The last few years, around new years eve, we make a family bucket list of all the days out and family activities we would like to do before the next year – some are really simple, like family movie night, go to the library or bake cookies. Other things are more expensive or take a bit more planning – like go to Center Parcs or go for a day out somewhere.
Before the summer we realised that we haven’t actually crossed that much off it – we have done loads of things but apparently not the things on our list – so it seemed a bit like it was a personal challenge to get as much crossed off over the summer as we could!
So it was a very busy summer! There was a lot going on in our families too – birthdays, new babies and new houses etc, so that added a lot of extra in too!
We had the usual pool days in the garden and visiting grandparents and going up the farm as well.
It was lovely to have a full and busy summer, but I do think we could have done with a few extra slow and calm days too.
There seemed to be a lot of hospital appointments this summer, and usually I try and not have them in the summer holidays but it wasn’t too bad. Anest had her new wheelchair and she is using that really well.
Anest is in a stage where she needs to be entertained and doing at all times, and the thought of ‘house days’ wasn’t what she wanted to hear this summer!
Here is a bit of a recap of what we got up to:
Oakwood Theme Park
Oakwood is one of those places that makes me think of being a kid in summer time, we went every year and it was always an amazing day out. We have taken the kids a few times, but haven’t been since covid. The kids enjoyed, Anest got to go on a few rides but after a while it got a bit too much for her and she was quite happy just watching the other two and playing in soft play for a while.
Accessibility wise there wasn’t really much, as far as I could tell there wasn’t any wheelchair friendly rides but we didn’t ask because Anest wouldn’t have enjoyed the bigger rides and we just carried her onto the smaller ones that she did go on. There was a changing room with a bed which was good but we didn’t find out about it until just before we left – all the staff we had asked throughout the day had just directed us to disabled toilets (no bed) but one of the staff members at closing time told us about it.
Unfortunately, it’s not somewhere I can see us taking Anest after maybe next year as she is getting bigger and heavier but it was a nice day out this year.
Carreg Cennen Castle
We love a castle. I don’t think there is many in Wales we haven’t visited now!
It was a nice place to go, there is a little gift shop and a cafe but I don’t know if it’s somewhere we would go back to.
Accessibility wise it wasn’t brilliant. The hill is very steep, the website says that it is suitable for some wheelchairs, so we took Anest’s off road wheelchair and if we had taken her other one there is no way we would have got up there.
It was a nice day out though and we get to cross it off our list!
Folly Farm is one of our favourite days out. We go there are least once a year.
I managed to convince Jac to come with us this year as he hasn’t been for a few years, and while he did enjoy I don’t think he will be coming again. I personally think though that Folly Farm is suitable for all ages, and I went at his age and older but never mind!
There is really good accessibility around the park, there is changing room toilet with a bed and it just feels like a good day out with a wheelchair.
The only downside is that the fair rides are not accessible for wheelchairs, and a few of Anest’s favourite rides she won’t fit in much longer because they are for the younger kids.
It is such a good day out otherwise!
A Picnic and a Swim in the river
A few years ago Mali wanted to do this for her birthday and it has become an annual event since. We have an annual boat race and the kids swim in the river and it is just a lovely day out. We go to the Usk river by the reservoir and it is lovely and quiet.
Anest’s boat won this year!
We went for a day out in Tenby for my birthday, which was lovely – Tenby is one of our favourite places to go. The shops aren’t brilliant accessibility wise – some of them have steps, others are a bit too narrow to get around (usually because there are so many people in them!) but it is a lovely seaside town.
There is a changing bed in the Saltern carpark, but it does feel a bit out of the way and we didn’t use it this time.
Bosherton Lily Ponds
If James has a day off we tend to go somewhere we are not sure about to see whether it is accessible for Anest.
Bosherton Lily ponds is somewhere we have always fancied going to, but just never been to. So when James had a day off just before the summer holidays it seemed like a good place to go to!
It is lovely there, the lily ponds are pretty – I loved the bridges and there was a lovely beach there.
However, path wise it just wasn’t suitable for Anest’s wheelchair. Some places in the park would have been, and we passed a man on a motorised wheelchair but it was a limited area and not where we wanted to go so it’s not somewhere we will be taking Anest.
It’s a shame but it’s not somewhere I feel like she is missing out (or the other two) on not going to because there is just as nice places but I am glad we went because it was a nice walk for James and I anyway.
We went to Llansteffan beach for a couple of hours, it was a nice walk to the beach. There wasn’t much there really other than the beach and a little park and cafe but it was nice to visit!
There didn’t seem to be any disabled toilets with changing beds but I didn’t ask anyone.
On a Wednesday, my sister has Anest for a few hours for us to do something with the older two. We went to Llangorse lake for a walk around to see if it’s suitable for Anest’s wheelchair – it’s nice to have somewhere local (ish) to go rather than going to the same places all the time.
Overall it was okay, I think we could do it in Anest’s offroad chair (we have the Delichon Delta) but there are places where it would be a bit hit or miss if it had been rainy, some parts looked like they may get boggy. It’s somewhere we will try in the future though!
You can hire a boat there too, which we did when the kids were small so that might be something we look into next time!
There are public toilets in the car-park and I did get excited that they had a changing bed but in hindsight it looked smaller than usual size and I am wondering if it’s a wet room bed but as a changing bed for babies – I didn’t check the weight but I will if we go back!
We stopped in Laugharne for a walk on the way to our holiday cottage. It was a lovely place to walk around. The castle itself was closed, but we went for a walk along the coastal path to have a look at Dylan Thomas’s boat house which was nice and flat for the wheelchair. There didn’t seem to be any disabled toilets with changing beds but I didn’t ask anyone.
Every summer I say we will go to Pembroke Castle and we never do but this year was the year! It was a nice castle to look around, it was very limited on what Anest could do because there are so many steps etc. There was a disabled toilet but no changing bed which is a shame as it’s such a popular place.
We finished off the summer holidays with a few days in a holiday cottage in Pembrokeshire, it was a lovely way to end the summer. The kids enjoyed in the hot tub and we went for a few days out as well as having some relaxing time back at the cottage.
It wasn’t a disabled friendly cottage – we don’t need one yet, but it was a lovely place to stay!
I have put a reel up over on instagram of our stay if you want to have a look!
While it was a lovely and Jam-packed summer there was hard bits – Anest had quite a few days where her anxiety/excitement sickness thing was triggered (not the official term!). There were other days where Anest was quite hard work when there wasn’t much on and being out of routine, and we did have a bit of a scare with her at the end of the summer when she had a seizure for the first time. We have everything crossed it was a one off!
So this is just a reminder that if you felt like your holidays were hard and not that good – everyone is only showing the good bits!
I hope you did have a lovely summer though!