Friday, 20 March 2015

Pembrokeshire in Wales, UK: The beautiful Welsh countryside

This travel post is written by Debs G from Owls Well, who has a travel blog at Owl Fly Away. She visits Pembrokeshire in Wales, UK very often with her petite travellers J (6 years) and Little E (3 years) and it's one of her family's favourite places in all the world. This latest trip is from June 2013 - and it's a lovely holiday suitable for singles, couples and families of all ages who love walking along scenic coastal paths and beach holidays.

So, Whitesands Bay on the Pembrokeshire Coast in Wales has all the wonderful family-friendly features that you would expect from a beach with such a descriptive name:
  • A wide expanse of white sand with wheelchair/stroller access - check
  • Lovely waves for surfers - check
  • Rocky areas at the side for rockpooling - check
  • Lifeguard patrol during summer - check
  • Cafe serving hot food and decent toilet facilities - check
  • The coveted Blue Flag award for superior water quality - check
The view of White Sands from Carn Llidi
The view of White Sands from Carn Llidi
But we won't be talking about the beach today.

The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path is one of the most beautiful hiking paths in the UK and some of the most scenic views are only accessible on foot. If you are travelling with teenagers, it may be worth planning a walking holiday of the Welsh countryside. If, like myself, you are travelling with tiny tots in tow, a good place to go for a nice walk along the rugged coastline is Carn Llidi, which is the large rocky outcrop dominating Whitesands Bay.

Walking along the wide road from Whitesands Bay
Walking along the wide road from Whitesands Bay

To get to Pembrokeshire, take a flight to either Cardiff or London. We usually fly to Heathrow International Airport and rent a car. From Heathrow Airport, it's a 4-5 hour drive straight down the motorway, all the way to the tip of the Pembrokeshire coast, the city of St David's. (If you like, you can choose to break the journey at Bristol or Bath on the way there, if you think your kids won't be able to tolerate a long drive).

Hitching a ride on Grandpa
Hitching a ride on Grandpa for the steep climb

The walking path up to the base of Carn Llidi is large and wide and is a gentle and easy climb for preschoolers. There are a couple of steep bits, though, so although it is possible to get a stroller or wheelchair up here, it may be a hard slog especially if your pushchair is heavy.

Across the fields
Across the fields, unending views of Ramsay Sound and Ramsay Island

The path soon flattens out again as it wraps around the base of Carn Llidi. From here you can see for miles across the Welsh countryside and over the coastline as well.

You can see the mist creeping in

On the day that we visited, we picked what we thought would be a bright and sunny day to have a picnic at the top of Carn Llidi. For the most part, we were able to enjoy gorgeous views over the bright blue waters of Ramsay Sound, to Ramsay Island. Unfortunately, the sea mist came rolling in like a fluffy white blanket, and soon everything was obscured from view.

Intrepid explorers in the mist
Intrepid explorers in the mist

You may think that the sea mist would be a terrible thing, but really, it gave the whole place an otherworldly atmosphere, which is very appropriate seeing as Carn Llidi is also the site of a number of megalithic burial chambers and stone hut circles, which are all great fun to explore. J really had fun climbing over all the rocks and pretending to be an archeologist exploring a cloud kingdom.

Sleepy Little E

The sea mist dampens noise, so everything went very quiet and still, which made Little E feel very, very sleepy. I brought a carrier along with me, so it was no trouble at all to hitch her onto my back so that she could snuggle up to me for a short nap!

Enjoying a cheese and ham sandwich and a KitKat

It's possible to do a circular walk around the base of Carn Llidi which will afford you wide views across the fields and farms, and the city of St David's with its distinctive cathedral in the distance. However, we decided to scamper up the side of Carn Llidi instead, following a well marked path to the top of it. Carn Llidi is 595ft and at the summit on a clear day you can see far beyond the Ramsay Sound, all the way to the Wicklow Hills of Ireland!

We found ourselves some rocks to perch on, and that's where we had our picnic - on the top of Carn Llidi, surrounded by the sea mist which blew around us in swirls, sometimes revealing the countryside for a glorious moment, sometimes obscuring our view entirely. By this time, both the kids were starting to wilt, so we headed back down to Whitesands Bay afterwards to reward ourselves with ice creams!

Check out the rest of my Pembrokeshire itinerary here.

