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Bird watching

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There are stunning views from the surrounding summits. Red kites and buzzards soar overhead and ravens, peregrines, sparrowhawks, merlins and goshawks may be seen.  There are binoculars in Ty Mari and bird books in both cottages. The Ystwyth valley is one of the foremost areas of the country for observing red kites. This large bird of prey was on the verge of extinction before being successfully repopulated in the valley. Whilst the birds may often be seen circling on thermals outside of the cottages, local feeding centres provide opportunities to see the birds at much closer quarters and are particularly popular with children.  There are several RSPB Centres in Mid-Wales where lapwings, little egrets, redshanks and white-fronted geese may be seen. If you pop down to Aberystwyth pier as the sun is setting, you will often catch an amazing sight as you look up and see the murmuration of starlings.  Wonderopolis says of this: ‘regardless of the size of the murmuration, all the birds seem to be connected to the same network.  This phenomenon puzzles scientists, because it goes beyond what we know from biology about how animals behave.  The mystery of the murmuration is a fascinating example of a natural phenomenon that hides secrets about the world that scientists have still yet to uncover!  Have your video at the ready!

If you want a couple of inspiring books to read on your holiday, these will inform and inspire your birdwatching in Wales:

Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel (Black Swan pub. 2015)

Deep Country by Neil Ansell (Penguin 2012)

Boat trips

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Cardigan Bay is the largest Bay in the British Isles, stretching approximately 50 miles from Bardsey Island off the Llyn Peninsular in the north to Strumble Head in Pembrokeshire in the South. Cardigan Bay is home to a rich variety of wildlife including the largest resident population of bottlenose dolphins in the whole of Europe. Although the ever playful bottlenose dolphins which often steal the limelight, Cardigan Bay is also home the smaller harbour porpoise, atlantic grey seals, and a wide variety of bird species.

This has lead to Cardigan Bay’s beautiful coastline being designated as a Special Area of Conservation to help ensure its beauty and its wildlife is safeguarded for generations to come.  Have a look at this website and see if it could lead to a memorable day out.  We haven’t tried it but they have won a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.  

Dolphin spotting is fun on a calm day!  There are several companies providing trips.  Boats also leave from New Quay main pier. Contact 01545 560800

Chocolate-making demonstration

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Sarah Bunton is an artisan chocolatier based at Devils Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains of Mid-Wales. She strives to create fine chocolates that are both delicious and innovative, taking classic combinations (and exciting new ones) and adding our own special touch! Chocolates are for sale at Y Caban by the station at Devil’s Bridge and for a group of 8 or more she will arrange a chocolate workshop! Call 01970 890650

Christian church services

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A lively Anglican church, St Michael’s  is on the sea front at Aberystwyth and nearby in South Road SY23 1JF there is a warm welcoming Elim church.  The Local church at Hafod, St Michael and All Angels has services in Welsh and English at 1030am on the 1st and 2nd Sunday each month.  The church is well worth a visit and is open every day between 1030am and 430pm from Easter to September 30th.  

Cycling and Mountain biking

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Srys Melyn Cycling offers a great adventure for all the family with a range of e-bikes for adults and children for hire along with the offer of a delivery and collection service from Welsh Hideaways. 

Cycling is a great way to explore the welsh countryside and many cyclists enjoy the unique character of the Cambrian Mountains.  This guide will help you plan your holiday.  Natural Resources Wales works in partnership with the cycling community to provide dedicated cycle tracks at many of the most popular locations. Wales as a whole now has over 1000 miles of cycling paths. Due to the relative quiet of travelling on a bike, birds and mammals are often not scared off so quickly. Cycling therefore represents an excellent way to take in the abundant wildlife on offer.  There is also a good mountain bike trail near the cottages and mountain biking in the winter can be memorable!  You might be inspired by this 3 day gravel biking adventure close to Welsh Hideaways!

The Ystwyth Trail is a 20 mile route linking Aberystwyth and Tregaron.  Most of the off-road sections are suitable for families with supervised young children.  Dogs need to be on a lead.

Escape Room

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See Ultimate Xscape Aberystwyth: www.ultimatexscape.co.uk 01970 890620

Escape rooms are real life escape puzzles, where teams of up to 6 people work together to figure out clues and escape before time is up!  On A44 near Ponterwyd, close to Welsh Hideaways SY23 3AB

Family Play Centre

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Quackers is a family play centre situated close to Newbridge-on-Wye LD1 6HR.  As well as a 4 lane astro slide they have the biggest drop slide in Mid-Wales, a tube slide, roller racers, a rope bridge, ball pool and many other exciting features including softball cannons and double dropslide.  Outside there is a large sandpit, race track with pedal go-karts, and a nature walk round the lake.  Adults are allowed on all the equipment too!!  There is also a cafe serving home cooked meals and snacks.  Do note the opening times on the website as these are geared around school holidays.

Go Karting

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CBKartingwales.co.uk 07875095093 takes place near Aberaeron SA46 0HN

Junior karts available for those who are 137cm (4ft 7″) and over. 750m outdoor track with loads of fun to be had.

Horse riding

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Exploring Wales on horseback is a great way to enjoy the beautiful countryside. Nearby Rheidol Riding Centre   is there for a wide range of ages and levels of experience, offering gentle pony treks or more exhilarating cross-country courses.  There is also the well-reviewed Caeiago Riding Centre at SA19 8LZ. 

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