I have very fond memories of family holidays in Wales as a child – exploring the castles and beaches of the north Wales coast in particular.
And Minnie has already enjoyed her first trip to the country, to the far west coast of Pembrokeshire. One area I’d love to explore more though is the South Wales Valleys, especially around the gorgeous Brecon Beacons.
But it’s not all walking, hiking and enjoying the incredible scenery – although if you travel to the heart of Wales and miss that, you’ll definitely be missing out.
As well as adventure for families with older children, including riding, climbing, mountaineering and even scuba diving in the lakes, there’s plenty in the Valleys for younger kids too.
The area is home to one of Europe’s biggest medieval castles at Caerphilly with its series of moats, towers and islands, which featured in BBC series Merlin.
Then there’s a railway in the World Heritage Site at Blaenavon, as well as the Brecon Mountain mountain railway starting at Merthyr Tydfil (a name which seemed improbably exotic to me when I was younger) – a steam train fan for a father makes me suspect I must have been on this.
And as well as the area’s industrial heritage, including tin and coal mines (and one used to mature cheddar), there’s nature reserves and wildlife spotting. The National Wetlands Centre Wales in Llanelli has 66 hectares to explore, not least the fabulously named water vole city.
Or with its aim to educate and inspire, as well as conserve, the National Botanic Garden of Wales runs regular family activities.
The icing on the cake? You’ll be retracing some of Doctor Who’s travels – he’s been to everywhere from Margam Abbey to Rhondda Heritage Park. Time to follow in his footsteps.
Compiled in association with The Valleys