Days out in Llyn Peninsula with grandchildren

 

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Ideas of where to go and what to do when the Grandchildren say “I’m bored” and you don’t want to go to Wacky Warehouse again. All of these ideas are suitable for the under sevens and may be even older kids.

CricciethCriccieth is an attractive sea side town with a strong Victorian feel to it and still retains a range of old fashioned family owned shops. It has two blue flag beaches, the one to the west is sandy and the place for sand castles. That to the east is more pebbly and has rock pools at the far end. The RNLI station is above the east beach and is opened by volunteers. There is a child friendly castle to explore with small walls to climb over, places to play hide and seek as well as a cannon to fire. Kids may enjoy the short video of Gerald of Wales trip round Wales in 1188 shown in the Castle Visitor Centre. Afterwards there is an ice cream from Cadwalader's Ice Cream or fish and chips from the chippy both just down from the castle.

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Ffestiniog RailwayFfestiniog Railway is addictive. Small children love railways and being narrow gauge, this is a child friendly size. It is a lovely run from Porthmadog up through the Vale of Ffestiniog to the slate town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. There are a range of steam locos with names to fire the imagination, like Meddyn Emrys and Taliesin as well as Prince, Linda or Blanche. The shop at Porthmadog has a range of pocket money toys for the children as well as Thomas the Tank Engine merchandise. Tan-y-Bwlch is the half way point and a good place to break journey, as there is an excellent children's play area with signal box and wooden loco as well as swings. The cafe serves a range of food, drinks and ice creams. For those wanting a walk, the nature trail drops down to Llyn Mair, with picnic tables and ducks to feed. Alternatively the children can explore the footpath leading from the footbridge  through the trees to a stile at a minor road. Children travel free with a fare paying adult.

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PortmeirionPortmeirion delights the senses. It is a fascinating place for kids to explore as there are small paths around the village, steps, attractive gardens to run round and decidedly quirky architecture. On the beach by the hotel is a stone boat, the Amis Reunis, great for the kids to play pirates on. Children can play and splash in the Piazza Pool. A land train gives free 20 minute rides around the woodlands and there is a children's adventure play area. Alternatively walk through the woods to the small lighthouse on the point. There are cafes and ice cream. It is cheaper to buy tickets on the web. Alternatively, there is half price entry after 15.30.

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St Cybi’s WellSt Cybi’s Well is a holy well attributed to a 6thC saint. It is a pleasant short walk from the churchyard in Llnagybi across the fields and a stream to the ruins of the well chamber and the caretakers house by them. This is a lowly place to drop out on a sunny day with a picnic. It is well off the tourist route and chances are you will have it to yourselves, apart from the birds and maybe sheep. Children can explore the buildings with the usual warnings about taking care near the well. The well is open all hours and is free.


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Porth OerPorth Oer is our favourite beach. Set near the end of the peninsula, it is a small sheltered beach with beautiful white sand. Nicknamed Whistling Sands, the dry sand really does sing as you shuffle your feet across it. At low tide there are rock pools to explore, rocks to scramble over and a small cave. There is a small shop and cafe on the beach as well as toilets. Parking is above the beach and the cliff path runs off from the corner of the car park. This makes a lovely easy walk along the coast and up to the lookout point on Carreg with its Jasper mines.


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PorthdinllaenPorthdinllaen is a nice easy walk for the children. It needs to be done at low tide when you can walk along the sandy beach from Morfa Nefyn to the tiny settlement of  Porthdinllaen with Ty Coch pub providing drinks and food. The footpath beyond leads round to a tiny sandy cove with the lifeboat station. It continues round the grassy headland with views down onto the rocks where there may be seals. Return the same way, or along the track across the golf course, watching out for golf balls.


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MadrynMadryn is our favourite hill of the chain of hills running the length of the Llyn Peninsula and is the best for views. It is a steady climb of about 650' along a well marked track. At the summit, the ground falls away from your feet and it almost feels as if you are flying. If it is impressive to an adult it is doubly so for a child. You can identify all the places around the peninsula and on a clear day there are views across to Snowdon. look carefully and you will be able to pick out the walls of an Iron age fort around the summit.There is a real sense of achievement in climbing this.

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Gelert’s GraveGelert’s Grave is a good easy walk across pastureland along the banks of the River Glaslyn. Children love a good story and none comes better than that of Gelert, the faithful hound of Llewelyn, Prince of Gwynedd. A stone marks the spot of Gelert's death and tells his story. The story may just be a story made up by an 18thC landlord of the Goat Inn to encourage tourists, but the kid's love it. Treat then to an ice-cream at Cafe Glendwr and Glaslyn Ices afterwards.



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