Friday, February 28, 2014

Black Country Canal Walk

This week it was half term for us.  I think most Welsh school had this week off instead of the previous week like most other children did.  We have come back to The Midlands this week and have tried to make the most of having lots of adventures and visiting places as this may be our last week here before we sell the house.  Come Easter, May half term ad the Summer holidays and I will be working in the shop so will be unable to take time off during our busy time.  This week we have had dry weather although a couple of days were a little chilly but we went out and about anyway.  

Over the next few weeks I would like to share our half term adventures with you.  Yestereday we went to a local narure reserve about 5 miles away and then took a walk along the Dudley No. 2 Canal.

Meeting some horses along the path.

Muddy after all the rain we have had.

 Looking up to beautiful blue skies. 

Catching up as we have little legs. 

Climbing banks. 

Finally reaching the resovouir. 

Crossing over the road and down the path to the canal. 

The peaceful canal. 

All tranquil and quiet. 

Such a beautiful sunny day. 

Meeting the residents. 

Watching the traffic pass us by. 

All whilst walking right through built up Black Country. 

A family afternoon. 

Spent with nature right in the middle of this built up industrial area. 

Then the fun began. We had been accompanied by my Dad to the reservoir where he walked back to the car and drove to the end of the canal. We found the car but it was empty. His phone just rung out. Where could he be?

Walking down the canal to meet us. One small problem though. We were on Dudley No 2 canal and he was walking down Dudley No 1 canal. 

Good job it was a dry day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What is there to do in Wales?

Having lived in sunny old Wales now for nearly 12 months I have taken a look online to see what activities and adventures we can go on as a family.  For a number of years now we were members both the National Trust and English Heritage and both the kids and I loved visiting their places.  Lets say we certainly got our monies worth out of the yearly memberships.  We really did have some fantastic educational and fun days out.

Both The Boy and The Girl love looking round old buildings, castles and even ruins.  As a result they both have a great love for history. As a family we have never been on what you would call a typical holiday abroad.  I did go abroad as a child but never did the beach holiday once.  I don't like sitting round a pool and although I did go a couple of times with friends when older I really hated it.  I find sitting around a pool doing nothing very boring and the fact I smoother myself in factor 50 every 30 minutes makes no difference as I still get sunburn.  To the extent that on the first day of a 2 week holiday in Greece I ended up in A&E and was given pile cream to cover the blistered burns for the rest of the holiday (strange but those Greeks knew what they were doing as it took the pain away!).

Our typical foreign holidays are long city breaks where we can take in the culture of our surroundings and this is what we love.  As a family we have been lucky to visit some amazing places.  In 2011 our 3 1/2 week tour of Europe is still one of our favourite adventures.  I have blogged about this holiday on my old blog but intent to revisit some of our wonderful memories here over the next few weeks.

These type of educational and cultural visits are something that I want to continue now we have moved to Wales.  I want them to have an understanding of what has happened in the past and knowledge of events that have shaped their surroundings.

I began in the New Year searing on Google for suggestions of places we could and adventures to be had in Wales.  I came across a wonderful article that listed the top 100 things to do in Wales.  Some of these are not really suitable for us as a family.  Things such as walk every route up Snowdon are never going to happen with my RA and The Girl's JIA.

I pondered on this list and have chosen the following things which suit our family interests:

  • Cross the historic Barmouth toll bridge.
  • Stand on the battlements of Caernerfon Castle.
  • Kick the bar at Aberystwyth promenade.
  • Visit St Fagans.
  • Visit Tintern Abbey.
  • Visit Beaumaris Gaol.
  • Visit St David's Cathedral.
  • Drive Wales' highest road at Bwlch Y Groes, Dollgellau.
  • Go dolphin spotting in Cardigan Bay.
  • Sample one of Wales' artisan cheeses.
  • Have a foodie weekend in Monmouthshire.
  • Have a Cadwaladers ice cream in Criccieth.
  • Discover Wales' Industrial past at the Big Pit.
  • Watch the birds at Anglesey's stunning South Stack Lighthouse.
  • Feed the Red Kites at Nant Yr Arian, Ceredigion.
  • Take the tram up the Great Orme, Llandudno.
  • Eat Honey Ice Cream on the quay in Aberaeron.
  • Go green at the Centre for Alternative Technology.
  • Visit Harlech Castle.
  • Have your photo taken next to this sign.

  • Take a trip to Powis Castle.

If you have made it this far, thank you.  These are the ones we would like to do over the next few years.  In fact a couple of them we have already done but I would like to do again.

What is your dream list of places to visit where you live?

You can view the full list in this article on the Wales Online website.