Dragons? Mines? Tiny Trains? It must be a Welsh holiday!
This was our first holiday in Wales and we settled on small family get-together at Hafan y Mor holiday park, just by Pwllheli. Finding holidays that cater for both dogs and young kids (my niece and nephew are age 7 and 4 respectively) is often a challenge, but we found plenty to do to keep everyone happy.
Monday was spent easing into the holiday and recovering from the 6 hour drive the previous day. It allowed us an opportunity to enjoy the park facilities. The site is pretty dog friendly with a small agility set for them to play on, a choice of woodland and coastal walks and plenty of outdoor seating at the restaurant and around the activities. We spent a lot of time on the beach which was pleasantly dog friendly – the beach on the opposite side of Pwllhelli does operate a no dogs policy in the bathing season, so its worth being careful and double checking when in the area.
Tuesday had been earmarked as a big adventure – tiny trains at Llanberis Railway. Due to Covid they aren’t operating the usual hop-on-hop-off, so we had pre-booked a coach in advance. The kids both love trains and were very excited to sit with Missy in the carriage with them. As the hop on-hop off had been cancelled, we were unable to do a walk midway along the trip, but there was still a five minute stop to get photos of the train and stretch legs. After the train ride, we walked into Llanberis and had lunch at the Pantri. Missy was offered water and we got to try Welsh Rarebit as we discussed plans for the rest of the day. On the train ride we had clocked a castle in the distance and decided that we should check it out.
Dolbadarn Castle was an unexpected hidden gem. We had spotted the sign for the castle walk in the car park and decided that a nice stroll in the woodlands was just what we needed. Imagine our surprise when 5 minutes later we found the castle – our earlier sighting was less a castle far in the distance, and more a very small castle in the relatively near distance! The kids enjoyed both parts of the day, so I chalk that as a good success!
Wednesday we took to ourselves as a doggy day. The weather, whilst still very warm, was damp and less sunny, which suited us all better. I had scoped out Coed Y Brenin before the trip. Part of the Snowdonia National Park, it offered a chance to see some stunning scenery whilst staying in a clearly marked path. We did the red Cain Waterfall walk which, at two hours, was ideal. It was listed as “strenuous” on the board, and I agreed with the description as we climbed up steep slopes and scurried down shale paths. Afterwards we enjoyed a well deserved cup of tea and some cakes in the cafe, which Missy was allowed inside. A glorious way to spend a morning.
We went dragon racing in the afternoon. We had spotted another canine on the dragon pedal boats previously in the week and, after clearing that they were definitely allowed, had to book in a go. Our red dragon against my sisters green dragon. Well, more a pootle than a race, despite furious peddling, we didn’t go very fast. The kids really enjoyed it and were pretending to fire cannons at us. Missy was quite happy to sit and keep watch for pirates and other dragons!
Exploring the Welsh Mines
Our last big adventure was another family day out at the Sygun Copper Mine. In preparation for a dark and scary walk, we put Missy in her bright coat and I gave both the kids a torch each. Missy originally took the lead but was defeated by the steep metal stairs mid way through – whilst advertised as dog friendly, they do state the stairs can be difficult for dogs. I had overestimated Missy’s ability after years of spiral staircases and, in the end, Hubby resorted to carrying her up and she sulkily conceded defeat. Would definitely only recommend if you can easily carry the dog! There was well deserved Cornish Pasties and tea in the cafe at the end. We finished the day with a mooch around Porthmadog and all tried our best to delay the inevitable about the fact that the holiday was over. Porthmadog offers lots of fun dog friendly shops, including the Purple Moose Brewery Shop and, more to my taste, Browsers Books.
Would We Go Again?
Absolutely! A tremendously good week – there was plenty we didn’t get to scratch off the to-do list, so I imagine we’ll be down again before long!