Get out and enjoy the Welsh coast with our pick of some of the top attractions
1. HAVARD STABLES, PEMBROKESHIRE
There’s no better way to enjoy the Welsh coastline than from horseback. At Havard Stables you can enjoy treks through the local countryside, taking in the glorious coastline, or take a riding lesson, while young riders could join the Saturday saddle club. The team here are friendly and knowledgeable, with a range of horses to suit all sizes and abilities.
Havard Stables, Dinas Cross, Pembrokeshire SA42 0SR. Tel: 01348 811452. www.havardstables.co.uk
2. ADMIRE MARINE WILDLIFE, PEMBROKESHIRE AND CEREDIGION
A visit to Skomer and Skokholm islands is an ideal day out for anyone with an interest in the abundance of wildlife living along the Welsh coast. Run by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, the islands are home to the largest population of manx shearwaters in the world and there are puffins, grey seals, razorbills and guillemots to spot as well. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales also incorporates the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre in Ceredigion, which offers visitors material and activities centred around the marine environment, as well as dolphin-watching trips.
3. PLAS MENAI, GWYNEDD
As the National Outdoor Centre for Wales, Plas Menai (pictured above) is the place to go to for water sports, from sailing courses and powerboating to windsurfing and kayaking. The busy programme of outdoor activities offers a heady dose of adrenaline and the chance for adults and children to acquire new skills. This is a fantastic venue for those who are keen to experience Wales’ shoreline from the water.
Plas Menai, National Outdoor Centre, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 1UE. Tel: 01248 670964. www.plasmenai.co.uk
4. HERITAGE RAILWAYS, GWYNEDD & CEREDIGION
For a wonderfully timeless way to travel along the coast, how about taking the train? The award-winning Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways boast some awe-inspiring lines around Snowdonia (see article here). And further down the coast, the Vale of Rheidol Railway runs for 12 miles from Aberystwyth to Devil’s Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains, passing through open fields, ancient woodlands and rugged mountain scenery. During the summer months you can even have a go behind the controls of the steam locomotive Margaret, on one of Rheidol’s Driver for a Fiver days. Alternatively, make the most of those long, balmy day by heading out on one of the their Summer Evening Excursions.
5. PENMEIDDYN, PEMBROKESHIRE
Located in a quiet corner of the county, Penmeiddyn near Fishguard offers an idyllic retreat away from the hustle and bustle. Here you can treat yourself to a few days of creativity, whether you opt for singing, music, dance, yoga, meditation, drawing, fused glass or even sculpture. Guests have the option of staying in the oak-framed yurt, surrounded by three-and-a-half acres of woodland, or in the cosy farmhouse.
Penmeiddyn, Manorowen, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire SA65 9QA. Tel: 01348 891669. www.penmeiddyn.org.uk
6. CARDIFF BOAT, CARDIFF
Make the most of the vibrant capital by hopping aboard Cardiff Boat’s Princess Katharine, which offers a regular service between Cardiff Bay and the city centre, with pick-up and drop-off points at a number of the waterside pubs and restaurants along the way. The Princess Katharine has capacity for up to 90 passengers. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy both the city and the water.
Cardiff Boat Tours, tel: 07445 440874. www.cardiffboat.com
7. PLAS Y BRENIN, CONWY
Plas y Brenin, also known as The National Mountain Centre, enjoys a stunning situation in Snowdonia and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. There’s a huge array of activities available, including kayaking or canoeing, rock climbing or scrambling. If you fancy a longer stay, you could book one of the self- catering cottages for a family holiday.
Plas y Brenin, Capel Curig, Conwy LL24 0ET. Tel: 01690 720214. www.pyb.co.uk
8. ANGLESEY SEA ZOO
If the underwater world fascinates you, spend a day at Anglesey Sea Zoo, Wales’ largest aquarium. Admire the choice treasures from the ocean while experiencing the interactive displays and activities here designed to both inform and entertain. Thanks to a recent grant, there are three new exhibits for visitors to enjoy: lump fish; seahorses; and the mesmerising moon jellyfish.
Anglesey Sea Zoo, Brynsiencyn, LL61 6TQ. Tel: 01248 430411. www.angleseyseazoo.co.uk
9. LEATHER COURSES BRITAIN, PEMBROKESHIRE
For something out of the ordinary to take part in on the Welsh coast, how about taking a leatherwork training course? Leather Courses Britain provide courses using traditional hand tools and craftsmanship to create beautiful leather pieces that will serve and please for years to come. The courses range from a one- day taster experience through to an intensive five-dayer, with options to suit all abilities. The groups are kept small and the experience is hands on, so you’ll leave with a new skill to be proud of.
Leather Courses Britain, The Old Chapel, Penffordd, Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire SA66 7HX. Tel: 01437 557555. www.leathercoursesbritain.com
10. LLANDUDNO PIER, CONWY
Visiting Llandudno Pier is like taking a step back in time. This imposing structure entertains and delights for hours, with ice creams, candy floss and even a speciality rock shop with biscuits and jams along the boardwalk, plus fish ’n’ chips and a range of cafés and bars. The shops and arcades are ideal places to browse away a few hours, while the pier stretching out into the sea offers magnificent views; a relaxing stroll to the end and back is an absolute must.
Llandudno Pier, tel: 01492 876258. www.llandudnopier.com
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