Why you should head to the spa while your on holiday


luxury bath

Spas are an incredibly popular way to relax. Many of us head to a spa with our friends to celebrate a special occasion. Or on our own to get some much-needed rest after a stressful period at work. It can be a great way to treat yourself and catch up with the people that you love but might not usually have time to see. But how about heading to a spa while you are on holiday?

You might think that spending a day in the spa during a trip is a waste of time. You might have plans for your trip and be keen to do and see as much as possible, and spending the day in the spa might not fit into these plans. But, visiting a spa has many advantages, and could be an easy way to make your trip even better.

To Give Yourself Time

How often do you take time for yourself? In everyday life, it’s something that few of us have time for, but it’s essential. Taking time away from your busy life and the stresses that come with it can help you to reduce stress and unwind. You might not have the time to visit a spa when you are at home, so do it when you are on holiday.

To Set the Tone for Your Break

How many times have you said that you are going to have a relaxing break only to spend your whole trip running around, rushed, and just as stressed out as you are at home? Find out more about the treatments on offer, and head to the spa for some TLC and you’ll set the tone for the rest of your break. You’ll be in the right frame of mind to relax and perhaps find it easier to chill out for the rest of your break. 

stay hydrated

To Leave Work Behind

Many of us spend the first half of our holiday thinking about work. We might check emails or even call the office. We look forward to having some time off, but then when it comes, we struggle to switch off and get out of our working frame of mind.

To Get Time to Catch Up

We can live in the same house as someone and still find that with work schedules, kids, friends, and other commitments, we struggle to find the time to have proper conversations or spend more than a few rushed minutes catching up. Head to the spa with your travel companion, and you can really catch up. You could even use the rest to make plans for the rest of your trip.

To Attend to Any Aches and Pains

Do you ache? Many of us are struggling with aches and pains in our muscles and joints. Working at a computer or on our feet can be terrible for our posture, and without the time to stretch or exercise, it can be hard to strengthen and restore. While a spa trip can be relaxing, treatments can also help you to deal with aches and pains and remove tension from your body. 

spa pool

To Give Your Skin Some TLC

Our skin suffers in normal life too. Wearing makeup every day, being surrounded by pollution, and never having the time to stick to a detailed skincare routine can mean that our skin is sore and dry. It might be flakey and red, or greasy. A visit to the spa can be a great way to restore balance, deal with problems, and give your skin some love.

Because Flying is Hard on Your Body

Long haul flights put a massive strain on our bodies. You might spend the first few days of your trip recovering from the journey. A spa trip in the early few days can be a big help.

So You Don’t Go Home Feeling As Though You Need a Holiday

How often have you gone home from your break feeling like you need a holiday to recover? We spend our breaks trying to fit in as much as we can and bookend it with stressful travel that puts a strain on our bodies. We arrive at home with tons of washing to do, and most of us return to work within a day or two, feeling more tired than we did when we left.

While starting your trip with a spa visit can be great, spending the last day at the spa can mean that you get a chance to recover and that you return home feeling rested and ready to hit the ground running.

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#DrinkFreeDays with Drink Aware


woman over 30

*This is a paid collaboration with Drink Aware

This month I have been working alongside Drinkaware and taking part in a four-week challenge to drink less alcohol and enjoy more drink-free days and to share my experiences with all of you. Growing up in South Africa meant that mealtimes usually included a small glass of wine (for the adults of course) and while I've never really drunk that much even on special occasions I do enjoy a glass of wine, cider or beer with my meals or when socialising with friends.

Despite not being a big drinker it was still a bit of a challenge to break the routine of wine with my evening meals regardless as humans are generally creatures of habit. I think that's what makes Drink Aware campaign really interesting in that no matter what your consumption is we can all make efforts to reduce it and feel the benefits from that.

Not only does it mean less empty calories with my meals, but I have also increased how much water I am drinking every day and that has had a positive effect on my skin and overall digestion. Alcohol can also affect sleep and it has to be said I don't get the best sleep as it is but I have seen an improvement these past few weeks which in turn has meant I've had more energy during the day and I need that when I have two active boys to look after.

drink tea

I've also found since I've got older I've become more comfortable and confident in my own skin and no longer need to have a drink to feel more relaxed in social settings, as I did when I was younger and with so many fantastic alcohol-free options out there it's easier than ever to make the switch. I love elderflower presse and with us getting closer to the festive season spiced apple drinks always go down a treat. I've also found that I've started drinking more herbal tea lately and it's really helped at night as instead of a glass of wine opting for a cup of camomile has left me feeling more calm and relaxed and easier to drift off into a more rested sleep.

