World Bog Snorkelling Championships
The 34th World Bog Snorkelling Championships is part of a whole season of daft events that make up the World Alternative Games. Staged over two weeks in August in the little town of Llanwrtyd Wells, some of the contests are aimed purely at youngsters – things like Pooh Sticks and Rock, Paper, Scissors. For others, like the Wife Carrying Championships, you’ll need to supply a wife. You don't have to partake in the bog snorkelling to enjoy it, by the way; watching others get muddy is possibly more entertaining!
Rafting the Tryweryn
Here’s a natural way to cool off: plunge into the rapids of the River Tryweryn at the National White Water Centre near Bala. The river’s flow is controlled by releasing water from a dam, so there’s white water all year round – even when other rivers are dry. Try the Family Raft Safari, which is ideal for ages 10 and up.
Heavenly ice cream
After a day in the August sun, nothing tastes better than an ice cream from Heavenly, a fabulously old-fashioned sweet shop in the market town of Llandeilo. The ice creams come in stunning flavours, our current favourites being the Lime and Stem Ginger one and the Wild Strawberry Ripple one. We haven’t yet decided, so urgent research continues.
A family cottage holiday
The beautiful coastline around Wales is perfect for a summer holiday cottage. Cottages are often only a short drive away from picturesque seaside towns and award winning beaches, where families can frolic all day long building sandcastles and rock pooling. Much of Wales’ coastline is a watersports haven so it’s also a great opportunity for kids to learn to surf, go coasteering or sea kayaking. Make your summer holiday one to remember.
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Manor Wildlife Park
Canoeing on the Wye
Hay-on-Wye is the starting point for this international travel odyssey. Hire a canoe or kayak, or they can strap two Canadian canoes together to form a family raft) and head downstream on the beautiful River Wye. For most of the journey, the left bank of the river is Welsh, while the right is English. At the end of your half-or full-day trip (it’s your choice) they’ll pick you up and drive you back to base on the Welsh side of the border. Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
Stand-up paddle boarding
Stand-up paddle boards originated in Hawaii, and it’s now the most popular form of surfing off the California coast. Its great advantages are that you can catch much smaller waves and also explore flat, calm, inland waterways. The sport is catching on fast in Wales. Try it at plenty of places along our 870-mile coastline, from Rhos-on-Sea in the north to Gower in the south.
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Offa's Dyke was built by 9th century King Offa to defend his Wessex kingdom from the Welsh. A 177-mile National Trail runs the entire length of the old England-Wales border. For a weekend taster, head for the mid-way point and the towns of Knighton and Presteigne. Together, they’re perfectly geared up for a weekend’s gentle exploration of this lovely landscape. The Knighton Show & Carnival happens on August Bank Holiday weekend - check out their Facebook page for more info.
Climb up Tryfan
Tryfan looks like a giant stegosaurus, its spiny back rising dramatically from the side of the A5 in the Ogwen Valley. It’s a short, sharp, brilliant clamber to the top; a reasonably fit family can be up and down in around three hours. The final approach to the summit is quite a scramble, though, and not suitable for pre-teens. Enjoy the breathtaking views, which include an aerial view of Llyn Bochlwyd, a lake that’s shaped curiously like Australia.