Family Days Out in Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract

Wakefield and its neighbours Castleford and Pontefract have a long history. Visitors can see the sites of historic battles, go down a coal mine or try indoor skiing.

Wakefield is a cathedral city in West Yorkshire, within easy reach of most places by road or rail. The city centre is less than 5 miles from both the M1 and M62 motorways and regular train services link Wakefield Westgate with Leeds, York, London, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

There is an extremely varied choice of things to do in Wakefield and the surrounding area. Here are just a few ideas:

Fairburn Ings

RSPB Fairburn Ings is a nature reserve with three trails through a variety of habitats. See birds such as willow tits and tree sparrows in the woodland, and lapwings, snipe and redshanks in the wet grassland. In winter there is an array of swans, ducks and geese on the main lake, so there is something to see whatever the season.

The visitor centre and two of the trails are accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs

Junction 32 Outlet

Junction 32 Outlet Mall has over 90 high street name stores selling heavily discounted goods at up to 60% off high street prices. The stores include Gap,Monsoon,Marks & Spencer,Nike,Mango,Next,Clarks and Denby. The mall is next to the Xscape Leisure Centre at Castleford and only a couple of minutes’ drive from the M62, junction 32.

National Coal Mining Museum

The National Coal Mining Museum offers an underground tour of one of Britain’s oldest working mines , be fully fitted out with hat, belt and battery and experience the working life of a miner, 450ft below ground. Back on the surface take a trip to the shop and cafe, make friends with the pit ponies or wander round the exhibitions of mining history. The museum is 5 miles out of Wakefield on the main A642 Huddersfield Road and admission is free. Children uner 5 are not allowed underground and children under 14 must be accompanied.

Newmillerdam Country Park

Newmillerdam Country Park, on the A 61 just South of Wakefield, is an ideal venue for a family day out. Take a two mile stroll around the tree lined lake and see grey squirrels, rabbits and foxe in their natural surroundings or buy a licence to fish on the lake. Away from the lake, explore the wooded glades planted with trees, including oak and beech and home to a wide variety of plants.

Nostell Priory

Nostell Priory stands in 300 acres of grounds and was built in 1733. The house is open to the public and includes displays of Chippendale furniure designed for the priory and an 18th century dolls’ house. Out in the grounds there are lakeside walks, an orchard and a children’s playground.

Pontefract Castle

Pontefract Castle was once the major Royal Castle in the north of England. It was built in the 12th century and was used until it was destroyed by the Roundheads in the English Civil War. In school holidays and summer weekend tour the cellars of the great hall which was used as a store for arms and see the underground cells where prisoners were held in the Civil War. The castle is open daily, admission to the grounds is free, but there is a small charge for the underground tour.

Pugney Country Park

Pugneys Country Park stands in 250 acres of reclaimeed mining land about 2 miles west of Wakefield. There are two lakes, the larger one covers 100 acres and caters for water sports enthusiasts including canoeing, sailing and windsurfing. The smaller, 24 acre lake is a nature reserve with hides to enable visitors to view wildlife in their natural surroundings. A path of about 1.6 miles surronds the large lake and is popular with joggers and walkers. Pugney Country Park is just a short walk from Sandal Castle.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Yorkshire Sculpture Park Photo Nigel Theasby under a Creative Commons License

Sandal Castle

Sandal Castle Photo Abcdef123456 under a Creative Commons License

Sandal Castle

Sandal Castle is the site of the Battle of Wakefield in 1460 and was a Royalist stronghold in the English Civil War. The castle was unused and neglected for over 300 years, but now visitors can explore the remains of the castle and enjoy the views of Pugney Country Park and the Calder Valley.

The Hepworth

Part of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle,  The Hepwotth is an award winning museum devoted to the works of contemporary  artists. Named after Wakefield born sculptor Barbara Hepworth the museum is about a mile from Wakefield City Centre.

Xscape

Xscape offers plenty of opportunities for the adventurous and daring. There are a wide range of extreme sports and leisure activities uner one roof. Ski down the UK’s largest real indoor snow slope, clamber up two rock climbing walls or battle an aerial assault course. If this is not enough,try Lazerzone and bowling or wathch a film at the multi screen cinema. There are 17 bars and restaurants and 10 retail outlets. Xscape is just off the M62 , junction 32.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton, 6 miles west of Wakefield, has four indoor galleries and is set in 500 acres of 18th century parkland with various sculptures on open air display. The emphasis is on modern, contemporary sculpture.

