Local Christmas Trips With The Family

Christmas is coming and there are many places close to home I would like to take the family. This is my list of top five days out for the Christmas season.

Firstly, I live in North Wales, just 15 minutes from England which is really convenient as we can access beaches, cities, and scenic countryside pretty easily. This means there are plenty of places to visit during Christmas.

Number 1 – Chester Christmas Markets

Christmas markets always get me in the mood for this wonderful time of year. I would like to go further afield but as this is the closest one to me I will be going into Chester.

This is a quaint market that can get quite packed so I plan to go as early as possible as my son doesn’t like too many people around. When visiting any market you need an empty stomach to indulge on hog roast, sweets, and roasted chestnuts. There is also a gin bar which I will be visiting along with a quick stop for a hot chocolate.

The markets are great places for all of the family but take a moment to find out the best time to visit based on what type of atmosphere you like most.

Number 2 – Chester Zoo


The Lanterns at Chester Zoo are fantastic for little ones, we went last year had a lovely time. The atmosphere is joyful, although it is usually very cold so a scarf and gloves are on the cards.

When you arrive just take the trail indicated and enjoy many animals, and flowers all lite up guiding you along the path. This is a fun place to explore especially for the children as they discover animals in a whole new light!

We went to the canteen for a hot dog and hot drink to warm us up before leaving, and this was okay although I would probably grab something on the way home next time.

Number 3 – Garden Centres

This may seem boring but even if you have no interest in gardening then this is the time to take a trip here. The garden centres near me have amazing trees decorated to perfection, which provide the best inspiration for your tree at home. I do find the price of many of the baubles high but you can always look and recreate within your budget.

Children, especially small ones, love seeing the lights and decorations surrounding them and the many Santa’s and Snowmen bring a smile to their faces.

It’s also nice to visit the onsite cafe and have a hot drink, cake or lunch surrounded by the festive decorations, this is a great time to think about what you might buy.

Number 4 – Ice Rink

I live quite close to an ice skating rink and don’t seem to visit it much and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to take a trip. I am not great at ice skating but I can stay up (well from what I remember I can), but it is great to give it a go.

It can be pricey but it is Christmas after all. The main expense is hiring the skates as I don’t go often even to purchase my own. Again, once the skating is done food is a must!

Number 5 – Chirk Castle

It’s time to learn about Christmas history at Chirk Castle. This year the castle are doing a make-believe Christmas that follows the stories of former children who lived in the castle.

As well as learning there are also glorious decorations in the State Rooms and a fairy-tale trail that tell stories of dragons and fairies. This is an amazing time to let your children discover and enjoy Christmas in a totally new way.

I will be visiting this castle during the festive season and will be sure to create a post all about our discoveries.

There we have it my little list of Christmas activities for 2018.




Take a Walk in North Wales

During half term, I only had a couple of days off, so I decided to pack a picnic and take to the Welsh hills for a lovely stroll (come rain or shine). This got me thinking about all of the amazing walks on my doorstep.

I love taking a walk, whether a long one that lasts all day and usually ends with a pub lunch or a short stroll on a Sunday morning. As I live in North Wales there are plenty of local walks but on the odd occasion, I venture further afield. For now, here’s my round up of top places to walk in North Wales.

Wepre Park

Wepre Park

There are times when I feel quite lucky to live where I do and one of the reasons why is Wepre Park. Many may not think it is fantastic but it’s right on my doorstep and is the perfect place to enjoy nature with the family.

There is a waterfall, woods, stream, play area, pond, castle, and visitors centre, that also sells food. The walk through the woodland area is peaceful and worthwhile as you can stop for a picnic at the Ewole castle ruins.

Even though winter is on its way I will still be visiting the park, to take the younger children on a nature hunt. This is when we collect leaves, pine cones and much more to create a winter collage, or to add to our garland for Christmas day.

Welsh Coastal Path

Take your hat, gloves, and scarf as you take a long 870-mile walk along The Wales Coast Path. You don’t have to complete the whole walk but there are parts that offer particularly lovely views. I haven’t walked the whole 870-miles so these are a couple of spots I noted.

There are several sections to the walk but I am focusing on the North, as this is the area I visit frequently.

The Anglesey Coastal Path opened in 2006 and is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the views this Isle has to offer. It can be a challenging walk with hills and steps but as long as you wear the correct shoes and clothing you’ll enjoy every minute and make some wonderful memories. On a warm day taking a picnic is the perfect way to spend an afternoon taking in one of the many views.

Perhaps my favourite area is Menai, Llyn and Meirionnydd, which takes you past Criccieth, Porthmadog, Harlech, Morfa Nefyn and much more. On some of these beaches, you can stop for a bite to eat at the pub or beach huts. There’s also plenty of wildlife to look out for from bottle-nosed dolphins to grey seals so you may want to pack some binoculars. On a sunny day the views are marvelous and on a cloudy day when the skies are grey, you can enjoy the rugged landscape – which feels more authentic to me!

Moel Famau


When in school visiting Moel Famau was an annual event as part of our sponsored walk to raise money for our school trips. Come rain or shine we would venture up the mountain. One year some of the people I was with decided they wanted to take a shortcut – don’t do this – it did not end well, stick to the path.

New Year’s Eve is a lovely time to take this walk, starting at about 9pm, my family and I started to walk to the peak in time for New Year. Halfway up I looked back and a river of lanterns was following below, it was a lovely view. When we reached the top the scouts and brownies were there lighting campfires and making some food, which was shared around.

Bang on midnight the fireworks below were set off and the sky lite up, it was a memorable new year, even if in the picture I may look cold!



A walk in Llangollen is perfect for all ages, from a high street stroll to an active walk along the river, where the kids can play and the adults can relax. This small town is full of activity and gets very busy in the summer months. No matter how hectic it may seem the surrounding trees and greenery somehow make it feel peaceful and give a sense relaxation.

A walk along the river will take you from the town to the fields, passing swings, rapid rivers and a lovely pub where the food is delicious. Looking over to the other side of the water you can see the steam railway and hear the train come in as it toots, and the children seem to love this.

The walk along the high street is nice too, popping into some of the trinket shops along the way. Entering the town means walking over a bridge that offers a picture perfect moment to capture the river, train station and surrounding forestry.


From the Great Orme to the pier there’s quite a lot to do and see in Llandudno.

We’ll start at The Great Orme which is a large limestone headland, that houses a mine, visitor centre, toboggan and ski slope, and superb views. It is not essential to walk up the Orme, you can just take a lovely drive or a cable car but on a sunny day, why not walk? There’s a cafe at the top and the walk back down is much easier, as well as views and activities its history is fascinating as it is apparently 350 million years old!

From the Great Orme there’s the pier that stretches 2,295 feet. Along the pier, there’s fair rides, huts, an arcade, and cafe. My son loves the pier as there’s so much for him to enjoy.

Llandudno is definitely a place to visit to experience a Victorian beach day with Punch and Judy shows, shelters and in the summer donkey rides. The beach is also not too far from the main town, in case you want some fish and chips, or a mooch around the shops.

Sophie x.