Snowdonia with Teenagers

Magic Lantern

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then teenagers are from one of those exoplanets orbiting some distant star. We’ve all been there but most of us have long forgotten those angst filled years which is a bit of a problem if you’re planning a family holiday with one or more in tow. A remote cottage may tick all your boxes for that relaxing break but is likely to be beyond the pale for your average teenager.

Ideally, you would rent a place with friends who have children the same age so that they can team-up as a group. We have two apartments available and so this is doable and we’re only a 10-minute walk from Tywyn’s High Street which means that your children can wander off safely and independently. But what if this is not possible and it becomes your job to keep them entertained? I have posted here a list of adventures that may suit your teens’ needs and holiday expectations. Hope it helps!

Castell y Bere

First off, what about a visit to a castle or two? No trip to Wales is complete without a visit to one of our historic castles and we happen to have a couple on the doorstep. Harlech Castle is about an hour away and Castell y Bere is even closer. One big plus for y Bere is that entrance is free.

The Blue Lake

Another teen-friendly experience is a trip to Fairbourne’s secret Blue Lake. The Blue Lake is so secret that it made it on to the BBC’s Secret Britain and you can’t get any more secret than that. Whilst the secret isn’t as secret as it used to be your still unlikely to encounter hordes of people during your visit although it is a popular place for a bit of al fresco swimming. If you do fancy taking a dip, then please take a peek at Wild Swimming’s safety guide as part of the preparations for your trip.

F15 on the Mach Loop

How about getting a close-up of an F15 or a Hawk as it banks as little as a 100 feet above your head? The mach loop is the name for one of the RAF’s low flying zones and if you are up for a bit of walk, you can get a free air show as they fly by.

If your teenagers are at the younger-end of the spectrum, then plan a trip to King Arthur’s Labyrinth. The Labyrinth occupies a spooky abandoned Welsh slate mine which is reached by a barge captained by a mysterious hooded boatman. You enter the labyrinth through a magical underground waterfall that transports you back a thousand years to the dark ages where you will meet dragons, giants, and King Arthur himself. Of course, being underground, this trip isn’t reliant on the weather which means that it can be a useful backstop in the unlikely event of rain interrupting play.

The Centre for Alternative Technology is Europe’s leading ecocentre and is set in seven acres of gardens crammed with interactive displays demonstrating green solutions to environmental problems. There are plenty of activities and things to see and do which will keep all ages entertained throughout a visit especially during the school holidays.

What about a spot of crabbing on the pier at Aberdovey? Don’t let the howls of protest put you off. Aberdovey is just a beach walk from Tywyn and our teenagers (13 & 16 at the time) were none too keen at first but this didn’t stop them spending an entire afternoon doing it. In the end we had to drag them away!

You may have noticed that all the suggestions so far have involved travelling off somewhere but what’s there to do in walking distance? Well, Tywyn’s Leisure Park is right behind the apartment. The park has an 18-hole putting green, crazy golf, tennis courts, table tennis, skittles, quoits (google it), outdoor pool table & shuffleboard (google that as well). We are right opposite the beach and there’s a swimming pool in the High Street if the weather lets you down. We also have a skatepark with a funbox, quarter pipe and mini ramp (I have no idea what these are either). If you don’t really fancy doing anything more energetic than sitting, then Tywyn also has its very own cinema with a difference. Those of us of a certain age will remember what cinemas were like before they were obliterated by the large multiplexes. Well Tywyn’s Magic Lantern has survived. It still shows the blockbusters but you get to watch the movies ensconced in Victorian finery. You don’t get the intermission anymore but there is a bar!

If you are looking for something a bit more organised, then give Laserfun Wales a call. They are based at the Morfa ex-Army Camp which is a 15-minute walk from the apartment. Ever fancied trying your hand at surfing? AberAdventures offer classes from absolute beginner to elite with all equipment provided. No need to travel off as they have classes on the south beach. Tywyn’s AC Adventures (01654 711389) are also worth a call offering tailored activity breaks including climbing, gorge walking and mountain biking.

And don’t forget we have Wi-Fi which to your average teenager is more important than indoor plumbing.

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