Spontaneous and last minute seem to be the trend is this household. It can become a bit stressful though if your travel weekend is the English bank holiday, meaning that the whole country wants to go somewhere at the same time! I had set my eyes on Cornwall or Devon, but after checking about a hundred hotels I found two connecting rooms available only in Newport, Wales. So this is the story of our long weekend road trip to Wales for #IGTravelThursday!
We had prepared extra time for travel as millions of fellow travellers were supposed to block the roads, but maybe it was our early(ish) start at 8.20am that beat the traffic – there were absolutely no issues and shorty after the noon we were crossing (in very low tide) river Severn to Wales. As it was too early to check in to our resort, we did what we do the best: toured yet another amazing National Trust property and gardens – Tredegar House near Newport. It was yet another wow-experience: basking in sunshine, kids doing the treasure trail, walk around the lake, enjoying a lovely home-made lunch and cream tea (go figure) after the walk, the whole works!
It was so cool to find a Dalek in the stables there: need I say more – it’s sort of love-hate-whatever thing with Dr. Who, and we just love it… The house was also a breathtaking experience. I love how they had re-created the celebratory meals and decorated the tables, down to including a cake for the queen. There was a lot for the children too from old board games to dressing up trunk and shadow puppet theatre. Add there horse swings in the tree, treasure trail, playground, lake, and a few more things and the children could have stayed there the whole day!
I must add that I quite like the “50 things” lunch boxes the National Trust has created – the food seems healthier and the bag itself has games and activities – plus it can be used to grow the cress seeds the kids also received (and our children eat it, which normally is not the case with fast food meals). After this trip we have six bags of cress seeds – good thing that they grow all year round. And, do try the cress soup in Tredegar house also – we’ll making plenty of it when the seeds grow (also a great idea for what to do with all the cress you grow in addition to salads and sandwiches)!
We stayed in the Celtic Manor resort, which is best known for its three championship golf courses. But there is a lot more to it: a lovely spa area with saunas, turkish bath, plunge pool, whirlpools and swimming pools. Add there a gym and fitness classes, tennis, kids clubs, paintball, adventure golf, playground, three difference treetop adventures, hiking trails and kids treasure hunt – plus six restaurants. Pretty good for resort life I would add.
We were only unhappy about two things during our stay: too slow room service and age limit of 16 for saunas, which makes no sense whatsoever – but it’s quite common in the UK, must be those silly health and safely things… But if you are planning to see a lot of things around your resort and only stay there a couple of days it might not be worth it – our kids were not too eager to go exploring as there was so much to do for kids here (and it is rather costly to stay there)!
When you have limited time and so much to see it’s always hard to pick what to see. We decided to visit a few castles, drive around the countryside and skip the bigger cities (we’e been to Cardiff before), have a couple of walks, and just see what we felt like – more of a relaxed schedule. Our trip included mainly National Trust properties as we are members of the NT: we visited the Dinefwr manor and ancient castle ruins, Dyffrun gardens & manor, Newport and its roman ruins, Dolaucothi gold mine which dates back to Roman times, Tredegar House & Gardens and Brecon Beacons National Park. And we enjoyed every moment of our little holiday (well except maybe the drives on the motorway…)!
So this was our little trip in a nutshell – I’ll be writing more in detail of these destinations in the future so stay tuned!
And finally, -here comes my weekly fave & inspirational photo. This week it is from @philipbozeman. Simply put Golden Gate in magical in fog – and without it too if you happen to witness that rare event! I didn’t too often when we lived there…
Are you ready to participate with your blog to our linky? If yes, then please read the rules below. You can still participate even if you don’t write a blog – just tag your Instagram travel photos with #IGTravelThursday.
We are also trying something new today, August 29th: hosting a twitter chat about Instagram Travel at 5pm UK/12 noon EST time. See the details in my last week’s post. Hope to see you on Twitter!