Our Family Holiday to Wales

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!).

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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?

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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!

K

Days Out: Pride 2016

Last weekend we went to Brighton Pride for our umpteenth time and T’s second time. T was only 4 months old when we went last year.

Typically, T had to be woken up, even though 5:45 was his usual time throughout the week – he clearly didn’t know what was ahead of him. Once we were all washed, dressed, and rainbow’ed up to our eyeballs we were ready. We were so excited.


Arriving a little too early at Hove Lawns, we decided to go get breakfast at a local beach side cafe. During this time, it wasn’t long before we started spotting rainbows and glittery floats. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We all started getting a little bit excited.

This year, we decided to join in the Pride parade alongside Brighton and Hove rainbow families. We’ve been part of this group for some time via Facebook, although we’ve never found the time to meet up officially (something we’re going to rectify soon). Even if you’re new, the group is always so welcoming, and has a wonderful array of families as members; from two mum families, two dad families, to co-parenting families. It was actually quite a sight to see so many rainbow families in one place. I was actually quite sad at the thought of then having to go home where we’re very much the only rainbow family within a 5 mile radius.

At 11:00 the parade officially started, samba bands and all. This was T’s cue to fall asleep and not wake until we reached Preston Park.

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The parade was fantastic, with a real buzz to it. Everywhere we looked we saw smiling faces and waving from onlookers. The younger children in the group enjoyed high-fiving people as they passed, where as the older children enjoyed dancing on the float. It was a real party.

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Arriving at Preston Park at around 12:45, some 18,000 steps later, we made our way to the family area to meet up with friends and families who we hadn’t seen since the previous year. This bit is like a massive reunion where we chat and swap stories about the past year – commenting on how our little ones are no longer so little.

Located a further back in comparison to last year, which was a shame as we like watching the being a part of the main park as well, I noticed that there was a lot more room for the children to run around this year. Plus, we also had exclusive access to the massive play park within Preston Park. This will be perfect for T in years to come.

After a little sit down and a fruit picnic, we grabbed some lunch; I had a mountain of nachos and S had a rather large Bratwurst (pardon). Although we packed T a lunch, he also helped himself to our lunches.

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Walking around the main park is my favourite part by far. The people, the music, the stalls. Everything about it reminds me why I love our community so much. Everything is so colourful, and everyone is here to have a good time. Now that the organisers charge to get into the park, it means people who do attend are there for the right reasons, and not solely to get drunk and rowdy. It meant the atmosphere was safe for T to have a little wonder, have a little dance, and get a few cuddles from passers by.

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Despite being robbed blind when it came to drinks and food prices we quickly got into the spirit of things. We enjoyed ice cream in front of the women’s tent, drank Pimms with the bears, and chatted about joining the Girl Guides. We had a wonderful time.

Pride for us is only going to get better the more T starts to understand what it’s all about. Over the next few years it’s going to be one giant carnival party for him, and thats ok. I can’t wait, however, to explain one day how far Pride has come and why it’s so important. I can’t wait for him to look forward to the Pride weekend and to meeting up with his friends.

This post really doesn’t do our day justice. It really was a fantastic day and I was sad to see it end. Although I nursed a baby wearing hangover for the majority of Saturday night and Sunday morning, it was totally worth it.

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Days Out – Our First Family Gay Pride. 

The wife and I have been going to Pride on and off for the last few years. Whenever we do go, we always have a good time. The atmosphere is always buzzing with joy, especially if the weather is good, and attendees are always in good spirits.

This year was our first year attending as a family, and we couldn’t be prouder.
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I’ve been an LGBT child since the age of ten so going to Pride with my mum(s) as an LGBT family wasn’t a new thing for me but going with MY wife and MY son was something extra special. I know S felt the same.

The festivities began when we met another same-sex family from a local rainbow family group at the gates whilst we waited for the parade to reach the park. Their son was the same age as T so we had plenty to talk about, it was also the ladies’ first Pride! After the parade facing several delays we finally saw it and then made our way into the park.

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For the second year in a row there was a family area within the park that had a main tent; which housed children’s entertainment, and arts and crafts. There was also a small fun fair area outside that housed games likes a coconut shire. This was perfect for us (although T was a little bit too young for crafts and a face paint) as it was quiet and out of the way of the main park where all the bar and club tents were. We still walked around the park later on to view the stalls, but this is where we stayed for the majority of the day.

Our fondest memories were meeting other rainbow families, being able to chat with the ladies of Pride Angel, and meeting fellow bloggers (a very surreal moment!). It was a wonderful day.

After spending the afternoon with some friends and their children we decided to make our way home. Making our way through the park was probably when I felt most proud. We were surrounded by hundreds of people from all walks of life, all sharing the same belief that we are all equal; and it felt great.

I’ve never taken for granted how lucky I am that I can freely walk hand in hand with my wife, and I certainly don’t take for granted how lucky we are when we can also walk together as a family, especially when we know difficult it is for others in other countries.

This, as well as because it’s fun, is one of the many MANY reasons I will be making sure that every year we take T to Pride (with Pride).
K