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

 Back in February, we took our youngest one, Teddy, for a fleeting visit to Brussels to catch up with our friends, Lara and Hugo, and their adorable little one, Sarah.

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There’s no reason why you can’t take a baby into Central Brussels, so that’s where we went on our first day.

First stop – Jardin du Petit Sablon – this is is a delightful little garden which is buggy/stroller friendly and surrounded by beautiful architecture. It’s worth stopping here to take in the historical significance of these two counts who resisted the Spaniards.

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Obviously, as I have two boys, we had to go and see the Manneken Pis which although surprisingly small, for such a petite fellow, he has a huge wardrobe which is apparently changed all the time. Hah I’ve just read that back – did you think I was going to say ‘wardrobe’?
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It was nice to see some murals dotted around the city – this Tin Tin one being my favourite of the ones we spotted, given its Belgian origins.

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On a practical note… if you want to take a buggy/stroller around central Brussels, I’d recommend one with chunky wheels, rather than a small collapsible. There are lots of cobbles to navigate!

Alternatively, wearing your little one in a carrier would be ideal whilst walking around appreciating some of the impressive historical architecture, such as the Grand Place.

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After such a lovely stroll (and naps en route for the babies), we were all getting peckish and so headed to Chicago Café – a kiddy/baby friendly eatery in Brussels centre.

And wow… forget worrying about whether your child will be bored, adequately catered for or comfy – this is the perfect family friendly restaurant/ Café. There are ample toys, books and high chairs. A great children’s menu and it’s buzzing with so many other families that you won’t worry if your little one is loud at all.

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The next day, we ventured a little further from the centre and went on a perfectly buggy/stroller friendly stroll around the lake at Park De Tervuren, before having a delicious lunch at another family friendly restaurant, Bootkeshuis, which is within the park.

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The babies loved their lunch here – and yay the oh so familiar IKEA highchairs were on hand for their little derrières.

On our last day, we head out for a another walk around the grounds of Château De La Hulpe – another stunning location – just watch out as to where you take a stroller/buggy – you may have to double back on yourself to stay on flat ground.

The grounds here are so beautiful though and it is free to enter, so who cares if you can’t do a perfect circuit with a stroller hey?

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We had a lovely fleeting visit to Brussels and would love to see more in the future. 
 
This post was due to go live last week, but I’ve delayed posting because of the recent attacks.  However, I wouldn’t be put off from visiting Brussels because of what has happened – life goes on and all we can do is be vigilant whilst travelling. 
Packing my Suitcase

Darling Arthur,

I’m sorry that you won’t remember the wonderfully intimidating Big Sur – the lashing of the waves threatening the canyons below ominous bridges, or the towering gargantuan redwoods watching over us as we slept.

 

I’m sorry that you won’t remember how excited you were to see a blazing campfire for the first time.
I’m sorry that for you, watching the magnificent sun-set though port holes of an old water tower turned café, was no more stimulating than a regular trip out for lunch back home.

 

I’m sorry that we made you walk along yet another trail to see yet another beach.
I’m sorry that your experience of the fantastically daunting drive along this part of the Pacific Coast Highway was somewhat tedious as the laptop battery ran out interrupting Fireman Sam mid episode.
I’m sorry that you wouldn’t have noticed how happy Mummy and Daddy were here – to see the wonder in your eyes as you scrutinised rock pools, to hear your blissful squeals whilst running through waves and your little songs as you danced around our campfire with your torch searching for a real life bear.
How happy we were to have some time together as you and your even more feral little brother lay abnormally peaceful in the RV and we sat under the stars, alongside the trees, wishing we had just one more log to lay on the dying fire.
Perhaps one day we’ll bring you back here – when you’re old enough to appreciate how Big Sur truly is one of the most amazing places on this earth.
Love you more than bookshops,
Mummy xx
P.S Maybe these photographs will stir a little happy memory from your time here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travel Monkey

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.