Rainy Day Activities & Events

Here comes Autumn!

There are loads of awesome activities to keep you busy come rain or shine here in Carmarthenshire.

However, now that the Autumn months are setting in, you might well find that your next trip to this lovely part of the world is dampened somewhat by the ever encroaching rain!

If you’re weekend or holiday plans do happen to be thwarted by a persistent bout of rain, then don’t panic! There are loads of great activities, shows and events on this month that are bound to keep your kids (and you!) happy:

The Creepy Carmarthen Tour at Carmarthen

At a very reasonable £23 for families, this evening activity is the just the ticket for kids aged 8+, who don’t mind a walk on the wild side. Carmarthen is home to many historical landmarks that might not be of great interest to young ones, but they’re bound to find this ‘horrible history’ tour of the Victorian police station of interest. Go to: www.creepycarmarthen.co.uk to book tickets and find out more.


Michael Morpurgo’s King Arthur at Y Ffwrnes

You’ll most likely have to book in advance to see this exciting new show, performed by one of the most acclaimed children’s theatre groups in the country, Story Pocket Theatre. An adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s revised tale of the classic Arthurian legend, this touring production will be playing on the 11th and 12th October at The Ffwrnes. Head to: www.storypockettheatre.co.uk to find out more about the award-winning production company.


Skidz Karting at Swansea

It might be hammering it down outside, but that make will make very little difference to your family, when you’re speeding round the two custom-built tracks that Skidz run in Swansea. For young ones there are electric karts that reach the top speed of 6mph (suitable for ages 4-7). Older thrill seekers can jump into petrol powered vehicles and zip round a 350m track that has plenty of opportunities for overtaking. Check them out here: https://www.skidzkarting.co.uk/


The LEC at Llanelli

You might think that Laser Tag is a bit of a retro activity, but your kids certainly won’t! There’s a good couple of hours of fun to be had at The LEC where your kids will be able to make new friends (and enemies!) in a purpose built arena that includes an awesome glow in the dark arena and state-of-the-art equipment. The game is strictly non-contact and there are always trained marshals on hand to keep an eye out on any over-zealous soliders! Book in right here: http://laserzone.org/

Green Carmarthenshire: Renewables in Wales

Wales is a country committed to renewable energies.

Wales is a country renowned for its natural beauty, friendly characters and rich heritage. In recent years, however, it’s been building a new reputation as a country that not only revels in the past but also cares for the future.

In the last few years, with the support of the Welsh Assembly, the Welsh people have made a push on producing more Renewable Energy. Using a variety of methods and techniques, Wales is hoping to secure its future as a country that cares for the planet. They have the statistics to back it up too. Year on year, Wales has managed to increase the proportion of renewable energy – reaching a high of 7.9%.

How does a country of just over 3 million people make such a breathtaking turnaround on the environment? By investing time and money into large-scale renewable energy production facilities like these…

Rhyl Flats Offshore Wind Farm

Wind Farms are contentious by their nature. Whenever a new installation is announced, there is always bound to be some kind of brouhaha that postpones the project. Whether its angry locals or grumpy conservationists, the voice of reason usually prevails as it did in this example of offshore energy production.

On a clear day you can see the turbines spinning from the picturesque town of Llandudno, supplying enough energy for 60,000 homes.


Centre for Alternative Technology

An education and visitor centre in one, this makes for a great day out in addition to an excellent opportunity to learn about how you could implement renewable energies in your own homes. 7 acres of interactive displays feature the largest range of renewable systems in the world.

Everything from solar power to wind turbines, there’s even a hydro power station there you can look at. Open 7 days a week, the staff are all passionate about their work and even run an eco-shop and vegetarian cafe.


Pembrokeshire Wave Demonstration Zone

13 kilometres off the coast of South Pembrokeshire coast lies a 90 square kilometre area of seabed that lays the foundation for Wales’ future in renewable energies. Ran by Marine Energy Wales and funded by the Welsh Government, a group of dedicated individuals spend their time developing new ideas and implementations of wind-based power.

