Saturday 14 August 2010

Welsh Adventures

The last 5 days have been spent camping in Wales. The largest tent only campsite in the UK, apparently. The drawback of this is lots of other campers about, but that didn't stop us from having fun. Luke spent the first day with us before going to his cousins house on the nearby Lleyn peninsula. We were camping amongst sand-dunes, which added a certain element of excitement to it all when we managed to ground the car, soon after our arrival! Once we made camp there was lots of playing to be had...

A walk to the beach included a detour to go down the BIGGEST sand dune they could find, and then climb back up it! No mean feat! Just to give you an idea of how big it was, that little red dot is Alec at the bottom of the sand dune!!
Once we got to the beach we found all sorts of treasures. Lots of cockle shells, oyster shells, razor shells, and then some crab shells. I was particularly excited to find a little starfish inside one, unfortunately it was dead.
And then we found a skull. Probably a herring gull. Alec and I were intrigued by it. It is so nice to have a companion to go beach-combing / rock pooling with. I was in my element!
There was some down time too. Alec is very much into his graphic novels at the moment. Currently working his way through Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books.
We managed to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) which is near Machynlleth. Apart from it being a breathtaking part of the world (oh how I would love to live somewhere like that) it was a wonderful afternoon out. Learning about the water powered cliff train...
Wave power...
Dynamo power, wind power, solar power, looking at the wonderful vegetable gardens, and getting inspiration for a green roofed house. It had been my suggestion that we went there, and had fears that I would be the only one that got something out of it, but I think everyone enjoyed themselves.
We also went to Harlech castle. Ethan was particularly excited about this as he had learned about castles at school last year. Alec and Ethan at one of the guard room look out points in the gate house.
Another lovely spot to do some reading, this time about Harlech castle. I can't believe I was ever worried about him learning to read, it is so wonderful to see him reading at every opportunity now!
An impressive castle even in its ruined state. Built over the course of 6 years in the 13th Century. Which is an astounding achievement. Unfortunately it isn't particularly toddler proof, and we spent alot of time trying to stop our littlest adventurer from climbing through the barricades which are supposed to stop people from falling! I must admit, despite its splendour, I heaved a great sigh of relief when we walked out of there all in one piece.
On our way back from the castle we called in at some waterfalls that were signposted from the road. Oh, what a find it was! Magical woods surrounding the waterfall, we found a little elf house...
And some beautiful toadstools, just the right size for the magical creatures of the woods to rest upon...
Alec made friends with a grasshopper we found on the moorland above the waterfall...
And we found a tree man! Can you see the face peeping out of the tree between the two lighter bits of bark?
It was a beautiful place, full of nature, serenity, and we all came back to our tent feeling refreshed, and vowing that it would be our next campsite when we return to the region. (I forgot to say that there were lots of rope swings too, which made it for the boys!)

To end our Welsh adventures we bought a sky lantern. Waited til night fall, and then lit it.

Each making a silent wish to go with the lantern into the sky. It drew our adventures to a close in such a peaceful way.


  1. "That's our castle!!!" - Cain's reaction whilst looking over my shoulder lol.
    Isn't that the most beautiful
    area? And was it Dolgoch falls you discovered, we could happily explore there every day. Oh I wish we'd known you were there we could have headed over for a couple of days too.
    Maybe next year....

  2. Oh that looks so beautiful xxx

  3. Ohhh looks like a beautiful few days camping!

  4. What a fabulous holiday, looks like you had an amazing time!

  5. We have holidayed in that area too! Just wonderful, and the CAT centre was such a catalyst for many ideas we are hoping to bring to life now. Great pictures Claire. Thanks for sharing your magical holiday. xx

  6. ukmaggie from GYO here - I'm currently in our caravan on the Llyn Peninsula... If you are near another time on holiday do get in touch, come visit and if the weather be good (ha ha!!!) we can do a barbie (John does a mean lamb kebab, but veggie stuff too if required). Never managed to get to CAT yet, but know some of the country round Harlech - there's a lovely little church near on a hill over a marsh (was an island in the dim and distant past) where there's a Roman Princess buried. It's lovely all round there, though I know Dolgellau and Barmouth better from my holidays visiting Grandparents as a child.


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