Lakes, mountains, castles, trains and ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream! Here are five suggested itineraries for days out, all within half an hours' drive of The Forge.
Itinerary one: Lakes and Mountains
If you have come to North Wales to get away from it all then you are in the right place! Just 20 minutes from The Forge we have the beautiful Llyn Brenig and Alwen Reservoir and the drive to get there offers you the most spectacular views of the Snowdonia range. From the visitor centre you can hire bikes, rent a fishing boat, learn how to sail or just enjoy the fantastic adventure playground. The café overlooks the llyn and has a great range of local produce on offer – people come from far and wide for their amazing full breakfasts. And if all that activity has worked up an appetite, you can stop off at the Country Cooks café on the way back for pancakes and ice-cream.
Itinerary two: History and Craft
Ruthin is a great town to visit if you fancy discovering more about the past. The Old Gaol is an interactive and atmospheric place to visit with the kids and Nantclwyd Y Dre is the oldest timbered town house in Wales dating back to 1435. There are lots of pubs and restaurants situated around the picturesque square, offering everything from a quick bite to the more upmarket On The Hill (book in advance, this place is always full!). After lunch take a wander around the Ruthin Craft Centre for a glimpse into the work of local artists. They often have activities for kids too…
Itinerary three: Trains and Castles
Board the steam train at Corwen or Carrog and ride the through the Dee Valley in all the splendour of the past to Lllangollen. From here you can walk up to the top of Dinas Bran, a ruined castle built in the 12th century and razed the ground by the Welsh before the English could take it over. It offers the most amazing views as well as the perfect place to play hide and seek! Back in town, you can take the horse drawn canal boat up to the Horseshoe Falls, the perfect place for a paddle and an ice cream from the Chain Bridge Hotel. Before hopping back on the train and home again.
Itinerary four: Seaside and Slides
About 45 minutes’ drive north of The Forge you have the gorgeous sandy beaches at Rhyl and Kinmel Bay. Take your bucket and spade for a good old-fashioned day out at the seaside. And if the weather is looking a bit dodgy there is always the brand new SC2, a huge indoor and outdoor waterpark opening this spring which offers an impressive array of slides, pools and play areas for all ages.
Itinerary five: Foodie Heaven
Stop off at the Rhug Estate for a cheeky breakfast roll and a coffee from their takeaway or Drive Thru (yes, Corwen is home to the first farm shop drive through!) and maybe pick up a few goodies from their well-stocked organic shop. Continue down the A494 to Bala, where you will find a fantastic array of independent shops, such as Cocoa Bala and Aran Ice Cream. Another favourite is Stori which stocks an impressive range of locally produced craft ales and artisan gins – perfect for bringing back to enjoy around the campfire. And if you need somewhere for the kids to blow off some steam so you can enjoy said drinks while they are fast asleep later on (!), we can highly recommend Gorwelion for it’s large gardens and soft play barn, or Caerau Gardens in Sarnau has a great adventure playground with trampolines and zip wires (and of course more ice cream...). Job done!
These are just a few ideas to get you started and we’d be more than happy to tailor specific itineraries for you – just let us know what you are after. We’d also love to get your suggestions on things you’ve enjoyed doing in the area - please feel free to share the love!
One word "Wow"! After staying here, we'd never want to stay in a stuffy hotel room ever again! Everything was just perfect. You had everything you could possibly need and Sheena and Jamie were so welcoming, nothing was too much trouble. The set up was perfect and felt like luxury even though we were 'glamping', it had all been so thought through to the minutest detail. We loved it, our dog loved and and we can't wait to come back and share the experience with our children too. Thank you!