Over 100 million euros of EU funding has been prioritised for marine energy projects in Wales. Britain’s leaving of the European Union shouldn’t affect Marine Energy Wales too much, as they also receive large amounts of funding from within the UK too.


Willow for Wales Project

Wales now has a reputation for experimental environmental projects – Willow for Wales is a typical example of these. Funded by Aberystwyth University, by way of the European Regional Development Fund and the Welsh Assembly, the aim of the experiment was to demonstrate the effectiveness of short rotation coppice willow as a biomass crop.

The project was completed in 2008, with positive results that have gone on to greatly change the biomass industry in Wales. It’s now easier than ever to buy wood fuel pellets and heat your home with renewable energy! 

Outdoors Activities Abound in Carmarthenshire!

Spring is here and there’s never been a better time to come and visit Carmarthenshire!

Now that the frosts of winter are well behind us, we can look forward to the days lengthening and our skies getting a little brighter. No longer will it be a challenge to drag the kids out of the front door and Carmarthenshire is a perfect place to drag them to!

National Botanic Garden of Wales

Although your car load of kids might need a little coaxing initially, they’ll son fall in love with the awesome landscapes collected in this huge attraction. The highlight of the Garden (which is really more of a landscaped park) is the giant glass house. The largest of its kind in the world, it doubles as both as a tourist attraction and a research centre.


Norwood Gardens

The garden might not be as huge and expansive as the ones that you might find elsewhere, but this is more of a tearoom than anything else. Take a sit down (and a break from the car), grab a cup of tea, a slice of cake and let yourself sink into the peaceful surroundings.


Hawk Adventures

Just when the kids are getting antsy, book a trip with Hawk Adventures and wear them out thoroughly in the rugged countryside. Trained instructors are on hand to take you and your family out on any number of activities. Coasteering, Archery, Night Walks – there’s something for everyone!


Dinefwr Park & Castle

No weekend trip out is complete without a visit to a National Trust location. Dinefwr encompasses a massive Nature Reserve, historic house and 18th-century landscape park. There’s also the Castle, which offers grand views of the surrounding area and gives the kids a great chance to explore on their own.


Brechfa Forest

There are dozens of great picnic spots to pick from the greater area of Carmarthenshire, but none come close to the secluded Brechfa Forest. A Royal Forest, first established in 1283, the land has been reserved for the preservation of deer since then. At its peak the forest was home to red deer, wild boars, wolves, foxes and more.

Now that the weather’s warming up for everyone, take a day out to Carmarthenshire and lose yourself in the beauty of the land.

Getting to North Wales from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester Airport

North Wales is unfortunately rather lacking in public transport infrastructure…

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…getting around will always be much easier if you’re able to drive.

However you can get to most places with a combination of bus and train!

The Isle of Anglesey actually has its own airport – unluckily for those living in the North West of England, it only flies to Cardiff. Great for the residents, but not so great for those needing to get to Liverpool. The closest airport otherwise is Hawarden near Flintshire, also known as Chester Airport (despite the fact that it isn’t in Chester, or even England), although it ceased to run commercial flights in the seventies.

Which leaves you with the nearest large commercial airports – Liverpool John Lennon and Manchester.

Getting to Snowdonia from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

By car it couldn’t be easier – simply take the M56 from Speke Boulevard, followed by the A553 and A557. Continue along the M56 and then take the North Wales Expressway (A55) to the A5 in Gwynedd. Take exit 11, and at the Llys Gwynt Interchange you take the first exist onto the A5 – and you’re pretty much there!

By public transport it may be a bit of a journey! Take the 86 from the airport into Liverpool City Centre and head for Liverpool Central station. Take the Merseyrail train to Chester, then transfer to an Arriva train to Llandudno (about an hour). At this point you’re very close to the top end of the National Park, although you may need to take a few more buses to get where you need to be.

Getting to Snowdonia from Manchester Airport

By car, leave the airport to get onto the M56 and then follow it to the A5 in Gwynedd. Then take exit 11 from the A55 and at the Llys y Gwynt Interchange, take the first exit on the A5.

By public transport simply take the train from Manchester Airport directly to Crewe, from Crewe to Chester and then from Chester to Bangor via Arriva. Get the bus from the station into Bangor bus station, and then the 67A to Bethesda, getting off at Glanffrydlas.