For more ideas Experience Wakefield or 100 Days Out in Yorkshire

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Family Days Out in Matlock and the Derbyshire Peak District

Matlock has attractions for all ages. Gulliver’s Kingdom theme park is ideal for young children. There are also steam train, tram and cable car rides.

The Derbyshire Peak District is just a short drive from Sheffield, Manchester and Derby. The area is famous for outdoor activities, spa town, stately homes and stunning scenery. Matlock is an ideal starting point for exploring the area. The industrial heritage of the area has been granted World Heritage status, with the Derwent Valley Mills stretching for 15 miles along the banks of the River Derwent from Matlock Bath to Derby. There is also a wide selection of attractions for families with children.

The National Tramway Museum at Crich

Crich Tramway Museum

Crich Tramway Museum Photo Peter Tarleton under a Creative Commons License

Crich, about six miles south of Matlock, is home to the National Tramway Museum. A selection of restored trams, from across the country, run regularly along the period street. Special theme weekends include a 1940’s weekend, a 1950’s weekend and a Blackpool Tram weekend. Admission includes unlimited tram rides and the ticket can be used for repeat visits for twelve months from the date of issue. Tickets currently cost £14.

Gulliver’s is an All Weather Family Day Out

Gulliver’s at Matlock Bath is a theme park designed for children between the age of two and thirteen. Children will love the themed areas with rides, attractions, shows, restaurants and shops.

Gully & Gilly Mouse and friends wander round the park greeting visitors as they go. The admission charge, currently £15, covers all attractions (except a few coin operated rides) and there are plenty of things to do indoors if the weather is bad.

Take a Cable Car Ride to the Heights of Abraham

The Heights of Abraham tower high above Matlock Bath. There is a cable car station, a short walk from Matlock Bath railway station, taking visitors to the summit, over 1000 feet above sea level.

At the summit, visitors can explore 60 acres of hillside woodland and watch the wildlife or admire the views of Matlock and the Derwent Valley. The area has a history of mineral mining and there is a network of underground caverns starting at the summit. Two caverns, The Rutland Cavern and the Masson Cavern are open to the public and an all inclusive ticket , currently £14.50, includes the cable car and admission to both caverns.

Refreshments are served at the tea room and there is a children’s play area. The uneven terrain makes life difficult for anyone with mobility difficulties; especially in the caverns.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House Photo Ian Parkes under a Creative Commons License

Chatsworth House is one of the English family seats of the Duke of Devonshire; the other is Bolton Abbey, in Yorkshire. Visitors can explore over 30 rooms in the house, the fountains and gardens, a cascade and maze and a farmyard with adventure playground.

Chatsworth House is 5 miles east of Bakewell and 16 miles west of the M1 ( junction 29 ) at Chesterfield. Ticket prices vary according to the facilities visited. Currently, a Complete Ticket giving admission to all attractions costs £22.

Peak Rail Runs Steam and Diesel Services

Peak Rail is a heritage railway running steam and heritage diesel services over a 4 mile stretch of line between Rowsley South and Matlock Riverside. The line is part of the old Manchester Central to London St Pancras main line. Trains run most weekends throughout the year with a limited weekday service in the summer months. There are regular special events, including a 1940s weekend in August and children up to 15 years can travel free with a paying adult on selected dates throughout the summer..

For more ideas Matlock.org.uk or 100 Days Out in East Midlands

All prices quoted were correct at 18 July 2015

Family Days Out on Anglesey

The island of Anglesey stands just off the North Wales Coast. Attractions include castles, beaches and the village with the world’s longest place name.
The Island of Anglesey is easily reached by road. The A55, North Wales Coast Road, links the island with the motorway network near Chester in about 1 hour 30 minutes. Access to the island is by the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Straits taking visitors to Beaumaris Castle and the beaches at Trearddur Bay and Red Wharf Bay.

