The roads were winding, the views spectacular…waterfalls, forests and a three mile stretch of golden sand. We had arrived in Neath Port Talbot: The dramatic heart of Wales for a family activity break. Driving along the winding lane to our campsite in our T5 camper, I knew that an activity holiday in South Wales would be something really special and just what we all needed.
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The Dramatic Heart of Wales
We love nothing more than exploring the UK. There are so many incredible places to enjoy- right on our door step. The county of Neath Port Talbot welcomes visitors from afar and is a hub for outdoor activities. With mountains and valleys, rivers and coasts, there is something for everyone. It is a place with a huge story to tell and one that will capture your heart and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Campsites in South Wales: Willow Springs campsite
Our base for our family activity break was Willow Springs campsite. This is a small, family run eco- campsite located in the heart of the Afan Valley, near Port Talbot in South Wales. We stayed here for three nights in total and enjoyed the beautiful, small and peaceful campsite which proved an ideal base to explore the surrounding area.
The campsite is extremely welcoming, offering 10 camping pitches (non electric) with parking that is suitable for a campervan, motorhome (up to 25ft) trailer tents, standard tents, and day vans. If glamping is more your things- Willow Springs has three Shepherds huts available to rent.
Willow Springs campsite is a unique campsite offering a peaceful, secluded location, yet provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and enjoy the wonderful activities that are literally on the doorstep
A family activity break – Things to do in and around Port Talbot
If you love cycling, surfing, paddle boarding and hiking, then Neath Port Talbot offers an abundance of outdoor activities for all of the family to enjoy. During our three days we tried our hand at go karting, paddle boarding, cycling and walking.
Our first visit was to Margam Country Park and it won’t be our last. Set in around 850 acres, Margam Park is a wonderful family friendly day out, with something to do for everyone. The Castle dates back to 1830 and although currently closed, offers an incredible backdrop to the gardens. The picturesque abbey is now a wedding venue and the kids loved running around the ruins.
For the younger kids there is Fairytale land to explore. Fairytale land is designed for kids aged 10 and under, and includes a large range of miniature house with Fairytale themes, a toddler play area, picnic area, giant chess and draughts and an adventure castle.
For children aged 6-12 there is a large adventure playground which I believe is a relatively new addition to Margam Park.
Margam Park Adventure offers a huge range of activities at Margam Park. Canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, raft building, archery and go karting; there is something for everyone. We split up into two teams and my husband took the younger children go karting around the park, and my eldest daughter and I tried our hand at paddleboarding, an unforgettable experience with the castle in the distance.
We had the most lovely day here, the kids absolutely loved it and the park is huge so didn’t feel busy at all. Another lovely thing to add is that dogs are welcome here too, so you can bring along your fur baby!
For more information head over to Margam Country Park
Aberavon Sea front
From our base at Willow Springs, we headed to the sea front to spend a couple of hours enjoying the sea air and sandy toes. The weather can be unpredictable, but the sun appeared for our time on the beach and it was absolutely beautiful.
The beach is a huge expanse of sand (a three mile stretch!) with views towards Swansea Bay, and is great for a walk or a cycle along the promenade. There is plenty of place to stop and enjoy a bite to eat or a drink and watch the world go by, along with a play park and adventure golf, if the kids need a break from the sandcastles and swimming.
One thing to add is that the RNLI and Aberavon Surf Life Saving club is based here, too.
Afan Forest Park
One of our favourite memories from our few days exploring the heart of Wales is our visit to Afan Forest Park.
Here we met Ben at Afan Bike Shed who took us on a family mountain biking trail through the forest. There are biking trails for all abilities from easy family rides to trails for the experienced. Bikes are available to hire, and after a long bike ride with the kids (and for us it was a little wet – although this added to adventure and certainly didnt spoil it for us!) there is nothing better than drying off in a cafe with a hot chocolate and treating the kids to cake for all their cycling efforts. The forest provides shelter from the elements and is a perfect day out at any time of the year.
The cycle route through the forest was absolutely perfect for our family, and their differing ages and abilities and Ben was incredible showing us around the trails and talking to us about the forest and what’s on offer. Nothing was too much trouble and the trail was perfect to encourage the children to get outside, keep on riding that bike and explore the forest.
Outdoor life: Activity holiday in South Wales
The county of Neath Port Talbot offers beautiful country parks, deep valleys, a gorgeous sandy beach and dramatic waterfalls. A few days in the fresh air is always welcomed, away from screens and true uninterrupted time as a family, exploring, adventuring, trying new things and seeing new places. It fills my heart with joy.
Paddleboarding, go karting, bike riding in Afan Forest and coffee on Aberavon beach, yet we only scratched the surface of what Port Talbot has to offer. With deep valleys, waterfalls, rivers and gorges there are also so many wonderful walking routes to enjoy.
Our stay was extremely welcoming, dramatically Welsh, and incredibly memorable.
Thanks for inviting us to create some wonderful memories that will stay with us forever.
Find out more www.dramaticheart.wales
We will be back
Disclosure Otis and Us were kindly invited to Neath port Talbot however the opinions and thoughts are all our own.