What we have also done a lot this month as a family is getting up and out earlier and enjoying more of the day outside. My boys and I have enjoyed some fantastic walks and hikes this October and I've found my overall level of productivity has gone up and my mind feels less clouded despite the fact I wasn't drinking that much it's surprising the effect one or two glasses of wine can have on you. 

Welsh mountain

kids hike

What people don't know it that the weekly recommended limit for adults it only 14 units per week which works out at only 6 glasses of wine so if you're having a glass or two every night or your binge drinking on trips to the pub over the weekend your very quickly going well over the limit and putting yourself at risk of some serious health conditions.

I think it's really important especially as we age, to be honest with yourself and aware of your weekly consumption and you can do this by comparing your alcohol intake with the rest of the country by using the drink compare calculator. Taking our health into our own hands can be hugely beneficial and knowing where you stand is essential so even if you're nervous it's always best to know.

As I've already noticed the benefits I'm going to keep going with my Drink Free Days, not only is it good for my wellbeing but also my pocket! Of course, there are certain situations where I will enjoy a drink or two guilt-free such as birthdays, weddings, celebrations and Christmas and I 've always been someone who likes to live in moderation but during the week I am keeping to those Drink Free Days - why don't you?

Drink free days

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Go Ape Treetop Adventure, Forest of Dean



Treetop Adventure

*Our tickets were provided in exchange for an honest review

I love to do anything that is outdoor-based, preferably active and something the kids can join in too, yet I had never thought about doing a Go Ape Treetop Adventure (formerly called Go Ape Junior), in fact I didn't even know that they offered Go Ape courses to young children, but they do and they are fantastic! 

We recently jumped in the car and headed to the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean Beechenhurst to the Go Ape Treetop Adventure which consists of two high rope courses, one easy, one hard that is suitable for anyone 4yrs plus. My 9yr was very excited to take on the challenge especially as he loves rock climbing and has no fear of heights at all. I also love a bit of adrenaline-pumping activities so as you can imagine we both couldn't wait. 

While Go Ape Treetop Adventure is somewhat lower and shorter courses than the full adult version it's still a good 40ft off the ground and still packs plenty of thrills and adventures into the course of wobbly walkways, intricate crossings and rope bridges with fantastic zip wire finale. 

Go Ape Forest of Dean

Go Ape Beechenhurst

From the moment we arrived, we found the staff professional and safety was clearly paramount. The great thing about Treetop Adventure is the continuous belay system which means you don't have to clip yourself in and out and you are safely secured around the whole course at all times. They are also very patient with children who are unsure, giving them the time and space to see if they want to take on the challenge or not. 

Treetop Adventure lasts an hour which gives you enough time to do both the easy and hard courses more than once and also refine your zipline landing  (my first one was not graceful, to say the least). I found this great bonding time with my eldest who enjoyed every second and has been asking when we can go again. Treetop Adventure is a great way to dip your toe into high ropes and Go Ape offer a longer and more challenging course you can progress too.

Beechemhurst is also a great place to bring the family for a day out as there is plenty of parking, a kids outdoor play area, a really nice coffee and plenty of forest walks including a sculpture trail. 
Do watch my vlog for more inspiration and to get a birds-eye view of what it's like to do Go Ape Treetop Adventure. 

Treetop adventure

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Oakwood Theme Park - Review



kids on water

We were recently invited to visit Oakwood Theme park in West Wales, located right next to Bluestone Resort and a quick drive to Narberth and Tenby, two popular holiday destinations. Many people are not even aware that West Wales has a theme park even though Oakwood has been around since the '80s and has grown substantially since then.

I was excited about going back as the last time I had been there was about 25yrs ago when we had come to Wales on a family trip from South Africa. It's funny how things have changed but also some have stayed the same, my favourite memory was going on the bobsleigh and the Treetops rollercoaster, which are still going strong and my boys also thoroughly enjoyed.