There is also a wide range of other attractions on the island including:

Anglesey Model Village and Gardens
Newborough, Isle of Anglesey LL61 6RS Phone: 01248 440477

Anglesey Model Village and Gardens is set in an acre gardens, the model village faithfully recreates many Anglesey landmarks at a scale of 1:12. A model railway runs round the village stopping at the station with the world’s longest name plate. The tearooms offer wonderful views of the mountains of Snowdonia, across the Menai Straits.

Anglesey Sea Zoo
Brynsiencyn, Anglesey LL61 6TQ Phone: 01248 430411

Anglesey Sea Zoo is the largest aquarium in Waleswith over 150 species of marine life including Octopuses, Seahorses, and Sharks. Visitors can explore a shipwreck packed with conger eels or watch sea bass and sharks swimming around a kelp forest. In the grounds of the zoo, family attractions include an outdoor adventure play area, free bouncy castle and crazy golf.

Pili Palas
Menai Bridge, Anglesey, LL59 5RP Phone: 01248 712474

Pili Palas

Pili Palas Photo Richard Hoare under a Creative Commons License

Discover creatures from the jungle at Pili Palas. Exotic butterflies, tropical birds and reptiles, including lizards and snakes, can be seen. In the farmyard more familiar creatures include rabbits, goats, pot bellied pigs, guinea pigs and peacocks.

Foel Farm Park
Foel Farm Park, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey, LL61 6TQ. Phone: 01248 430646

Foel Farm Park is a real working farm where visitors are encouraged to meet, touch and feed the animals. After bottle feeding a lamb or cuddling a bunny take the tractor and trailer tour of the farm or a mini trailer ride on quad bikes; all rides are included in the admission price. Other facilities include an indoor picnic area, tea room, gift shop and chocolate shop where luxury chocolates are hand –made on the premises.

Plas Newydd

Llanfairpwll….., Anglesey LL61 6DQ Phone: 01248 714795

Plas Newydd

Plas Newydd Photo Gwynfryn under a Creative Commons License

Plas Newydd was built in the 18th century by James Wyatt and is the family home of the Marquess of Anglesey. Exhibits on display include items brought back from the Battle of Waterloo by the 1st Marquess of Anglesey and paintings by the 20th century English artist Rex Whistler. Other facilities include a coffee shop, second-hand bookshop, gift shop; licensed tea room and adventure play area.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

The Station, Llanfairpwll….., Isle of Anglesey, LL61 5UJ

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the first place on Anglesey, after crossing the Menai Straits. The village claims to have the longest place name in the world, but this was contrived in the mid 19th century as a publicity stunt to promote the local station on the newly built London to Holyhead railway. Over a century later the restored Victorian station still attracts tourists wanting to be photographed next to the world’s longest station sign. Across the station car park, James Pringle Weavers offers a wide range of gifts from traditional Welsh souvenirs to high street fashions and homeware. A tax free shopping service is available to overseas visitors

For more ideas Discover Anglesey or 100 Days Out in Wales

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Getting to Northern Ireland by Air, Sea, Road and Rail

Northern Ireland is a small, often forgotten, corner of the United Kingdom. Visitors soon discover an area with a unique blend of history and beauty, packed with places of interest and stunning scenery.

Pili Palas

Mourne Mountains Photo Geoff Flannagan under a Creative Commons License

From the vibrant cities of Belfast and (London)derry you can explore the North Antrim Coast or the beautiful Mountains of Mourne. The Titanic Belfast, Derry City Walls, The Giant’s Causeway, Strangford Lough and The Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh are just a few of the area’s many attractions.

Travelling to Northern Ireland isn’t difficult, with excellent air and sea crossings from the British mainland and links to the Irish Republic by road or rail. There are also direct flights to Belfast from over twenty European cities and a number of North American locations.

By Air

George Best Belfast City Airport

George Best Airport is just three miles from Belfast City Centre.

The main airlines serving George Best Airport are Aer Lingus and FlyBE with direct flights to London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and a host of other British and European destinations.

The Airport Express 600 bus service runs from the airport terminal to the city centre every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday and less regularly on Sundays. The journey takes about 15 minutes and single fares are £2.50 adults and £1.25 children.

Belfast International Airport

Belfast International Airport is a 20 mile (30 minutes) drive from Belfast City Centre, via the M2 Motorway.

