Full of activities to keep the whole family amused, and especially the kids, Wales is a fantastic holiday destination with hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s, caravan parks in North Wales and cozy self-catering cottages scattered across its 4,000 square miles. From farms to beaches, mountains to canals there is something to interest even the most iPad addicted kid. And fear not for your wallet – there’s plenty to do that won’t cost a penny!
North Wales is literally surrounded with beautiful beaches, many of which have Blue Flag status. Try Porth Dafarch on Anglesey for an open expanse of sand, clean water to swim in and rock pools to explore. Or head to Moelfre where you can visit the famous RNLI Seawatch station.
For the full ice-cream-and-donkeys beach day out head to Llandudno. The west shore, facing Conwy, is somewhat quieter if you want to avoid the money-grabbing attractions of the North bay pier. To explore the town further try following White Rabbit footprints on the Alice in Wonderland trail and discover who the real Alice was (she lived there in the 1860s)
For something a little more unusual head to Porthor on the Llyn Peninsula and walk on the Whistling Beach – so-called because of the noise the sand makes as you walk across it.
Tŷ Mawr country park lies in the Vale of Llangollen and offers plenty of walks, including the famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct. You can walk the 300m across the 18 arches, 38m up in the sky – if you dare! There is a visitors center, BMX track, Trim Trail and play area at the park.
Loggerheads near Mold in Denbighshire has a wealth of industrial heritage dating from it’s past as a lead mining settlement. You can visit the restored watermill, or follow the Discovery Trail to find out more.
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Wales is well known for its castles, both those built by the Welsh, and by the invading English. The best-preserved, such as Harlech and Conwy have entrance fees (although you can walk around the walls of Conwy for free). If you are prepared to go off the beaten track a little you can visit Dolbarden Castle with its huge tower still protecting Llanberis or Castell-y-Bere above Llanfihangel-y-pennant. Look out for the little engines of the Talyllyn railway puffing up the valley. Thomas the Tank Engine fans may even be able to spot twins of Skarleoy, Rheneas, Duncan, Peter Sam or Sir Handel if they’re lucky!
Yes, you can go swimming for free! Of course, the sea is free, and many beaches boast RNLI lifeguards, but if you prefer your water bright blue and not salty seek out the Blue Lagoon near Fairbourne. The Fairy Glen near Betws-y-Coed also offers a few deep pools and paddling opportunities – plus you might see fairies!
National Slate Museum
Wales was once synonymous with slate and you can visit the free National Slate Museum in Llanberis to find out how it was mined, machined and where it ended up. Open daily with a variety of exhibits and demonstrations of slate splitting.
Showcasing the best of Welsh Art, MOSTYN has six ever-changing displays. Entrance to the exhibitions is free and the visitor team can provide Art Explorer sheets to help you make the most of your visit.
Teddy Bear Picnic Train Rides
On the 5th and 6th of August, the Miniature Railway in Rhyl will be offering free train rides to children – but only if accompanied by a teddy (and, sadly, a fare-paying adult)! There will also be face painting, competitions, and other family activities.
With so much to do and plenty of great places to stay, North Wales is a veritable paradise for kids – and budget-friendly for adults too!