Is there honestly still four weeks left of the Summer holidays? Yes I’m afraid so.  We all love time with our children, we really do, but the constant “where are we going today?” demands can get a little expensive.

I’ve put together a little list of things to do near where we live (Powys/Shropshire Border) which won’t cost you an arm and a leg or even a little toe for that matter. You can check out some of these places on Can Kids Go? So head over there for many more ideas or feel free to add the places you’ve been to with little ones and let the world know whether they are family friendly.

So what’s there to do in and around Powys/Shropshire border?

1. Go to The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury  – This park is bloomin’ fantastic. Not only is is stunning with beautiful flower gardens, and an idyllic walk along the river, there’s a lot to offer for little ones: a newly renovated play park and splash area (all free), lawns for ball games and paths for bicycles or scooters. For more information see HERE.

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2. Go GeoCaching – if you have a smart phone, you can download the app for free and then the world is your treasure trail. There are thousands of capsules to find all over Wales, with an abundance of them in our area. Have a gander along the canal (see here Montgomeryshire canal), visit a local Church, Rodney’s pillar… they’re everywhere and give purpose to a walk. Get on it people. Here are just the ones you can find in and around the Welshpool/Shropshire border.
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Searching for a Geocache near Trewern…
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3. Go for Bike-Ride or a Picnic at Lake Vyrnwy – If you are able to go for a drive with kids in tow, then head up to the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy. This place is breathtaking and has a lot to offer for free. There are picnic areas, a sculpture park, walks and a lovely flat road which is ideal to cycle along.  There are often events on (which may involve a small fee), such as craft fairs (There is one in early September) and cycle activities – do go check out their website.
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Cuddles in the sculpture park.
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4. Go on a Stickman Trail – Houghmond Hill – If you’ve got Julia Donaldson bookworms then they’ll love this. You can buy an activity pack for £3 and parking costs £1. The walk is buggy/stroller friendly and is the perfect distance for 3 year olds +. There are some fun activities to do around the trail and our boys loved it. You can check out a full post on this HERE.
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5. Walk up Rodney’s Pillar – ok so perhaps this isn’t one for tiny ones – unless they’re in a backpack. We’ve taken our boys up there in a backpack a few times before, but now Arthur is 3, he’s a bit heavy and so will probably not be old enough to do the walk until he’s about 5. But if you have older children or babes in arms (or a super duper off roader buggy/stroller), then go for an adventure up to this monument. The views from Rodney’s Pillar are absolutely breathtaking. For more information, see HERE.

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Here’s the location on a MAP.
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In fact – go and get yourself an ordinance survey map, or download the app and purchase your local map to view on your phone. There are so many beautiful walks in and around Powys/Shropshire – don’t let the little ones stop you getting out and about…
I hope you have a great break this summer and have lots of fun and adventures with your children.
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Do let me know what you’ve been up to so far and if you’ve got any recommendations.
Travel Monkey

A few weeks ago we went on holiday to Pembrokeshire (Wales) to visit family; I grew up there and often get this relentless itch to go back, breath in some coastal air and appreciate the beautiful Welsh coastline. I’m so lucky to be able to stay with family and have seen first hand that Pembrokeshire, and particularly Dale, is a fantastic destination for a family holiday.

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Dale Pembrokeshire

Dale lies about 25 minutes from Haverfordwest and about 15 minutes from Milford Haven. Set on a peninsular, it has two beaches: a safe family beach and a more adventurous surf beach within walking distance.

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Activities

With a waterfront Watersports Centre which offers tuition in sailing, kayaking, surfing and more, there is so much on offer for almost every age.

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There are some fantastic walks around the coastal path, as well as geocaching dotted around the village. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to catch your supper – you can even go on fishing trips from here.

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Whilst the beach isn’t sandy, it is relatively safe and there are rock-pools on one side and a pontoon which is perfect for crabbing, on the other.

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The beach is just as lovely in the Winter and almost completely deserted! I took Teddy and Arthur down here when Teddy was just a tiny one and there’s something so special about getting all wrapped up and going to the beach.