Low cost carriers, like Easy Jet and Ryanair, fly to a wide selection of destinations across the UK and Europe; while Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines fly Trans Atlantic flights to New York (Newark), Las Vegas and Orlando.

The Airport Express 300 service operates a 24 hour service between the airport and Belfast City Centre. Buses run during the day every 15 minutes Monday to Friday, every 20 minutes on Saturday and every 30 minutes on Sunday, and less frequently in evenings and overnight.

City of Derry Airport

Ryanair have 5 routes from The City of Derry Airport (Londonderry) serving Glasgow,Liverpool, London (Stansted), Alacante and Faro.

The airport is 7 miles north east of the city centre and is ideally placed for visiting both (London)Derry and the Antrim Coast.

Regular Ulsterbus services between (London)Derry and Limvardy pass the airport, the journey takes about 40 minutes.

By Sea

Stena Line

Stena Line Ferry Photo Desmond 302 under a Creative Commons License

Belfast is easily reached by sea with crossings from Cairnryan (Stranraer) and Liverpool. Stena Line and P&O Irish Sea have state of the art superfast ferries with journey times between Cairnryan and Larne from just 2 hours 15 minutes. The Stena Line route from Liverpool to Belfast takes 8 hours.

Anyone travelling by car from Wales, or the South of England, might prefer to drive to Holyhead and take the ferry to Dublin – then follow the directions below from the Irish Republic.

Getting to Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic

By Road

Traffic can move freely across the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

There are many crossing points but the most popular route is between Belfast and Dublin. The route via the M1 and A1 is about 100 miles and takes under 2 hours.

By Rail

Northern Ireland Railways run 8 trains a day, in each direction, (5 on Sundays) between Belfast and Dublin Connolly. The journey time is approximately 2 hours.

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall Photo Chris Downer under a Creative Commons License

Murlough Bay

Murlough Beach on the Antrim Coast Image © Northern Ireland Tourist Board

All timetable, route and fare information is correct at July 2015

For more ideas Discover Northern Ireland or 100 Days Out in Northern Ireland

Days Out from Nottingham by train

Day trips from Nottingham by train include shopping in Oxford Street or Meadowhall, a day on the beach at Skegness and Gulliver’s family theme park.
Nottingham’s central location gives the city excellent transport connections. Regular train services link Nottingham with places ideal for a family outing. Here are just a few ideas for a day out without a car:

Go Shopping in Sheffield City Centre or Meadowhall

Meadowhall

Meadowhall Shopping Centre Photo Paul Harrop under a Creative Commons License

Sheffield city centre has the usual array of high street names, mingled with smaller independent traders. Fargate, Orchard Square and the Devonshire Quarter host a wide selection of small shops, eateries and good pubs. There are also excellent sporting facilities, theatres and museums.

Stay on the train an extra stop to Meadowhall with 270 stores and an 11 screen cinema, is one of the UK’s largest and most successful shopping malls.

Getting There

Trains run every 30 minutes to Sheffield, with a trough service to Meadowhall every hour, from Nottingham. The journey takes between 50 minutes and 1 hour to Sheffield and 1 hour 10 minutes to Meadowhall.

Take a Steam Train or Cable Car Ride at Matlock

Matlock ‘s industrial heritage has been granted World Heritage status, with the Derwent Valley Mills stretching for 15 miles along the banks of the River Derwent from Matlock Bath to Derby. There is also a wide selection of attractions for families with children. Gulliver’s Kingdom at Matlock Bath is a theme park designed for children; take a cable car ride to the Heights of Abraham or take a steam train ride on Peak Rail.

Getting There

Trains to Matlock every hour from Nottingham; the journey takes 1 hour 6 minutes. When visiting Gulliver’s Kingdom of The Heights of Abraham get off the train at Matlock Bath, one stop before Matlock.

Spend a Day on the Beach at Skegness

Skegness is the easiest seaside resort to get to from Nottingham. Stroll along the promenade or spend the day on the beach. There is also a seal sanctuary and animal centre, museums, kids’ adventure centres, crazy golf, ten-pin bowling, laser quest, fun fairs, and shopping.

Getting There

Trains to Skegness run every hour from Nottingham; the journey takes about 2 hours.

