5 Natural Remedies To Heal Wounds For Active Kids


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Cuts, wounds, and burns are common woes young children encounter especially when travelling or on outdoor adventures. Even minor injuries are hard to deal with because they can be painful. Moreover, they are slow to heal as young ones can scrape them. The bigger concern is that they wouldn't let you apply antiseptic as most products sting. As a parent, it can be disconcerting to see the pain and discomfort of your child. Luckily, several natural remedies speed up wound healing, provided you use them regularly. Here are the ones you can rely on for healing kiddie-wounds.


The simplest remedy you can find at home is ice. It is easily available, so you need not struggle to look around for it during an emergency. Applying it directly to a cut can stop bleeding instantly, and it prevents blister formation in case of burns. The best part is that the numbing effect eases the pain quickly. It works for everyone, and your little one will actually like the idea.


Another wound-healing remedy you can easily find in your kitchen is turmeric. The golden spice has natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory action, so it works as well as any medicated ointment. It soothes the skin and heals the wound. You can apply it directly to the affected area or mix it with mustard oil to make a thick paste. A concoction of turmeric also offers healing benefits for internal injuries.

Manuka honey


Children love honey for its sweetness. But it helps with wound healing as well. Even better, try manuka honey for injuries as it has antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. It dehydrates and kills bacteria around open wounds. Applying manuka honey ointment to cuts and burns can provide immediate relief and accelerate the healing process. Every parent must add this healing aid to their first aid box.


Garlic is acclaimed for being a digestive aid as it combats infections caused by bacteria in food. But surprisingly, it is effective for wound healing as well. Applying fresh garlic paste on open cuts and wounds helps. Garlic has antimicrobial action that prevents external infections. It can even lower the pain and help stop bleeding. Not to mention, it accelerates the healing process.


Aloe Vera

Another wound healer you can find in your backyard is aloe vera. It works as a natural antibacterial and antimicrobial, and you can use it as a safe and natural alternative to topical ointments. It has phytochemicals that reduce inflammation for effective results. Apply aloe vera gel on cuts and wounds to see rapid healing. Make sure you use it daily on the affected area. Let it dry and rinse the wound for the best outcomes.

It is easy to deal with cuts, scrapes and burns naturally. Everything boils down to knowing the natural remedies that work and using them regularly. You can trust these remedies to heal the sensitive skin of your child. The best part is that you need not worry about side effects. Keep them at hand so that you can address minor injuries at home without stressing out.
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Money Saving - how to keep your home warm this winter


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cosy home

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Like most people, I am nervous about the rising costs of heating which is only going to add strain to what has already been a stressful year. We all like to be able to save and have extra money to spend on things we love such as travel and weekends away but if you don't stay on top of your gas and electricity this year you may be in for an unpleasant surprise. 

There are however some easy and budget-friendly things you can do to keep those heating bills down this winter and I thought I would share a few with you. 

1. Wrap up warm

While this may seem obvious, many people want to be able to walk around their home in a t-shirt all year round but as the temperature drops instead of jumping straight to the heating switch, first put on a jumper or fleece jacket and get yourself moving. I always have chores and jobs around the house and as soon as I've done some vacuuming I no longer feel cold. Also by wearing a fleece when you do put on the heating you will feel warmer quicker and won't need to put it on for as long. Also using thicker blankets and duvets as well as rugs on the floor can all help to keep you feeling warmer and cosier for longer. 

cosy clothes

2. Block out draughts

We all have areas of the home that feel colder than others and this could be down to a draught (I have this with my back door and one of my living room windows). A simple solution to this is a draught excluder and you could try making your own and for very little cost and you could even turn in into a fun family craft such as this one from The Guardian

3. Lower your Thermostat

Did you know that lowering your thermostat by one degree saves around 3% on your fuel bill - such an easy thing to do and can really help you to save a few pounds. Many people have theirs set at 21 degrees although Public Health England suggests 18 degrees which means by lowering it to 18 you could save over 10% on your heating bill.


4. Get your boiler serviced

The worst thing is having your boiler break down in the middle of winter and I know as it's happened to me (in fact 5 days before Christmas). The one way you can prevent that from happening is by making sure you get your boiler serviced around every 12 months to ensure it's running efficiently and safely. You do need to make sure it's done by a reputable servicing company such as Toasti whose engineers are all NICEIC approved and Gas Safe registered engineers. 

5. Bleed your radiators

It's recommended that your bleed your radiators around once a year as this ensures that they work properly and prevent air from getting trapped inside them because when they do it stops the warm water from circulating around the radiator leading to the radiator being cold at the top and hot at the bottom and unable to efficiently heat your home. Here is an easy step by step youtube video to show you how to do it.


