Pontcysyllte Aqueduct

If you’re planning a trip to North Wales this summer the Aqueduct is a great place to visit, although if you’re not great with heights you may want to give it a miss!

This weekend we decided to take a morning stroll, living in North Wales we are spoilt for choice when it comes to walking routes. My partner isn’t fond of walking so we needed to find somewhere that could hold his attention as well as mine.

The Aqueduct isn’t far from Llangollen and is a peaceful walk along the canal. There is also a FREE carpark which I find to be a rare thing nowadays. Once you have parked up in one of the two car parks, you can go straight to the aqueduct and start your walk or enjoy refreshments on the cafe boat (barge).

There are plenty of light bites available at the cafe boat including sandwiches, and warm dishes too. The food was nice and there’s a surprising amount of choice considering it’s such a small preparation area.

As well as the cafe there’s also a visitors centre, reception, and plenty of ducks to keep you company!

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The area is picturesque and is very peaceful. The aqueduct itself is 38m in height and has a badge passage running alongside the pathway – which is just wide enough for two people to cross together. If you don’t fancy walking you can hire a badge for the day and enjoy the waterways. There’s also a boat trip to Llangollen (1 way) which can take up to 4 hours.

Once you’re at the highest point the view is beautiful, the image below shows the view to the lefthand side.

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At the other side, the path continues to run along the canal, where there are some nice houses and quiet farmlands to enjoy. The path is quite long, so we didn’t walk all the way as the path can take you to Shrewsbury and that’s one heck of a walk that I’ll be saving for another day.

It’s a free day out for the family and can be really enjoyable.

Sophie x.

 

5 Films That Should Never Be Remade

After watching the monstrosity of Dirty Dancing 2017, I got thinking about what other films should never, ever be remade.

Firstly most of these films are from the 80’s and are fantastic, in fact, they’re so fantastic I wasn’t even born when they were made, but even now children of 10 are still watching them. Whether it’s the (what we now see as) bad graphics, inappropriate language – which I never noticed growing up, or the amazing story lines one thing is for sure these are forever in my heart!

Stand By Me


One of my favourite films from childhood, although on reflection it’s not really a film for children. The story of a group of young boys who are friends, then they find themselves going on the hunt for a dead body. In this films my first celebrity crush, River Phoenix 🙂

As a child, I think the main reason I liked the film was due to the fact I knew I shouldn’t really have bee watching it. As I got older it’s the feeling nostalgia it evokes, thinking about those you grew up with and shared so much with, and the fact that there’s maybe one or two you haven’t grown apart from. In some cases, that’s not a bad thing but it’s perhaps the only time in life that you truly don’t really have much to worry about – if you’re lucky your childhood is about having fun and experiencing things to get you ready for life.

Plus, you can’t mention this film without mentioning Ben E. King’s song ‘Stand By Me’. I was obsessed with this song and it still brings me to tears – right now I’m contemplating having it on at my wedding but I don’t want to cry!

This film should not be remade, it’s good enough as is leave it alone!

Back to the Future


Let’s start with one film I think we can all agree with, Back to the Future. When I first watched this I fell in love with Michael J Fox and went on to watch more of his films. His character was lovable with BIG dreams, even if the fashion sense was to be desired.

The story line is incredible and gets you thinking, every time you watch it… What year would I travel back to… What would I tell people about… What if my Mum fancied me!!

One thing I didn’t notice until I was older is how many times the word b*****d is used. Nowadays if the film was to be released it would be a 12, if not a 15. Never the less I figured if I don’t remember those words as a child then my son won’t so he’s allowed to watch it. Although he is 10 he absolutely loved it.

If a remake was to be made I’d imagine it would go one of two ways, the script would be altered or too much money would be spent and an over the top version would be made, using the most famous of stars. The only thing I can say is, please don’t remake this film, try and come up with new stories to share with the world.

Hocus Pocus


What a film? Every Halloween in my house it’s on and we sit with sweets and popcorn waiting to enjoy that song – ‘I’ll put a spell on you’. For some reason, there hasn’t been another family Halloween film that matches up to this.

The cast is brilliant and you completely forget that Sarah Jessica Parker plays the younger blonde witch (but then again I only realised she was in Footloose this weekend).

The songs, story line, costumes and comedic touches make this one of my favourite films and I don’t think it should be remade. There’s no need I think this film will appeal to children and families for years to come. I’ve heard that there is meant to be a sequel being released and I just hope they do it justice.

The Lost Boys


The first time I experienced vampires! From the very beginning, I was hooked. The opening song is creepy but the perfect song to start such an amazing film.

Obviously, some of the graphics are outdated but the story is still good and it’s actually quite comical. There’s nothing wrong with that, Kiefer Sutherland played a good part and the rest of the cast were good too.

