Planning a series of activities for your average pre-teen is a walk in the park compared to planning the same for your average teenager. Whatever you’ve got lined-up for the eldest is sure to suit the youngest (within reason) but you also get to throw-in to the pot a whole smorgasbord of activities that a teenager would turn their nose up at. Give a pre-teen a fishing net, point out the nearest rock pools (north beach is your best bet if Tywyn’s sunken forest hasn’t made an appearance yet) and they’ll be gone for hours. The world famous Talyllyn Railway & Museum is on your doorstep and a trip to Aberdovey gets you to the donkeys for one of those quintessential beach holiday experiences. And don’t forget crabbing from the pier.
A trip on the Talyllyn Railway doesn’t have to be there and straight back again. There are stops for the Dolgoch Falls, Abergynolwyn and somewhere called Nant Gwernol which is your last stop. Most visitors get off here, watch the train turnaround, and then get back on. But if you are brave and decide to venture from the platform, there’s a circular walk steeped in the history of the Welsh slate industry named the Cascade Trail which follows the riverside and offers picturesque views of a series of falls and the surrounding forest. Keep on the lookout for a number of wind-up listening posts which reveal the story of the quarrymen and their families.
A little closer to home is the kiddy’s park, with a café, right next door to Trem Enlli. If you have a pre pre-teen, then they can burn-off some energy whilst you keep a watchful eye accompanied by a slice of cake and a cup of tea. If the weather has let you down, then give King Arthur’s Labyrinth a go or take a trip to Llanfair Slate Caverns which you pass on your way to Harlech Castle. If feeding bunnies, lambs and calves is your thing, then there’s a children’s farm right next to the slate mine which means that if you time it right (i.e. leave early!), you get to pack out your day with a visit to a castle, a slate mine and a children’s farm.
Whilst your children (and/or you) may not quite be up to climbing Cadair Idris the Dôl Idris nature trail lies at its foot. Here you will find the Ty Te Cadair Tea Room which houses a visitor centre with a variety of exhibits and interactive displays. They even have bats in the roof space. Dôl Idris is also home to the Minffordd Trail which is the shortest path to the summit of Cadair Idris and is very popular with walkers of all ages. If you’re not intending to tackle the summit yourself, a 5-minute climb up the path still gets you to a waterfall and pleasant views of the surrounding countryside. On your way back why not stop-off at the Dolgoch Falls if you haven’t already visited this popular tourist attraction as part of your ride on the Talyllyn Railway.
If your kids need the adrenalin rush of the thrills & spills of the fair, then Barmouth is just down the road and you can wind them back down on your way back by dropping in at to see what the yarn bombers have crocheted up this year.
Whatever your children’s age, we can keep them entertained.