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Our first family holiday Llanberis, North-Wales

We had our first ‘family holiday’ experience towards the back end of the summer, taking advantage of the Roscoe cottage in Llanberis, North Wales.  We spent a lovely, relaxing week away which gave us a chance to explore the area with an 8 month old baby. We’ve always traveled as Helen and David but now there are 3 of us there is a lot more to think about. The car was full to the rim with walking gear, wet gear (this is North Wales we are talking about) a pram, a carrier, food, drink, toys…I wont go on.  Yes we definitely are more organised now it has to be said.

A week in Llanberis and here are some of our highlights…

Walking through Newborough Warren to get to the glorious Newborough beach on Anglesey, where Frank experienced his first handful of sand, and very nearly a mouthful! We managed to sit down for our first picnic of the holiday only to be threatened by a big, dark cloud which was heading our way. There was even a little tornado on the horizon. If it had swerved a little more to our left we would have been okay, but we sat it out a little longer and suddenly started to make a dash for it only to get absolutely drenched. It was good fun though. We managed to keep Frank nice and warm under our make-do picnic blanket shelter.

So beach time scuppered by the weather we drove down the road to the Anglesey Sea Zoo, which was money well spent. Frank again had another ‘first’ experience, this time of sea life and was mesmerised by the fish following them with his newly found pointing finger, at last he had something definite to point at and follow. It’s £7.50 per adult but the ticket lasts for 7 days and under 3′s are free.

When Nanni Barb joined us for the next few days we ventured over to the Llanberis National Slate Museum, which is free and a good option for half a day of ‘sight-seeing’, not that we were expecting anything else but you have to be open minded when it comes to finding activities that not only appeal to us but may also engage Frank’s ever increasing imagination. And so the Slate Museum did this for us, we even attended a slate cutting session which again was enjoyed by us all. So that Frank could have a bit of play time we took him to the village play-park which definitely helped him to work up an appetite for some dinner.

Another trip over to Anglesey, to Beaumaris saw us take in the Puffin Island cruise, which although there were no Puffin’s on the Island as they had all migrated for the winter, was still a really nice ‘family-activity’ to do. Having said that Frank snoozed the whole time, so perhaps we’ll come back when he is a little older and the Puffin’s are back from their travels. We did spot all sorts of birds though and a lonesome seal popped up to see us too. The boat trip costs £8 per adult and we were out at sea for 2 hours, along with lots of other families and a really fun tour-guide/boatman who was informative enough. On this very beautiful day we had clear views across to Liverpool.

You can’t really visit this area and not go hiking, afterall it is one of our favourite activities and with Frank we managed a couple of half day hikes. The first being a trek upto the Halfway house on the Llanberis Snowdon Pass, a moderate hike, probably one of the busier paths up to the top of Snowdon. When he is older we will go all the way up, this route is scenic and it’s nice to wave at the train as it makes its way up to the top. We also walked through Padarn Country Park around the back of the Slate Museum, not too steep, nicely sheltered from the wind and some lovely views too. Closer to the village it’s nice to walk around the lake and take a peak into Dolbardon castle too. Follow this with a hot chocolate at one of the many tea rooms and you will have a nice day planned!

Sometimes we didn’t want to put too much pressure on doing too much as a family. Afterall, not everything we did was free, suddenly there were various admission fees to consider, plus it’s nice to enjoy our time together, watching sheep through the window rummaging in the compost pile, or spending our time eating as a family and photographing it. Frank is used to the camera now and so it’s easy enough to capture his cheeky smile, or document him exploring his toy box. The simple things bring so much more enjoyment now.

Llanberis is a lovely part of the Snowdonia National Park and it’s a really good location to base yourself if you want to explore further. There are loads of family activities going on there too from canooing to rock climbing so we are sure to be frequenting this lovely mountainside village time and again as Frank grows. We did manage some child-free time too with a walk up to and around Moel Eilio behind the back of Llanberis village when the Roscoe grandparents came to stay and on the night time the Mennai Seafood festival was taking place and so we enjoyed our first night out together since before Frank was born.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0 and Nikon D600 with 35mm f1.8)

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