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5 meaningful & lasting gifts ideas


house plant

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After the year we have had, for many. of us, our priorities have changed, for me personally, less is always more and finding gifts for friends and family that are meaningful, practical and reusable is key. So I thought I would share a few fun and unique last-minute gift ideas.

1. Affirmation cards from Mal Paper

This 52 affirmation card deck is to help inspire daily affirmation practice and this small change can help you start the day the right way and encourage happiness and productivity. I also love how pocket size friendly this is and could make the perfect gift for friends and family (or even yourself) who have been struggling a little bit over the past year. 

acacia wood

2. Natural Acacia Wood Mug from The Clean Market

I'm in love with these beautiful handcrafted acacia wooden mugs and I have ordered myself another 3 so I can have a set of them. If your looking to make your kitchen a more sustainable and plastic-free space then these mugs are perfect as they are suitable for hot and cold drinks, are natural and robust and of course water-resistant as well as being naturally antibacterial - a win-win all round. 

3. Find time for calm with Moment Pebble

Are you interested in mastering mindfulness or just want to have something that prompts you to take a moment for yourself when life gets too stressful? Well, the moment pebble can help to reduce stress and anxiety in 30 seconds and is great for those who have a busy lifestyle but need quick moments for time out. The moment pebble gets you in the habit of having short mindful micro-pauses throughout the day which can have a huge difference to your wellbeing. 

moments pebble

4. Create a family heirloom with the gift of silver

If your looking for something particularly special or you have a bigger budget and want to invest in an item that will stay within your family for a long time then check out AC Silver large collection of jewellery and homewares that while yes are more expensive are going to last a very long time. The owner Andrew personally handpicks all the items using his vast experience and their catalogue includes antique and vintage pieces as well as new. They also offer a 10yr Diamond guarantee with free annual clean

5. House plant subscription from Beards and Daisies

Now in all honesty who wouldn't want a month house plant subscription? I know I would and Beards and Daisies offer just that, a new house plant (minimum 12cm) and a ceramic pot to your front door each month and they even do a pet-friendly subscription as well. We all know that many house plants help to clean the air in our home as well as being very pretty to look at. Beards and Daisies is also committed to being sustainable with 95% of their packaging either biodegradable or recyclable

house plant
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Inspiring creativity & a love for reading with Night Zookeeper


Night Zookeeper

AD - This is a collaboration with Night Zookeeper: Escape from Conform Prison #mynzkhero  

When it comes to gifting over the festive period, I always aim for the majority of our presents to have a purpose, to be useful or educational or inspiring, especially when it comes to children's presents. Recently we were invited to review the process of creating and ordering a personalised book from Night Zookeeper and my boys couldn't be more excited to see one of their creations in a printed book and this without a doubt with encouraging even the most reluctant of readers to start turning pages.

Firstly what is the Night Zookeeper series?  Well, it's a set of 5 beautifully written and illustrated books by Joshua Davidson, aimed at 7-12yrs olds with the purpose of inspiring your child to fall in love with reading by offering a more interactive story setting that encourages children to use their imaginations with storylines that prompt action and highlights the importance of critical thinking, creative arts and freedom of expression. 

kids drawing

What makes the personalised book so unique? The personalised book - Escape from Conform Prison allows children to design the hero! They can do this either online or with pen and pencils which they upload and then their unique imaginative character will be brought to life on the pages. 

This book is also unlike any others my boys have ever read as they get to pick the path their hero takes with choices being made within the story that affects the hero's journey. This also means you can re-read the book and try different routes. It's so cleverly crafted that ever since my boy's books arrive they have been making time to read a few pages (as reluctant readers this is very exciting). 

Night Zookeeper

I don't want to give away too many details about the actual story (and we have yet to finish the whole book ourselves) except to say that it's a wonderful tale about friendship, working together, freedom and the importance of thinking out of the box. 

The whole process was really easy, my boys love to draw and they love animals so it was an easy pick for them to be inspired by our own pets for their hero's. Also, I personally can't say enough about the pride and excitement my boys felt when they saw their creation in print! 

night zookeeper

The quality of this book and the vivid colours used in the illustrations along with being able to personalise it in your own unique way makes this a fantastic gift for children. It costs £18.99 and ships within 3-5 days so the last orders for Christmas are around the 17th. Also, don't worry if you don't have time for your child to upload a design or you want to give this to a friend - you can purchase a book gift voucher which they can use when they are ready and comes with a printable activity sheet and instructions on how to create their hero character. 