The main reason I do not want this film to be remade is due to the way vampires are now portrayed – they don’t glitter in the sun!

The Goonies


Enough said!

Sophie x.

Our Weekend at Thorpe Park

As someone who regularly visits Alton Towers and Legoland, I thought I’d give another Merlin attraction a go.  So for my brother’s 16th birthday, we headed down South to visit Thorpe Park.

After oversleeping we left at 5:00 am and the weather was awful, so we packed ready for winter. At 9:30 we got to Thorpe Park and it was evident the dreary weather from North Wales had not followed us there, we were very hot and had no suncream.

When we got to the park I was happy to see so much security, everyone’s bags were checked before entering and although this was a long process I was pleased it was happening.

Once I had been embarrassed by my Dad complaining about having to pay to park we were ready to enter. To be honest, I do think it’s appalling that we’re expected to pay for parking when we pay £51.50 per adult to enter, and a child’s ticket isn’t much cheaper. Never the less I wasn’t going to say anything to the guy sitting in the booth selling the tickets.

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When we eventually entered the park my son was excited as he could see the roller coasters. The good thing about getting to the theme park early is that you can beat the long queues and get on the rides within 5 minutes.

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The first ride we went on was Tidal Wave, which was really good. I have never been on a water ride that gets you so wet, we were drenched – so it was a good thing that the sun was shining. If we were to go again I’d probably go on this ride at midday, when the weather’s at its hottest but whilst you’ve still got time to dry off. Although the queue to this ride did reach 50 minutes by midday and I wouldn’t have waited in that.

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Just around the corner is Angry Birds land and as soon as we saw the large angry birds there was no stopping my son, we had to visit that area next. We went to watch the Angry Birds 4D experience – mainly to get out of the sun for a little while, and it was really good, all of us enjoyed watching the short film and would definitely watch it again. There were also some bumper cars that my son and Dad went whilst the rest of us went on Stealth.

Stealth at Thorpe Park

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Located in the Amity area of the resort this rollercoaster looks very pleasing to thrill seekers. The coaster takes you from 0-80mph to 205ft in under 2 seconds and it’s a great experience, for those who love roller coasters. We liked this one so much that we went on it twice. Compared to the queues we’re used to standing in at Alton Towers this was very quick to get on.

Nemesis Inferno at Thorpe Park

We then headed to Nemesis Inferno, which in my opinion isn’t as good as Nemesis but it’s still fun. Opening in 2003 this rollercoaster has been part of the park for over 10 years and was originally modelled on the Alton Towers version. The ride is themed around a volcano but feels quite squashed amongst its surroundings. Again we walked straight onto this ride as the monitor said it was unavailable – but it wasn’t.

After stopping for a bite to eat we then ventured over to the river rapids, which my dad who is terrified of rides went on! To be honest, the ride wasn’t very long and there weren’t many areas where you could get wet, I prefer the rapids at LegoLand!

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As we were venturing over to Old Town we stopped near the surrounding lake where there were people doing watersports. It was here we decided to have some lunch when the local ducks came over! I didn’t realise that Thorpe Park was on an island and its location is actually very picturesque. Although I’d imagine this makes any expansion very difficult. Due to this, the park is nowhere near the size of Alton Towers and you can easily get around in a day – if t there are no queues.

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One area that I thought was both practical and fun was the beach where adults with smaller children can chill whilst those who love rides can enjoy themselves – everyone’s a winner. On the beach there ae some beach huts that you can rent out. There’s also water rides that you can enjoy without having to wear a swimming costume.

Heading over to Saw the ride you will find Colossus, which I found hurt my head as it seems a little older than the other rollercoasters.

Colossus at Thorpe Park

This was the park’s first large attraction and you can tell as I said it’s not that comfy!

Next to Colossus is Saw the Ride, which by the time we got to it had a long wait so we gave it a miss. Although it did look like it’d be a good ride

Near these rides was a chocolate fountain so I have marshmallows and strawberries – perhaps the favourite part of my day

Heading back towards the entrance we went on the water rides and some of the smaller fair ground like rides. Which were perfect for my son who isn’t 1.4m yet, which is the height restriction on the larger coasters.

The Swarm at Thorpe Park

Finally we went on The Swarm. Surrounded by a plane crash scene and sounds of the emergency services this area really sets the scene. Plus there are planes from Heathrow flying over head.

The Swarm was my favourite ride on the park and looks the best, in my opinion. Although it didn’t feel very fast and didn’t last for as long as I expected. One good thing about this ride is that we didn’t have to queue for long due to the monitor displaying that it was unavailable – which was not accurate bit again cut the queing time right down.

The only ride that I haven’t mentioned that stood out was Darren Brown’s ghost train. I don’t like ghost trains so we didn’t experience this, although it looks good and the building it’s set in looks good too.