Visit Lincoln’s Castle and Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral Photo Thorpe under a Creative Commons License

Lincoln’s history dates back to Roman times. Visit Lincoln Cathedral and Castle or wander up (or down) the aptly named 14th century Steep Hill that links the castle, the cathedral and the medieval Bailgate with the modern shopping centre. The station is in the modern part of the city, near the river and the Brayford Waterfront packed with retail outlet and eating places to suit all tastes and budgets

Getting There

Trains to Lincoln leave every hour from Nottingham  . The journey time is 52 minutes.

Go Shopping on Oxford Street or have a Flight on the London Eye

London is easily reached from Nottingham. See the sights like Buckingham Palace or Trafalgar Square, go shopping down Oxford Street, have a free day out at The British Museum, Tate Modern and the Imperial War Museum or get a bird’s eye view of London from the London Eye.

Getting There

Trains run every 30 minutes from Nottingham to London St Pancras. The journey takes between 1 hour 45 minutes and 2 hours.

Other Ideas for a Day Out from Nottingham
There are plenty more attractions in easy reach of Nottingham by train including:

  • Visit the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham
  • Take the Great Central Steam Train from Loughborough
  • Spend the day at the National Space Centre in Leicester
  • Enjoy a picnic at Attenborough Nature Reserve

National Rail provides up to date details of train times and fares.

For more ideas Experience Nottinghamshire or 100 Days Out in East Midlands

National Trust Days Out in West Wales

The Pembrokeshire National Park and Carmarthenshire offer stunning scenery and interesting places to visit. Including these that are owned by the National Trust.
The National Trust are guardians of much of Britain’s heritage, owning and maintaining a diverse selection of important sites including castles, stately homes, gardens, gold mines lighthouses and heritage coastlines.

Days out in West Wales with The National Trust include:

Llanerchaeron Estate

Llanerchaeron Estate

Llanerchaeron Estate Photo John Nash under a Creative Commons License

Llanerchaeron Estate is a  18th-century Welsh gentry estate, in the Aeron Valley, with many period features. Go back in time and visit the dairy, laundry, brewery and salting house in the service courtyard, and the stables and the threshing barns. Today, the site is a working organic farm with two restored walled gardens producing homegrown fruit and herbs.

Admission
Admission costs £7.60 (£3.80 for children), the house is open from April to October 11.30 to 4 . The farm, garden and shop open from 10.30 to 5 and can be visited all year.

Getting There
The property is 2½ml E of Aberaeron just off the A482, the First Cymru service T1 runs hourly from Lampeter to Aberystwyth, get off at New Inn Forge, about ½ mile away.

Dolaucothi Gold Mine

Take a guided underground tour of Dolaucothi Gold Mine, set in wooded hillsides, mined by the Romans. Pan for gold and visit the exhibitions on the history of gold mining. From the mine there are three marked walks through the remote Cothi Valley. Please note that the tours are fairly strenuous, with about 75 steps, and children under five years old are not allowed underground.

Admission
Admission costs £8 adults and £4 children. The mines are open daily 11am to 5pm between mid March and late October (10am to 6pm in July and August).

Getting There
The mines are on the A482, between Lampeter and Llanwrda.

Dinefwr Park and Castle

Dinefwr Park and Castle

Dinefwr Park and Castle Photo G Williams under a Creative Commons License

Dinefwr Park is a 18th-century landscape park, with a deer park that is home to 100 fallow deer, is thought to have inspired the gardener Capability Brown. The park is home to a herd of 100 fallow deer and a small herd of White Park Cattle and there are a selection of scenic walks with views of the Towy Valley. The centrepiece of the estate is the 17th century Newton House, with showrooms and exhibition rooms open to the public

Admission
Admission costs £6.50 adults and £3.25 children opening hours are 10 to 4 all year to late October.

Getting There
On western outskirts of Llandeilo take M4 to the end of the motorwaythen A48(T) to Cross Hands and A476 to Llandeilo. The entrance is by the police station, a selection of buses run to Llandeilo and Llandeilo railway station is ½ mile away.