Our drive from Cardiff was pretty smooth and took just over an hour and a half to get to the park. When you arrive there is plenty of free parking all within easy reach of the entrance. Once you get your tickets and go through the barrier you come onto the miniature train platform which takes you into the park, unfortunately, on our visit, there wasn't much information and we waited for 15mins with no train appearing so we did the quick 5 min walk into the park (we did manage to catch the train on the way back).

Kids slides


You are provided with a map of the area and once you're on the main site it's fairly easy to navigate. We decided to head over to Neverland, an area that is particularly family-friendly and if you have young children you will probably spend most of your time here. There is a mini swing boat which both of my boys enjoyed as well as London Taxi ride and Aerodrome plane rides. This part of the park is also the one with the most themed rides and attractions, with the Journey to Neverland walk-through display and a large indoor soft play area which is great for a rainy day. The Lost Boys adventure with three slides could be improved on as this is the main outdoor play area for younger children in the park and is a little outdated.

We had hoped to go on the Skull Rock log flume but unfortunately, it was closed for maintenance which is something that is always a possibility at any park, so if you are planning on visiting and have a few rides you really want to go on it could be a good idea calling in advance to check they are open. After we enjoyed everything on offer at Neverland we went to explore the rest of the park and headed over to the bobsleighs, this was, in fact, the only time we queued during our time here, we waited around 15-20mins which is nothing in comparison to other parks and all the other rides we waited 5mins or less.

After the bobsleighs which were a real hit we walked past the Moon landing slide which is an almost-vertical drop slide, I was somewhat anxious about my 9yr old going on this and I think listening to that intuition is important. I feel as a parent I do need to point out that my son was over the minimum age and height for this ride, he took his time & listened to the instruction but on his way down hit the back of his head rather hard on the slide, of course this isn't anyone's fault and besides a bit of upset he was fine although I would take personal caution with any rides you feel your children are not ready for despite the recommended age/height.



The slide shook my son's self-confidence a bit and despite him being a lover of rollercoasters we decided to stick to the smaller ones after and as I was feeling a bit under the weather we focused on the smaller rides in the park that were suitable for all ages and sizes, so if you are visiting with children under then I can honestly say there is plenty on offer.

One of the coasters we did go on and love was the Treetops rollercoaster which whizzes through the woodland part of the park and still gives you that speed rush and was the biggest coaster my 4yr old had been on to date. There are of course some serious rollercoasters in the park including Megaphobia which is one of the largest wooden coasters in the UK then there is Speed which at one point held the record for the steepest roller coaster with a 97-degree drop. Other white knuckle rides include Drenched, Bounce and Vertigo.

Oakwood rollercoaster


Another great family attraction is the paddleboats which cruise past Megaphobia and offers a bit of relaxing among all the excitement. Of course, walking around is going to build an appetite and there are plenty of places to eat from food on the go from different kiosks to a sit-down restaurant, cafe and diner. There are also plenty of picnic benches around the park if you want to bring your own food. We had eaten quite a lot before we arrived but enjoyed some doughnuts on the go before exploring the Witches Brew area which has another smaller coaster, teacups and the Cauldrons trampolines which again the kids loved.

The day we visited was also an After-dark event day which is open slightly later and puts on a fireworks display and entertainment, I really wanted to stay longer although I was coming down with a bad chest infection and wasnt up to it but I've heard good things about these evenings and it's a great additional experience suitable for everyone.

Oakwood theme park

Oakwood train

If your thinking of heading to Oakwood especially over this half term I thought I would share some tips on getting the best out of your trip

1. Buying your tickets online saves you an additional 10% and children under 3 go free. There are also discounts for those with a valid student card and those over 65. The same goes for photo passes and Vertigo tickets (which are extra), you save money booking in advance and online.

There is a special Fright for 4 offer on at the moment which works out at £20 per person for 4 people available online only from Sat 19th Oct until Sat 2nd November to celebrate Halloween. Oakwood also takes Tescos Clubcard Vouchers.

2. From our experience, you wouldn't need to purchase the fast track passes as we only experienced queues once during the whole day and even the larger rides the queues were at a minimum.

3. If you want to keep costs down to take your own food, there is plenty of picnics benches as well as a variety of catering options.