All in all it’s definitely worth a trip if you like that kind of thing.

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Sophie x.

Heading to North Wales?

Growing up and going on caravan holidays to Greenacres in Black Rock Sands I used to feel hard done to! All my friends would go abroad and I was stuck in the UK.

Of course, at that moment in time, I did not realise how much it actually costs to buy and keep a static caravan on a Haven site. Initially, when I found out the cost I used to think ‘why not save that money for a trip to Florida every couple of years?’

Now I have grown up and I have my son things have completely changed. Having a place to escape to every month is worth every penny, even if you only travel for an hour. I definitely want to see the world but if you can’t have it both ways it’s a choice between multiple trips a year and one 2 week holiday. Even though I choose the second option, as I think it’s more of an experience, I’m not completely against the idea of having a place to escape to on the weekends and here’s why…

There are many places in the UK you could choose to visit but for me, North Wales has all my family needs for a peaceful weekend retreat. It may be on my doorstep but the beaches along the Llyn Peninsula and Cardigan Bay are glorious and if the sun is shining they’re perfect.

Morfa Nefyn

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A beautiful beach, that for many years was relatively unknown and therefore was a peaceful and tranquil place. Nowadays more people know about the area but it is still a wonderful place. Situated just beneath a golf course the sea is blue and the sands are golden when the sun is shining it’s like being in France.

There is a small pub on the edge of the beach that serves food and drink and there’s a shop on the road leading down. From the golf course perched on the green cliffs, there is an unspoilt view of the sea and sky – making it the perfect spot to relax.

As Morfa Nefyn can be a little confusing to get to, due to the small lanes I don’t get the opportunity to go very often but it’s definitely worth the journey. When I was a child my mum and dad found the beach by accident when they got lost going somewhere else – but everything happens for a reason and now this is one of my favourite places.

Abersoch

Probably in my top 5 beaches, this is a vibrant beach – the atmosphere is more youthful and the beach attracts those who love watersports. Rather than being relaxing and tranquil like Morfa Nefyn, I would come to this beach if I fancied a more eventful experience.

The village of Abersoch is worth a walk round too, with quaint shops and a local harbour it’s a lovely place to visit.

Llanbedrgoch

Another beach my parents found by accident! The first time I explored this beach as a child, I thought I was abroad. The vibrant beach huts and it’s hidden off road spot make this beach unique and special, growing up I thought it was the beach from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – for some reason! Never the less this made it all the more intriguing to me.

North Wales isn’t just home to some lovely beaches but also some scenic and adventurous walks. I use the word ‘adventurous’ because as a child my dad would tell use the myths and legends as we wondered explored the area, and sometimes we’d even act them out!

Beddgelert

A place of myths and legends, Beddgelert is home to one of the most popular Welsh legends. The legend of Gelert is taught is almost every school in North Wales and for some reason, it’s a story I have never forgotten.

As a small girl, my dad would enjoy taking us to see Gelerts grave, before walking along the stream and through its footpath. We would then enjoy a picnic in the field before taking a walk into the hills, where you’d see Celtic ruins (well that’s what we thought they were) and be reminded of Welsh history.

Once the walk was over we’d visit the local shop (not sure if it’s still there) where Rupert Bear would be in the window – as this is where the illustrator Mr. Alfred Edmeades Bestall M.B.E. was from. We’d then enjoy an ice cream in the from the ice cream shop.

Snowdonia

Perhaps one of, if not the most well-known place in North Wales the walk up Snowdonia can be tiring, so we would generally take the train or walk until we were tired. I personally don’t like taking the train as it goes very slow and I’m worried it’ll give in at any minute and roll back down!

The view on a clear day is well worth the walk and there’s a shop along the way. More recently than when I was a youngster, there’s also Surf Snowdonia which I haven’t had the pleasure in visiting just yet – but it’s on my summer list.

Criccieth

Porthmadog’s neighbouring town that can be reached by simply walking across the beach, when the tied in out. Although the beach is made up of many pebbles it is a lovely place to take in the scenery and enjoy an ice cream – and when I say ice cream I mean the best ice cream I have ever tasted. Still, I visit Criccieth every summer just to have an ice cream!

Overlooking the beach on the hillside is the castle which makes for picture perfect scenery. There’s also a cafe and shop just off the beach.

Llangollen

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During the summertimeI regularly take to this part of North Wales for a walk along the river. Along this path, there’s a playground – where I remember stopping in the rain and eating fish and chips as a girl! There’s also water sporting activities for you to enjoy, I have only ever taken part in white water rafting which was really fun.

Llangollen also has a canal which is a peaceful walk because fewer people seem to go to this area. You will see lots of barges along here which makes me want to experience a canal holiday.

