Touring caravan holiday in Wales: an itinerary for adventurous families
‘Mummy, Daddy; that was the best day EVER’. It was a phase we heard several times during our caravan holiday in Wales. And, as someone brought up on caravan adventures, it was music to my ears.
Holiday happiness to me is a caravan parked on a picturesque site with plenty of adventurous things to do within an hour of our pitch.
This is why we had such an awesome week in Wales with our borrowed Bailey Phoenix 650. We had some brilliant days out, enjoyed loads of quality time together, and loved getting to know this fab family caravan. Thanks to Bailey for partnering with us so we can share the fun of caravanning holidays.
First, here’s the adventurous activities we got up to and where we based ourselves for our caravan holiday in Wales.
Where we stayed
We started our caravan holiday towing from our home in South Devon. It was our first time out with a touring caravan in a year, so we opted to break up our journey to Wales with an overnight stop at Cheddar Mendip Heights Camping and Caravanning Club Site 10 miles off the M5.
Cheddar Mendip Heights campsite near Cheddar Gorge
It’s a small site with a shower block, laundry and dish washing facilities a short walk from hard standing and grass pitches. Electric hook up is available and there’s a shop in reception stocked with all sorts of camping essentials and groceries.
If you want to explore the Mendip Hills and Cheddar Gorge then this is the site for you. It’s definitely one for us to go back to for a longer stay.
Find out more about this camping and caravanning site or read our Cheddar Mendip Heights Camping and Caravanning Club Site review.
Camping and caravanning site near Llanelli
The next day we reluctantly packed up to continue our journey to Wales. A few hours later we pulled up to these views.
Our site for the next six nights was Caemawr Farm Camping and Caravanning Club Certified Site in Llanelli in Carmarthenshire.
If you haven’t used CS campsites before they are ideal if you prefer somewhere quieter and don’t mind fewer facilities. This is never a problem for us as we generally use our caravan bathroom rather than shower blocks.
You can also find CSs in some really amazing locations. Caemawr Farm is just a few minutes from the shops of Llanelli and has nearly 180 degree views of the River Loughor out towards the Gower Peninsular and Bristol Channel.
The camping field is huge, allowing plenty of space for caravans and tents to spread themselves out and for children to play. We had no worries about letting the girls run down the hill to say hello to the horses in a separate field at the bottom.
This is where most campers chose to pitch their tents as it puts them closer to the small shower facilities which are located in the main farm buildings a short walk away.
There was also a building with a single toilet and another with a sink for washing dishes at one end of the field. There’s electric hook up and plenty of water taps.
Caravans parked at the top of the field as this was where the most level pitches and electric hook up points are found.
Our top tips for using this CS are to bring leveling blocks and to follow the site owner’s instructions for finding the site. Your SATNAV will try to bring you down some very narrow residential roads and under a low bridge.
Find out more about camping and caravan holidays at Caemawr Farm in Llanelli.
Read on to discover things to do near Llanelli in Carmarthenshire or take a look at our highlights in this video:
Things to do in Carmarthenshire and South Wales
We were utterly torn over what to do with our six days in Carmarthenshire and the surrounding area. We’d had a loads of great recommendations from readers and had plenty of ideas of our own.
Check out my Welsh Adventure Instagram Story highlights.
As we were staying in a caravan we could plan each day at our own pace, which is always a bonus when holidaying with kids. They like breakfast as soon as they rise and are then happy to let Mr Tin Box and I get ourselves ready while they entertain themselves.
In the end we settled on an itinerary that had plenty of variety. We walked up a mountain, paddled by the sea, visited a castle and went down not one but three caves! It was a winner of a holiday.
Here’s what we did each day:
Pen y Fan in the Breacon Beacons
We decided to kick things off with what was the most energetic day of our holiday: climbing the highest peak in South Wales, Pen y Fan.
The Brecon Beacons aren’t in Carmarthenshire but were only an hour drive from where we stayed in Llanelli.
We started and finished our climb at Neuadd car park in Taf Fechan Forest (free parking).
Our circular route was 13.3km and took us up to the peak which is 886m above sea level. It was no mean feat for a then six and four-year-old, especially on a wet and windy day.
I was gutted that the weather meant we didn’t see the views – it was like standing on the edge of the world along the ridge.
But it was a lot cooler than it would have been any other day of this particular week at the start of the summer holidays. A few days later was the hottest July day on record in the UK.
We took five and a half hours to complete the route and were super soggy around the edges by the time we finished.
However, the day was a triumph for little legs. Despite the grumpy faces at the top, there was barely any complaining and only a few rides on Mr Tin Box’s shoulders towards the very end of the hike.
Here’s some more mountains and peaks for families to climb in Wales.
Pembury Country Park and Cefn Sidan
After an exhilarating day in the Brecon Beacons we were ready for something a little more sedate.
It’s one of Wales’ top visitor attractions and is said to be the best thing to do in Carmarthenshire with kids. We soon found out why.
The park, which is on the site of a former munitions works, is enormous – 500 acres in total. Plus, it’s right on the coast with eight miles of sandy beach stretching out for as far as we could see in both directions.
