Just before the end of the school term, hubby told me he’d booked us a last minute family getaway to Llanelli, Wales. Armed with the intel I began planning our itinerary. Beach beach and more beach! Ok, well not entirely. The UK weather is unpredictable. I always have rainy options, as well as lazy day options. Mercifully, the weather as better in Wales than England during our 7 days stay. We divided our time between Llanelli and Swansea which was 30 minutes’ drive away from our cottage. Wales is perfect for outdoorsy breaks. There’s so much to see and do by land and by sea. We had memorable break. We found our epic in South West Wales.
Llanelli is a coast town in South West Wales. It’s historically known for its tinplate, steel, and coal mining industries. We stayed at the Halfway Cottages which was roughly 10 minutes from the town centre. We only went into town once there wasn’t much going on. Apparently, it’s going through regeneration which is good news. It needs a revamp in places.
Just outside of the city centre there are massive retail parks. The Parc Trostre Retail Park was closest to us. It has branches of stores such as Primark, Debenhams, Next and Asda Home. I found a summer sale bargains.
We were very happy with getaway our location. It was quiet, affordable and close driving distance to amazing attractions, in Swansea.
In contrast Swansea, the city by the sea, is bright and buzzing. This year it celebrates 50 years as a city. Swansea would make an excellent base if you wanted to explore the south west but didn’t drive too much. We went on a mini walkabout after a day at the LC Swansea Water Park. It’s a pretty city that’s a hub of activity; big department stores, public art, fusion cuisine eateries with stunning backdrop of hills. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to go to the harbour.
Beach life in South West Wales
Llanelli has mostly estuaries. The only beach we visited there was Pembrey Beach (also known as Cefn Sidan translate from Welsh, means “silky ridge”). Pembrey Beach is part of the Pembrey Country Park. The park has a host of outdoor activities and camping facilities but we visited for the beach. Depending on where you park, the beach about 8 minutes’ walk. It’s long, wide, and sandy. It’s ideal for water sports, building sandcastles and exploration. It’s quite wavy. Not the place for a leisurely swim. There are public toilets and a kiosk where snacks and beach toys can be bought. We spotted large Barrel Jelly fishes along the shore but the life guard posted no warning and everyone seemed unbothered. I assumed the jelly fish were a normal occurrence. We spent a short time in the water. The jelly fish unnerved us.
Caswell Bay Beach on the Gower Peninsular was our next destination. Where to begin?! From the cottage it was scenic drive along country roads, past farms and through residential areas. They beach lay at the bottom of a steep hill. As we descend the beach came into view.
I felt as though I was injected with pure joy. At 22 degrees the scene was like a tropical paradise with clear skies and aqua waters. It’s a lovely beach for swimming, water sports (in fact there’s a surfing school on site) as well as rock pooling and exploration. Additionally, Langland Bay is accessible from the Caswell Bay coastal path. It could take about one hour to walk.
Midweek we visited the Dan Yr Ofog, National Show Caves. It was amazing! The kids were really engaged exploring and observing the variety of formations and waterways. The Cathedral Cave was my favourite. It truly felt like being in church. The acoustics was astounding. Apart from the caves little one will certainly live the life size dinosaurs some of which were animatronic. We ended our day at the Shire Horse Centre which had a farm and play area
Near the end of the week the weather was dull spent the day at the LC Swansea Waterpark. It’s an impressive, very clean and staff were helpful. Our highlights included slides and waves. We didn’t know we had to pay separately for a session on indoor surf machine, so the kids missed out on that. None the less it was a thrilling day.
On our finally day, we went to the Llanelli Wetland Centre. It blew our minds! I’m just saying that because we were gifted tickets. We walked, biked and canoe! The kids were absolutely loved the woodland play areas.
When a holiday is so successful, it’s hard to choice a highlight. So I’ll simply say we created some amazing memories during our stay in Wales.