Rafting the Tryweryn
Here’s a natural way to cool off: plunge into the rapids of the River Tryweryn at the National White Water Centre near Bala. The river’s flow is controlled by releasing water from a dam, so there’s white water all year round – even when other rivers are dry. Try the Family Raft Safari, which is ideal for ages 10 and up.
Heavenly ice cream
After a day in the August sun, nothing tastes better than an ice cream from Heavenly, a fabulously old-fashioned sweet shop in the market town of Llandeilo. The ice creams come in stunning flavours, our current favourites being the Lime and Stem Ginger one and the Wild Strawberry Ripple one. We haven’t yet decided, so urgent research continues.
A family cottage holiday
The beautiful coastline around Wales is perfect for a summer holiday cottage. Cottages are often only a short drive away from picturesque seaside towns and award winning beaches, where families can frolic all day long building sandcastles and rock pooling. Much of Wales’ coastline is a watersports haven so it’s also a great opportunity for kids to learn to surf, go coasteering or sea kayaking. Make your summer holiday one to remember.
Search our website for 'holiday cottages' to find your new favourite 'home from home'!
Manor Wildlife Park
Children love the walkthrough enclosures of wallabies and lemurs at Manor Wildlife Park near Tenby. The meerkats and rhinos are also a big draw, as are the indoor and outdoor play areas.
Canoeing on the Wye
Hay-on-Wye is the starting point for this international travel odyssey. Hire a canoe or kayak, or they can strap two Canadian canoes together to form a family raft, and head downstream on the beautiful River Wye. For most of the journey, the left bank of the river is Welsh, while the right is English. At the end of your half-or full-day trip (it’s your choice) they’ll pick you up and drive you back to base on the Welsh side of the border. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
Stand up paddle boarding
Stand-up paddle boards originated in Hawaii, and it’s now the most popular form of surfing off the California coast. Its great advantages are that you can catch much smaller waves and also explore flat, calm, inland waterways. The sport is catching on fast in Wales. Try it at plenty of places along our 870-mile coastline, from Rhos-on-Sea in the north to Gower in the south.
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Offa's Dyke was built by 9th century King Offa to defend his Wessex kingdom from the Welsh. A 177-mile National Trail runs the entire length of the old England-Wales border. For a weekend taster, head for the mid-way point and the towns of Knighton and Presteigne. Together, they’re perfectly geared up for a weekend’s gentle exploration of this lovely landscape.
Geocaching at Coed y Brenin
How about a high-tech treasure hunt all the family can join in? 'Geocaching' is using Global Positioning Satellite info to follow a trail to discover the hidden 'cache', usually a plastic box with various things inside. Finders can record their names in a logbook as well, to prove they've found the cache. You'll need a handheld GPS device or you can download free geocaching apps to your GPS enabled smartphone. Once you've got 'the kit', follow the clues to find the cache.
There's two great geocaching trails at Coed y Brenin near Dolgellau to get you started. The Natural Resources Wales website has more information on discovering geocaching spots in Wales.
Please remember to put the cache back as you found it, dress sensibly for outdoor activities and respect our countryside. Follow the Countryside Code.
World Bogsnorkelling Championships
The World Bogsnorkelling Championships is part of a whole season of daft events that make up the World Alternative Games. Usually staged over two weeks in August in the little town of Llanwrtyd Wells, some of the contests are aimed purely at youngsters – things like Pooh Sticks and Rock, Paper, Scissors. For others, like the Wife Carrying Championships, you’ll need to supply a wife. You don't have to partake in the bogsnorkelling to enjoy it, by the way; watching others get muddy is possibly more entertaining!