The last day of our little holiday and we had decided to take a little detour on our way back home to Betws-y-Coed, somewhere I have lots of brilliant memories from as a child. I didn’t make an organised picnic so much as collect all the left over food together and throw it in the cool bag and off we went (I know there’s a great chippy there and had decided to have chips on the rocks in advance). The little ones loved the drive, the clouds were low so they covered the tops of the mountains which prompted lots of laughter and questions.
We stopped the car when we got to Swallow Falls as I thought the kids might enjoy seeing it. They were excited by the noise already, it was roaring away. There is a small fee to get in to see the waterfall but the chap behind the counter didn’t charge us for Tom or Charlotte which was lovely. We walked down the steps (there are quite a few!) to the viewing platform. The kids were laughing as they were getting some of the spray from the falls in their faces. On the other side of the platform to the falls people have thrown pennies in for wishes so armed with a coin each, they both made a wish. Well Tom made a wish and threw Charlotte’s coin. When she threw hers it landed on the platform and before she could get to it Tom and snatched it and threw it in the water. She cried, he stomped his feet. I found another coin for her and that did the job. We took advantage of the bench half way up the steps for a
rest where Tom continued to demand and stomp, we told him we wouldn’t bother with the river if he was going to behave like this which led to tears and shouting (great)! Then he just stopped and for the first time took an interest in my camera. “Mummy can I take a picture?” “Of course” So I gave him my phone and told him what button to push and off he went. He took some selfies and some family shots and he was really pleased with them (as was I).
After some raisins we made our way back up the steps to the car and headed the short distance to the river. We managed to find a parking space (it’s a small car park for such a popular area) and after a mini tantrum from both children over fishing nets and despite the shower that had started we headed to a picnic table for a quick snack from the cool bag. The rain eased off but it’s quick appearance did clear the rocks so we managed to get a good spot to settle on. The kids couldn’t wait! With children’s eyes, those rocks seem like nothing at all, me and my brothers used to scramble all over them, but as a parent they seem like ambulance trips waiting to happen! Of course I didn’t want them to know I thought that so I watched from a distance whilst silently planning my quickest route to them if they fell. They didn’t fall. Of course they didn’t. It’s an important thing for them to do both for their confidence and for us as parents to. After a few minutes I relaxed and went and got the chippy lunch leaving the kids with their Dad. They loved running in and out of the freezing cold water trying to pick up big stones to throw.
After a while we packed up and headed home. The car journey was quiet, I think they were tired out from all the splashing and walking over the weekend.
Fun had (according to the kids): 11/10
Tantrum level: 5/10 (No big ones but a fair few middling ones)
Worth it? Yes, if for no other reason than to test my nerves a bit!
Worth knowing: There are toilets at the river site in Betws-y-Coed but you’ll need a 20p to use them. There are no facilities at Swallow Falls but the drive to the river site is only a couple of minutes. It can get fairly busy on a hot sunny day too so just be aware.
50 things achievements: None today (Although potential to achieve 5. Skim a stone)
Cost: £3 for both adult tickets to see Swallow Falls, approx £3.20 (for 3-4 hours parking) and £6.00ish for chippy lunch