25th - 26th October 2022
Swansea Marina Motorhome Park : 01792 470310
What3Words Location of Parking for Mumbles Pier https://w3w.co/tour.skirting.tinny
National Waterfront Museum : https://museum.wales/swansea/
Ninja Warrior Cardiff : https://ninjawarrioruk.co.uk/cardiff/
We woke up bright and early and headed down the mountain to one of Steve’s favourite childhood haunts - Mumbles. Mumbles is a headland on the western edge of Swansea bay, it’s a proper seaside day trip destination. The boys were happy to be left playing in the arcades while Steve and I took a walk down the Victorian pier.
After a couple of hours (and several pounds in the slot machines later), it was time to leave Mumbles and meet Uncle Terry and Auntie Yvonne for lunch. Our parkup for the night was in a CAMPRA (Campaign for Real Aires) site right in the Swansea Marina. The site is accessed through a locked gate, so for £28 we had a secure city centre parkup with electric and access to a shower and toilet! We quickly pitched up and took a short walk through the marina in to town.
Lunch was lovely. Covid meant it was far too long since we had seen Terry and Yvonne, so we took our time to catch up on all the family news. After lunch we continued to explore the city centre, in the rain, Dylan Thomas references could be found all over!
As the sunset the rain finally eased up, so Steve and I took a walk around the marina. The area is undergoing a huge redevelopment and regeneration project with many new buildings and facilities being built. There are still a few free parking spots, but we suspect most of those will be gone soon.
We had huge plans for the next day, but really hadn’t factored in the fact that our half term matched the welsh half terms. All of our lovely ideas were fully booked except one. So after a McDonalds breakfast we took a short walk from our parkup to the The National Waterfront Museum, which tells the story of industry and innovation in Wales, now and over the last 300 years. Although it seemed a little “dry” at first, the NWM was actually fascinating and we passed a really interesting couple of (warm and dry) hours learning about Welsh history.
As the rest of our plans had failed we decided to leave Swansea early and make our way to Cardiff so the boys could let off some steam at the Ninja Warrior adventure park.
Our trip to South Wales was the perfect mix of family, fun and exploring.
23rd - 25th October 2022
Afan Forest Park :
What3Words Location : w3w.co/stands.panic.detonated
We spent much of the next 24 hours hanging out with Steve’s brother and his family. It was really wonderful to finally catch up with our gorgeous nephews!
Next stop on our South Wales tour was up into the valley’s. We had hoped to book a ride on the fastest seated Zip Wire in the world, however, we hadn’t pre-booked and for the first time in many years our half term dates matched the south wales term dates! It was fully booked. So instead, we headed deeper into the valley.
We decided to wild camp that evening in the carpark at the Afan Forest Visitor Centre. Spread over 28 square miles, the forest park is nestled in the Afan Valley and is well known for it’s mountain biking, hiking and hill walking trails. We arrived in the early evening and headed out to explore the forest
The first thing we found was an adventure playground in front of the visitor centre. The boys enjoyed a fast and furious game of tag chasing each other around the wooden structure. Once they were bored of that we set off walking again and found Cynonville Halt railway station. Built to transport miners around the area, Cynonville Halt railway station was first opened in the early 1900s. Since 1959 no train has passed through it, and although the platforms remain, the trackbed is now a cycle path.
Back at the van I cooked dinner and we settled in to watch a movie.
There is a permanent toilet block in the carpark, these were undergoing renovations while we were there, but we were able to access the portaloos while the visitor centre was open. If you plan to stay here, make sure you double check the overnight parking price, the pay and display machines were out of order when we arrived so we were lucky enough to enjoy a completely free night.
22nd - 23rd October 2022
Hi Tide Caravan Park, Porthcawl : https://www.facebook.com/HiTidePorthcawl
If you don’t know Steve was born and spent the first 9 years of his life in Port Talbot. I know, he doesn’t sound like it now, but moving and to, and attending school in Milton Keynes in the 80s soon saw him quickly lose his lovely sing-song accent. In non-covid times we travel to Wales to catch up with family 3 or 4 times a year, so we are long overdue a visit.
On Friday afternoon, we picked the boys up from school and set off on one of the longest, wettest drives to Wales we have ever endured. Half Term traffic was awful, but we did eventually arrive at one of our favourite destinations near Port Talbot. We arrived tired and hungry so our first stop was Beales for Fish and Chips. Thank YOU Charlie from the Rolling Rucks for the recommendation. It was delicious.
The Hi-Tide Inn is a beachfront attraction dating back to 1947. Tucked behind the Inn and Harbour Lights bar is a small basic campsite. We love this campsite purely because of its brilliant location. You can lie in bed and see the sea, then when you step out of the van it’s only a short 2-3 minute walk to amusement arcades, bars, restaurants and a couple more minutes to the Coney Beach funfair.
On Saturday Morning we woke up, ate bacon butties (standard seaside motorhome breakfast!) and headed out to explore. An hour (and several pounds later) bumped in to a local subscriber called Rob. We spend the next couple of hours getting to know Rob and watching the boys have fun in the fun fair.
The Hi-Tide Caravan park is cheap, cheerful and the perfect place to spend 24 hours enjoying good old fashioned British Seaside fun.