Getting to The Isle of Anglesey from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

By car it can take as little as two hours. Simply get onto the M56 from Speke Boulevard, then the A533, followed by the A558 and A56 (Chester Rd). Follow the M56 to Holyhead rd and then the A55 to the Isle of Anglesey. After taking the A5 exit from theA55, jump on the A5114 and you’ve arrived.

Again, you’re facing a long journey by public transport. Take the bus from LJLA to Liverpool Central (the 500, 82 or 86 buses will suffice) and once again get the Merseyrail to Chester. Make the change to an Arriva train to Holyhead and get off in Bangor after around 70 minutes. The X4 to Holyhed will then take you straight to the middle of the island.

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Getting to the Isle of Anglesey from Manchester Airport

By car the journey should take less than two hours. Get onto the M56 and follow it to Holyhead Rd A5. Then take the A5 exit, and jump on the A5114 direct to the centre of Anglesey.

Follow a similar route as getting to Snowdonia by travelling to Crewe, then Chester, then taking the Arriva train. Instead of getting off at Bangor, stay on till Llanfairpwll, then it’s just a short bus journey on the 4A to the centre of the Isle of Anglesey.

Getting to the Llyn Peninsula from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

You may be looking at a two and a half hour journey to get from the Airport to the Llyn Peninsula! Jump onto the M56 from Speke Boulevard, then onto the A533, the A558 and Chester Rd the A56. Follow the M56 and North Wales Expressway and then take the A487 and A499 to reach the Llyn Peninsula!

By public transport it’s going to be quote a slog – at least five hours but it could be significantly more.

Take the 81A and then the X1 to end up at Runcorn East, then catch the Arriva train to Holyhead, getting off at Bangor. Then take the TrawsCymru T2 train to Aberystwyth, getting off at Market Square, from where you can get some local buses to various places in the Llyn Peninsula.

Getting to the Llyn Peninsula from Manchester Airport

By car the journey will take around two and a half hours. Get onto the M56, follow it and the A55 to Gwynedd, and then take exit ten from the A55. Take the A487, then A499, and you’ll be there!

By public transport you will need to take train from Manchester Airport to Crewe, and then take the Virgin train to Bangor, getting off at Colwyn Bay. Get the National Express bus 545 to Pwllheli, followed by the number 8 bus to Groesffordd, getting off at Y Groes and finally taking the 8A toward Pwllheli but getting off the bus at Rhydycafdy. And you’ve arrived!

Travelling to Conwy & Llandudno from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

By car you can easily get to the best of the area, including Colwyn Bay, Conwy and Llandudno. Get on the M56 from Speke Voulevard, then the A533 and A558, followed by the A56. Continue along the M56 and then take the North Wales Expressway to the A470 to arrive in Conwy. From there you can easily take the A470 to Llandudno!

This is comparatively easy by public transport! For Conwy, simply take the bus to the centre of Liverpool and get the Merseyrail train from Liverpool Central to Chester. At Chester, change to the Arriva train to Holyhead – this goes straight through Colwyn Bay and on to Conwy. If you’re heading to Llandudno simply stay on the train past Conwy and you’ll reach Llandudno.

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Travelling to Conwy & Llandudno from Manchester Airport

By car you get started on the M56, following it to the A470 in Conwy. Take exit 19 from the A55 and follow the A470 to Llandudno. To get to Conwy, take exit 18 instead, and then continue on the A546, followed by the A547. For Colwyn Bay turn off at exit 21 and take the B5113 and then A547.

From Manchester Airport, jump straight on the Northern rail to Crewe, then a Virgin train to Chester, and finally an Arriva train toward Holyhead. This journey goes through Colwyn Bay, Conwy and Llandudno. Alternatively, there are services running directly between Manchester and Llandudno station.

Travelling to the Borderlands from Liverpool John Lennon Airport

As we’re so close to the border on both sides, this journey is a breeze!

For Llangollen: Take the A561 Speke Boulevard, then the M56, M53 and A55, followed by the A483 to Ruabon and then take exit 1. Follow the A439, and you’ll reach Llangollen.

