This is an annual tradition that has been occurring as long as they’ve been old enough to be away from their parents (my brother and sister). In the first few years the kids were a little too young to engage in any outdoor activities, so our days out mostly revolved around indoor play centres, ten-pin bowling and the cinema.
My move out of Cardiff happened to coincide with my nephews and nieces growing just big enough to tackle some more outdoor challenges, so during their last stay we ran a real gamut of activities that proved to simultaneously stimulate and tire them out!
If you’re thinking of visiting North Wales any time soon then I can wholeheartedly recommend the following activities, especially for those families with kids big (and brave) enough to take on an exciting challenge.
I’ve never been a huge fan of swimming in the sea, the saltiness makes my skin crack and I’m always thinking about the huge reams of creatures drifting below my feet. For that reason I’ve never had a good crack at surfing beforehand. My nephews and nieces had dabbled in some body-boarding but never taken the next step to standing on a board, so Surf Snowdonia’s artificial lake seemed like the perfect place for all of us to go and build our confidence with this extreme sport.
The waves vary in size depending on what class you’re taking (there are free-style waves sessions for confident surfers) so we weren’t out of our depth, although the youngest of our group had some reservations at first. The instructors were very friendly and did a great job of explaining what we had to do before the waves began and we were able to test out our new skills. The kids had a great time and were all asleep in the car on the way home – the sign of a good day out!
After a day spent in the water, I felt that the only way to top Surf Snowdonia was by sending us hurtling through the sky. We weren’t going sky-diving (I did look into it, but the price for 4 kids and one adult were truly eye-watering!), but I had the next best thing which happened to be far more affordable. Zip World was set up by a forward-thinking business owner who wanted to create a modern tourist attraction that could grab international interest whilst showcasing the fantastic Welsh countryside.
Set on the site of a disused quarry, Zip World is an imposing sight and more intimidating still are the lines that run the stretch of the entire space. You may think that you’ve seen a big zipline before, but these really do take the biscuit. Needless to say, the kids were equal amounts of scared and excited – and so was I! The 2 hour experience had us flying through the man-made canyon on a number of zip-lines and the novelty really didn’t wear off at all. The kids loved it, but wished that they could have just one more go on Velocity 2, a line over 1.5km!
Our fun-filled weekend was over sooner than I would have liked, but the kids left breathless with excitement and gushing over North Wales which was satisfaction enough for me.
I’m a pretty active person, I like to get outdoors as much as possible, whether that’s a fun run, hiking with friends, hill climbing or riding my bike. Thankfully, I call my home in one of the best places for doing these outdoor activities: North Wales!
I’ve lived in North Wales for the past 10 years and in that time I’ve been able to discover a huge array of fantastic destinations, stunning nooks and wonderful pubs that have made stepping out of my front door a joy every morning.
I first moved to North Wales for work. I’d spent years living in Cardiff and whilst that city is hardly the busiest of urban metropolises, I’d appreciated the peace and quiet that moving to the countryside had given me. I would now wake up to the sound of birds singing in the trees and the low rumble of a car engine was a rarity, rather than the constant hum of traffic that I had become accustomed to.
This is a place for me to share my adventures within North Wales and beyond. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to have some adventures of your own!