Why North Wales is a Great Family Holiday Destination | Haven Holidays, IMG 0251 2%, product-review%

Why North Wales is a Great Family Holiday Destination | Haven Holidays

Holidaying with the kids is never going to be a relaxing holiday. A lot of fun making treasured memories, but certainly not relaxing.

Finding somewhere to keep the children amused and entertained can be tricky. It’s for this reason that we really like going to all-inclusive holiday parks that offer a variety of activities for the children to get stuck in to. But not only do we look to base ourselves at a holiday park with great facilities on offer, we also look for somewhere in a fantastic location with plenty on offer for the family in the surrounding area.

Haven Holidays, Hafan y Mor, in North Wales ticked both boxes for us. The site is set with the stunning Snowdonia mountains as a backdrop. There are so many activities in the local area to keep the whole family entertained, whilst at the same time the site itself has many great options for us to make those special holiday memories on site.

October half term breaks at Haven from £179

On-site at Haven, Hafan y Mor

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There were a number of activities that we really enjoyed at Hafan y Mor. But the 2 that stood out for us were the incredible swimming pool and the brand new Nature Rockz activities. 

Swimming

The pool at Hafan y Mor was excellent. We love a pool with lot’s to do and this pool really didn’t disappoint. Ted was crazy about the ‘lazy river’ and could easily while away a good 45 minutes simply making up wonderful games in the river. But once we’d finally moved him on from the river, there were plenty of other features to explore.

  • 3 flumes, each offering something different
  • A giant drop slide
  • Waves
  • A separate baby & toddler pool equipped with mini slides, toys and splash play

Having so many varying options means that you can spend a good few hours in the pool without the kids getting bored. It also means it caters for a wide age range. Both our toddler and our teenager loved the swimming pool and we visited regularly during our stay. 

Nature Rockz
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This is a new activity to Haven but in my opinion its one of the best on the schedule. Nature Rockz aims to get families outdoors, exploring the world around them and learning new skills. It’s so easy to get caught up in the arcades, the evening shows, the swimming pools, the sports and the other activities, which are all great, but at the same time, you can miss what’s around you.

And in Hafan y Mor, North Wales, there is a lot of stunning natural beauty around you.

I love the concept of going back to basics and showing the kids the joy and entertainment in nature. 

We learned about foraging, fire lighting and the environment. We’ve always encouraged Teddy to ask questions, no matter how many, how advanced, how crazy etc and this gave him the perfect opportunity to ask the expert whatever was on his mind about the world around him.

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Looking back now, I actually have incredibly fond memories of taking him on the Nature Rockz activities because it slowed us down, made us stop, made us talk about the more meaningful things and it demonstrated that it can be the simple things that bring the most enjoyment.

I love that Haven introduced the Nature Rockz activities to their itineraries, and would highly recommend booking yourself and your children on to the program.

The Beach
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The Hafan y Mor site has a beach located at the top of the park. It’s a small and very quiet beach with rocks to explore, space to sit for a picnic, pebbles to skim and sand to build castles with. It was no more than a 4-minute walk from our caravan so we were there daily and Teddy was right at home climbing and exploring the rocks and rock pools. Our last evening was spent eating dinner on the beach whilst the sun went down. A memory that will stay with me forever. 

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The Surrounding Area

Where to start? 

If you’ve never been to North Wales, I can tell you that it is one of the most beautiful places in the UK. Picturesque scenery at every corner with some well known towns and mountain areas, but with plenty of hidden, secluded gems that will truly amaze you. 

Some of our highlights included the following and we’d definitely suggest you check them out if you’re heading to North Wales. 

Mt Snowdon

Snowdonia is obviously a walkers & climbers mecca here in the UK. There are craggs for all abilities and hikes to suit any age. But the thing about Mt Snowdon is that it gives you options and when you have your family in toe, options are certainly your friend. 

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If it were me on my own, I’d run up to the summit in under 2 hours and down in 30 mins but with the family, we’d have to take a more leisurely pace. There are 3 main routes that I’d recommend, either the miners track which is almost flat for the first 2/3 of the trek and follows some beautiful lakes. Or the Rangers track which is a nice steady incline and follows the train track pretty much the whole way. On that subject, the third recommended option is to take the train! Great for young stubborn walkers! The point is, it’s a fantastic thing to do, summit the tallest mountain in Wales & England and it’s perfectly achievable for most families.

Give it a go if you’re in the area! 

Zipworld

It’s likely that you have already heard of Zipworld; the home of the fastest zip wire in Europe. It’s incredible and it’s in North Wales and only about 40 minutes from Hafan y Mor. Louis and I tested it out, and the marketing is incredibly accurate; it truly is one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done!

What most people don’t know, however, is that Zipworld is not just about the zip wire. They have plenty of other fantastic, exciting and adrenalin filled activities, all in North Wales. 

‘The Caverns’ is basically the most extreme high ropes course you’ll do, but deep underground in the dark, damp slate caves.

‘Titan’ is another zip wire, but one you sit upright in as opposed to lying flat, so not quite as fast as their flagship activity.