Overall my boys loved creating their book, the whole process was fun and the beautiful illustrated 220-page book is a lovely addition to our mini home library and is something we will keep for a very long time. 

Night zookeeper

night zookeeper

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6 Educational Gifts for Kids


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*AD I was sent PR samples of some of these gifts, no payment & was not asked to include them in any lists - these are my own genuine recommendations 

When it comes to Christmas I always try to find a balance of fun, practical and educational toys for my boys especially as I always aim to bring purposeful things into the home. So I thought I would put a small gift guide of a few gifts I have come across lately that I feel ticket the educational box while still making lovely presents. 

1. Welcome to Planet Earth Book £11.99

This is a wonderfully inspiring and positive book to share with children that look back on Earth's history while looking forward to a greener future and taking the reader on a journey exploring all the possibilities life and the planet hold. 

Planet Earth

2. GeoMag Mechanics Gravity

These Mechanics kits combine STEM engineering concepts, creativity, problem-solving and fun and take the normal marble run to new levels. These swiss made kits can also be joined together and expanded so the possibilities are neverending and what is also great to see is that they use 74% recycled plastic. 

3. I'm A Genius 4 Sciences Kit £19.99

This science kit is packed with 4 very different activities, meaning there will be something to spark a real interest in Science from palaeontology, chemistry, minerals and botany. This kit is great for kids 8yrs+ and it has everything you need including measuring cups, test tubes, protective goggles and gloves as well as chemistry tools, a mineral block to excavate, a t-rex to build and seeds to grow. You can order this online from Toys and Bears.

Genius 4 Sciences

4. Timberkits

Timberkits is a Welsh company that makes world-famous wooden automata kits which are perfect for young children through to adults with a variety of ability levels. They offer an array of magical moving characters and themes that you. help bring to life while grasping basic engineering concepts while also working with natural organic materials. All the products are made in the UK and are plastic free so they make for fantastic eco-friendly gifts. 

5. Word Fever by Tomy £19.99

Are you ready for a fast pacing word game that is not only fun but educational and also suitable for adults and children so you can play this together? You get 1 topic, 1 letter and a total of 12 seconds to find the right word. Its use of artificial intelligence means the device adapts to the player's age and strengths so all players of different levels can play together. The device also provides hours of entertainment as it offers over 300+ topics and 3000 questions so you won't get bored quickly. 

6. The Adventurers Activity Journal by BookBlock £14.99

This activity book is packed with ideas to foster fun and creativity for children aged around 4-9, although I know 11yr will love this journal so it's dependent on your child. It's 192 interactive learning pages which are beautifully illustrated and brings together geography, travel inspiration, facts and games that will inspire the most curious of minds. It's also worth mentioning that this journal has been created by an early childhood education specialist and the covers can be personalised which is a lovely added touch. 

Adventure journal

Of course as always I believe that any toys that encourage play outdoors are educational in themselves and there is an array of choices, from sports kits such as cricket sets and football nets to skipping ropes and cars, Wowow toys have a great selection. 

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6 Gifts that celebrate inclusivity and equality


Lego everyone is awesome

We live in such a wonderful and diverse world, with so many cultures, languages, experiences and stories, these things should be shared, encourage and celebrated. Encouraging diversity and equality in our homes should be a priority, I know it is for me and for my son's, as I would like to see them grow up in a better more inclusive world and that extended to as much of our life as possible, including the gifts we give over the festive period. So I thought I would share a small selection of gift ideas that help encourage this. 

1. Lego - Everyone is Awesome 

I absolutely love this Lego set that celebrates positivity and kindness in our families, our communities and our world as well as the power of playing together. This set was designed by Matthew Ashton, lego's Vice president of design and also a member of the LGBTQIA+ community who wanted to do more to create visibility and that everyone is welcome when it comes to lego, no matter your background, race, age, gender and who your love. 

inclusive books

2. Little Box of Books - the inclusive children's book company

The little box of books puts together one-off gift boxes as well as subscriptions with a focus on inclusivity for kids and I think their whole ethos and concept is fantastic. We recently tried out one of their boxes and it came with 4 great books that both of my boys loved and have asked me to reread on a few occasions. The boxes also come with some additional activities and a little treat along with free postage and best of all for every monthly subscription of books they donate an additional book to their charity partner Doorstep Library. 

inclusive peg dolls

3. Inclusive Peg Dolls

These inclusive peg dolls are great for kids who love creative and open role play. They are hand-painted, made in the UK and their aim is to promote inclusivity and encourage understanding regardless of gender, skin tone, religion or ability and they made a great addition to any role play station. 

