Llyn Tegid, Bala
Pembrokeshire’s offshore islands are bird sanctuaries of world importance, and a clifftop picnic on Skomer Island, among the wild flowers, with thousands of sea birds wheeling overhead, while seals bask on the rocks below, is a fabulous experience.
Cruise a canal
The impossibly pretty Monmouthshire & Brecon canal runs for 35 miles along the edge of the Brecon Beacons. There are several boat hire fleets along the way, from which you can hire a day boat or canoe and enjoy a memorable potter (at a top speed of 4mph…).
Cycling at Coed y Brenin
The mountain biking in Wales is world-class, and here’s where it all started, Coed y Brenin in the wooded hills of Snowdonia. You don’t have to be a Lycra-clad warrior to enjoy it, though: there are easy trails that are specifically designed for families and beginners to make a gentle start.
The red kite is now so common over Mid Wales that they’re a constant presence in the skies. But seeing them en masse – several hundred at a time, at a kite-feeding centre like Gigrin Farm - is still one of the most awesome sights that British nature has to offer.
For a good run-around and a picnic in glorious garden surroundings, Dyffryn Gardens is hard to beat. The National Trust’s newest Welsh acquisition has gardens and an arboretum with just the right kind of nooks, hidey-holes and water features that children love.
National Botanic Garden of Wales
The huge greenhouse at the National Botanic Garden of Wales' heart looks like a spaceship has crashed into the Towy Valley, and there are always events to appeal to kids: Pond Dipping Mondays, Going Green Tuesdays, Time Travelling Wednesdays, Creepy Crawly Thursdays … you get the picture. It’s stunningly beautiful, too.
Skiing at Pembrey
Quite apart from the classy stately-home-and-garden thing, the National Trust has devised lots of child-friendly activities at Powis Castle: wilderness walks, ranger trails, treasure hunts, and games on the croquet lawn. Rolling down the grassy slopes, while saying ‘Wheee!’, is also strongly encouraged.
Snowdon Mountain Railway
Snowdon Mountain Railway heads along two major viaducts via a waterfall and an ancient forest, this journey to the peak of Snowdon takes on volcanic rock and sea, ending at a visitor centre with marvellous views across Snowdonia. Exorcise the ghosts of run-of-the-mill train trips on one of the most spectacular journeys you’ll take.