Colby Woodland Garden
Colby Woodland Garden is set in a quiet peaceful valley, boasting one of the finest displays of rhododendrons and azaleas in Wales. Enjoy the gardens wooded pathways, where every season has its own unique attraction with spring colours, summer hydrangeas and autumn foliage.

Admission
Admission is £6 adults and £3 children, the gardens are open every day from March to early November between 10am and 5pm and from 10 am to 3pm for the rest of the year.

Getting There
The gardens are 1½ miles from Amroth and there are brown signs from the A477 Tenby to Carmarthen road and the coast road at Amroth Castle.

Tudor Merchant’s House
The Tudor Merchant’s House is a late 15th century town house, found near Tenby Harbour, is furnished to display family life in Tudor times. In those days, Tenby was a busy commercial seaport and some of the original features in the merchant’s house remain. The ground floor has a ‘Flemish’ round chimney, and scarfed roof-trusses. Outside, there is a small herb garden.

Admission
Admission is £4 adults and £2 children, the house is open between 11am and 5pm, days of opening vary by season check website for current details.

Getting There
The house is on Tudor Square in Tenby town centre and is a 10 minute walk from the railway station.

St David’s Visitor Centre
The City of St Davids is smaller than many villages, but the site of Wales’s patron saint’s 6th century monastery is an intriguing mix of history and natural beauty. Visit the 12th century cathedral or explore Britain’s only coastal National Park. The Visitor Centre is found at Captain’s House on St David’s High Street and provides details of St David’s Head and local coastline, much of which is owned and maintained by the National Trust. Interactive technology gives information on National Trust walks and beaches throughout Pembrokeshire.

Admission
Opening days and hours vary according to season, please phone 01437 720385 for information.

Getting There
The Visitor Centre is on the High Street in the centre of St Davids

Annual Membership
Annual membership costs £60 for adults, £99 for couples and £104 for families (2 adults and 2 children over 5 years). Members are admitted free to over 300 National Trust Properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reciprocal arrangements allow free membership to similar organisations in 13 other countries including Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Members joining at one of the properties will have their admission for that day refunded.

Admission prices and opening times have been confirmed with the National Trust and are correct at 10 July 2015.

For more National Trust Wales or 100 Days Out in Wales

National Trust Days Out in South Wales

Enjoy Welsh heritage, visit well maintained homes and gardens or explore the stunning coastline of South Wales. The National Trust offers all this and more……

The National Trust are guardians of much of Britain’s heritage, owning and maintaining a diverse selection of important sites including castles, stately homes, gardens, gold mines lighthouses and heritage coastlines.

Days out in South Wales with The National Trust include:

Kymin

Kymin

Kymin Photo Ruth Sharville under a Creative Commons License

Explore Kymin’s grounds, on the Offa’s Dyke path, at the top of a hill with views of Monmouth, The Wye Valley, Sugar Loaf and The Black Mountains. Visit the Naval Temple, built by the people of Monmouth to commemorate Nelson’s victory on the Battle of the Nile, or the Kymin Tower a circular Georgian banqueting house

Admission
Grounds and Naval Temple (Open all year) Free

Kymin Tower (Open Saturday, Sunday and Monday 28 March – 26 October) £3 adults £1.50 children

Getting there
By road – The property is 1.5 miles from Monmouth and is well signed from the A4136

By Bus – Take the bus to Monmouth and then it is a 1.5 mile walk up a steep hill.

Powis Castle and Garden

Powis Castle is home to one of Wales’s best collections of furniture and paintings together with treasures from India, in the Clive Museum. The ancestral seat of the Earl of Powys dominates the skyline and towers over the world famous gardens with Italianate terraces, and step free access, which form part of the estate.

AdmissionOpening times
Admission is £13.40 adults or £.6.70 children. This gives admission to the castle and gardens, cheaper options are available to visit just the castle or gardens. Opening hours and days vary by season please phone 01938 551929 for up to date information.

Getting There
The castle is 1mile south of Welshpool and is signed from the main road to Newtown A483. Welshpool has good bus and rail links and pedestrian access is available from the High Street.

Aberdulais Falls

Aberdulais Falls

Aberdulais Falls Photo Nigel Davis under a Creative Commons License

See how a natural waterfall was used to help develop the industrial base of South Wales. The history of Aberdulais Falls  dates back to 16th century copper smelting and visitors can see the largest waterwheel in Europe generating electricity, a turbine house with an interactive display and an exhibition on the history of tin.

