A night away from home counts as a holiday in our house so, with the Easter Break coming up, I dropped a pin in the map and booked us a night at a Premier Inn in Swansea.
We took the scenic route down through the Brecon Beacons and good fortune delivered us to Craig y Nos Country Park at just about lunchtime! This beautifully landscaped garden to the overlooking castle provided a lovely leg stretch and wander before a picnic lunch on one of the many benches provided for the purpose. Highlight of our visit here was the beautifully clear pool in which we watched 50 or 60 frogs playing and swimming. We were fascinated by the sight of the bigger frogs seemingly giving piggy backs (froggy backs?!?) to the smaller frogs. What’s that all about?! [edit:] Apparently it’s good ol’ bump n grind froggy style! Every day an education….
Tracking on after lunch we dropped into Swansea in time to see the crowds beginning to gather at the Liberty Stadium for the Swans game versus Hull later that afternoon whilst also discovering as we checked in that my beloved Arsenal were beating Liverpool 4-1, so it was a very happy DaddyP that headed out into Swansea for the afternoon.
It turned out we had landed right next to the LC2 Leisure Complex which includes a waterpark so we checked it would be open Easter Sunday and then headed on for a whistlestop circuit of the National Waterfront Museum which enabled us to answer BigBear’s question from the journey down: “Is Swansea famous for any particular thing?” Turns out, it was the global capital of Copper back in the day…
From there, it was a lovely stroll around the marina and onto the promenade that encircles Swansea Bay. By now it was a beautifully sunny spring afternoon and the coats and jumpers made way for sunnies and bare feet on the sand. After a quick pint (well we were on holiday after all!) the boys and I dunked our toes in the sea and then enjoyed an hour of hole digging and dune jumping before getting back in the car and heading off in search of the famous Joe’s Ice Cream Parlour in the Mumbles.
Suitably ice-creamed up and promenade strolled-out we headed back to our room via a visiting fun fair and got changed for a night out at TGI Friday’s. A very nice meal was made even tastier when the duty manager took Pippa’s steak off the bill! Her rib-eye was barely even rare when it was delivered and she’s a medium-well kinda girl. Top marks to the staff for the way they dealt with it. Four tired and happy Perry’s crashed out in our very comfortable room soon after in the brilliantly named ‘Salubrious Place‘.
Sunday morning arrived and, loaded with a splendid Premier Inn Breakfast, (17 quid for two + kids free, all you can eat) we headed off to the aforementioned LC2 Waterpark where two happy little boys slid, swam and splashed to their hearts content for a full two hours. The extra £3 each for half an hour in the indoor surf school / pool was money well spent and BigBear was standing by the end of it whilst LittleBear really mastered steering his board across the powerful wave.
From there we headed back to Mumbles and enjoyed fish n chips at the pier and half an hour in the arcade before driving on in exploratory mode. I won’t moan too much about the 20 minute wait for our lunch but I hope they sort themselves out quickly because we certainly won’t be going back there next time we visit.
After lunch we began a long drive home that took us out along the Gower peninsula, across the Loughor bridge into Llanelli, a longer than expected diversion through Pembrey and Kidwelly to Carmarthen before cutting across the hills to New Quay and more familiar territory. All this way we had enjoyed glorious sunshine and 16’c plus and, whilst they’d had a much needed snooze for part of this journey, the boys were looking forward to their promised hour on the beach.
As we came over Llandysul and headed down the other side towards New Quay we got to see one of nature’s great phenomenon’s. Away to the West what began as low clouds quickly let itself be known as a thick, rolling sea fog. By the time we were in New Quay visibility was down to about 30 feet and the temperature had dropped to about 10’c. Our hour on the beach was reduced to just the half an hour before heading on to Aberystwyth and home through the beautiful Welsh hills. Five miles inland still basked in glorious sunshine and our journey home included watching the golden glow as it dipped behind those hills. All in all a lovely little holiday enjoyed by all of us 🙂