Five ways to make a weekend outdoorsy

5 ways to make a weekend outdoorsy

As a family that love to spend time in the outdoors we’re always looking for places, new and old, to visit and activities to do. So on a recent trip to North Wales we went in search of an fun-filled, action-packed weekend. Here are five ways we made it outdoorsy:

1. River / valley walk

There’s something magical about being near water and in Wales there’s plenty of chances to walk beside the sea, a lake or a river. The Welsh landscape has been sculptured by rivers cutting through rock to create valleys of lush vegetation.

We returned to the picturesque town of Beddgelert and walked south along the river Glaslyn from Gelert’s grave. The manicured, clearly defined track near the tourist town becomes a pebbly track that undulates alongside the changing river, offering beautiful views as you turn each corner and the chance to spot some wildlife too. Keep a lookout for an old mine entrance. It doesn’t venture far into the mountain side but is a fun detour.
Bedgellert river walk

2. Get Wet

canyoning in Wales

Rather than just walk beside the river, it’s fun to get wet and clamber over the rocks. There are various companies that offer gorge walking (also known as gyll scrambling or canyoning) in the area. Our chosen provider (and thoroughly recommended!) was Tom from Canyon Wales who was patient and understanding with those that struggled, knowledgeable of the area and certainly made it fun! 
Canyoning group photo

Gorge walking waterfall shower
We had a fun few hours dressed in wetsuits climbing over rocks, standing under waterfalls and squeezing through crevices. The water was cold and your feet do go numb but the excitement and adrenalin overcome it. It pushes you out of your comfort zone and, depending on who and where you go, can be a challenging as well as fun experience.

3. One pot with a view

Snowdonia

When the weather is dry and clear, hiking up a hillside or mountain can be a rewarding experience. Rather than take out a crumpled sandwich or bag of crisps, sit and enjoy the view with a cup of soup or one pot that you’ve rustled up in the outdoors.

We love to cook up a one-pot with a view and made the most of a sunny day in Wales, walking up a hillside in Snowdonia, stopping to cook and eat while looking down on the valley below. The ‘tucksack’ carries a few essentials: basic, compact cooking equipment and a few simple ingredients.

4. Forage and cook with a wild ingredient

wild garlic

At various times of the year there are possibilities to gather or forage for ingredients for a meal or to simply munch on.

During out visit to Wales in Spring we found an abundance of wild garlic, growing in a valley. It is most commonly found in woodland with moist soils. Best picked in high up places (to avoid any dog wee!) we snatched a few handfuls to take back with us and used it in both or sausage casserole at teatime as well as a tasty addition to Welsh Rarebit (cheesy scrambled eggs) in the morning. Another interesting spot was wild sorrel which we were told is an expensive addition to those meals in posh restaurants. We munched on a few springs of those too!
Cooking with wild garlic in wales

5. Camp

Lastly, to stretch those weekend adventures over more than one day, spend a night or two under the stars in a tent, bivy, hammock or caravan.

Camping in Wales

We certainly didn’t want to leave Wales in a hurry and took both our Basecamp caravan and a four-birth Berghaus tent with us. Both were pitched up by the river at Dolgan campsite near Capel Curig – it was the perfect location for exploring all that the area had to offer and somewhere I’m sure we’ll be returning to in the future! The kids loved playing by the river and the surrounding mountains offered a fantastic backdrop for the evening sunsets.

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