Have pride

4. Have Pride - An inspirational history of the LGBTQ+ movement

This is a great book for teens and a way to learn together more about the LGBTQ+ movement and history from around the world in an informative, comprehensive and age-appropriate way. It covers important events such as the Stonewall riots and AIDS crisis as well as the brave individuals and groups who have fought discrimination and helped to break down barriers. 

Colour me crayons

5. Colour Me - Skin tone crayons

It's important when children are creative and want to explore their artistic side, that they have the right tools to do that and reflect the wonderfully diverse world we live in. These skin colour crayons mean everyone can be represented and included. Colour Me is a pack of 12 non-toxic, vegan crayons and for every pack bought Colour Me is donating 5% of their profits towards helping underprivileged children in South Africa. 

Rebel girls

6. Goodnight stories for Rebel girls Postcards

Based on the bestselling book, this pack of 50 postcards celebrate amazing women from across the world who have changed history, who are pioneers, leaders, warriors and have broken down barriers. Each postcard is a work of art, with a short bio of each woman, alongside powerful quotes, you can either send them or display them. This would be a perfect gift for your favourite feminist in your life.  

This is just a small selection but I hope it's given you some inspiration when it comes to buying meaningful gifts this year. 

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Are you ready for your Tax Return?


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Tax return

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While most people are just thinking about Christmas at the moment, if your self employed you may be looking further ahead to January and the dreaded Tax return. For some reason it always seems to creep on my quicker than expected and I always feel a little under prepared especially as I do my own tax return for my freelance work. For years I have been considering employing an accountant although they can be quite pricey but opting for a bookkeeping service as they are usually a little more budget friendly while still offering a lot of the advantages that an accountant would provide and here is why.  

Bookkeeping is among the most basic requirements of running a company, but it is also among the most complex and challenging parts of owning a business. Understanding why you need bookkeeping services and the cost of having them plays a very big hand in the growth of your company in the long term.

Bookkeeping and Accounting

Every small business requires a certain amount of bookkeeping, to begin with when establishing their business. The primary concern when starting is smaller responsibilities such as recording transactions and paying bills.

As the business begins to grow, more focus will be put on financial reporting which then leads to the requirement of direct oversight by a qualified professional in bookkeeping services in Manchester. Your accountant will help you put together financial intelligence to make sound business decisions, but the bookkeeper is the person who helps to provide all of the data to be able to make those decisions.


How Bookkeepers Keep the Fire Burning

A qualified bookkeeper takes on several responsibilities regarding your business finances. They are in charge of your financial books by keeping tabs on your expenditures and revenue and make records of transactions and collating the information to create a general financial forecast to help business owners drive their growth and fix problems in their profitability.

There are other smaller duties that bookkeeping services also cover, such as data entry, bill paying, inventory management, invoicing and maintaining vendor and client lists among many other areas.

Costs Involved

You save on the early days of your business by doing your minuscule bookkeeping. As time goes forward, the money your business loses from you not being front and centre by handling all the finances behind the scenes becomes more and more apparent.

The costs of outsourcing a bookkeeper will vary depending on certain factors such as their experience level, the type of service you require, and the amount of work involved in time. Some may also factor in the types of responsibilities that are involved regularly and your company's ability to support the service they provide.

Depending on the number of transactions that take place in your company, you may only need them once a month or less, or if your transactions range into the hundreds and thousands every day you may require them to be more regular every week to keep up with the work.

When you evaluate the cost of bookkeeping services in Manchester or somewhere local to your home, you are evaluating your company's worth not just now, but where you see it moving forward.


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14 Essentials to pack when Travelling With Kids


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family travel

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If you are anything like me then your often pack in a rush or wishing you had started earlier so having a packing list is really important especially as I hate taking anything unnecessary especially when travelling with kids as you can really feel the extra weight (as a parent I usually end up carrying their stuff as well as mine). 

 There are however a few essential items that really do make travelling with kids easier and less stressful and that's what you really want on a family holiday or mini-break away. So here are 10 essentials to grab before heading off on a family trip. 

1) Snacks, ALL the Snacks!

Snacks are a must-have when you have children and never underestimate the power of snacks. You never know when they will get hungry while travelling and when they do you will know about it as kids can quickly become "hangry" or impatient if they need to wait until the next mealtime. Be sure to pack plenty of snacks in your suitcases such as snack bars, banana cake and crackers.

2) Water Bottles

Be sure to bring along water bottles for everyone in your family when travelling. If you are staying at a hotel, there may be drinkable water available from the faucets. Even if you're just heading out on a day trip, going on a hike or visiting nature spots during your trip then don't forget to root through the kitchen cabinet under the sink and pull out those water bottles. Make sure that all members of your party have their reusable water bottles.

water bottle

3) Travel Utensils

If you are going on a long road trip then some travel utensils can really come in handy. If you planning on making stops along your road trip to stretch your legs and refuel then reusable utensils are a must as they are pocket friendly, zero waste and are much better than quality than cheap single-use ones. 

