A few weeks, and what feels like a lifetime, ago we went on our second family holiday. This time, Wales was our location of choice. Our first family holiday was based in Cornwall and T was only six months old! How time has flown.
It was an early start on the Saturday, but once everything was packed it wasn’t long before T was fast asleep.
From Brighton it took just over six hours, with only two decent stops. It was actually a shorter (and easier, in my opinion) distance than Cornwall, suprisingly. The journey wasn’t as bad as I thought, although I only had last time to compare it to (last time wasn’t great). T slept for a good chunk of the way, only waking before our first stop, and then watched a film or read books for the remainder of the way. It definitely could have been worse, but he was a star by only really moaning once towards the end.
Arriving just after 4pm, we unpacked, did a quick food shop, grabbed some dinner and then went to bed! Our caravan was gorgeous – T really didn’t know what to make of it but enjoyed running up and down the corridors and hiding in bedrooms.
What’s lovely about going on holiday with T so young is that we get to keep most of our holiday traditions. We still get up early (thanks to T) and we still explore the local area and holiday park on the Sunday. We still eat naughty things (although still watched what T ate) and still played board games of an evening (once T has gone to bed).
On Monday we went to Folly Farm which is a wonderful farm and zoo. This was probably our wettest day, however packed for a monsoon we all had our raincoats on and T had his puddle suit on.
Thanks to the rain, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. Our favourite parts were the penguin walkthroughs and the indoor farm area. We’ll definitely come back when we return to Wales.
On Tuesday we explored Caves in the Brecon Beacons. I vividly remember coming here when I was young, so this was a lovely jump back in time. What made this special was that I was able to remember what the stalagmites and stalactites looked like back from when I was a child, so seeing what they looked like today got my science-nerd radar going.
T wasn’t too keen on walking around here – maybe it was too dark or noisy – so we opted to carry/wear him for the majority of our tour of the caves, although he really enjoyed splashing in the rock pools inside the caves. Once outside though, he was more than happy to toddle off up the hills and go dino spotting!
On Wednesday we went to Manor Wildlife Park which was quite literally a stone throws away from the holiday park. Feeling less like a zoo and more of an animal experience, with a majority of enclosures being walkthrough ones, we really enjoyed getting up close with some amazing animals (constantly holding a very touchy feely toddler back).
They had wallabies (that you could also feed), gibbons, and lemur walkthroughs, and wonderful Rhino, Camel, and Tiger enclosures. The place itself is also beautiful with a lot of the walking taking place in woodland.
On Thursday we went to Freshwater West which is the beach where part of Harry Potter and The Dealthy Hallows (Part 1) was filmed.
This was completely off piste, and not your usual tourist attraction, as it wasn’t at all sign-posted. It was only found when S found a bit of Wi-Fi and remembered that Wales was quite famous for film locations.
The beach was absolutely stunning and had miles upon miles of sand and sand dunes, volcanic rock, and other rock formations that housed several pools. I wanted to take all the pebbles home or at least collect all of the driftwood!
The beach is certainly frequented by locals – which is always a good sign. Before it started raining, I was lucky to be able to capture a few family shots and the natural beauty of Wales.
On Friday we explored Pembroke and its castle. As well as farms, we love a good castle. It’s made more enjoyable watching T clamber around the castle hallways, look outside the open windows, and simply listen to the sound of his own voice echoing.
This was one of my favourite days as the weather was perfect. We were able to have a picnic outside (instead of the car or on the move) and Sharon and I were able to casually walk around the castle knowing T was safe toddling behind us (minus the steep, spiral staircases!).
Saturday then came round and it was back to good old England. The journey home was pretty much the same as our journey going; with T sleeping for the majority of the way. He got a little tetchy towards the end, but then who wouldn’t be a little upset returning home from a lovely holiday?
Back to normality, and my current task is clearing the massive washing pile that’s been created over the past week. The stash of welsh cakes and barabreth, however, is helping massively!