Easter Holiday in North Wales – try Glasfryn Parc Action & Activity Centre

Published: Tuesday 16th Mar 2010

Written by: Llion Pughe

Coming for a cottage holiday to North Wales this Easter? Here’s a good day out for all the family…

(Written by Lisa Markham, owner of Maes y Wennol holiday cottage in Snowdonia, North Wales. Lisa also has her own review column in the Daily Post).

What’s the attraction?

As Colin (11) and his Dad had gone to Old Trafford to watch Man United v Newcastle, I had the task of finding a good alternative for Tom (6) and Catrin (3).  Recommended by my friend, Sara Jones, we headed for the beautiful coast of the North Wales to experience Glasfryn Parc.

For Tom, the attraction is  ACTION in whatever form so the outlook was good as he got out: 

“It’s brilliant,” said Tom “much better than I ever imagined.”

What’s on offer?

Family Day Out in North Wales

There was activity all around us – clay Pigeon Shooting, archery and strange looking ‘alien type people’ in large helmets and multi coloured overalls preparing for… the Go Karts and Quads.

Where to go and what to do first?  Guidance was required.  We headed for a beautifully presented reception with newly planted Spring flowers.  A good first impression. 

Catrin and Tom were full of enthusiasm and energy as they ran into the very impressive 8 lane bowling centre.

An introductory tour was given by the owner of 15 years, Mr Jonathon Williams-Ellis.  A farmer utilising diversification to its utmost – farm shop supplying their own Welsh Black Beef and Lleyn Sheep working on the ‘gate to plate’ policy as well as balancing the requirements of the locals and the tourist trade.   Tom and Catrin were thrilled to have a go on a newly built Ball Park as yet not open to the public.  Under expansion the parc is constantly trying to improve to create the perfect activity centre for all ages.

“A great  place to visit with plenty to do and to have lots of fun,” said Tom.

  • Find Holiday Cottages in North Wales

How did you get there?

From a well  informed website, a map for directions was clear and simple to find.  Tom’s first task of the day was to get us there.  Tom followed the map all the way through Dolgellau, Porthmadog, Cricceth and clearly signposted, Glasfryn Parc is conveniently located 4 miles east of Pwllheli on the A499 following signs for Y Ffor..  We left home at 10.30 am and arrived at 11.43 am – just about manageable for an active ‘headstrong’ 3 year old.

How long did you stay?

Leaving the car in a spacious car park enjoying all the sights with the background drop of the beautiful North Wales mountains, we headed straight for reception located in the main building of the park.  The activities took around 2 hours with another hour for lunch and of course, the infamous play area before starting home.   As usual, I  had to drag them both away.  It’s never quite enough.  “Can we go swimming now?” asked Catrin.

Did you take a brolly?

Yes, just in case but surprisingly for early January, the weather was perfect – very mild with blue skies.  Perfect for the outdoor activities but the amazing indoor activity centre would have covered all eventualities.

What did you do there?

Tom’s smile when he saw the Go Karts painted the perfect picture.  We had a bit of a struggle getting into the overalls and helmets.  Catrin being so small, then Tom and an extra ‘tall’ one for me being 6 foot.  We were doing well before Catrin being so slim just kept slipping out of the safety harness…so Tom did the laps around the track quite happily with one of the helpful staff.  Catrin and I watched the ‘Grand Prix’ from a safe distance.

To relax when the chequered flag came down, they had some time in the cushioned play area – simple and safe but effective for Catrin to overcome the disappointment of not racing on the track.  I just took a bit of time out to plan the next stage of activity. 

Ten Pin Bowling was the favoured choice so off we went into our posh red and white bowling shoes.  The equipment looked fresh and new with really friendly, efficient staff.  The Saturday afternoon rush had appeared but we managed to get a ‘lane’ without waiting.  Patience is yet to be learnt by Catrin.  The game proved to be a great success even for Catrin who even had more points than me.  Tom was the champion with an impressive strike on his last ball for a total of 88 points.  We all left smiling and fulfilled.

We did have a final stop over at the play area where Catrin managed to use the swing on her own…a huge achievement in her opinion.

How much did it cost you?

For two double junior Go Karts it cost £14.00 and the Ten Pin Bowling cost £10.00 for two players.  All the activities are priced separately which could make the day quite expensive if we’d managed to all the activities on offer.

How about food and drink?

With Welsh Black beef, lamb and game bred and reared on the estate at Glasfryn Parc you expected the extensive of freshly prepared meals being offered.  Catrin and Tom were quite satisfied with their snacks of tuna sandwich,  cheese paninis and apple juices at a cost of £8.70. The ability to accommodate all requirements was a great advantage when you have the specific tastes of young children.

I enjoyed their café experience especially the Grand Prix theme with wonderful photographs of the Glasfryn experience.  Having 2 full-time chefs employed reflects the service available ranging from the passing tourist trade, the locals and also the corporate events for various groups  and evening parties.  Even conference room facilities and bar is available for events tailored to your own requirements.

Are there any shops?

The farm shop was definitely a siop with a difference offering quality welsh produce and meats.  They had traditional bacon cured and smoked on the premises with pickles, preserves and gourmet foods.  The children were not too impressed with the lack of toys but plenty of ice creams which helped.

Is it ok/safe for kids?

Being the longest establishment of its kind in Wales, their Health and Safety procedures is clearly a priority with the good instruction and proper use of  protective clothing and helmets.  Safety barriers clearly in place to guide customers where to await instructions to avoid any accidents occurring.  As the parc accommodates people of all ages – children and adults, the supervision of young children is paramount for their safety.  Set in approximately 350 acres, the estate can easily offer activities like archery, the quads, the go-karting and clay pigeon shooting and still create a feeling of safety for younger children and their families.

Can people with disabilities get around?

Disabled facilities were clearly noticeable with wide gateways, doorways and corridors and being so spacious, the parc is suitable for all abilities and special needs. Having special needs customers there in the cafe, it is quite clearly a  regular spot to visit on a Saturday afternoon to eat and take part in activities which are on offer.  With 3 separate toilet facilities on site accommodating the various outdoor and indoor activities.

What was the best bit?

Having experienced the Go-Karting and the Ten Bowling Centre – it was the perfect day out for Tom.   Catrin was not old enough to fully enjoy what was on offer even though the bowling was great for her. Another vist will be arranged for Colin to experience the archery, the quads and the clay pigeon shooting to fully utilise the activites on offer.  With the new Ball Play Area being established as well as the new Piano Bar for the ‘relaxing adults’ this Parc will definitely be worth another visit.– a real fun day out but  challenging at the same time creating a real sense of achievement.  Seeing Tom’s face beam as the flag came down to end his session on the karts was a moment to remember. 

I was thrilled to note that everything on site was bilingual – even the menus on the special boards in the café.  In addition, all the staff spoke Welsh.  Excellent for the locals and tourists alike. 

Opening times?

Amazingly, the Glasfryn Parc is open every day of the year.

Seven days a week from  10:00 am til late.

Address:           Glasfryn Parc, Y Ffor, Pwllheli, Gwynedd  LL53 6RD

Tel:  01766 810202  /   www.glasfryn.co.uk   /   info@glasfryn.co.uk     

Rating ****

Being open everyday apart from Christmas Day deserves a 4 star rating.

Best of Wales currently have Easter Holiday special offers on 4 and 5 star holiday cottages near Glasfryn Parc – find out more…


Gareth Mahoney

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