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Wales for 6 days with a car and a 2 year old

Wife, my daughter who is 2 and myself will be travelling the UK for 3 weeks. We are spending a 6 days in Wales, renting the car in Bath and returning it in Liverpool. Our booked stops are - 1 night in Cardiff, 1 night in Aberystwyth and 4 nights in Caernarfon (as a home base). We are planning to see the castles in the Iron Ring and getting out to Llangollen for the aqueducts. From Aberystwyth to Caernarfon we would like to stop in Harlech and Portmeirion.

Any recommendations for specific stops or 'must sees' along the coast?

Posted by
389 posts

Purely as something to entertain your daughter I would stop at Folly Farm on your way between Cardiff and Aberystwyth its roughly half way and you could easily spend a good 3-4 hours there. Do you know where you are staying in Cardiff? Depending how much time you have to spend there I would suggest going to Cardiff Bay. It's nice and flat for a stroller. If the weather's no good you could try Techniquest - a hands on science experience. Or if it's nice walk over the Cardiff Barage to Penarth. There's a nice playground en route. Personally I'd spend an extra night in Cardiff and on less in Caernarfon.

Posted by
1838 posts

1 night in Cardiff is not really enough time to see all 4 castles within 7 miles of the centre:= Cardiff, *Castell Coch, *Caerphilly & St.Fagans Castle - which has gardens and the Museum of Welsh Life - which takes at least 2 hours to see - and that is walking around the extensive site quickly. I would not choose a city centre hotel due to parking issues. You may also wish to allow time to visit the waterfront in Cardiff:> http://www.mermaidquay.co.uk

  • It may be possible to make quick detours to these castles prior to starting your drive to Aberystwyth - assuming you use the A470 route via central Wales.

It takes just over an hour to drive from Bath to Cardiff but the M4 frequently jams up at Newport - especially from about 7.30am to 9am & 3.30pm to 6.30pm on weekdays.

When you drive from Cardiff to Aberystwyth - I would take the A470 going N from Cardiff via Builth Wells - where you will find a cafe just over the river bridge with toilets (which are few and far between). From Llangurig, take the A44 to Aberystwyth. I think that the A470/A44 route is better than going via west Wales. If using the A470 route, you may like make a short detour at the village of Libanus to the Brecon Beacons National Park Mountain Centre. Near Rhayader, is a farm that has wild Red Kites flying in to feed:>
http://www.gigrin.co.uk

The Folly Farm place mentioned above - is well off your route - that is assuming that you take a westerly route.

Posted by
389 posts

I agree James, Folly Farm isn't enroute- I'm just thinking of the 2 year old - I can't imagine she will have got much out of the trip to Bath. For something much smaller scale but more local to Cardiff try Cefn Mabley farm park for the morning before heading off to Aber.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the info! We have decided on spending more time in the North, wanting to see more of Snowdonia and visit Llandudno as that is where a good friend was born many years ago! I will heed all of the advice.

Posted by
53 posts

Your daughter might be interested in the Small Breeds Farm and Owl Centre at Kington. This is just over the English border in Kington. This has a great collection of miniature breeds of horses, pigs etc, and a collection of owls from around the world. My children loved it when they were little.