What wonderful terrain, off the beaten track, surrounded by rugged nature, for our city kids to explore! Thanks for this guest post, Debs. 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Gold Coast Theme Parks with Kids

This is a guest travel post contributed by Mommy Susan of A Juggling Mom. Susan is full-time working Mum who's passionate about living life to the fullest. In between juggling the many roles as a wife, daughter, sister, girlfriend and career woman, Susan enjoys exercising, crafting, scrap-booking and travelling round the world with her husband Alexis and dear daughter Sophie (6). They went to Gold Coast in July 2014. This Gold Coast holiday is suitable for families who love outdoor adventure and a little thrill on their holidays!

Theme Parks in Gold Coast Australia with Kids

Mention Gold Coast and the sandy beaches of Surfers Paradise comes to mind. But beyond the sun, sand and sea, do you know that Gold Coast is also known as the theme park capital of Australia? We visited three theme parks, Dream World, Movie World and Sea World, with my five-year-old last year and she had a hard time deciding which one she liked best. And I totally understand her dilemma as each one offered a different experience. So here’s the low down on what you can expect.

Dream World

Dream World is the largest theme park in Australia and is definitely the place to go for the most exhilarating rides. My hubby was so excited to take on their signature BIG 9 thrill rides which are the fastest, tallest and biggest rides in the country. Even though I’m usually a chicken when it comes to such rides, I gamely went on two, the Buzzsaw and Pandamonium and survived them. Just a little tip on the latter ride, it has two options for a crazy and not-so-crazy experience and I didn’t realise what I got myself into when I was spun up and down and round and round and was relieved that the person who puked on the ride was not me #truestory. The popular rides tend to have long snaking queues by mid-day, so it’s a good idea to plan your day to get the most of your visit.

For the little ones, they’ll be thrilled in the colourful Wiggles World. Here they’ll be delighted with rides like the Big Red Boat Ride and the Big Red Car where they get to sing along to songs from the Wiggles while journeying into the Wiggles House. There are also play areas where they can just run and play like in this pirate ship. For a more fun way to get around the theme park, don’t forget to hop on the Dreamworld Express and go chugging away.

More fun awaits at the DreamWorks Zone with the characters from KungFu Panda, Madagascar and Shrek. We even spotted some of our favourite characters like Alex the Lion and Gloria the Hippo after the Madagascar live shows and snapped a photo with them. The height limit for the rides here tends to be higher and poor Sophie was turned away from some of them. But she was not entirely disappointed as she had a blast at King Julian’s Mad Jungle Jam, which is a 2-storey indoor playground. But judging from the rides that she still talks about, I would say that the bumper car and log ride were her favourite. So much so that she surprised me by taking them four times!

Within the park, there is also Tiger Island, which is the largest interactive tiger facility in the world, as well as the Dreamworld Corroboree which features over 400 Australian animals. We didn’t venture to these areas as we already went to see the wildlife at the Wildlife Currumbin Sanctuary. Since we were there during winter, we also skipped the Whitewater World which was just next door.
Do plan to spend a whole day at Dreamworld. With so many rides and sights, it truly is a family theme park that the whole family will enjoy.

Dreamworld Australia
Dreamworld Parkway, Coomera, Queensland, Australia 4209
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 10:00–17:00

Movie World

One can’t come to the Gold Coast and not visit the Warner Brothers Movie World. Its main selling point is its movie-themed rides. While there are less thrill rides compared to Dreamworld, they don’t disappoint at all. I only took the Arkham Asylum and it ended before I could catch my heart that nearly leaped out. There’s also Superman Escape where you go from from 0-100km in 2 seconds! There is also the new Green Lantern Coaster and Justice League 3D ride just to name a few.

On the Main Street, you can spot mascots like the Looney Toon characters and the Superheroes like Batman in his Batmobile, Cat Woman, Super Girl and the Joker. Otherwise, you can choose to watch them all during the All Star Parade where they all make their appearance with lots of photo opportunities. So snag yourself a good seat along with the Main Street as we found out that you’ll see them twice as they go up and down the street. For the kids, there’s a Fun Zone with Looney Tune rides. But personally, I think the rides wouldn’t be too appealing for kids 7 and up. But at least Sophie had fun at the games stalls and even scored herself a Daffy Duck!