4) Paper Towels

Paper towels are essential when travelling with kids and are a more sustainable option than wet wipes. If you have a child still learning how to use the bathroom, paper towels can come in handy for cleaning up messes that may be made on themselves or their clothes during the trip.

5) Foldable reusable Bag

A small foldable bag (a waterproof one would be even better) that you can pop into your backpack or handbag is a great item to have on hand when travelling with kids. You may need something to carry dirty or wet clothes, as well as swimsuits and towels or in my case random sticks and pebbles the kids have picked up on their travels. 

6) A First Aid Kit

Kids are accident-prone, which means you will need to have some first aid supplies on hand when travelling. You never know if your child may fall or get hurt during the day's activities.

7) Sunscreen

Sun protection is significant when travelling. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of exploring a new place, but if you plan with sunscreen, your whole family will be able to enjoy themselves without worrying about harmful UV rays or sunburns.

8) Sunglasses

As adults, we always pack sunglasses for ourselves although on average children actually get more sun exposure than adults so protecting their eyes from UV rays is equally as important, especially if you're heading off to somewhere warm.

first aid

9) Hand Sanitiser

If the only bathroom available has no soap for washing hands, having some hand sanitisers can make things much more manageable. Kids often don't understand why they can't eat or drink something after touching it, so having these on hand to keep germs at bay is essential for maintaining safety and health.

10) Headphones

If your going to be driving for a few hours and your children are bringing tablets or audiobooks then a set of headphones is really useful as not everyone may want to hear what the other person is listening to. 

11) Activity books

Thin, light, paperback activity books can be a real boredom buster for kids and if they have a story as well they double up as a bedtime book which can help bring some routine even when travelling. 

12) Pen and paper

Even if you are taking tablets or handheld game consoles you would be surprised how even children get bored or want a change and having pen and paper on hand gives them a space to write, journal, draw and doodle and encouraging art on the go is never a bad thing. 

13) One favourite toy or plush

If your child has a particular toy or plushie that helps them to settle or gives them reassurance then yes it's definitely worth letting them bring it with them. While I don't get in the habit of allowing my kids to bring every toy they like they can bring their favourite one with them. 

14) Coffee (for the adults)

Coffee is a necessity for some parents. To feel awake and alert during the day, you will need caffeine. Pack your favourite coffee mug or thermos so that you can have access to this pick-me-up at any time of the day.

Having the right items on hand will make it easier for parents to travel with their families. If you travel fairly frequently you could even create a small storage space with some of these essentials in it ready to go, making packing even less stressful. What are your must have's when travelling with kids? 

coffee cup

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11 Reasons to have a family break in Southern Wales



AD Press Trip - this post is written in collaboration with Southern Wales.

We recently spent an action-packed weekend exploring what is on our doorstep here in South Wales and I couldn't be more excited to share 10 reasons why you need to visit Southern Wales. As some of you may know I live in South Wales, between Cardiff and the Welsh Valleys and personally I think it's one of the best areas in the UK with so many hidden gems, wild spaces and cultural hubs that are often overlooked for more well-known destinations. But if your looking to get away, out of the city, into the outdoors and have a real family adventure then Southern Wales is definitely a destination you need to check out so here are 10 reasons to visit the area.

1. Try out mountain biking with the kids at Dare Valley Gravity Park

Have you ever fancied giving Mountain biking a go but feel intimidated or not sure where to start? Well, Dare Valley Gravity Park which is located in the stunning Dare Valley Park is perfect for all ages and complete beginners with all the trails being blue runs. You can hire all the equipment at the centre or bring your own and they also offer an Uplift service on certain days which takes you up the mountain to the start of the trails. My boys and I had an amazing time here and are already planning to visit again soon. I would put aside at least 2hrs aside and there is also a cafe on-site and an amazing play park for kids as well as some fantastic walks and trails within Dare Valley Park to explore. 

Dare Valley Gravity Park

2. Connect with Nature at the RSPB Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve

The Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve is a special place that has conservation at its heart and does so much for the local environment, is a real benefit to both wildlife and people and it's a great place to spend a couple of hours exploring with the kids. I would recommend bringing along some binoculars as you are likely going to spot a variety of birds, flora and fauna and we came across some amazing mushrooms in the small forestry area of the reserve. There are also some unique features to the wetlands including a floating walkway (or "bouncy bridge" as my kids call it), East Usk Lighthouse and easy to follow nature trails, kids can also pick up wildlife activity sheets from the visitors centre. To gain an even deeper insight into the area you can take a guided tour with a knowledgeable RSPB guide, the tours are 1.5hrs and suitable for young children. There is also a shop and cafe on-site and the entrance is free, you only pay £3 for parking.

