Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


August 04, 2014

Our Summer Holiday.

Today is the start of my main holiday, and I have the next two weeks off work.

I shouted a huge “yayyy” last night, when I got home !

We’re not able to go abroad, this year, but I don’t want to waste a moment of the time that we have together as a family. So, we’ve collectively compiled a Summer Holiday “to-do” list.

Activity 1: Have a coasteering trip.

Coasteering is one of the most adventurous activities that we offer, in work. Although this would be the first time that my daughter has taken part in a properly organised coasteering activity, we feel that she’s ready for it. It involves wearing a full kit of wet-suit, buoyancy aids and helmets. It reqires jumping into and swimming in the sea, and exploring the coastline of Caswell Bay, in the Gower. This is a stunning beach with beautiful clear-blue sea, little caves to swim into and is an absolute favourite of mine. Also, the cafe serves the best chips, followed by caramel ice cream and clotted cream. A perfect end to a wild day at the beach.

Activity 2: Celebrate National Play Day.

Wednesday 6th August is National Play Day. This is a day when organisations, parents and families can come together to celebrate play, and the importance it has in children’s development. I’m lucky that I will be a part of the “Friends of Pentre Gardens” celebrations. We’ll be providing a fun packed afternoon full of outdoor playing, arts and crafts, games, messy play, sporting games, face painting and costume creations. The play opportunities will be endless ! National Play Day is celebrated nationwide, with many communities holding events through various playschemes and childrens organisations. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate play, and adults are actively encouraged to take part in a bit of “child’s play”. It’s going to be a great day.

Activity 3: Go foraging for wild-food.

We are so lucky to have a fantastic range of wild-foods available to us, growing very near to where we live. Our local hedgerows are thick with blackberries and wild raspberries. Last year, we spent a couple of sunny evenings filling up plastic tubs with these easily rich pickings, later making homemade tarts and preserved jams. On one evening, late last summer, my husband and daughter announced that they were going “for a walk”, just about dusk. They returned a short time later with a bag full of succulent, sweet apples, and both with stupid grins…… I didn’t press the subject !

Sometimes, we venture further afield to visit a beach in the Gower, called Oxwich Bay. This is a food foragers dream. When the tide is right, you can wander up and down the shore and simply pick cockles off the surface of the beach. It’s so exciting when you find your first one, and then seek out more and ever more. To make it even more rewarding, it’s possible to walk along the edge of the beach to pick mussels clinging to the rocks. In recent months, we’ve watched how the locals use special tricks and techniques to harvest up to 20 or so razor clams at a time. This involves shuffling backwards until a black spot in the sand is located. This spot is then squirted with a very salty water solution and, a few seconds later, a long razor clam pops up out of the sand ! We come home with such a feast. We never take more than we need, but it creates a rewarding and educational day out. Nothing finishes the day off better than a bowl of steaming mussels with crusty bread. I guess it helps that my husband is a chef and has a vast knowledge of wonderful recipes ready to wow us with !

Activity 4: Have a full day out on our bicycles.

We’re so lucky to have an amazing cycle track through Cardiff. The Taff Trail follows along the River Taff, passing beautiful communal gardens, muddy trails and paths cut through wild woodland. Another bonus are myriad farm shops and traditional deli’s that are to be discovered en route. These little hidden-away treasures often serve great coffee and (of course) delicious home-made cakes that help to refresh a weary biker.

Activity 5: Record our Summer Holiday adventures.

We find that we’re lucky to have such amazing family adventures, but we rarely record our time together. Yes, we take photographs, but collating all of the pictures, tickets, recipe ideas and drawings into a summer scrapbook is such a lovely way to remember the fun times we have as a family. It also helps when my daughter goes back to school, and is able to do a show-and-tell about her holidays for her class-mates.

Activity 6: Visit a traditional beach.

Porthcawl beach is only a short drive from our house, and has everything one could want from a tradtional seaside beach. Candy floss is sold in the shops, fairground rides and the old-style tuppeny slot machines are all to be found in the arcades lining the beachfront. We always seem to be tempted, (at the end of a busy day), by fresh chips served in cones with a splash of salt and vinegar, or fresh doughnuts cooked in freshly and, of course, an ever-expanding array of flavoured ice-creams. All very traditional, but an easy and fun day out, evoking reminisces of my childhood.

Activity 7: Walk to the top of Pen-y-Fan.

Our biggest challenge, however, will be to tackle a trek to the top of Pen-y-Fan. This is the highest mountain in South Wales, and will be a big adventure for us. I’m very lucky to have taken lots of young people to the top in all weathers, and now my daughter is bursting to give it a go. So, a trip to the local outdoor store beckons. We’ll invest in some good, stout walking boots and attempt the big challenge. I really can’t wait to take our picture at the top of the mountain.

I guess I hoped to show that, with a little planning, it’s possible to fill out a holiday with all those things that are important to us….. outdoor adventures, simple but good foody treats, and quality time with loved ones.

I’ll do my best to keep you posted as we tick off our achievements but, after compiling this list, my husband has already said that he’ll need to go back to work for a rest !

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life

13 thoughts on “Our Summer Holiday.

  1. That’s quite a programme. I hope the weather favours you and the rain stops.I’m sure you’ll all have a fantastic time and your daughter will have plenty of stories to go back to school with.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    1. kim says:

      Hi David, yes its a bit of a list. We wanted to make it fun as we’re not going on holiday. I hope the weather stays kind to us, makes everything much easier {and cheaper} if you have good weather.
      Take care,
      Kim

  2. Kierna says:

    Wow what a lot you plan to pack in, can’t wait to follow along with your adventures & thanks for linking up xx

    1. kim says:

      Yes a bit of a list, hopefully we will be able to tick every off and have some exciting stories to share in the next few weeks.

  3. A great list of family fun and activities ahead – please keep us posted with your adventures. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. kim says:

      Yes, we wanted to make the most of our summer. Should have some great stories to share after.

  4. Great list of things to tick off. I hope you have lots of fun doing that x #CountryKids

    1. kim says:

      thank you, hopefully the weather stays good for us. #CountryKids

  5. Joanna Chittenden says:

    Brilliant list! Really hope you get to do all on it & can’t wait to hear all about your adventures, although I know all about one already!! & that was a fantastic day:) I’m totally with you on creating memory scrapbooks of holidays etc. I collect everything & anything when I’m away anywhere from sweet wrappers to tickets to plant life! Then I love getting a few photos that were taken on the trip printed & assembling it all in a scrapbook with notes & drawings, I’m getting a bit of a library now! It’s such a lovely way of remembering those special times away together.

    Good luck with Pen-y-fan too! As I mentioned we did it as a family at Easter, it was hard work getting my sons out of bed on a holiday (they are 21 & 12!) but they were so glad they had made the effort when they got to the top-the views were amazing!

    X

    1. kim says:

      Hi Jo,
      Thank you, I was really worried because we weren’t going away on a holiday so wanted some great adventures for us to do.
      I love our scrapbook and keeping little tickets and things from days out is lovely knowing we’re going to do something crafty witht hem when we get home.
      Fingers crossed for Pen-Y-Fan, I can remember when you went up and got to the top! Hoping we get that photo at the top.
      Thank you for looking in.

  6. Brilliant ways to play! You guys are gonna have a cracking holiday. Can’t wait to hear all about it xx

    1. kim says:

      Hi, thank you. Just wanted to have a fun filled holiday and make the most of the time we have. Fingers crossed we get to tick most things off our list!

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