature, this was the perfect place for them. With a butterfly environment with butterflies flying around you, to the chance of holding some creepy crawlies!
There is plenty to do at Pila Pilas Nature World:
- Snakes and Lizards
- Meet the animals sessions
- Bug zone
- Tropical Lair
- Farm Barn
- Nature Trail
- Adventure Playground
Admission is priced at £8.75 for an adult and £7.75 for children aged 3-15. However there are offers for families dependant on the number of adults and children.
We then decided to drive to Newborough Beach before we headed home. Newborough Beach is s a 3½ mile long sandy beach reaching from Llanddwyn Island to Abermenai Point. You have to pay £5 to get to the beach but it is worth it!
To access the beach you have to cross some sand dunes. Unfortunately when we went it was extremely windy and we did end up with a lot of sand in our eyes. Due to the wind and the cold we didn’t end up spending too long at the beach and didn’t get to see the lighthouse. There doesn’t seem to be any cafes there for food but the beach and the forest are a lovely place for a walk.
Our third day in Wales was more relaxed with just a boat trip organised.
Boat Trip at Beaumaris
Beaumaris was about 45 minutes from our accommodation but we wanted to have a boat trip. If you go at the right time you can see seals and even dolphins.
We booked our boat trip with Seacoast safaris who offer a number of trips. You can opt for a more leisurely trip or a high speed trip. I was tempted to go for the high speed trip but felt Bee might not like it. So we played it safe with a 90 minute Puffin Island Cruise. As the boat trips are Beaumaris’s number one attraction it is best to book in advance to secure a time that suits you. We booked in advance but unfortunately when we arrived that particular trip had been cancelled and we had to wait for another hour to go on our trip. This gave us time to have a wander around and see the sites. Beaumaris also has a castle as an attraction but we decided not to pay for this and just had a walk around the outside.
We managed to see a lot of birds, a few seals but weren’t lucky enough to see any dolphins.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Before we left for Wales I had booked a trip up the mountain for our final day in Wales. Prices vary dependent on whether you opt for the diesel train or the traditional steam train. You can also get a cheaper price if you opt for the 9am service. As this is a popular attraction it is best to book in advance.
Sadly the weather was not kind to us and when we arrived we were told the weather at the top of the mountain was really bad. We were given the option to have a full refund….or take the chance but could be sent back after reaching the half way point and would get half a refund. Seeing as we had made the effort to get there, we decided to give it a go.
We were the last train that managed to get to the top and the weather was diabolical. We could not see anything…the summit was packed with soaked climbers who were taking shelter. Hubby ventured out right to the summit, but I didn’t risk it with the wind and rain as thought it may be too slippery for the children. This was disappointing as we had been looking forward to seeing some stunning views but it couldn’t be helped. We managed to get some views on the way up before the clouds started.
Wales is a beautiful place to visit and we could easily have spent more than 4 days there as there was lots more to experience.
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