There are several performances that you can catch and one of them is the popular Hollywood Stunt Drive Show where you need to go earlier to get a good view. Everyone was wowed by the impressive stunts but the storyline was pretty predictable and could do with some livening up. Having less rides mean that the queues tend to be longer here at Movie World, so do be prepared to wait a little longer especially for the popular thrill rides. I felt that the theme park could have offered a more immersive experience since it has such a compelling theme with the superhero characters, so that was a little disappointing for me. But what made it magical for Sophie was when she zipped around in her Superman cape just like the superheroes she saw
Movie World
Pacific Motorway, Oxenford, Gold Coast, Queensland 4220
Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 09:30–17:00

Sea World

If there is one theme park that I’ll highly recommend to families, it would be Sea World because it scores in both the fun and educational quotient. Of course, I’m bias because Sophie gets to meet Dora the Explorer whom she adores the most. Plus a stay at the Sea World hotel just completes the whole experience at Sea World.

Being guests of the hotel, we had special privileges to meet some of the Nickelodeon characters at the hotel lobby before heading to the Sea World to see an exclusive dolphin training experience before the theme park opened its gate. Here the rides take a back seat and the animals take centre stage where you can spot polar bears, sharks, feeding of penguins, catch a dolphin show, and even sign up for experiences like reef snorkelling or interacting with seals which will be such a memorable highlight of the vacation.

We enjoyed the various performances like the Dolphin show, Stunt Jet performance, humorous Pet Detective show and of course the Dora live show that my daughter really looked forward to. There was also a Spongebob Parade which we caught while having lunch.

We ended the day at the Castaway Bay where it was fun, fun and more fun. Be prepared for lots of climbing and crawling up the Sky Fortress where kids and adults can maneuver up this 5-storey adventure playground. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you may want to take on the Sky Climb high rope course that takes you a good 12 metres above the ground! But do book early as this tends to be the last stop for everyone and we missed the chance when we decided to try it.

Sea World
Sea World Drive, Gold Coast, Queensland 4217
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun: 0930-1730

To get more recommendations of other family-friendly attractions in Gold Coast, Australia, hop over to this post - Queensland for Kids!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

LEGOLAND Malaysia - a whole world of fun across the causeway!

This travel post is written by Candice who blogs at MissusTay. She travelled to LEGOLAND Malaysia with her husband and her petite travellers, master T (4 years) and missy T (3 years) in January 2015.

This holiday is suitable for LEGO fans obviously and also for families who want a little more than just a staycation. Here’s sharing on our first experience at LEGOLAND Malaysia.


A short drive from the customs to LEGOLAND means you do not have to worry about pit stops with the kids.

Play starts even before you get your hotel room. Plenty of LEGO in different themes of play areas and other games to keep the kids and kids-at-heart entertained while you wait for your room to be ready!

The lift lobbies and elevators are all nicely done up in different themes, complete with disco lights and dance music for guests to groove to!

The hotel rooms are a whole lot of fun on its own! Kids get proper bed space to themselves – yay for parents! The kids also get their own TV and a box of LEGO to go wild with – yay for kids!


The LEGOLAND Park is made up of 7 themed areas of attractions for all ages – The Beginning, LEGO Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure, and MINILAND. Odds are there will definitely be a couple of activities that kids of different ages and height would be able to go for! 

Along with my not-so-gutsy 4yo and my tad-too-short 3yo, here are some of the activities we did:

For the Star Wars fans, I present to you Star Wars MINILAND! The displays are exquisitely awesome! For the rest of us, Star Wars MINILAND provides much respite from the heat outside while you admire the beautiful works from the Master Builders.

Royal Joust is great for young kids! They get a horse to themselves and go on one or more rounds of rides.

Merlin's Challenge. The spinning was a little too much for me to take but the son enjoyed it nonetheless!

Kids Power Tower. More like Daddy power cos they had to depend on their own arm power to move up and down the tower.

Lost Kingdom. A pretty fun and exciting ride for the younger kids! We get to use laser guns to shoot at targets and compete with each other.

LEGO City Airport. Fly in a LEGO plane and adjust how high/low you want to go!

Rescue Academy. Love how the whole family can enjoy this activity together. The kids had so much fun trying to put out the "fire" while Daddy provides the water supply!

Junior Driving School! The kids get to go for a drive in a LEGO car before they get their license.

Look out for LEGOFIGS along the way!

 Get onto the Observation Deck to get a bird's eye view of the entire LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort.

Hop on the LEGOLAND Express at the end of the day and take in the sights as the LEGO train takes you round the park while you rest your weary feet.

Located just across the causeway, LEGOLAND Malaysia is an excellent choice for a fun-filled quick getaway with the kids!
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