For Mold: this journey takes less than an hour! Take the M56, then the A533, A558 and Chester rd A56. Continue down the M56 to Flintshire, then taking exist 33B from the A494. Follow the A494 to High St 5444 in Mold.

For Denbigh: M56 from Speke Boulevard, the A533, then A558 and A56. Follow down the M56 toward Denbighshire, then take the A525 and A543 to get to Denbigh.

And by public transport…

For Llangollen: Get the bus to Liverpool city centre, then the Merseyrail to Chester. From there take the Arriva train to Maesteg, getting off at Ruabon, then getting the number five bus to Llangollen.

For Mold: Get the bus to the city centre and catch a Merseyrail train from Liverpool James St to West Kirby. Get off at Bidston and take the Arriva train to Wrexham Central but get off at Hawarden. You can then take theX4 bus to Mold bus station!

For Denbigh: Take a bus to the centre of Liverpool, and then Merseyrail to Chester. Once in Chester, get the Arriva train to Llandudno, getting off at Rhyl and then get the X52 to Denbigh, taking around forty minutes.

Travelling to the Borderlands from Manchester Airport

For Llangollen: Only an hour’s drive, simply take the M56 to Chester and then follow the North Wales Expressway, the A483 and the A539.

For Mold: Less than an hour – take the M56 to Chester, follow the A55 anf the A949 to the B5444 in Mold.

For Denbigh: This is a slightly lengthier journey, taking the M56 and A55 toward Denbighshire; then the A525 and A543 over to Maes Mathonwy in Denbigh.

For Llangollen: Take the Northern train to Crewe, a Virgin train to Chester and then an Arriva train to Ruabon. The number 5 bus takes you straight into Llangollen.

For Mold: Taking about two hours, the National Express straight to Chester and then the number 3 bus into Mold is the most straightforward. Alternatively you can take the usual train route via Crewe and Chester, getting the number 4 bus to Mold from Chester station.

For Denbigh: Finally by train you would take the route via Crewe and then Chester, getting on the Arriva train in Chester toward Holyhead and getting off at Rhyl. Then you’ll need to take the X52, a 40 minute bus service which goes straight into Denbigh!

Resources:

(Here are some of the resources mentioned in the article.)

Visit Carmarthenshire, Visit North Wales!

Hello!

This morning I want to give you a brief preview of something desperately exciting- this Summer’s inaugural Carmarthenshire to North Wales Bike Race!

abd1019This is very, very exciting!

We here at Visit Carmarthenshire have long been good friends in close contact with the folks over at Visit North Wales.

We share tips and ideas on promoting your region and how the regions can help each other. It is not as simple as saying that regions are competing. Competing for tourism, competing for funds, competing for prominence. We know that the regions rely on each other and have many, many shared interests.

This cycle will bring Carmarthenshire and North Wales together like never before. It will do it to promote peace, prosperity and partnership.

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I myself will be cycling to North Wales on the trip, and we hope this will become a regular event and next year we hope to cycle the same route but the other way round! So next year we’ll be heading from North Wales to Carmarthenshire. It’s a beautiful chance for us to create a new connection, with one of our fellow Welsh regions.

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It’s a beautiful country, Wales. Together the regions contain more beauty than the rest of the UK combined (with ease actually).

We are very proud that this idea has come together, and really look forward to it taking off!

More announcements will follow soon, get training!

Escape To Carmarthenshire

For many, living in Carmarthenshire is a dream, and why wouldn’t it be?

For those not from Carmarthenshire it is a shockingly beautiful place.

It is a quite wondrous landscape. It is a miracle of natural creativity. A land seemingly sculpted in a conscious effort to induce awe in any who are lucky enough to witness it.

Carmarthenshire is the third largest principal area in Wales (we occupy 2,395 km squared, compared to Gwynedd’s 2,548 and Powys’s 5,196) and thanks to that area we take in all of the World’s natural gifts.

We have some of the finest beaches in the UK. Some of the most beautiful mountains. Forests that will make you think you are in Fangorn itself, or Mirkwood maybe. Probably more Mirkwood.

It’s a special place.