Snowdonia is green all year round, thanks to the rain we complain so much about! But it really bursts into life during the spring, so here are some ideas for enjoying the spring sunshine in Snowdonia.
Much as we love to complain about there being “too much” rain in Snowdonia, wet weather has very clear advantages. For one thing, residents are rarely subjected to water shortages or hosepipe bans, and for another, the high rainfall keeps the region green, lush and bursting with life.
It’s in the springtime that we really start to notice the positive effects on the landscape of the winter’s rainfall. When the sun comes out – and trust us, Snowdonia does get plenty of sunshine, as well as rain – the region truly comes alive in the most literal sense. The air is filled with birdsong, the fields come to life with the prancing of playful lambs, the trees are bursting with leaves and the meadows are coloured by wild flowers.
If you’re lucky enough to visit Snowdonia with your family during a sunny springtime, here are three ways to enjoy the sunshine. It may not be as hot as the Med, but our sunny days are wonderful nevertheless!
1. Visit an outdoor family attraction
There are plenty of fun attractions in Snowdonia for the whole family. We know it’s a bit of a cliché, but there really is something for everyone! Here are three family attractions in the region that are especially good fun on a sunny spring day.
GreenWood Forest Park – from den building in the woods to a people-powered rollercoaster, via a fun-packed entertainment schedule, GreenWood Forest Park near Caernarfon is one of the region’s best-loved family attractions.
Centre for Alternative Technology – this attraction in Southern Snowdonia combines fun and education for a great day out. Learn about sustainability in a fun way, and ride one of the world’s steepest water-balanced cliff railways.
Glasfryn Parc – archery, go karts, stand up paddleboarding, quad biking, clay pigeon shooting and wakeboarding are among the many fun activities on offer at Glasfryn Parc, near Pwllheli. And if the sun should suddenly disappear, don’t despair – there’s indoor ten pin bowling, too.
2. Talk with the animals
Make like Doctor Doolittle and talk with the animals in Snowdonia! Get up close and personal with farm animals – a fun activity for the little ones, but the adults will ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ just as much as the children!
Gypsy Wood Park – this attraction on the outskirts of Caernarfon offers all sorts of fun activities including a mini zip wire, model trains, gypsy caravans and much more. The attraction is also home to lots of animals that your children can feed, including goats, chickens, doves and pigs.
Children’s Farm Park – this lovely attraction near Harlech offers children the chance to bottle feed lambs and calves in spring and early summer. The rest of the year you can buy feed from the shop and hand feed the goats, chickens, ducks and other animals.
Dwyfor Ranch Rabbit Farm – don’t be misled by the name; the farm is home to many animals besides rabbits! Goats, alpacas, donkeys, rheas and puppies are just a few of the animals you can interact with at this attraction, which is at Llanystumdwy (just outside Criccieth).
3. Hit the beach
Taking the kids to the beach is a perennial family favourite – what child doesn’t love a day at the seaside? Snowdonia has a 200-mile coastline featuring beaches of every type, from vast expanses of soft sand to fascinating rock pools, so there are plenty to choose from. Try these for starters:
Shell Island – just south of Harlech, this lovely little peninsula on Cardigan Bay has three beaches for swimming. One of these is backed by sand dunes (some of the tallest in Wales, in fact). The sea shells are the real attraction for kids, though – some 200 species can be found here.
Barmouth – for traditional British seaside fun, Barmouth is hard to beat. We’re talking about a vast sandy beach, ice creams, gift shops, crabbing – all the fun of the seaside, with a small funfair as an added bonus. If the weather takes a turn during your visit, don’t panic – there are indoor attractions at the harbour, collectively known as ‘On the Quay’, and a great theatre that offers plenty of entertainment for all ages.
Porth Oer – also known as ‘Whistling Sands‘, thanks to the unusual qualities of the sand which squeaks when you stamp on it! This is one of the loveliest beaches on the Llyn Peninsula, a beautiful sheltered cove which is reached via a steep (but not too long) road down from the car park. You can buy refreshments and seaside essentials like buckets and spades at the shop on the beach.