What do three excited children under six, one boisterous dog and two frazzled mums have in common? They are all desperate to leave the chaos of their homes and enjoy the first warm, sunny day of the year.
Where better to do this than the much loved country park of Alyn Waters. Alyn Waters is the largest country park in Wrexham, North Wales and sits in the beautiful surrounds of Alyn Valley. It is currently a Green Flag accredited site and boasts a wide range of activities to suit families, dog walkers, fitness enthusiasts and cyclists.
Upon arrival at the country park you are greeted by fantastic parking facilities and a welcome café, instantly putting us mums at ease knowing that there will be rewards for all at the end of the walk! There is also a user friendly map showing the expanse of the park and the different activities on offer, which include a sculpture trail, various on and off-track walking trails, a trim track combining a walk with various exercise machines and an adventure playground catering for children of all ages.
We decided to explore the sculpture trail first and were pleasantly surprised with the versatility it offered, which included a smooth surface for my 4 year old on his balance bike and more challenging off road, hilly surfaces for my 6 year old on his mountain bike. The iron sculptures provided a great focal point on the ride and ample discussion opportunities along the way, including whether one sculpture was in fact a million year old dinosaur egg!
After a quick pack lunch to refuel the legs, we headed out on adventure number two, which took us on a stunning walk through the country park and across the crystal clear, shimmering waters of Alyn River. The riverside track was a bit more challenging but still manageable on the bikes and accompanying buggy and any challenges were rewarded by stunning views and a wonderful water side pit stop perfect for stick throwing, diving dogs, hill climbing and if you’re brave enough – dipping your toes in!
All the waterside shenanigans had made us rather thirsty so we headed back to the café for the obligatory revitalising coffee for the mums and the ‘we don’t care if it’s winter’ ice-creams for the boys; and I was excited to discover that the café is actually run as a social enterprise offering people with disabilities the opportunity to work in various aspects of catering both behind and in front of the counter.
Once refreshed, we headed back out to the adventure playground because to be quite honest no day out with the children is complete until you have completely exhausted yourself to the point where you are thankful to return to the washing, ironing, cooking and tidying up that you were not so long ago, desperate to get away from!
For more information on how you can enjoy Alyn Waters as a great solo or family day out, please CLICK HERE to access their website.
By Sarah Booth