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Also in Dale, there is a lovely crafts centre  which offers afternoon teas and a number of galleries/ art exhibitions.

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Food

There are a number of options here: a fantastic Seafood restaurant/Pub, The Griffin Inn, which is right on the waterfront where you can have either a bowl of chips overlooking the sea, or a special meal if you fancy fine dining in their contemporary extension.

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There is also a great waterfront café and another restaurant and café in the Yacht Club (The Moorings) which has stunning sea views.

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Accommodation

There are plenty of options, either within Dale itself, or in the surrounding area. I would recommend checking out Spinnaker Reach, or Allenbrook for Bed and Breakfast.

If you are looking for a holiday cottage to rent, have a look on Coastal Cottages website to see what suits you.  For campers – go check Point Farm.

So you if you are thinking of holidaying in the UK – do check out this hidden little secret near where I grew up. It the above doesn’t sell it to you, then maybe this will…

Dale also really knows how to throw a party. I was down here for the Queen’s Jubilee and it was just brilliant. There are often events for August bank holiday, Halloween and even New Years Eve.

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*Please note that this is not a sponsored most and is 100% based on my own opinions. 

Packing my Suitcase

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

I didn’t think that Los Angeles would be our thing, and sometimes when you lower your expectations, you come to be pleasantly surprised. And surprised I was. Our main reason for stopping here was to catch up with the gorgeous Ceri, a friend of ours who we went to Aberystwyth University with back in the day. It was great to see her, hear all her news and reminisce about the good old alcohol fuelled & care free days; she’s loving life in the States and it really seems to suit her well.


Our RV site in LA was on Dockweiler Beach. I was a little apprehensive at first – it’s right next to the airport (the boys weren’t bothered by the noise at all thankfully) and the LA Sanitation Plant is just behind it! Wonderful. You don’t really notice or smell anything though and all you can see in front of you is sparkling white sand and hear the waves lazily whooshing away. It was perfect and this friendly little fellow came up to us to say hi as we got on the beach.


There was also a bike trail going right along the beach – a ready made scooter road just for Arthur!


Having some family time by the sea was exactly what we needed and to be able to step out from our RV straight onto the deserted beach – who could want anything else? Well a back massage would be nice if anyone’s offering as the beds in the RV aren’t that comfy…. not that i’m complaining…I’ll shut up now!




From our experience so far of trying to park the RV along the Pacific Coast Highway (a bit of an ordeal), we decided to hire a small SUV… this is what they gave us!


The Americans don’t do small apparently.

Bloody brilliant hey? And it meant we could drive right through LA. Ceri suggested that we meet around La Brea Tar Pits… we are serious geeks and couldn’t believe that this fascinating natural history museum is right in LA. The Tar Pits are natural tar/asphalt sites which have preserved fossils from the Ice Age. They’re still uncovering more and more there – mammoths, saber-tooth cats, Dire Wolfs…. loads! This was the first place where I just wished I could exterminate the children for an hour, as the last thing they wanted to do was read all of the information. Arthur couldn’t even have cared less that there was a fishbowl of palaeontologists working right in front of us. 


We also got chatting to an incredibly interesting and eccentric tour guide, who was quite possibly Jeff Goldblum’s great-grandfather, and I’m pretty sure he was as old as some of the fossils there. I wished so much that we could have chatted to him for longer (and that I’d taken a photograph of him).

From LA, we drove up the coast towards Santa Barbara, stopping for lunch in Malibu. Thankfully, there’s loads of street parking here. Malibu is where wealth meets water in perfect agreement. The people are stunning and the beaches aren’t bad either. 


We went for lunch at Malibu Farm, an organic/local produce restaurant on the peer. It was pretty pricey, but was so, so delicious.  


It also happened to be the second occasion in 24 hours when we wanted to teleport the kids away somewhere, just so we could savour our food and take in the scene around us. As usual, we had the normal battles of Teddy (aka Houdini) climbing out of the highchair and nearly jumping headfirst into the water below the peer and Arthur moaning about not wanting the scrumptious albeit rather posh cheese toastie we’d ordered for him! Oh the joys of traveling with children.