Monthly Archives: September 2014

What to Do Around Margam Country Park near Swansea


A Day Out In And Around Margam Country Park – For Families

For a truly memorable family day out, a trip to Go Ape takes some beating (and not just your chest). Take to the trees in the beautiful Welsh scenery and you will be swinging your way across rope crossings and whizzing down the zip wire before you know it. With a full safety briefing before you start, Margam Coutnry Park is a truly stunning location both from the ground and in the treetops. To make sure that you and your tribe have an action-packed day, here are some ideas of places to go before and after your aerial adventure.

Where to go?

Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall

Youngsters and adults alike can marvel at the immense power of water and how it has made such an impact on industry at Aberdulais Tinworks and Waterfall. The giant steel wheel weighs in at around 16 tonnes and measures more than eight meters in diameter. It is Europe’s largest electricity-generating water wheel and will generate all the energy needed to power the on-site tea room, cinema, visitor centre and education hub. The spectacular waterfall is not to be missed either.

What to do?

Enjoy Margam Country Park

Why not stay and enjoy the stunning surroundings at Margam Country Park? Steeped in history, wildlife and natural beauty, there’s something for everyone.

The incredible Margam Castle, Orangery with ornamental gardens and Deer Park, are all set within 1000 acres of breathtaking countryside. Great for exploring for the afternoon.

Hit the beach

Regardless of whether the sun is shining, this part of Wales boasts some of the best beaches Britain has to offer. Rhossili Bay has been awarded numerous awards and accolades and has been described as the ‘supermodel of British beaches’. With three miles of golden sand, it is perfect for surfers, dog walkers and sandcastle builders alike. You might even be lucky enough to spot seals or dolphins playing in the surf too. Just up the coast you will find Bluepool Corner Bay in Llangennith. The main attraction here is the impressive rock pool which is one of the best plunge pools in Britain. Great to jump into.

Where to eat?

Pub on the Pond, Swansea

This is a pub that is perfectly geared up for children. With a menu that has been created by children, it is full of all your tiny Tarzans’ favourite meals. They can choose from fish and chips, burgers or pasta, as well as crunchy vegetable dippers to start and profiteroles and ice cream for pud. The main menu is full of typical pub grub fare. Not only is the Pub on the Pond just 150 yards from the beach at Swansea Bay, it is also next to a park, boating lake, bouncy castle and children’s play area. Suffice to say, you won’t be at a loss for something to do before or after you eat. Sit inside or on the patio, depending on the weather.

And something for a rainy day?

National Waterfront Museum, Swansea

Telling the story of industry and innovation in Wales, the National Waterfront Museum combines traditional displays with a real hands-on experience. The exhibitions give you an overview of the past using modern-day technology. Even the building combines the old with the new – half listed warehouse, half ultra-modern slate and glass building. The museum is great for families as it allows you to delve into the displays and exhibitions as much as you want.

Go Ape: Location Profile – Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire


A Day Out In And Around Forest Of Dean – For Over 50s

Planning a trip to Go Ape? Great choice. It’s the perfect way to get back to your primate roots and prove that age is nothing but a number. And if you’re looking for an adventure, why not make sure it is in the most beautiful surroundings? Your treetop exploration in the Forest of Dean will be set above Mallards Pike Lake, giving you the most stunning of views. And all of this at the same time as leaping off a Tarzan Swing, tackling high ropes and hurtling down the epic zip wire. Not bad for a morning’s work… Here are some ideas to extend the fun throughout the whole day.

Where to go?

Nature in Art, Twigworth

Housed in a grand Georgian mansion dating back to the mid-1700s, this is the world’s first museum and art gallery inspired by nature. Located just outside the city of Gloucester, it’s easy to swing by and check it out before or after you’ve Gone Ape. You can visit the artists’ studio and meet one of the artists-in-residence to find out more about what they do. You’ll have been close to nature in your treetop adventure, and here you can continue your journey through the natural world.

What to do?

Make a day of it

There’s plenty to keep you occupied for the whole day in the Forest of Dean. For anyone who enjoys walking, they’re spoilt for choice. If it’s an easy stroll you’re after then there are a number of circular walks (including the sculpture trail) that allow you to take in the surroundings, in your own time. There are more tricky walks too for the more intrepid amongst you, with stiles to leap over and hills to climb. There are also cycles, Segways and canoes available to hire if you want to get a different perspective on things.

Where to eat?

Wye Valley Picnics

Seeing as you’re making a day of it, why not treat yourself to something a little bit different for lunch? Wye Valley Picnics brings your picnic food to you in locations throughout the valley. There’s a choice of gourmet picnic hampers, and much of the food on offer is locally sourced and showcases the best of the region’s cuisine. Ever tried Welsh dragon cheese, Wye Valley smoked salmon or bara brith? Well it’s about time you did.

And something for a rainy day?

The Nelson Museum and Local History Centre, Monmouth

We know that a bit of rain won’t spoil the fun you have swinging high in the treetops, but you might want to dry off later in the day. This museum boasts one of the world’s best collection of memorabilia about Admiral Nelson. You can find out about the life, loves and death of the famous Admiral through images, weapons, models and letters. The history of the ancient Wye Valley market town is also on display, including memorabilia about Charles Stuart Rolls, co-founder of Rolls-Royce who lived nearby. Entry is free.

Simply Out Of This World!

space monkey

There were those who said it would never happen, that it was a hair-brained scheme and an act of complete lunacy …. but, in the truest sense of ‘Living Life Adventurously’, JAMIE PUT A BANANA & MONKEY INTO SPACE! Ok, not a real monkey, and not outer space, but surely an amazing feat of engineering and ape courage. This is how it happened……

Preparation started weeks before, designing a lightweight ring and casing for a couple of cameras and trackers to protect them from the cold and what would be a rough landing. Far from worrying about a deflating banana, this one was filled with polystyrene balls to prevent an epic fruity explosion. Less care was given to Monkey who was dispatched in only a tee shirt despite the minus 50 temperature. With payload and lift finely balanced the balloon was launched at 14.10 on 12th September 2014 to the cheers of the assembled spectators and Gorilla Astronaut Beth. Flying through the clouds and into space at 4m/s Monkey managed to keep a smile on his face throughout and, even when the weather balloon burst 32km up, he managed to wave at the cameras as he hurtled back to earth under a parachute. Thanks to some accurate flight path predictions (courtesy of Cambridge University) and the tracking devises the Banana & Monkey Recovery Team managed a speedy retrieval somewhere in a field in Lincolnshire. And the video footage? Extraordinary!



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