Other than walking and visiting the beautiful beaches lining the coast there are also some attractions for you to visit.

Ffestiniog

Back in the day, Ffestiniog used to be a slate caverns and as a child, I used to visit the caverns and go underground. Now the underground mines are home to Zip World Bounce Below, which is soooooo much fun! Underground trampolines make you feel suspended in the air which is both fun and terrifying at the same time.

Portmeirion

A multi-coloured world took straight from a TV show – not that the colour really made that much difference back then! There are lovely shops, cafes and even a hotel. The views near the lighthouse are amazing, overlooking the bay.

A family holiday to North Wales wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a castle, and there are plenty to choose from. Here are some of my favourites.

Bodelwyddan Castle

A beautiful Jacobean castle in North Wales that provides a fantastic day out. In the grounds the castle has a play area, maze and a chess board – don’t know why I love this so much, but I do.

There are even a few resident pets and a bird watching area. There is something for everyone here but it’s not situated on the Llyn Peninsula instead it is just off the A550 in Denbighshire.

Chirk Castle

My favourite castle, the grounds are perfectly manicured and if I had the cash to marry here I would. Built in 1295 it is steeped in history whilst also being quite modern. There are several events held here each year the last one I went to was the WRC.

The courtyard is spectacular and leads to many areas of the castle. Surrounding the castle, just below the hill are woodland walks, picnic areas and a few shops. Again, this castle isn’t located in the Llyn peninsula but is near Wrexham.

Caernarfon Castle

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A very large castle located next to a harbour, this area is picturesque, especially on a sunny day. Across the water, you can see Anglesey and the scenery are even better from the top of the castle walls.

This whole area brings back happy memories from my childhood, spending time with my cousins, friends and family friends.

Summer 2017 Plans

It’s nearly summer and I’m hoping for the sunshine so I can get a bit of a tan instead of remaining this very pale colour I currently am.

Every year during the 6 week holiday I like to try and do something every weekend that we can enjoy as a family. Here is my 6-week summer plan.

Summer – Week 1

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This week I’m off work and going to Jersey for a few days. The main reason for the trip is to visit our friends but as we’re currently paying for a wedding we thought we’d make it into a family get away.

Already the flights have been delayed and cancelled but I’m still hoping for a flight that’s on time – unlike the last time I visited Jersey (that’s another story).

Every morning I plan to get up and go swimming, the hotel we’re staying in has a waterslide, an indoor and outdoor pool, and a Flowrider.

Whilst we’re there we want to take a rib ride and visit the surrounding islands. During the ride, there’s the opportunity to see dolphins and seals as well as enjoy a picnic on one of the islands. This definitely sounds like something my son would like – this is a must. Other days we’ll enjoy as and when they arrive.

In the evenings there are a few places to go including the cinema, an arcade and the beaches – all of which are suitable for children and adults. Our biggest battle will be finding somewhere to eat for 3 nights!

Summer – Week 2

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Back to work this week, so it’s the weekend that interests me. As we will have been away the week before we’ll need to do something that’s kind on the pocket. The plan is to head to Moel Famau and take a picnic if the weather’s nice – if not we’ll head to the cinema or bowling alley.

Alternatively, we can put on out woolly hats and gloves (like in the pic above) and stick to our original plans.

Summer – Week 3

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We’re off to the zoo. Our closest zoo is Chester and it’s and it’s a must visit in the summer. Our last visit was at Christmas when the lanterns are on display. In the summer we mostly look forward to visiting the elephants, bats, tigers and monkeys, but this year we can see the island’s that we missed last summer.

Summer – Week 4

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Again, if it’s sunny we’ll be off to the beach – Morfa Nefyn in North Wales is my favourite. This beach is in a beautiful cove where if you’re lucky enough to own a boat you can moor up and enjoy the day at this beautiful beach. There’s also a pub that sells food in case you forget to bring something with you. Otherwise, it’s off to the swimming baths.

Summer – Week 5

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Come rain or shine it’s off to Alton Towers. We usually visit about 3 or 4 times a year but this time will be our first visit this year (maybe even our only visit). My favourite ride in Alton Towers is Thirteen but we enjoy most the large rides, it’s just the queuing times that are annoying.

When we visit we take as little as possible because lugging things around is just not fun. As soon as we enter the park we purchase a refillable bottle and plan where we’ll be eating. To save the queue upon entry we pre-book our tickets and this year the vouchers from Kellogg’s products have an online discount code, so you don’t have to use them at the gate – YES!

Summer – Week 6

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This weekend we’re meant to be taking a trip abroad with the whole family for my brother’s 16th birthday.  As of yet we still don’t know where we’re going but it’ll be somewhere warm with a lovely sandy beach.

Have you got any other summer trip suggestions? Let me know I’m always looking to visit new places.