A fish pass allows salmon from as far away as Greenland to swim in the upper reaches of the river. The system, based on the same principles as canal locks, cleverly by passes the falls. Lifts are available making the site fully accessible to disabled visitors.

Admission
Admission is £5 adults and £2.50 children. Opening days and hours vary according to season, please phone 01639 636674 for information.

Getting There
The falls are 2 miles west of Neath, just off the A465 Heads of the Valley road to Merthyr.. First Cymru buses 158, 161 and X75 pass the falls and run near to Neath railway station.

Rhossili Visitor Centre
Come and see why Rhossili, at the tip of the Gower Peninsula, was voted one of the Worlds Top 25 Beaches by the Times newspaper. Walk along miles of quiet sandy beaches that stretch from Rhossili village to Llangennith, or admire the view from the cliff tops leading to Worms Head. Worms Head is two rocky islets reached from Rhossili , on foot, by a natural causeway. Access is restricted by the tide and crossing is not allowed 2.5 hours either side of high tide. Please check tide times before setting off.

Admission
Opening days and hours vary according to season, please phone 01792 390707 for information.

Getting There
Rhossili is at the tip of the Gower Peninsula, take the A 4118 from Swansea then the B 4247 to Rhossili. Pullman Buses run services from Swansea to Rhossili for details phone 01792 851569 .

Annual Membership
Annual membership costs £60 for adults, £99 for couples and £104 for families (2 adults and 2 children over 5 years). Members are admitted free to over 300 National Trust Properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reciprocal arrangements allow free membership to similar organisations in 13 other countries including Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Members joining at one of the properties will have their admission for that day refunded.

Admission prices and opening times have been confirmed with the National Trust’s website and are correct at 10 July 2015.

For more National Trust Wales or 100 Days Out in Wales

Take a Steam Train Ride in Wales

For me, no trip to Wales is complete without a ride on a steam train.

From Llangollen in the north to Carmarthen in the south, a steam train ride is never far away. Take a ride on the famous Great Little Trains of Wales , 10 narrow gauge railways that played a vital role in the country’s industrial past – especially slate mining in Snowdonia.

Take a standard gauge ride on lines closed in the 1960s, like the Llangollen Railway or jump on the train to the top of Snowdon, the highest point in England or Wales.

Whatever you choose make sure to take a camera to capture shots of the beautiful Wales countryside.

For more ideas like our Facebook page 100 Days Out in Wales

395909_Teifi Chris Daniels

Snowdon Mountain Railway Photo Porius1 under a Creative Commons License

1008699_Llangollen Tim Marshall

Llangollen Railway Photo Tim Marshall under a Creative Commons License

FairborneRailway12 Dorothea Witter-Rieder wp

Fairbourne Railway Photo Dorothea Witter-Rieder under a Creative Commons License

Welshpool and Llanfair Railway Photo John Oyston

Welshpool and Llanfair Railway Photo John Oyston

Ffestiniog Railway - 13

Ffestiniog Railway Photo James Martin l under a Creative Commons License

Llanberis Lake Railway John Firth 774662

Llanberis Lake Railway Photo John Firthunder a Creative Commons License

Getting to and from London’s Airports

Six airports serve London – Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted ,London City, Luton and Southend. Heathrow is the largest with all major airlines flying to worldwide destinations including New York, Johannesburg, Singapore and Sydney.

Gatwick is slightly smaller but still offers a wide choice of airlines and long haul destinations.

Stansted, Luton and Southend are mainly used by budget airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair to domestic and European destinations including Dublin, Paris, Prague and Spain.

London City airport, is the closest to Central London offers short haul flights to destinations such as Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Manchester, Milan and Munich. These are marketed for business travellers from the nearby City of London and Canary Wharf and very few budget fares are available.

Getting to the Airports

London Heathrow

By Train

The Heathrow Express provides a fast and direct Link between London Paddington and Heathrow. Trains depart every 15 minutes between 5:10 and 23:25 with average journey times of 15 minutes to Terminals 1,2 and 3 and 23 minutes to Terminal 4. Tickets are cheaper if bought online, in advance, with one way fares starting at £21.50

Rochester Cathedral gh Dave Benyon.

