Wnion Wood Lodge is ideal for families of all ages, whilst Seren is better suited to older children. As a family of four we understand what it is like to travel with kids, and we know that not everyone wants to sightsee, relax or seek out adrenaline during your break! Having a few planned days out up your sleeve to entertain the smallest holiday makers can be vital to keep the holiday fun and enjoyable for everyone. We thought it might be helpful to list some more specific activities and attractions that might entertain the kids (and maybe even some of the grown ups!!).
We are continually adding and updating this page so do check back again. In no particular order...
Dolgellau is a fabulous base for your holiday with so much to do in every direction. In Dolgellau itself there is a wonderful play park in the centre which is a hit with kids big and small. You can take a stroll or bike ride along the river and up the Mawddach Trail which starts right from the town centre (by the car park/rugby fields). If you are feeling particularly energetic you can bike/hike all the way to Barmouth (just over 9 miles one way). You might also want to pop to Cymer Abbey, only a small site, but shows some of the areas history.
Coed y Brenin
Coed y Brenin isn't just fun for the thrill seekers. There are lots of trails to explore for little hikers, many are flat and buggy friendly (off road buggy recommended). We particularly like parking at Tyddyn Gwladys and following the just over 2 mile circular walk to view the waterfalls. This walk is buggy friendly and suitable for little legs - but please be aware there are some steep drops down to the river and passing bikes, so caution is advised! There is a lovely woodland spot to explore by the river as you head back down the other side, so pack a picnic.
A much more gentle walk is the 1 mile puzzle animal trail from the visitors centre. A easy and paved track down to the river and back to the visitor centre. Spot the animals along the way. Here you can also pop in to the café for some cake and play in the small play park.
If you just want a nice spot to picnic then parking in the car park just before you enter the village of Ganllwyd is a lovely spot and has toilets and a short walk amongst the huge trees.
We have touched on Barmouth on the location page but it definitely needs another mention here. Barmouth is your typical seaside resort with a twist! There's everything you'd expect from a seaside resort - arcades, shops selling everything from buckets and spades to shoes, and even a small fair with rides. But it is also a blue flag beach with sandy beaches and clean water, surrounded by iconic mountain scenery. There are some fabulous boutique shops and wonderful dining establishments for when you get hungry, or you can go traditional and get fish and chips and sit out and watch the world go by. The children and adults alike enjoy fishing for crabs off the harbour (and I think the crabs enjoy it too - they're certainly well fed!!). During the summer you can find the donkeys on the beach, and there is also a land train which tootles along the sea front. If you want to stretch your legs you can walk from Barmouth over the bridge. Don't forget to call into Knickerbockers for an ice cream - a must!
Llanfair Farm Park and Slate Caverns
The small but perfectly formed farm park is a hit with the kids. This is just on the way to Harlech so could combine with with a morning/afternoon trip out. It is quite a simple set up so don't expect Alton Towers, but this family run establishment has goats and other animals, outdoor play areas and even a small indoor play area for rainy days. With mini golf, peddle go karts and more it will keep them entertained whilst you get a much deserved sit down (or not, in our case...!). Please check opening times as it is closed during the winter.
The slate caverns are based in the same location, and we haven't actually been here yet so can't talk from personal experience, but hopefully we will soon! We think it is definitely somewhere to consider and have included their website.
Not far from Dolgellau is the small, sleepy village of Corris. Somehow this tiny village has packed in a whole host of things to do with the family!! They have a lovely café and a small steam train which you can have a ride on. This is a very short trip and includes a brief history of the railway - one for the train lovers!
The craft centre in Corris is so much more than a craft centre!! Not only are there crafts including pottery, art, candles and jewellery, you can also find the Dyfi Distillery for gin (for the grown ups...!) and handmade chocolates and fudge. There is also a cafe and small play park for the kids to enjoy. But it doesn't stop there...!
Corris is also home to King Arthur's Labyrinth, an underground storytelling adventure that begins on a boat (one for the older children as a bit scary in places), AND the Corris Mine Explorers!! Take a trip deep underground and learn all about what is under your feet.
Surely that must be everything.... No! The Centre for Alternative Technology is also based near Corris. Teaching people from all over the world about sustainable living the site is also open to visitors who can explore the grounds and learn about the world around them. There is a café and plenty of space for children of all ages to play and explore. They also put on family days throughout the holidays, such as Nature Detectives - book in advance.
We have touched on Fairbourne but didn't want it to get missed so wanted to add it here too. A much more quiet beach (with public toilets and shops for essentials) for a more relaxed beach trip. This sandy beach is great for paddling and swimming (note - there are jellyfish in all waters off the coast. Most are harmless and just feel like a nettle sting if you do get stung - I speak from experience. But you may feel more comfortable in a wetsuit if you are worried so be sure to pack one). The beach here is shallow and safe for children, but please be aware of the currents and check the tide times before visiting as the sea will come right in to the rocks. This is our favourite beach and you can find us here many weekends throughout the year. Definitely take the mini train to the point and the boat ferry across to Barmouth - this never fails to keep everyone entertained!
A short trip along the stunning coastal road brings you to Tywyn. This seaside town has plenty to keep you and the children entertained, with a large beach and play park.
Take a trip on the Talyllyn Railway, a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone. They occasionally out on special events so definitely keep an eye on their website and book in advance!
The Magic Lantern Theatre is an independent cinema screening films most days. Not your average cinema, the building was built in 1893 and holds a lot of history.
And don't forget to stop off at Holgates for an ice cream on the way home!!