‘Bounce Below’ is a truly remarkable experience. Essentially, it’s a trampoline park underground in the caves. Huge, gigantic nets hang from the cave walls and roof and enable you to bounce around. At first, I wondered if the novelty would wear off, but I was mistaken. Zipworld have built layers, sections, slides and walkways making the exploration area pretty big. It’s hard to get bored of this activity and both Louis and I loved it!

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‘Forest Coaster’ is a luge that propels you through the forest at thrilling speeds and is also suitable for the younger children.

‘Treetop Nets’ is a less extreme version of The Caverns, and is suspended in the tree tops as opposed to underground.

‘Zip Safari’ is a high ropes course with zip lines left, right and centre.

‘Sky ride’ is a giant swing – great fun!

And ‘Plummet 2’ is a world’s first! The activity enables you to experience the closest thing to free falling, by dropping you through a trap door for 100ft.

Zipworld really is an unmissable attraction for any visitor to Hafan y Mor and the surrounding area.

Dylan’s Restaurant, Criccieth

If you want a break from self-catering and the restaurants onsite at Haven, Hafan y Mor, there are plenty of options in neighbouring towns and villages. None better than Dylan’s in Criccieth, just 5 minutes down the road.

You’d need to book as it’s exceptionally popular; which means only one thing… great food! 

It has a varied menu with something to suit all tastes, including the kids. As a family, our tastes couldn’t be any different. Jen’s a vegan, Louis is fussy, Ted likes anything crispy and I’ll eat anything, except vegan food. It makes dinner times in our house fairly logistical! 

However, Dylan’s catered for us all perfectly with friendly staff and wait for it… they even converted me to some vegan dishes with the most incredible vegan tacos! They were unbelievable, so much so, I ordered some for desert! 

Abersoch Beach & Town

The beaches in North Wales are stunning. All the way up the coast from Hafan y Mor you’ll find gorgeous beaches; some sandy and some pebbly. Abersoch is a wonderful cove hosting a sandy, sheltered beach. You can watch the tractors taking out and bringing in the small yachts and boats and whats excellent about Abersoch is that there is a large amount of shallow water. Enough to get your dingy floating, but not deep enough to warrant a concerned parent.

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Above the beach is the town with a row of shops and restaurants. We visited on 2 occasions and both times had delicious food in friendly restaurants. It’s a popular place, so it can get busy, but this didn’t put us off.

Secluded Gems

It’s hard to really advise you on this because I have no real information on where we ended up! Louis did a little bit of googling and discovered a small, secluded bay with a simply idyllic waterfall nearby. It had great parking, an easy walk and the best part, no-one else was there!

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North Wales has many secluded gems like this one and I highly suggest exploring the area to see what you can find. 

North Wales is a wonderful place to visit, there’s no doubt about it. But I know that when you’ve got children, you also need to have activities on hand to keep them occupied. And that’s why staying at Haven, Hafan y Mor, offers the best of both worlds. You have activities on tap onsite at Haven itself, whilst natures own playground is right on your doorstep to explore.

So, if you haven’t yet got October half term plans, this could be the place for you. 

About AJ Ferguson


10 Comments

  • So many people forget how good England and Wales are for family holidays! This just shows how amazing holidays are which you don’t need a plane for.

    What age do you think Haven holidays are best suited for children?

    • We stayed in the Haven in Porthmadog last year with our 2 year old and she loved it, backed right onto the beach. The onsite facilities were decent for a holiday park nothing too extravagant , pool, games, park and small indoor soft play. Enough to keep us entertained for 3 days. There were lots of 8-14 year olds smashing around who were well catered for with arcades and shows and bowling etc.

  • Woah, our last experience in North Wales was pretty poor (we’re not campers at the best of times and the weather was awful) but this puts things in a different light. Very thorough write up!

  • Chris Marchant 22nd October 2018 Reply

    Great article. We love going to north wales as it’s so easy to get to and as you say there is so much to do that’s hidden.

  • Looks like a great trip. More to north wales than Snowdon then it appears!
    (love the humble time bragg slipped in there! haha)
    Definitely worth having a look on your doorstep for plenty of getaway options.
    Good to see you braving the UK weather and doing the caravanning too.

  • North Wales is amazing. Went youth hostelling and camping up there in my late teens; camped just outside Capel Curig at the foot of Tryfan and it was amazing scenery. Did the trip up Snowdon and going to take the family back before too long.

    Haven holidays are pretty damn good as well!

  • We holiday in the UK quite alot mainly south coast line and butlins minehead. however we have never been to north Wales. I have a 2 and half year old and 18week baby. So just generally stick to what we no. After reading this and currently considering next years holiday. Does any one have a resort / camp or area recomendation that would be suitable for my young family?

  • Donal Murray-Ferris 22nd October 2018 Reply

    Looks good. May have to give it a visit.

  • Looks like things have changed at Haven since I was a lad. Even back then they were great family holidays. On site facilities/activities are normally varied and it also acts as a good base if you want to explore the local area.

    The Nature Rockz activity looks great and definitely something our 3.5yr old son would love!

  • We have just booked a week at Hafan y mor, we love Haven, usually go to the Yorkshire coast but have been looking for a chance to do Wales. This discount was a perfect excuse!

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