I love castles. Whenever I picture a castle in my head, invariably it will be something akin to what I would have drawn as a child – imposing stone walls standing proud on a hill, turrets and battlements, arrow slits and a huge portcullis. So when we decided to visit Harlech Castle in North Wales, I was very excited.
Newborough Beach is somewhere we have visited regularly – each time looking enviously towards Llanddwyn Island. I had always believed it was out-of-bounds to us as its status of a nature reserve meant we couldn’t take the barking furry pair. However, the opportunity arose when me and Rowan were at the caravan with my Mum and Dad, and Rick (who has fewer holidays than me) had stayed home with the muttlers and several packets of Tunnock’s teacakes for company.
During the October half term holidays, we had a plan to get up early and head to the Pen-y-Pass car park on Snowdon. We were going to take in the lakes along the Miner’s Track, have a picnic and head back, dependant on how far Rowan’s legs fancied walking. We knew we would have to get up early as the car park fills up quickly, but knowing, 1. How popular a walk Snowdon is and 2. How rubbish we are at getting up super early, we had a plan B. Now there is the option of the Snowdon Sherpa, a bus that can take you from other car parks and villages round the foot of Snowdon to the Pen-y-Pass, but the thought of taking our ruffing furry pair on a bus wasn’t appealing. When we arrived at the car park, nowhere near early enough, plan B – the Watkin Path, was put into action.
A holiday in October means there is no guarantee of the weather (not that there is any time in the UK really). The night we arrived in Wales, I stayed up late till high tide as we had arrived just in time for Storm Brian and the caravan site was on flood alert. I wanted to go to bed knowing that we weren’t going to float off in the night – we didn’t. The next day was still really blowy with showers so, not wanting to stay in the caravan all day, we drove to West Shore Beach at Llandudno.
October saw our first holiday during a half term so we took the opportunity to spend the week in North Wales. For one of our days out, we visited Cwm Idwal – a beautiful National Nature Reserve and geography teacher’s dream.