Tag: Wales

Into the woods: Family activity breaks for Telegraph Travel

Easter holidays then.

Our assignment — should we choose to accept it — was to test drive two new family activity holidays in the UK, based at holiday parks, for Telegraph Travel.

They both are, if you like, alternatives to Centre Parcs, aiming to open up the family activity break with different prices and facilities.

First up was Kingswood Camps and a visit to their facility in North Wales. The Colomendy Camp is located in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB.

We’re just back from a weekend of caving, archery and woodland laser quest [pictured above]. That and, despite the rain, some family bonding on the night walk.

Next we’re off to try out the new park in the Peak District from the Dutch-owned Landal GreenParks group.

It’s one of two new parks in the UK — the other located in Northumberland.

Will two weekends away bring out our inner Bear Grylls? Read the full feature in May in Telegraph Travel to find out.

On the trail of Teggie in Wales for Rough Guides

This year marks the Year of Legends in Wales.

That’s why my first assignment of the new year took me to Bala Lake — that’s Llyn Tegid in Welsh.

The lake is allegedly home to Teggie, Wales’ answer to the Loch Ness Monster. And I took to a canoe on a cold January morning [pictured above] to go in search of the camera-shy beastie.

The feature is for Rough Guides and will be published March 1st — St David’s Day in Wales.

Life lessons

Here’s a preview of what to expect:

They regale me with kind of folk tales familiar to all Welsh schoolchildren. The cast of characters would put Game of Thrones to shame — evil kings, brave knights and mischievous elves. These stories, I learn, are passed down through the generations and integral to preserving the Welsh language and culture.

“Every place name has an old story attached to it. hese legends ground us,” explains Llinos Jones-Williams. “Based around universal themes of love, life and death, they can still teach us something about the way we live today.”

I’m interested in other ideas around Welsh folklore and have a possible assignment around the summer solstice. Watch this space for more.

Bring on 2017

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Time for a break.

I’m pressing pause for new posts over the next few weeks. It’s time to regroup and plan ahead.

But I’ll be back in January 2017 with new projects, ideas and commissions.

Already in progress? A cinephile’s guide to Cannes [above], Teggy in Snowdonia and other Welsh legends, plus more drafts from my forthcoming book, Inside Fatherhood.

Look out for me on the genius bar at the Telegraph Cruise Show in London in January. Better still, come and say hello.

And sign up for my newsletter below. Next issue out mid Jan.

Thanks for reading this year.

The legends of Offa’s Dyke for Best Loved Hotels

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Wales continues to inspire new stories.

The latest is a piece for the Best Loved Hotels group to write the Wales copy for their new brochure — out 2017.

The story ties into the theme of myths and legends, which Wales will celebrate in the year ahead.

Here’s a preview:

Walkers love Offa’s Dyke but few know the legends surrounding the linear earthwork that forms its 82-mile-long backbone. Offa, the 8th-century King of Mercia built the dyke as a Saxon statement of intent against rebellious Welsh tribes. The ditch and high-earth ramparts subsequently ran with blood for three centuries of border skirmishes.

I’m now planning some new ideas around Welsh myths and legends for forthcoming commissions.

Got a suggestion for a story angle? Please get in touch.

The Offa’s Dyke copy will be published in the new Best Loved Hotels Directory 2017.