Travel review: North Wales

Bodelwyddan Castle, North Wales

Bodelwyddan Castle, North Wales

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An abundance of castles, stunning coastline and interesting activities await intrepid explorers of all ages. when visiting the stunning surroundings of Wales.

It is full of the stuff of myth and legends and ready to fill any age with excitement.

Once you have children in tow, holiday plans can no longer be as laid back as they once might have been. So up early and off exploring is usually on the agenda for us.

From our base, we were near six castles, all within easy reach.

Our favourite was Bodelwyddan Castle and Park, which looks like a real fairytale palace on a hillside. The historic house and museum is extremely family friendly with a great playroom, where we spent a lot of time ‘colouring in’. It has a tasty eaterie and the outdoor adventure playground was the best we have ever seen, set in a picturesque 260 acres.

We stayed in a luxury caravan on the coast in north Wales for a week. It wasn’t just any old caravan, it had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The spare was for the husband of course. Being outnumbered with three females on board, he was pleased with his own designated space.

The caravans I stayed in as a child, didn’t even have hot water or a toilet, let alone two. How things have changed. It was great and

And at our Ty Mawr Park Resorts location, bordering Towyn and Abergele, (it is the site from the television advert), we were impressed with the family friendly atmosphere, a great playground and free access to the swimming pool, which we took full advantage of.

North Wales is the perfect base to explore the rest of this fascinating country too. We were near to traditional seaside towns of Rhyll and Colwyn Bay, and almost overwhelmed when it came to choosing what to do.

One morning we enjoyed a leisurely drive down to Snowdonia, where the mountain scenery was simply breathtaking.

For a high adrenalin rush we went to family friendly Tree Top Adventure, set in a forest in Betws y Coed.

The rope adventure challenge, set high up in the trees, is suitable for all ages. The adult course was tested by my husband and was tough, even for the more daring types like him. You negotiate more than 30 obstacles including balancing beams, zip wires and ropes bridges. Participants are fitted with a helmet and body safety harness, which is attached to a safety rope, just incase.

Other activities include a dramatic 100ft plunge on the Powerfan Plummet and a large Skyride swing for five, which sees people hoisted over 80 ft high into the air then released to swing out over the magnificent Conwy Valley.

There is also has a junior tree trail course for kids aged 4-8. Our girls, aged six and four, were thrilled with the confidence boosting challenge and are still delighted with their certificates, presented afterwards by our very kind and patient instructor.

If you want even more of an adrenalin boost, Zip World now have two locations where you can literally rocket through the air. They have just launched Zip World Titan at Llechwedd to compliment the original Zip World Velocity at Bethesda.

We stopped off at the typical Welsh village of LLanwrst where we had breakfast in a Thai restaurant, which was multi-tasking for locals and tourists.

I also managed to do one of my favourite things, which I never seem to get time to do anymore and explore charity shops, seeking out the bargain of a lifetime and perusing junk, just begging to be bought.

We called at Drew Pritchard’s Antiques in Conwy, the dealer featured on Quest TV’s Salvage Hunters. It was so exciting to see the premises, which were sadly closed on the day we called, but you can make an appointment to look around the treasure trove of unusual antiques and architectural salvage.

The next day, parking at Llandudno seafront was easy and on arrival there was a classic car show underway, with some impressive vehicles on display.

We travelled up the town’s steep Great Orme mountain in a historic tram car and once at the top, enjoyed a playground with a view. It was back down the steep descent to the pretty seaside town on a cable car, which boasts an 18 minute trip.

The journey from the Happy Valley to the Great Orme Summit is, at over one mile each way, the longest aerial cabin lift in the UK. It was built in 1969 and fully overhauled in 2006.

It is a thrilling ride, and quite an adventure for two little girls, who couldn’t quite believe the view. The Great Orme Tramway and cable car are both worth experiencing when in Llandudno.

The beaches were wild and beautiful and a bucket and spade provided hours of fun onemorning, as we gathered pebbles and driftwood before a picnic, followed by trip to a fun fair.

Eating out was affordable and we enjoyed several independent Italian restaurants and used supermarkets for a picnic lunch.

On the way home back to Yorkshire and not far from the Welsh border, we called at Chester Zoo, and had a fun-filled day seeing elephants, tigers and bears and much more.

It all made for a perfect family holiday and we are keen to return and see what the rest of this fascinating country has to offer.

We stayed with Park Resorts: see www.park-resorts.com or call 0843 309 2591. Breaks are available from as little as £120 for the whole family.

Tree Top Adventure Snowdonia: see www.ttadventure.co.uk or call 01690 710 914 for details.

We visited www.bodelwyddan-castle.co.uk

We went to Chester Zoo details at www.chesterzoo.org

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