RSPC Newport Wetlands Nature Reserve

Newport Wetlands

3. Explore the biggest castle in Wales

Caerphilly Castle, the largest castle in Wales is definitely one to tick off the bucket list and is always a popular choice with kids, I mean who doesn't like pretending they are a king or queen of a castle? The impressive moat, massive castle walls, towers and gatehouse spread over 30 acres means you need to put aside at least an hour or two (or more) to see everything. There are also the resident dragons to visit and Wale's very own leaning tower and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, plus it makes for an all-weather attraction. There is a visitors centre and shop on-site and plenty of cafes nearby, do check opening times online as it's currently only open on weekends due to enhancement works. Some other castles in South Wales worth visiting are Castle Coch, Chepstow Castle, Caldicot Castle and Abergavenny Castle

Caerphilly Castle

4. Get your adrenaline pumping at Zip World Tower

Hirwaun in South Wales is now home to the latest Zip World and the fastest seated zip line in the world, suitable for 7yrs upwards so if you're looking for an adrenaline hit then look no further. Situated at the old Tower Colliery coal mining site, surrounded by the Welsh Valleys, this is a great place to spend a few hours even if you're not zipping down the mountainside as they also offer the Tower Coaster which is suitable for children as young as four (when accompanied by an adult) as well as Cegin Glo Bar and Bistro serving some fantastic food and drinks. I would also recommend a drive up to the Rhigos viewpoint above Zip World Tower as the views from up there are incredible.

Zip World Tower

Rhigos Viewpoint
Standing at the Rhigos viewpoint watching Zip World

5. Marvellous Museums

South Wales has some amazing Museums, many of which are free or budget-friendly and are perfect for a family day out. Here are 5 of our favourite museums in the area

1. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

A fantastic open-air museum with over 50 historic buildings including a Victorian school and medieval church to explore that walk you through the history of life in Wales, it's free to visit although parking cost £6. 

2. Cyfarthfa Castle Museum and Art Gallery, Merthyr Tydfil 

Set in the lovely Cyfarthfa park the Museum and Art Gallery is open all year round and focuses on the social and industrial history of Merthyr, which was once the iron capital of the world, in a fun & interactive way & gallery also houses ceramics, Egyptology, natural history and artworks by Welsh Artists. Under 16yrs are free and Adults are £2.30 and there is also a quaint Tea Room on site. 

3. Big Pit National Museum, Torfaen

Fancy heading 300ft underground with a real miner for a true coal pit experience for free? The Big Pit offers a completely unique experience and is suitable for the whole family including a multi-media tour of a modern coal mine, mining galleries, exhibitions and an underground tour. The museum and tour are free and there is a Miners Canteen on-site & picnics are also welcome.

4. South Wales Aviation Museum, Rhoose 

My boys really enjoyed our visit to the South Wales Aviation Museum in Rhoose and I recommend a visit as unlike other aviation museums this one encourages a hands-on experience and some of the cockpits are open for you to climb into. The museum is a self-funded, not-for-profit, volunteer-run charity with 100% of its admission going to the upkeep and running of the museum. Under 14's are free and adults are £7.50.

5. Caerleon Amphitheatre & National Roman Legion Museum 

Caerleon is a site of considerable archaeological importance and was once the Roman town of Isca and has various Roman ruins to explore including the incredible Amphitheatre which was built in AD 90 and would have sat 6000 spectators. A short walk from the Amphitheatre is the Roman Barracks, both of these sites are overseen by Cadw and free to explore. While you there I would also pop into the National Legion Roman Museum which again is also free (although still requires pre-booking) and houses many Roman artefacts, a barracks room and a beautiful Roman garden to walk around.  

Caerleon Ampitheatre

6. Stay Overnight in a Forest

There are plenty of options when it comes to accommodation in South Wales, from upmarket hotels in Cardiff City to countryside cottages in the hills, although if you're looking for something cosy, relaxed and perfect for families then why not stay in Cwmcarn forest? They have 3 different options including camping, glamping pods and luxury lodges which are self-catering and have everything you need for a comfy but adventure-filled breakaway. 

Other hotels in South Wales I can personally recommend are the Heritage Park Hotel which makes a great base for exploring the Welsh Valleys. Indigo Hotel Cardiff for a chic city break and Castle Knights, Usk for a summer glamping adventure. 

