Rockpooling, Duck Racing and Pond Dipping – Visit Wales Part 2

Our weekend in Wales was too good to fit into one post so here is Visit Wales Part 2! You’d think we wouldn’t be able to top horse riding and tobogganing wouldn’t you; that Day 2 would be a damp squib? Oh no, dear reader – we had the time of our lives!

Day Two started on the beach again but this time we meandered down from our hotel in Saundersfoot to Wiseman’s Bridge and to the best rock pooling beach we have found EVER.

If you don’t have a Rocky Shore Name Trail from the Field Studies Council – get one, they are brilliant, we’ve had ours for years and it is invaluable when you need to identify something on the beach (they do lots of identification charts, I can’t recommend them highly enough) – we found mussels, anemones, winkles, weeds, barnacles and more!

rockpooling in Wales, visit walesThey were pretty pleased!

It was a brittle star according to our identification card and it was a first for us, we’d never found one of these before! Moments after I took this photo, we found another one!

brittle star, rockpooling, visit wales

Next stop was Colby Woodland Gardens, deep in the Pembrokeshire countryside and approached by tree tunnel lanes bursting with bluebells. It is a garden where children can run free and where they are encouraged to explore, build, create and play – I am totally in love with it.

colby woodland gardens, visit WalesWe visited the walled garden and wandered with ducks, the summer-house and marvelled at the trompe l’oeil (that door, that view and that key are all painted!) and the shed to plant some broad beans to bring home!

walled garden, colby woodland gardens, visit wales

We went pond dipping and I realised that, while I had done it with Boy 1 and 2, I had never done it with Bonus Boy and Our Girl, another first time experience in Wales!

pond dipping, visit wales, colby woodland garden

We raced ducks, built dams, swung on rope swings, built dens and generally had a very good time! I rather liked that Our Girl’s duck went a bit teenage and refused to come out from under this bridge during one of our races – I put it down to the Mohican it was sporting! We poked it out with a stick and jollied it along – much as we do with our teen children 😉

duck racing, teenagers, visit wales

We had a busy, happy outdoorsy day.

When we wandered along to the cafe for lunch we found Tina Cunningham and her Wild Art, she taught the children how to make wreath bases using cornus sanguinea cut from Colby Gardens. If you are nearby this bank holiday weekend (3/4/5 May 2014) pop into Colby for the Story of Wood festival for Woodcraft and Wild Art – Wood Turners, Wood , Sculpture, Wood Carving, Driftwood Art, plant a tree and more, Tina will be there!

wild art with Tina Cunningham at Colby Gardens

Goodness, we packed a lot in to one weekend but I’m not finished yet – I still need to tell you about Castles and Dylan Thomas! Come back soon for the final installment of our Visit Wales experience!

Our activities were provided by Visit Wales for the purposes of this article, all opinions are our own and a jolly good time we had too!

Read Our Welsh Adventures Part 1 Here! More About Colby Woodland Gardens More Things To Do In Wonderful Wales!





  1. Oooh, loads to add to my bucket list for our trip planned to Wales this summer.

    How did you cram so much into a day?

    • It was a challenge Monika, that’s for sure! Colby Gardens had so much for us to do all in one place that it was easy to keep everyone entertained and busy for hours, I just wish it was on our doorstep as we would really love to visit again soon!

  2. My ex-husband is Welsh and he sort of tainted Wales for me, but it is admittedly a beautiful country and you have done it credit. And aren’t your children beautiful too? :)

  3. Ah it looks like such a lovely trip. I remember Saundersfoot from when I was a child. Happy simple pleaseures :)

  4. I’m yet to see a starfish in the wild. Andrea and I took the girls rockpooling when we went to Devon and we all had such a great time. We didn’t find anything as exciting as you though and poor Sophie ended up in the rock pool and was drenched afterwards x

  5. Looks and sounds like you all had a fantastic time…. great photos too. Me and my family are going on holiday to Wales beginning of June, and I’m really looking forward to it. That starfish is amazing! :o)

  6. Wow, Wales just keeps on giving. We had a blast in North Wales – you just can’t beat it for the mix of mountains, seaside, history and nature. Love this post Chris, such a beautiful insight into your trip. Must get that guide -we’ve got very into pond dipping recently!

  7. What an amazing weekend! Thank you so much for recommending the identification chart thingymebob as we are off to Cornwall later this year for serious rock pooling so it will come in very handy. Wales looks like the perfect location for an amazing and fun-filled weekend x

  8. Wales has been on our list of places to visit for a while now and your posts are just making me want to hurry up and book a trip. Just as soon as Master C’s big enough to properly explore we’ll be there! Until then I think we’ll just have to make do with pond dipping at our local nature reserve.

  9. I haven’t been to Wales since I was 14 and my mum took me to Colwyn Bay. My husband speaks fondly of Llandudno. We keep meaning to take the kids and explore more.

  10. Looks like a great trip. My 10 year old would be very jealous. We found nothing but one dead crab when we went rock pooling. Thanks for telling us about the sheets I will show him.

  11. Aw, love this post. Despite already living in Pembs we stayed in a tourer caravan all round Pembrokeshire in every school holiday. Wiseman’s Bridge was one of our regular parks. We have that identification chart within a bigger publication with quizzes and challenges etc. Think kids bought it home from school. I used to love the A3 colour in identification sheets we used to buy from the National Parks and shops next to beaches. There were 20 p then 50p. We love Colby too and have met Tina at other venues such as Manor Park x

  12. ooh that brittle star is cool Frankie would love to see one of them. Thanks Chris. Gorgeous [post looks like you had a Wales of a time (see what I did there!)

  13. It all looks such fun and so up my street! You have me looking forward to a Somerest break I have coming up soon even more now, turns out that monkey Penny will be there too so double trouble!

  14. Such beautiful pictures! I especially love the ones at the seaside

  15. Oh wow this looks and sounds amazing! I have to say that Wales has a very special place in our hearts too, we’ve had some of our best holidays there over the years :-)

  16. How fabulous is that starfish?!

    So lucky, I’ve never seen one before.

    I’m literally never happier than when I’m beach combing or hunting in rockpools and i’m delighted that my daughter is the same.

  17. I love North Wales, this us a bit I don’t know and frankly, it looks as if I would love it. So many of my fave things in one post. Off to read the other one.



  1. Welsh Castles & Walking in the Footsteps of Dylan Thomas - Visit Wales - […] I told you about our first horse riding experience and our tobogganing, on Friday I wrote about duck racing, …

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