4. Do check the website as the park is not open all year round and I would recommend going to one of their event days which are often the same price but offer something a little extra and special.

Also, I would recommend allocating the best part of a day if you decided to visit so you get the most out of your time there and have a watch of my vlog to see more. Do take plenty of snacks and water and just remember to have fun!


*Our tickets were provided in exchange for an honest review 

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A night in Tylau Yurt, Hay-on-Wye




Near the end of summer I decided on a whim to book a night in a Yurt as we have done all sorts of glamping from Bell Tents, Pods, converted horse van and a converted WW1 wagon but we had yet to stayed overnight in a Yurt. So I did a quick search on Airbnb and discovered a family-friendly Yurt within walking distance of Hay-on-Wye, the market town famed for it's many bookstores and literacy festival.

It's also well located to the Brecon Beacons and offers tons of outdoor pursuits, we had been hoping to kayak down the river why but due to heavy rainfall a few days prior to our mini-break meant the river levels were too high, but on the flip side we decided to do a waterfall walk which was fantastic. Back to the Yurt, even though I had booked it on Airbnb I discovered it was part of Outdoors@Hay which offers outdoor adventures and accommodation.

glamping yurt

inside a yurt

The Yurt looked perfect for a quick break away from reality and has some modern facilities without taking away too much of the authenticity and at the end of the day, it's still camping, which is what I love. It's really well furnished and was spotless when we arrived and despite the temperature dropping at night we kept warm and toasting using the log burner. We also lit the outside campfire which is fantastic as many sites these days don't allow for campfires so toasting some smores and marshmallows over the fire is always a treat for the boys.

roasting mashmallows

As I've said we love camping but for a quick getaway glamping is a fantastic option as everything is already set up and no lugging equipment around with you. Tylau Yurt had plenty of bed linen and duvets plus all the crockery and cutlery you need to cook up a storm on the gas oven. There is also plenty of seating, in fact they have managed to fit a large table inside so you can sit down to a feast as well as picnic benches outside were we sat and ate pastries in the morning.

glamping breakfast

glamping yurt

As with normal camping do take warm clothes to sleep in at night, there is no electric although lamps are provided but like I said the log burner kept us nice and warm while we listen to owls hooting and the gentle patter of drizzle on the yurt, a great way to switch off from screens and we all had a good nights sleep. As the check-out at this Yurt was only midday we decided to have a nice and slow morning, enjoying coffee and breakfast while watching the boys kick a football in the field, as well as watching some horses gallop by in an adjacent field.

Kids Bookshop

Wye Valley

We then headed over to Hay-On-Wye, one of my favourite towns in the Wye Valley and no matter what day of the week you go in summer it's bustling with visitors mainly there to uncover some rare books or take in the cafe culture. We wandered around the winding streets, picked up a book for myself and the kids and then we popped into Richard Booth's Bookshop Cafe which serves some delicious home-made brunch and I highly recommend visiting if you're in the area.

After lunch, we decided to head to Pwll-y-Wrach Nature reserve near Talgarth to do a child-friendly walk to a beautiful waterfall. There is a tiny little carpark which only fits around 3/4 cars and despite the natural beauty of the place it's very quite and a good alternative to the much busier waterfall walks in the Brecon Beacons. Despite all the mud we really enjoyed this walk and you can also walk up above the waterfalls for the birds-eye view. Overall a great little getaway in the Wye Valley. 

Welsh waterfall

welsh waterfall

We paid £100 for all of us for one night in the Tylau Yurt during summer, which I feel is very reasonable considering it's peak season and within walking distance of Hay-on-Wye. Parking is also free on-site and you have access to plenty of modern toilets and showers as well as a shared fridge and your stay also includes a bag of wood for the fires. We really enjoyed this little off-grid break away from screens and wifi and do check out my in my vlog from our trip below. Another website that is also really good for glamping deals with Groupon, I have been a long time Groupon user to purchase discount treats and days out for the family and you can find some real bargains on there from time to time.

