Gower Peninsula(23 Posts)
We're going to the Gower at the beginning of July with a 9 month old and a 3.5 year old (who has loads of energy). We've been there loads of times as a couple, but not really with children. In the past we used to do lots of walking, but not really possible with little ones. I don't fancy sitting on the beach all day every day, so any other suggestions for things to do on the Gower/surrounding area. Suggestions for wet weather activities would be appreciated as well! Many thanks.
I am from Gower originally, but have just moved to Dorset from the Highlands. I like you did Gower as a young free and singleton, so not sure what to suggest other than the beaches, and that play farm place at Parkmill, they have an adventure playground, animals etc etc. Failimg that Mumbles is always a good bet, hire a bike or two, one with a baby attatchment at the back. I know that Swansea has loads of activities in he Summer for kids, there is bounmd toi be a website or something that lists them all.
Anyway, not much help sorry. But I hope you have a great time, I love the place.
Thank you Fizzcat. Here's hoping for that heatwave everyone keeps talking about!
Hi Stringbean - me and dh used to go surfing to Llangenith in our younger freer days. It's one of my favourite places in the world. We have often wondered whether to give it a go with the kids but have been put off by the thought of a caravan, rain and being a long way away from anything. I'm afraid I have no helpful suggestions - apart from taking a kite, football, cricket etc so you can play on the beach even if it's not sunny. I;d really like to know how it went. where are you staying?
In case of rain I would second the place at Parkmill although haven't been there for a while. Mumbles is good if it is overcast - walk along the pier, good play park, boats to look at. Go to Joe's for several ice creams or Verdi's if you must!! Head out towards Bracelet Bay and you will find a good, cheap pizza/pasta place (Castellamara I think it's called) which has another good play park. You may see seals from there too. Plenty of rock pools to explore in Bracelet.
Heading in to Swansea there is a small pool and yet another play area (with cafe) on you right. It is opposite Clyne Gardens (plenty of room to play football, etc).
I tend to avoid Swansea but have heard that the Planetarium has undergone a revamp. PARKING IS DREADFUL SO PARK AND WALK TO IT.
Out at Llansamlet there is a softplay centre which my sister thought was good (her DD is 18 mths).
If you are interested in birds there is a good wetlands place in LLanelli. Long cycle path there too which may (?) take you to Kidwelly. Kidwelly Castle often has things on for children.
If you are really desperate and can face the drive then the Folk Museum nr Cardiff is fantastic.
Dan yr Ogof Caves are good. There is an area at the entrance with ducks, sheep, ponies, etc and some bikes for little ones. Make sure you take a sling for the little one. Lots of dinosaur models around for your older one.
Almost forgot Singleton Park on St Helen's Rd - pedaloes and a large play area. Always very popular.
Hope that helps.
I used to live near the Mumbles when I was a kid. I spent ages on the beach (round towards Langland) with my mother, looking through the rock pools and terrorising crustaceans.
As for when it's rainy, I've read several reviews of Verdi's which suggest it's really good for ice-cream (unfortunately I don't think it was there when I was little...).
Not sure if you want to travel as farm as Pembrokeshire but Folly Farm, near Narbeth is an excellent day out - if it rains there's lots of indoor activites, feeding time, old fashioned fun-fair, great baby changing facilities, indoor creative play area.
Day-yr-ogof, near Brecon Beacons has the dinosaur park, shire horse centre and of course the caves so everyone tends to head there when it rains.
Further on near Brecon is The PlayBarn which is a great indoor play area with under 1 area and then over 3 area with an excellent separate restaurant with play area and eating area for kids with toys and books. Also cafe in the activity centre, comfy settees for parents and coffee available. No food allowed in playarea so unlike lots of these types of places, the place is immaculate.
Best of luck!
Joe's, Joe's, Joe's Icecream!!!! It really is the best!
There's a 'noddy train' (landtrain) that runs from near Mumbles Pier to the park/pool area opposite Clyne Gardens as well.
If the weather really is dire, there is a huge indoor soft play area in Swansea, can't remember the name, it will come to me in a bit....
But to be a true Joe's fan you should go to the Swansea shop of course...DH is convinced it tastes better. He used to eat a family-sized tub at one sitting (don't think I could manage that).