Cwmcarn Forest lodge

7. Indulge your inner foodie

South Wales has some incredible foodie spots from fine dining to traditional pubs to street food, it has it all and in abundance. While Cardiff seems like the obvious choice (and in many ways it is) as it naturally has the city cafe culture, there is plenty of amazing foodie spots outside of the city that are family-friendly, here are 3 I recommend 

1. Tiny Rebel Brewery, Rogerstone, Newport

Tiny Rebel, a homegrown business started by two friends has gone from strength to strength and they now have 3 bars in South Wales although the Tiny Rebel Brewery is the largest and most family-friendly of them all, with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and also only a stone's throw from the 14 locks centre which is perfect for a pre-meal walk. The menu also has something for everyone including children and the brewery bar is also dog-friendly. 

2. Barry Sidings Cafe, Barry Sidings Countryside Park, Trehafod, Pontypridd

Barry Sidings Cafe is an award-winning cafe located in a lovely countryside park and serves up not only really good coffee but also smashed pattie hamburgers (an awesome vegan option as well) and loaded fries along with some indulgent cakes. There are also bike trails to explore and bike hire next to the cafe, along with a lovely play park and free parking. 

3. Cegin Glo, Zip World Tower

I was really impressed with the food at Cegin Glo at Zip World Tower and you can eat in this Bistro without a booking and watch people zip down from a crazy height as well as stunning views across the valley. The menu is locally sourced with a Welsh twist with dishes such as Rarebit and Cawl and they even had their own Phoenix Burger in a charcoal brioche bun. The rustic yet modern setting with floor to ceiling windows, with references to its mining past and, is a really cool place to have a meal with family or catch up with friends. 

Tiny Rebel Brewery

8. Fourteen Locks Canal Centre 
An engineering wonderFourteen Locks Canal Centre is a bit of a hidden gem and perfect for a family day out exploring the Mon and Brec canal towpath. Located at the top of a unique flight of 14 locks, the Cefn flight of Locks is an engineering wonder of the industrial revolution, rising 160 feet in just half a mile and is a scheduled ancient monument. The countryside surroundings are beautiful and the locks are a haven for wildlife with coots, moorhens, swans, herons and the odd kingfisher calling this area their home. There is a great circular walk and short activity trails for kids and it's worth popping into the craft shop and Vistors centre with a lovely cafe serving locally sourced meals, coffee and fair-trade teas. The centre is free, dog friendly and there is just a minimal parking charge.

fourteen locks

9. Stunning memorials to the miners

There are a couple of different memorials dotted around South Wales which tells the mining history of each town or colliery, which undoubtedly shaped the landscape of Southern Wales. There are two that I recommend as they are all located in countryside locations with family-friendly trails and walks. 

1. The Guardian at Six Bells

The Guardian statue which stands at 66ft tall is a beautiful and thought-provoking monument to the miners who lost their lives in the Six Bells Colliery in 1960. The statue which was designed and created by artist Sebastien Boyesen is beautiful & will be appreciated by all ages and towers over the site of the former colliery which is now Parc Areal Griffin and there is a lovely 2.5mile family-friendly Guardian trail walk. There is free parking nearby 

2. Sultan the Pit Pony, Parc Penallta

My boys love visiting this enormous earthwork sculpture in Parc Penallta which sits on the site of the old Penallta Colliery and is now a lovely country park. This land sculpture pays homage to the ponies that worked down the pits and is one of the largest figurative earthwork sculptures in the UK. It was created by Welsh artist Mick Petts using 60,000 tons of coal shale and stone to construct this 656-foot long artwork. In the Parc is also the High Point Observatory which offers fantastic 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding countryside & is a favourite with my kids. There are also plenty of geocaches in the area along with 3 easy to navigate trails. There is plenty of parking with a small charge. 

Guardian Six Bells

10. Chasing Waterfalls

Everyone knows about the Four Waterfalls Walk in the Brecon Beacons but the Welsh Valleys has its own fantastic waterfall walk that is a lot quieter and a little easier for kids to enjoy. Pen Pych waterfall walk in Blaencwn. There is plenty of free parking at Pen Pych forest car park at the base of the hike. The walk goes through some stunning forest with a river running below and smaller waterfalls before the larger one comes into sight. There are also picnic benches halfway along with views points and it's great for dogs and young children, plus you are rewarded with a fantastic waterfall at the end. Here is a blog post explaining the hike in more detail. 