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5 ways to keep your tyres in tip top shape this winter


car tyres

*contains affiliate links

As we move into the colder seasons it's really important to make sure we are prepared and if your a car owner this includes your car as breaking down in sub-zero temperatures is not fun and believe me I know, I've been there! The roads also tend to become more treacherous during the winter months so with safety in mind it's really important to spend some time now making sure your car is ready to take on the roads this winter, especially your tyres, so I thought I would share 5 ways to keep your tyres in top condition this winter

1. Reguarly check your tyre tread

Not only does the correct tread help the overall performance of your car but it's extremely important in terms of safety especially in poor weather conditions. It's also against the law if you go below the legal tread limit and one of the major reasons a car fails its MOT and if that does happen they need to be replaced straight away. Don't leave your tyres until they are on their last legs instead get good quality tyres at economical prices from Elite Direct Tyres Chigwell Branch.

2. Check tyre pressure

Knowing how to check your type pressure and get it to the right pressure using the air pump at your local petrol station is really important. Tyre pressure can affect the overall handling of your vehicle including steering, braking and mileage. Your car manual should have the correct pressure and if not look it up online as having over or under-inflated wheels can cause damage and at worst a blowout which could possibly cause an accident.

family car

3. Have your wheel alignment checked

When your wheels are out of alighment it can increase the chances of uneven wear and can also reduce the driver's control and car steering which can lead to an increase in fuel consumption. I can say first hand what a difference it makes, with my last car I started to feel like it was pulling to one side and didn't feel safe, it felt somewhat unstable and harder to steer and with two children in the car I knew I needed to get it checked. It did cost me money to get the wheels aligned properly but it instantly made a big difference and the whole car felt more stable and roadworthy than it had before.

4. Don't overload your car

It's really important especially int he run-up to Christmas when most people are shopping more or carrying more things from one place to another to not overload the car. Overloading the car puts both the car and the passengers at risk and can compromise the handling of the vehicle as well as cause excessive wear on your tyres. My car manuals should give you an indication of what is a safe weight for your car to handle and it's important to keep to that.

car safety

5. Drive responsibly

Maintaining good driving habits not only keep you safe on the road but also helps to keep your tyres in tip-top condition. Always drive within the speed limits and refrain from braking or accelerating excessively as well as avoiding uneven road surfaces and making sure to slow down when driving over speed bumps - if not it can knock the wheel alignment out. Also having the right breakdown cover is always a good idea, no matter how responsible you are cars can break down.

Tyres are so important when it comes to driving and if your planning on a road trip this Autumn and winter it would be worth booking in for an interim service and check over of your car so you know your safety and your car's maintenance is up to par. Dealing with these things before they become an issue always saves you money in the long term. You can also see my post about how to pack for a road trip here.

car safety

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Getting Your Style Down To a Science


street style

We all know at least one person who seems to have his or her style down to a science. I am not necessarily talking about being a fashionista. I am not only talking about their wardrobe, but also the way that they arrange their homes, and in some cases, their offices, that so precisely matches their own vibes.

They even know how to pick the best pillow for themselves. Good sleep is essential to your health and a pillow that properly aligns with your head and neck is essential for this as well as looking after our body inside and out.

Choosing The Best Style of Clothes for Yourself

Choosing the best clothes and shoes for yourself should not be based solely on your size, but on your lifestyle and what colours look the best on you. It is also best to dress for the weather. If you don’t care about colours, my best advice is to go for neutrals, such as brown or chartreuse green. If you’re really in doubt, most people can’t go wrong with navy blue or black. Both colours are great at hiding body flaws and accentuating the outline of your figure. If you do care about colours, the best thing you can do is figure out which ones look good next to your face and best accentuates your figure.

Depending on your convictions, your clothes can be for utilitarian purposes or you can use them to make a statement. However, if you have a job that requires a certain dress code, you need to find a way to adhere so you can stay looking professional but also stylish.

street style

Choosing the Right Pillow for Yourself

Getting the best pillow for yourself should be based on your primary sleep position. Lack of proper neck support can lead to headaches and pain. It can also be kind of like the feet of someone who often wears high heels for hours on end. Eventually, their foot muscles get too used to the structure and relax into two unnatural downward curves. Same with a neck and an unsupportive pillow.

