Family Adventures in Wales
You know that phrase ‘So much to do, so little time’. Annoying isn’t it, but as family adventures in Wales go, it’s pretty close to the mark.
Travel to distant galaxies without leaving the ground
The Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia National Parks are among just a handful of Dark Sky Reserves in the world. They’ve reduced light pollution so successfully that on a clear night, you can see the Milky Way, major constellations, planets, far-off galaxies, bright nebulas and meteor showers – and they run regular stargazing nights to help you spot what’s what. It’s enough to make anyone starry-eyed.
Travel 300 feet (90 metres) underground with a former miner
The Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon is a remarkable insight into the industrial history of Wales. It’s also great fun, particularly the experience of donning a miner’s helmet and descending underground to see what life at the coalface was really like.
Big Pit National Coal Museum, South Wales
Visit one of the greenest theme parks in the world
Don’t you dare think that Greenwood Forest Park is less fun because it happens to be one of the most environmentally friendly visitor attractions on the planet. The people-powered Green Dragon Roller Coaster is a big favourite, as are the host of other active adventures.
Greenwood Forest Park, North Wales
Go in search of wildlife on the water
You won’t have to travel far along the Welsh coast to take a boat ride in search of seals, dolphins and whales in the water, or to spot any number of rare birds. Trips around Skomer, Grassholm and Skokholm islands offer puffins galore and clouds of gannets diving into the sea for food.
Find out more about wildlife in Pembrokeshire.
Climb one of the biggest sand dunes in Europe
Or better still, slide down the range at Merthyr Mawr, Bridgend, just a short drive from Cardiff. The area is officially designated a site of Special Scientific Interest and was used for some of the desert scenes in David Lean’s 1962 movie, Lawrence Of Arabia (you do know TE Lawrence was Welsh, don’t you?). Six hundred runners snap up places for the six-mile (9.6km) Merthyr Mawr Christmas Pudding run every December. And yes, everyone who finishes gets a pudding...
Visit the farm that’s a zoo that’s an adventure playground
Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire has deservedly been awarded the best day out in Wales. What was once a modest farm park is now a world of adventure, with its own zoo, vintage funfair and assorted adventure play areas.
Funfair at Folly Farm
Feel like you’ve walked to the top of the world
Moel Famau is the highest point along the rolling beauty of the Clwydian Range in North East Wales. It offers great views and plenty of intrigue, from Iron Age forts to the Jubilee Tower at its peak, built to commemorate the golden jubilee of George III in 1810. It’s just one of a host of family-friendly hill walks in Wales – no crampons required.
Stay in the prettiest Mediterranean village perched on the edge of a beautiful Welsh estuary
Portmeirion was never built to make sense. Its founder Clough Williams-Ellis created this small township simply to give pleasure to its visitors. Portmeirion was immortalised in cult 60s drama The Prisoner and is now acclaimed by a new generation of fans from all over the world who visit the annual music and arts event, Festival No.6.
Explore 40 immaculately restored buildings from the Iron Age to the 1970s (at least one of them sells cake)
St Fagans National History Museum on the outskirts of Cardiff is one of Europe’sleading open-air museums. It charts the history of Wales through its buildings, set in the 100-acre grounds of a magnificent 16th-century manor house. There are traditional craft workshops and the traditional bara brith from the Derwen Bake House is sensational. Post code: CF5 6XB
Explore a 13th-century clifftop castle – and the spooky cave beneath it
Wales is known the world over as castle country (having hundreds of them helps) and Castell Carreg Cennen, near the lovely market town of Llandeilo, is one of the most spectacular. You may well be greeted by a pedigree herd of Longhorn Cattle or Welsh mountain sheep, as the castle is situated in the land of a working farm. Post code: SA19 6UA