There are also smaller waterfalls at Cwm Clydach Countryside Park which has a lovely lakeside cafe and circular walk, Parc Cwm Darran which is a pretty tucked away countryside park and Pistyll-Goleu waterfall in Llanwanno Forest. 

Pen Pych Waterfall

11. Take a stroll in one of many Countryside Parks

We are very lucky in South Wales to have access to a variety of outdoor spaces from forests, mountains, countryside parks and coastal regions. Most of our countryside parks have free (or minimal charge) parking, cafe and family-friendly trails. Some of our favourite parks in the area which are worth spending a few hours exploring are - Dare Valley Park which is home to Gravity Bike Park, mountain hikes and lakes. Parc Bryn Bach, also offers additional activities such as archery and bushcraft as well as having hike trails and mountain biking. Parc Slip Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve offers a relaxing space to have a stroll and look out for local wildlife and birds from their bird hide. Cwmcarn Forest is another unique outdoor space as it offers a 7 mile Forest Drive which takes you to some fantastic viewpoints and adventure play areas in a breathtaking part of South Wales. 

wild mushrooms

There is, of course, an array of other things you can get up to in South Wales, including exploring the stunning coastal paths and Cardiff city centre, as well as trig points and mountain summits and if Geocaching if your thing then South Wales is a great base for that. I hope this post has given you some ideas and inspiration to come and explore this part of Wales.  
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Home Interiors - Thinking of updating your flooring?


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wood flooring

*This post contains affiliate links

Thinking about updating your interior spaces, maybe you have one room, in particular, you are working on? For me, it's my lounge and then my kitchen, both of which need new flooring. My lounge is carpeted and ever since we moved in I have always wanted to replace the carpet especially as it's starting to look old no matter how much I clean it so I have started to explore options when it comes to flooring. 

A lot of people are beginning to see and hear the benefits of having luxury vinyl flooring which is more affordable than some of the other options while proving an increasing level of satisfaction and security for homeowners who want a great look on top of low maintenance for their lifestyle, which is what you want when you have kids. It is viewed as a very reliable and budget-friendly product over real hardwoods and stone styled flooring and provides many benefits on top. As I love interior design but have to work to a small budget, I thought, after researching the options,  I would share why luxury vinyl flooring could be the right decision as it's something I am considering for my lounge. 


Vinyl flooring does not require a professional to install the tiles or planks in a majority of cases (although of course if you feel you rather have a professional fit it that's fine too). It is as simple as glueing down or clicking together whichever choice you go for, which is just fine for those who love to get their hands on a little afternoon DIY project.

As each section can be cut to specifics, it saves on cutting yourself and any leftover waste resulting in a finely placed floor placement. Karndean click vinyl flooring is a durable and highly resistant product against stains, scratches, and water damage due to various manufactured stain and water safeguards as well as anti-scratch - vinyl flooring is secure and a long term investment. Typically, vinyl flooring is not left requiring any replacement of tiles or planks or having to cover up any embarrassing accidents that would affect other flooring options. It is a product designed for ease.

wood flooring


If your home design is modern, new age or has a touch of a classic, you can match the floor to pretty much anything you are wanting to achieve with it. You could go from light or dark natural wood to a strong statement in stone. You can find endless styles and palettes to suit the mood of each room or change things up by having multiple flooring styles throughout the house giving each room its uniqueness. With luxury vinyl flooring, whatever look you are wanting to achieve will be just as good if not better than the real thing and compliment your lifestyle to match.


With those colder nights coming into effect, it would be worth adding underfloor heating as the perfect companion for vinyl flooring. Whether it is for a bedroom, a children's bedroom, a bathroom, or a living room space, you can have nights of warmth and comfort. No cold floors greet you in the middle of the night and no raising panels or tiles due to temperature changes. As the weather changes from hot nights to cold rainy evenings, your floor will stay solid all year round and not allow moisture to ruin the look of your home.


Some flooring you can lay down with very little experience or skills, as long as you are practical and happy to learn on the job and put in the work although it's also important to recognise when it's beyond your skill level and to hire a professional to do the job. Another factor to bear in mind when it comes to flooring is needing to hire a skip of your planning on pulling old or existing flooring up, of course, if you're doing a small space you may get away with a few trips to your local tip or recycling centre but for larger spaces, you do need to allocate a budget for skip hire

Bringing Karndean Click vinyl flooring into your home is not only a safe step but also a smart and long-lasting move into having your home your way for a satisfactory life. If you want reliable flooring throughout all seasons that provides better quality of life, choose luxury vinyl flooring, of course for this you will also need to think about getting a small skip to take away any old flooring. I also have a blog post about redecorating your bedroom on a budget, do check it out if you found this post interesting. 

vinyl flooring

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