Back and stomach sleepers do best with a pillow that supports the gap that the neck curve creates. This means getting a pillow that is easily adjustable or at least conforms to head and neck pressure. Side sleepers do best with pillows that support their neck and spine. The neck curve doesn’t need to be supported. As a result, the pillow shouldn’t be too high or too low.

street style

How to Measure Your Size

No matter if you are looking for his or her style you need to know your clothing size, no matter what size that is, it makes your shopping experience so much easier especially if you want to be in and out of the store in a certain period of time, you can measure your body and outline your size ahead of time. The measurements usually include the chest or bust, waist, hips, and inseam. The inseam is measured from the crotch to the ankle. Women should be sure to measure with both a pair of flats and heels if they wear both. Women need to include their full bust for a bra size.

Men need to include neck measurements for dress shirts and this can be a little tricky. Many dress shirts actually use the neck size as their inch measurements. Wrap the tape measure around your Adam’s apple in a level manner. Don’t choke yourself but keep it just to the point where it’s comfortable. This is your true neck measurement. For your dress shirts, add about a half-inch or round to the nearest half-inch. For example, if it’s 12 inches, round to 12.5.

Remember, Relax!

Figuring out your best style is not rocket science and you don’t need to stress about it. Even if you’re on a budget, you can shop at a thrift or discount store and still have loads of fun while picking up some amazing pieces. However, if you are planning to shop at a thrift or discount store, remember that the clothing is usually secondhand. As a result, you want to watch for things like rips or stains and be prepared to do a little sewing but thats all apart of the fun, customising and being more sustainable. 


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Pen Pych Waterfall Hike


Pen Pych Mountain

One of our favourite hikes of the late summer was a walk up to Pen Pych Waterfall in the Welsh Valleys near the small village of Blaencwm. I know thousands of people flock to the Brecon Beacons to take in the beautiful Waterfall hikes and trails but if your looking for a far quieter and child-friendly hike then this is a great option. We went on a Sunday around lunchtime and only came across other people on our way back down, it was so nice and quiet and it meant we could take our time and walk at our own pace.

When you arrive into Blaencwm there are signs for the mountain carpark which has plenty of space and is free to park. At the far right end of the car park is the start of the Pen Pych Mountain trail which initially veers away from the waterfall through a meadow and then back around into a forest area where a gentle incline starts.

Pen Pych

As we did this near the end of the summer everything was green and slightly overgrown with huge ferns and we also spotted some mushrooms and toadstools but the path was still very clear and easy to follow. After the gentle incline, you come to a fork in the path with a wooden gate, a path going down and one going up, we followed the path going up. As per usual when heading out on hikes we do some research before leaving and knew we were due to find some picnic benches which would signal the half waypoint. Once we found the benches it can be a little confusing as you can see a Waterfall in the distance but it's not actually the one the path leads too so don't get disheartened if it looks really far away.

The woodlands of Pen Pych mountain are really beautiful especially with it being more untouched and less trodden than the Brecon Beacon walks, there is also plenty of wildlife and we saw an array of birds, butterflies and dragonflies. The walk levels off for a while before reaching a viewing point over a smaller waterfall below, which you can walk down to for a better view.

Pen Pych Mountain

Family hikes

From here the path veers sharply upwards through the woods and can be quite steep and slippery so do bring decent walking shoes, although my 9yr old had no issues although my 4.5yr old needed just a little assistance - mainly hand-holding or helping up some big steps. As you head upwards you can catch glimpses of the waterfall and you can start to hear it's roar and with that increases the excitement and certainly the energy levels of the kids who were flagging at one point.

After a fairly short walk through the woods, you come out into a clearing and see the waterfall in all it's glory. Again there are two paths, one going around to the top of Pen Pych Mountain and another heading to the waterfall which involves a bit of a scramble but is well worth it. If it's been raining the flow can be quite heavy and even if your a good 10 meters away from the waterfall you will feel it's spray. There is plenty of space to relax and have a bit of a picnic on the big rocks which is what we did and take in the unrestricted views of the Rhondda Valley.

Pen Pych mountain

Pen Pych Mountain

What I love about this hike is that it's not too strenuous as there are plenty of places to stop and also sections of easy levelled ground, although you do still feel like you have had a bit of a workout and I would allocate around 2hrs which of course you can do faster without children but for a low-stress hike I would recommend taking your time so you can soak in the beautiful scenery. I often feel the Welsh Valleys are overlooked but there are some truly fantastic places to explore and plenty of mountain walks and hikes in the area, a real hidden gem.

Pen Pych waterfall

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