There's a butterfly farm type place (indoor) in Swansea centre (can't remember the name of it, but you can see it from the road, its opposite Sainsburys) - good on wet days.
Second the idea of Folly Farm - busy but ace for the kids. Worth the trip.
There are good walks which are paved (so pushchir friendly) over the cliffs - start at Langland bay and walk back towards Mumbles. Look out for Catherine Zeta Jones' new pad when you get to the top!
In my earlier post I said Planetarium but I meant Plantasia which is the butterfly place.
Playzone in Llansamlet - sorry yoyo, didn't see you had mentioned it earlier! Your DH is right, definitely Joe's Icecream from the shop, nowhere near as good from supermarkets.
Jodee - he's worse than that because he thinks there is a difference between the Mumbles shop and the Swansea shop! I believe he was weaned on it hence his susequent teeth problems.
Thank you all for your suggestions - lots of things to keep us occupied (we're only going for a week!). Ashamed to admit that in all the years we've been to the Gower in the past, we've never been to Mumbles. Hatstand, we stay on Port Eynon Bay, which is probably not quite as remote as Llangenith (yes, we've done surfing there too); loved the isolation when we went as a couple, but can imagine our 3 year old going stir crazy in a caravan in the rain. We'll definitely try Joe's - no chance of us forgetting that, as it's ds's name!
my favourite child friendly pub is the King Arthur in Reynoldston,great food and a huge play area. Lots of signs offering pony trekking around. Just by Verdis, there is a red land rover parked up, advertising Explore Gower, they do lots of boat trips out to sea, looking for wildlife, or just going allthe way round the peninsula. Driving to Rhosili is a good idea, the walk from the car park out to above worms head should tire out even the most determined toddler. Joe's ice cream is nicer, but verdis have posher flavours and their cafe is very toddler friendly , doing meals, snacks,drinks etc not just ice cream.
I'd agree with all that's been said - we go to Gower frequently and have many happy memories of being there when our dds were tiny. It's worth hiring or taking bikes with child seats and cycling along the Swansea Bay seafront (or walking). The Blackpill paddling pool area is excellent for toddlers, with a lovely cafe in a converted rail station. Be warned that the water quality on Swansea Bay beach has failed tests though - so go elsewhere if you want to bathe, or stick to the Blackpill paddling pool. Verdi's is great - lovely coffee, ice cream, pasta and daily newspapers with lovely views especially if you sit outside in fine weather. Castelmare, above neaby Bracelet Bay is a cheaper Italian restaurant but with equally good food and a playground. Singleton Park has plenty to do in fine weather - a boating lake with paddle boats and a playground. If the weather is poor, Cardiff is worth a visit about an hour away by car or train. Techniquest, the hands-on science centre in Cardiff Bay is superb for small children. They don't have to "get" the science bit, they just enjoy the bright colours and being able to push buttons to make things work - allow about half a day there. The Museum of Welsh Life in Cardiff is good too (best on a fine day), and is the site of another playground and a lake with ducks. You can take boat trips from Cardiff Bay. The Cardiff International food and drink festival starts on Friday July 8th in Cardiff Bay, with musicians and performers wandering around the stalls. Worth taking a look inside the Millennium (arts) Centre if you're in Cardiff Bay. There's a new Olympic-size swimming pool in Swansea, and a leisure pool with a wave machine in Bridgend (about 40 mins away), and another leisure pool with slides etc at the Afan Lido at Aberafan Beach, which is closer to Gower than Bridgend. Have a great time!
Here are some of our favourites from in and around the area.
Langland Beach - lovely sandy beach with lifeguards and parking (pay and display)
Caswell Beach - again big sandy beach with pay parking opposite. Both have bucket and spade shops and are great places to fly a kite.
The Mumbles train (but on wheels!) This leaves regularly from in front of the playground on the Mumbles promenade (in between the Mumbles shop and the Pier) and trundles along the prom to Blackpill where there's a playground etc. Then turns around and heads back. DS, 3.5, loves this.
Gower Heritage Centre at Parkmill http://www.gowerheritagecentre.co.uk
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