Half Term Heroes
We know trying to find things for kids to do in the school holidays can be tricky, especially trying to find something that doesn't cost a fortune... that's why we popped our pants on the outside, gelled up our quiffs, donned a cape and decided to try and become your very own "Half Term Heroes" - ever alert to the call of a good bargain...
School’s nearly out for half term...so, throw a few things in a bag, fill the minivan with fuel and get down to Mid Wales where there’s plenty to explore for all the family.
Here in Wales we love getting outdoors and there is so much to explore whatever your age.
If you are a true outdoorsy family who aren’t afraid of the night time drop in temperatures then there are still some great campsites around. The picturesque Fforest Fields just outside of Builth Wells is a great family friendly site which offers hard standing and camping pitches, gorgeous yurts (complete with log burners) and if that still all sounds a bit too rough and ready then self catering accommodation is also available. The site has numerous walks to offer – two of which lead to cosy pubs – just saying. Also on site is a lake for the brave to dare themselves to some wild swimming, or alternatively use the canoes that are available to hire for a small deposit.
Talking of lakes, another great family place to visit is Llangorse Lake in the Brecon Beacons. As well as sailing and fishing Llangorse has an excellent activities centre - Llangorse Multi Activities Centre offers artificial rock climbing walls and low level bouldering which is great for beginners as well as more experienced climbers. There is also a small café on site which is child friendly and offers great views.
For those wet weather days Mid Wales still has plenty to offer, tourism season doesn’t stop with inclement weather.
A great day out for those with younger children, is the Machinations Centre in Llanbrynmair near to Machynlleth in the north of Powys. With hands-on interactive moving model characters and fascinating mechanisms displaying cogs, cams and levers; the centre also boasts friendly staff, and a cafe serving home made meals and snacks. Machinations is open all year from 9.30 - 4.30 and until 5 pm in the holiday season.
For anyone with mini cycling enthusiasts the National Cycle Museum is well worth a visit and is offering free entry to any child accompanying a paying adult throughout the week of Half Term.
There's plenty to see and do including an interactive quiz and bicycle bell display, not to mention the display of bikes spanning over 200 years.
Brecon has a canal system which is a beautiful setting for buggy friendly family walks, or for those wanting to take it easy, luxury canal boat hire is available from Beacon Park Boats. Another option to explore this historic waterway is by taking a trip with Dragonfly Cruises which run from March until the end of October.
If you need some down time with the family and it’s raining cats and dogs, there are some great independent cinemas across the area. From the Regent Cinema in Newtown, Wyeside in Builth and The Coliseum Cinema in Brecon. A much nicer experience than mass produced chain cinemas; independents offer a friendly and unique place to enjoy some popcorn and settle down to a family film.
Thanks to Beeching cuts, Mid Wales lost a significant number of it’s railway infrastructure in the 1960’s. However what is left has been preserved and maintained. For a trip through railway history take trip with The Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway or the Brecon Mountain Railway and experience steam train travel in all its glory.
There are plenty of activities happening throughout Powys to keep "little monsters" busy and creative, there are a host of "tricks and treats" happening at the Elan Valley with opportunities to take part in "Spooky Spectacular Halloween Crafts" whilst just down the road in Rhayader the Dragon festival is in full swing.
For a perfect finish to a day of exploring, there are a number of outstanding pubs to choose from in Mid Wales. The Camra award winning Star Inn in Tal y Bont, near Brecon offers a reasonably priced menu along with a selection of real ale. The Nag’s Head in Garthmyl near Montgomery has been awarded an AA rosette for it’s menu and use of local produce and has recently been announced as the AA Pub of The Year for Wales.
Whatever the weather, Mid Wales is the perfect family destination to take a break and go back to the school run refreshed and ready to go.
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