Travelling in Snowdonia with kids

Travelling in Snowdonia with kids


What does Responsible Travel recommend?


Visiting Snowdonia with children is like going into a restaurant that doesn’t do ‘kids menus’ but just offers half portions of the real thing. Children can engage in activities that will challenge and delight them, sometimes scare them a little but, more often than not, push them to a point of pride.
Snowdonia doesn’t patronise children. It invites them in with open arms to join in the adult fun, allowing them to gorge on all of nature’s goodies for days on end.
And just when you think the kids should be collapsing into bed, don't miss out on showing them the night sky in Snowdonia. Because it was recently awarded International Dark Sky Reserve status, with the most spectacular clear, night skies. So, make sure you bring your constellation map as well as your OS one.

Health & safety


Travel safely in Snowdonia with kids

Health


  • Gwynedd Hospital in Bangor is the main hospital and A&E department in the area. Their number is + 44 1248 384 384.
  • Take note of local emergency numbers – like everywhere in UK, Snowdonia uses 999 and 112. If you are in the mountains ask for the police and then say you need mountain rescue. Or ‘Lifeboat’ if you are at sea.
  • Bewary of ticks They carry Lyme Disease and others, and best to take precautions. Make sure you carry tweezers so that you can remove them and be sure to inspect your bodies carefully. Always apply a deterrent (a natural one is best for children such as lemon eucalyptus) and then suncream. Read this excellent guide for top tick tips.
  • It is likely you will engage in a lot of physical activity with your children in Snowdonia. It is one big playground after all. So you can never overestimate the amount of water they will need. Chocolate should also be encouraged at all times!
  • Suncream is not always top of the list for Snowdonia, but as it is pretty exposed and also high up it is sometimes tricky to gauge. So factor in the factors when you are packing.

Safety


If you are hiking, biking or on the water, it is always best to tell someone where you are heading. Plan your route carefully so that it caters for the abilities of all the family. And remember, if you are climbing, coming down is often more tiring than going up.
Bring a basic safety kit with you if you are in the mountains. Warmth and water are key. A whistle, torch and first aid kit can save a life.
It is good to know the national distress signal, which is six flashes with your torch, or six short whistles, repeated after a minute’s pause. The reply is three flashes or whistles.
Wear suitable clothing for all activities. With thermal layers in winter, and sunhats in summer. Take a map and compass with you and make sure you know how to use them.

If you are off on an adventure, always check the Met Office website for a detailed weather forecast before you set out and if you are in the mountains, or indeed on the water, turn back if the weather turns bad.

If you are on the water wear buoyancy aids and make sure they are properly fastened, especially on children who can slip out of them more easily.
The website www.mountainsafe.co.uk is a font of mountain safety information, run by an impressive team of Snowdonia partners.

Activities for families


What to do in Snowdonia with kids


There is no looking back to tacky theme parks after a trip to Snowdonia’s Zipworld. Donning flying suits and goggles at this extraordinary revival of an obsolete quarry, you will take on what feels like a big version of the Superman trick you did with them when they were babies. There is a small and big version, and both require minimum age of seven and ten respectively, with minimum height 120cms.

If you thought taking the stabilizers off was a big step, wait until you see them hit the mountain bike trails of at Coed y Brenin. As well as the Yr Afon family cycle trail, the Y Ffowndri (The Foundry) has excellent training facilities for beginners, young and not so young. You can hire bikes here too. There are also many off road cycle trails for younger children in Snowdonia.

With carefully constructed family-friendly experiences, go down into the caverns of the slate mines at Corris Mine Explorers or Llechwedd Slate Caverns. Both get you kitted up in special safety equipment before exploring the huge abandoned slate chambers, where you will find all sorts of relics from this important era of Snowdonia’s history.

Tips for families


responsibletravel.com asks the experts


Ifer Gwyn is the Principal Policy Officer at Snowdonia National Park, so if anyone knows the Park he does:
"Some families are wary of cycling here because they think Snowdonia is all about mountain biking and elite sports. But we have lots of off road cycling trails in Snowdonia, which are perfect for families. Then, if they want to progress onto the mountain trails, they can if they want to.”
Rosalie Holyoak, owner of Cwm Deiliog self catering accommodation and one of our suppliers:
"Families visiting Llanberis love the Peak Restaurant, run by chef Angela Dwyer, and also the very different Pete’s Eats."
Photo credits: [Muddy child: © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales] [Zip World: Zip World] [Mountain biking: © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales] [Llechwedd caverns: © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales] [Cycling: © Crown copyright (2014) Visit Wales]
Written by Catherine Mack
Snowdonia self catering accommodation, Wales

Snowdonia self catering accommodation, Wales

Cottage on Lake Padarn with wonderful views of Snowdonia

From £325 per cottage per week (sleeps 4-5)
Snowdonia Bed and Breakfast accommodation, Wales

Snowdonia Bed and Breakfast accommodation, Wales

Carbon Neutral 1883 guesthouse 700ft up in Snowdonia

From £45 per person per night
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