Heathrow Express at Terminal 5 Photo Adambro under a Creative Commons License

By Underground

The Piccadilly line provides a direct link to Central London, with an average journey time of 55 minutes, a one way ticket costs £5.70

By Road

The airport is near the junction of the M4 and M25 (London Orbital) motorways, with excellent connections to the rest of the motorway network. Terminals 1,2 and 3 are reached via M4 Junction 4 or M25 Junction 15 and Terminal 4 via M4 Junction 3 or M25 Junction 14. If travelling from Birmingham or the North of England the M40 could be a preferable route to the M1 as it cuts out much of the notoriously busy M25.

London Gatwick

By Train

The Gatwick Express provides a fast and direct Link between London Victoria and Gatwick. Trains depart every 15 minutes between 5:00 and 23:45 with average journey times of 30 minutes , 35 minutes on Sundays. A one way ticket costs £19.90.

South Terminal Gatwick Airport Photo Mormegil under a Creative Commons License

By Road

Gatwick Airport, 28 miles south of London, is easily reached from junction 9 of the M23 or the A23 London – Brighton Road.

London Stansted

By Train

The Stansted Express provides a fast and direct Link between London Liverpool Street and Stansted. Trains depart every 15 minutes between 4:55 and 22:55 with average journey times of 46 minutes. A one way ticket costs £19.00. A slower, but cheaper stopping service, also links the airport with Liverpool Street and there is a regular direct service to Cambridge, Peterborough, Leicester and Birmingham, providing connections to the North of England.

By Road

The airport is within easy reach of Junction 8 on the M11, midway between London and Cambridge.

London City

By Underground

The Docklands Light Railway has a station 50 yards from the Airport Terminal , underground connections can be made at Bank (Central Line, Northern Line or Waterloo and City Line) and Canning Town (Jubilee Line). Journey times to the Airport are 22 minutes from Bank and 8 minutes from Canning Town.

By Road

Being nearer to Central London, road access is not easy. The airport is signed from the A13 and the easiest approach routes are the M11 from the north and the Blackwall Tunnel A102(M) from the south.

London Luton

By Train

Thameslink and East Midlands Trains run regular services between Luton Airport Parkway and central London with the fastest journey time of 21 minutes. The single fare is £9.90

By Road

The airport is within easy reach of Junction 10 on the M1, and a short drive from the M25

London Southend

By Train

Up to 8 trains an hour run between London Liverpool Street and Southend Airport, with connections to the Underground at Stratford. The average journey time is 53 minutes and an off peak single ticket costs £14.90.

By Road

London Southend Airport is 41 miles (61km) east of Central of London,and has good connctions tothe motorway network being a 20 minute drive fromJunction 29 on the M25 London Orbital .

All information regarding timetables and fares is subject to change and was correct on 4 July 2015.

Picture Profile : The Firth of Clyde

The Firth of Clyde, where the River Clyde flows into the North Sea, has some spectacular views.

The river flows between the Renfrewshire mainland and the Argyll peninsula and regular ferries take 20 minutes to cross between Gourock and Dunoon; saving a 55 mile (3 hour) trip by road.

The beauty of the area is added to by three islands, Arran, Bute and Cumbrae. These can be reached from the mainland by ferry srervices from Ardrossan, Wemyss Bay and Largs.

The Firth of Clyde is about 30 miles west of Glasgow and all ferries offer combined train and ferry tickets.

Ascog Hall gh Barbara Carr

Ascog Hall Bute Photo Barbara Carr under a Creative Commons License

Dunoon DF Shaw Fr

Dunoon Photo DF Shaw under a Creative Commons License

Goat Fell gh Bob Jones

Goat Fell Arran Photo Bob Jones under a Creative Commons License

Millport Bay gh Chris Downer

Millport Bay Photo Chris Downer under a Creative Commons License

Rothesay Castle gh Anne Burgess

Rothesay Castle Photo Anne Burgess under a Creative Commons License

Waverley Brodick Bill Boyd fr

Waverley Paddle Steamer near Brodick Photo Bill Boyd under a Creative Commons License

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