Today, cattle and sheep share the Welsh hillsides with walkers, cyclists, climbers and hangliders! For lovers of the outdoors here is paradise. There are so many things to do in North Wales for everyone, here are just 5 things. Five more await you on our guide to holidays in North Wales & Snowdonia.
1. Climb Snowdon
Possibly the reason most people come to North Wales. Find your way to Llanberis and choose to climb the UK’s second highest mountain on foot (3 hours with children) or pay to go by train. You could also take the train to the summit and walk down. Please ensure you wear suitable clothing and footwear, the weather in the mountains can turn nasty very quickly.
2. Eat Fish & Chips on Llandudno Pier
This popular resort of yesteryear still has its charm, with its town planners over the years resisting the temptation to lose its Victorian seafront and pier in favour or modern buildings. Drive, walk or take the tram up to the Great Orme for spectacular views across to the Irish sea, Puffin Island and Snowdonia inland.
3. Spend the day at the Beach in Harlech
Brought your bucket and spade? Yes, Harlech is your place, beautiful sandy beach perfect for families. There is also Harlech castle to explore that overlooks the beach.
4. Walk through Betws y Coed
The gateway to Snowdonia, a popular town, with a rushing river and brimming to the edges with outdoor equipment shops, cafes and hotels. Plenty of campsites border the town making it a perfect place to base yourself to explore Snowdonia. Look out for Swallow Falls not far from the town.
5. Take a ride on the Ffestiniog Railway
Your kids will love this, so we thought it would merit its own place in the top 5. This 19th century railway carried slate through the Welsh mountains, but will now give you and your family a spectacular scenic journey.
Use this link to read our full guide to holidays in North Wales & Snowdonia
Autumn is well and truly here and whilst camping may not be to everyone’s taste this time of year, there are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy the changing of the seasons. This weekend we ventured out to Salcey Forest .
Here are my top 10 tried and tested family walks for Autumn in the UK :
1. Salcey Forest, Northamptonshire
My personal favourite! The six-mile circular trail follows the edge of the Salcey forest, a medieval hunting forest known for its ancient oaks and beeches. A series of trailside art sculptures have been installed and a short cut that takes walkers to the Treetop Walk, a skywalk that elevates to 70ft in the air and gives views across the forest and surrounding Northamptonshire countryside. They are also in the middle of creating a super Tree Ninja Adventure playground for kids and adults alike.
2. Kings Wood, Cornwall
Near St Austell is a richly varied spread of oak, beech, ash, birch and spruce on the slopes of the Pentewan valley – popular with walkers and riders. A primary path runs through the middle of the wood, with less formal paths branching off either towards the valley top, for views over the area, or down to the wet woodlands – wear your wellies along the banks of the St Austell river!
3. Sea Palling, Norfolk
A family-friendly walk that takes walkers along the beach from Sea Palling along to Winterton on Sea. It is not a circular walk, so not ideal in that respect, however, if you have young children it is worth following the beach south towards the Great Barn at Waxham and turn back. Those that want to carry on will get a real opportunity to really let the wind blow the cobwebs and enjoy spectacular views across the North Sea.
4. Derwent Valley Walk, Derbyshire
Starting from Fairholmes, this 11-mile circular walk follows a marked route round the famous ‘Dambuster’ reservoirs. The walk is set in heather moorland peppered with beech, rowan, silver birch, spruce and oak trees, which amongst other factors attract a large array of birds, including ravens, crossbills and ospreys.
5. Pepper Wood, West Midlands
There’s an excellent network of walks, ranging from 20 minutes up to 2 hours with young children. Pepper Wood, is the remant of the ancient Forest of Feckenham, and lies close to Wyre Forest near Bromsgrove. The 150 acre site offers a woodland setting in the midst of great oaks, birch and lime. Alders line the valley floor.
6. Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, Scotland
Perthshire is believed to be the area where you will find some of Scotland’s finest woodlands. The Pass of Killiecrankie walk, a four mile walk set in oak woodland along the River Garry, is possible one of the finest. The riverside trail, which starts at the visitor centre leads to the shores of Loch Faskally. You can end your walk at Pitlochry, or continue along the circular Bealach walk, which brings you back to Killiecrankie. The birch, rowan, aspen and ash trees that adorn the walk will certainly give you a taste of autumn.
7. Ullswater, Lake District
This is one for the families with children aged 11 and upwards, it is easier than the walk at Scafell Pike, but still offers a challenge. Starting at church near Howton, this 10-mile circular walk takes you along the shores of Ullswater for part of the way and up in woodland sorrounding the 657m, Place Fell peak. Follow paths and narrow roads to Martindale, then bear right towards Patterdale, before heading towards the shores of Ullswater and following the twisting path to Sandwick and then back to Martindale.
8. Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire
Another family-friendly nature reserve near Nottingham was opened in the 1960′s by Sir David Attenborough. The walk is nearly 4 miles long, has wide paths and can even accommodate pushchairs. It takes visitors from pond to pond for nearly two hours and is perfect for bird watching in Autumn and Winter, including, according to the visitor centre, two fish-eating birds, the goosander and the merganser.
9. Ystwyth Valley, near Aberystwyth
This walk is set in the grounds of Hafod Uchtryd and occupies 500 acres of the Ystwyth valley. There are many huge beeches, red oaks and larches (the only ‘conifer’ to change colour) that line the walks. My favourite is the short(ish) Gentleman’s walk, which climbs to offer great views over the valley. Much work has been carried out in recent years to restore the many of original walks, which date back to the 18th century. Start your walk at the Church car park.
10. Dove Crag walk, Northumberland
Another 4-mile circular walk at Holystone that will take you through stunning Autumn scenery. The walk is set in the Northumberland National Park and follows a path through oak woodland before climbing to moorland. Here you will find oak, birchwoods and larches. Also look out for birds of prey and red squirrels.
The camping pods at Bryn Dwr at Llandegla in Wales are an excellent choice for anyone, like us, looking for a place to go camping with young children near Snowdonia.
We went for a weekend break in April this year when it was too cold at night for the kids to sleep in our tent, the attraction of the pods, at least for my wife, being the electric heater inside the pod providing warmth. It was our first time in a pod and at Bryn Dwr and impressed by both.
The two camping pods they have are of standard size and could fit all 4 of us sleeping on individual blow-up beds, with some room at the bottom of the pod for luggage and access to exit the pod via the double doors. As well as heating you get lighting via a lamp. Outside, there is a porch and decking area with tables and chairs and a BBQ. The camping pods at Anita’s (see my Anita’s Caravan Park post) includes 1 family-sized pod, which are longer than the standard we stayed and will give you more space inside the pod.
The Bryn Dwr pods are set within the grounds of the home belonging to owner Julie, who welcomed us and showed us around. There is plenty of space for the children to run around, there is also the attraction of the stream which runs alongside the pods and is a great feature to sit back and relax next to in the evening or whilst having breakfast al fresco.
Snowdon, where we were heading for, is around 45 mins drive from the Llandegla, with the town of Betws-y-coed around 30mins away. It is also well located for a trip to the north welsh coast a little further south to Llangollen and, our children’s favourite, Snake Pass.
For more information on Bryn Dwr call 07984 613534 or 01978 790612 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org