Within the park there are various activities: a model railway, adventure playground, endless picnic spots, cycle trails, archery and, the highlight for the girls, a toboggan run.
This is great fun. It costs £2.50 per ride or £5 for three goes. If your kids are as young as ours then parents ride with them for free.
After the toboggan and trying our hands at archery with Archery West Wales we hit the beach.
And what a beach it is. Cefn Sidan is an eight mile stretch of fine sand backed with dunes.
In the middle is a dog-free area where a lot of windbreaks and parasols had been erected. On either side the beach is dog-friendly all year round.
We ventured out to the west side where the girls splashed in the waves, found delicate shells in the sand and explored the barnacle covered ribs of a ship wreak.
I’d definitely recommend a day at Pembrey Country Park and more if your holiday itinerary allows. We only scratched the surface of what there is to do here in a day.
Parking costs £5.50 for more than two hours from April 1 to September 30 and £3.50 from October 1 to March 31. If you are staying for less then two hours the price is £3 all year round. Prices correct in 2019.
National Show Caves
We visited Wales during a very hot summer. So, what do you do when the UK is sweltering in a heatwave? Go underground of course!
The National Show Caves Centre for Wales has three caves to explore: Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bones Cave. Each has a great tale to tell with audio guides, atmospheric lighting and displays as you travel through them.
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But it isn’t just caves. There’s also more than 200 life-sized dinosaurs lurking in the hillside forest, gold panning, archeological digs for kids, and a shire horse farm with adventure playground, ride on toys and giant board games.
We spent three hours looking around. The girls did the caves at a pace, so if you have kids slightly older than ours you might spend longer in them.
Read more about our visit to the Dan-yr-Ogof caves and why we recommend visiting if you are looking for things to do close to Carmarthenshire.
At £55 for a family of four (price correct in 2019), it was our ‘big day out’ of our Welsh holiday, but there was plenty to keep both the kids and adults entertained, and the story of the caves is told really well through audio guides and interactive displays in the museum.
If you have fans of caves, dinosaurs and farm animals in your family then it’s a great day out in the Brecon Beacons.
Find out more about the National Show Caves Centre for Wales.
Paddle boarding at Oxwich Beach
We had brought borrowed paddle boards with us so we were keen to find somewhere to use them during our caravan holiday in Wales.
Oxwich Beach on the Gower Peninsular came highly recommend as a good place for SUP.
We arrived before 10am on a Thursday in the holidays and found plenty of room to park. However, the beach was full by midday. It’s obviously a popular spot for families because of the sheltered bay with shallow waters.
The beach is a mix of sand and rocks. There are more rocks as the tide goes out, which is worth bearing in mind when you are doing water sports.
Oxwich Beach is ideal for paddling, kayaking and rowing. There’s also a cafe, beach shop, water sports hire shop and loos. Parking costs £5 all day.
Carreg Cennen Castle
You can’t visit Wales without exploring a castle. In fact, they are hard to avoid – there’s more here per square mile than anywhere else in the World! Including ruins and castles still standing, there are 600 sites in total.
One of the top recommendations we’d had for things to do in Carmarthenshire was to visit the crag top ruin of Carreg Cennen in Llandeilo. This was 45 minutes from where we were staying at Llanelli.
It’s a native-built castle that is thought to have originated in 12th Century but older fortifications are believed to have existed on this prominent limestone vantage point above the valleys.
Cerreg Cennen changed hands between the Welsh and foreign invaders several times over the centuries until its fortifications were deliberately dismantled in the 15th Century.
As well as looking around the ruins you can descend into a tunnel built from within the castle into a natural cave in the limestone hill. We were able to explore the cave with our six and four-year-olds but children any younger might struggle, and carrying them would be difficult.
Don’t forget to bring a torch or borrow one from the ticket booth. If you work up an appetite we can recommend stopping for coffee and cake at Castell Farm at the bottom of the crag.
Find out more about Carreg Cennen Castle.
Here’s the full lowdown on our tried and tested things to do in Carmarthenshire and South Wales with kids.
More things to do in South Wales
We’re lucky to have visited South Wales a number of times for family holidays and breaks. Here’s some more posts about things to do that you might like:
- Things to do in Swansea Bay with kids
- Things to do in Cardiff with kids
- A weekend in Glamorgan
- Things to do in Carmarthenshire with kids
An adventurous caravan holiday in Wales
Wales is a brilliant UK destination for adventurous activities and outdoor fun, even with young kids like ours. Plus there are so many dog-friendly attractions. Each of the places we visited allowed Tin Box Dog to tag long too.
Being able to put our feet up back to our family caravan, with all the creature comforts of home, at the end of each day made the holiday so much more relaxing.
Take a look at our Bailey Phoenix 650 family caravan tour:
I hope this post has given you inspiration about the many places you can visit and the things you can do in the area while on a touring caravan holiday in Wales.
If you are new to caravanning and have any questions about touring caravan holidays with kids then please get in touch.
Disclosure: we were loaned the Bailey Pheonix 650 for our caravan holiday in Wales and have been compensated for our time creating this blog post and other content about our week. We paid for our own activities and have shared our honest opinions throughout.
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