The Top Five Outdoor Activities To Do With Toddlers and Preschoolers On Holiday In West Wales
Remember when you were a child, and your holidays didn’t involve any sort of electronic gadgets or theme parks at all, but you still had FUN?!
Many parents long to be able to create these sorts of holiday memories for their own young children – simple pleasures, getting outside, and evocative of when life was simpler. So here’s our guide to some of the best outdoor activities to do with toddlers and preschool children on holiday in West Wales. (Of course, older children, young at heart parents and grandparents usually love doing these things too!!)
On The Seashore : Rock Pool Exploring and Crabbing
A bucket, a shrimping net and a keen pair of eyes can open up a whole new miniature world of mysterious sea creatures for youngsters when you go rock pool exploring! How exciting to see shrimps dashing between fronds of seaweed, jelly red anemones with tentacles gently waving, limpets and periwinkles clinging to the rocks, and tiny crabs scuttling along the bottom of the pool.
There are some excellent rock pools to explore at low tide at Poppit Beach, Newport Beach and Ceibwr.
Another favourite activity to do with toddlers is crabbing. You can purchase crabbing lines in Cardigan or Newport, and using bacon as bait you can while away an hour seeing how many crabs you can catch. The jetty in St Dogmaels, and The Parrog, Newport Estuary are popular spots for crabbing.
Of course, once you’ve finished exploring be sure to return all these fascinating creatures to their original rock pool with great care if you’ve put them in your bucket, and leave everything as you found it, for others to enjoy too.
Up The Estuary : Cycling with Wildlife Detecting
If your youngster has just learnt the joys of cycling, how about combining it with some wildlife detective work as well.
The nearby Welsh Wildlife & Teifi Marshes Centre has a lovely safe track through the riverside reed beds which is smooth and flat, so perfect for youngsters on bikes (and easy for you to keep up on foot). Dotted along the track are bird hides where you can stop and see what you can spy on the estuary.
Ducks, herons, swans, kingfishers, bittern, curlews, otters, dragonflies, butterflies and water buffalo (yes really!) are often spotted. Better still, at the main nature reserve there are ponds, willow sculptures, play areas, and nature trails to enjoy, as well as a cafe for some well earned refreshments!
All At Sea : Dolphins, Seals & Seabird Spotting Boat Trips
We are lucky to have such a beautiful coastline here in West Wales, and luckier still to have such an abundance of wildlife. One of the popular activities for ALL ages is an exhilarating boat trip.
Hugging the coastline you’ll see rugged cliffs, caves, and depending on what time of year you go, Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbour Porpoise, Grey Seals and a plethora of seabirds in their natural habitat, including Razorbills, Guillemots, Gannets, Choughs, Cormorants, Oyster Catchers and Manx Shearwaters and more.
Locally we recommend A Bay To Remember for Dolphin spotting trips. A little further afield there are a number of boat trip providers if you want to land on Skomer Island to see the puffins, comical icons of Pembrokeshire. The best time of year for seeing puffins is the end of May to mid July.
Step Back In Time : Castles, Cromlechs, and Forts
Fire up the imagination by stepping back in time! West Wales is renowned for its castles, and there are plenty to visit which are suitable for young children. Locally Cilgerran Castle towers high above Teifi Gorge, and Cardigan Castle will be opening to the public in early 2015, with a heritage centre, following a multi million pound refurbishment. Further afield the mighty Pembroke Castle is an excellent place to visit, with good safe access to explore what’s left of the actual castle, and a series of very engaging child oriented exhibitions and displays.
To go even further back in time Pentre Ifan Cromlech at the foot of Carn Ingli is also worth a visit, as is Castell Henllys, a unique Iron Age hill fort recreated with fantastic replica Iron Age roundhouses, built right on top of the excavated remains of an existing hill fort, dating back 2,400 years. (They also have over eighty events during the year, including storytelling, craft workshops, and recreating Iron Age living)
At Sundown : Pebble Sculptures and Camp Fires
As the day draws to a close, and the sun gets low on the horizon over the sea what better way to create a bit of magic than a camp fire on the beach.
For pebbles we recommend Ceibwr Bay, a tiny sheltered cove, not known by many. It’s a perfect place to build wobbly pebble sculptures, then collect dried flotsam and jetsam wood to build your sunken camp fire – perfect for toasting oozy marshmallows to enjoy with a flask of hot chocolate. You might even get an inquisitive seal popping up from the waves to have a look at what you’re doing!
We also have loads to do onsite for children of all ages at Croft Farm & Celtic Cottages, so coupled with these additional suggestions of what to enjoy in our local area, we’d love to welcome you and your family to stay with us!
Check out our Special Offers, or give us a call on 01239 615179 to find out more about our luxury four and five star self-catering cottages. Hope to see you soon!