notebook

Oh Wales-it seems so long ago now that we were there but it was literally only a week ago! Luckily, I treated myself to yet another notebook (I have a REAL and pretty consuming obsession with notebooks-and stationery in general)! but this one was a necessity- and meant I could scribble down notes during our lush week away making it easier to reflect back and write this post.

Yes, I know I’m literally justifying my millionth notepad but I love putting pen to paper and can’t function without somewhere to keep notes or jot down inspiration when it strikes.

cloud in the sky

..It had been 4 years since I’d last visited wonderful Wales-my husband was in Anglesey last year after the Passportgate debacle with Oliver (we discovered his passport had just expired the night before we were due to fly)- so it was pretty magical to return this time and retrace the boys’ steps but together, as a family.

Beaumaris Beach

And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.

We had a completely picture-perfect idyllic week in North Wales, just 2 1/2 hours away from home, a sunny window of a week where we could all switch off and zone out.

sea-North Wales

It was just what we needed too: special, uninterrupted family time together-sunny days filled with blue skies and nothing but tranquil days to while away collecting shells and drinking lattes by the sea.

Lush.

Beaumaris Beach-North Wales

Beaumaris beach utterly captured our hearts. My first time there, but the place Oliver and Peter spent most of their week last year, we couldn’t keep away no matter how far we travelled or explored.

This new family’s happy place saw us crab catching (we threw them back after), enjoying walks on the pebbled beach before ice creams on the pier as the sun went down.

Beaumaris Beach

throwing stones into the sea

The town of Beaumaris is a total beauty too.

I adored the pastel painted houses (an instagrammer’s dream) and the eclectic indie shops which lined the streets. Pristine and so pretty, with the glorious sun, I felt I was far away in the South of France.

The ideal backdrop for an impromptu shoot.

pastel painted houses

style kids' style

Scarf Louis Vuitton, Coat, Topshop, Shades Chanel, Wellies, Hunter.

Also the perfect place for ice-cream lovers too.

If you pop to Beaumaris, promise me you’ll race over to the Red Boat for the best ice cream in town (Peter even dined on soup and homemade bread there and said it was top notch) too!

I was actually shocked that a lady who worked there who is also a fellow blogger recognised me. I always find it surprising and rather special when I’m recognised because of this blog here, especially when it happens outside of London, where my biggest audience is based.

Anyway, while there, this Greek Yorkshire lass opted for a healthy Greek yoghurt scoop with fresh strawberries (and a few licks of the moorish chocolate flavour my husband opted for!

A favourite for locals too, I loved that they had colouring in stations to keep kids busy, proudly pinning little customer’s work up on the wall.

Not far from there, by Beaumaris Castle lies a sweet park the boys (and Mama) loved to play in. With the local kids back at school (with different term times to us), my boys had free reign of the park most days, much to their delight.

park Beaumaris park by the castle fun in the park

When we weren’t chilling and playing in Beaumaris, we were out driving around, discovering the unmissable sights of North Wales.

South Stacks stands out as a captivating day-it could however prove a worry with little ones on the loose. I held onto Xander the whole time as the cliff drop is shockingly high without  any safety barriers to protect children.

Please make the trip with that in mind. We walked down to the cliff edge (there are stairs and the descent is safe) but I do think it’s better suited to adults and older children.

South Stacks

South Stack Cliffs RSPB

A complete beauty to behold once you get there and it reminded me of Sea Point in South Africa, such is the view. Achingly beautiful.

South Stacks

Another day saw us make the drive to the weird and wonderful Portmeirion my agent had recommended we visit.

A tourist village in Gwynedd, North Wales, it was designed and built by Sir Clough Williams  Ellis over a 50 year time span (!) between 1925 and 1975 in the style of an Italian village. It’s now owned by a charitable trust.

I was born in 1980 so missed this show, but you might recognise it as ‘the village’ from the 60s television show The Prisoner.

It definitely reminded me of a stunning film set and it makes sense lots of weddings are hosted there.

The day we visited was overcast but when the sun is out, you could be in Italy, not North Wales.

Portmeirion Portmeirion Village Italian style architecture bird Portmeirion

Wales Portmeirion Portmeirion playing

relaxing

While the buildings could do with a little tlc, the views were dreamy and it was well worth the visit.

stunning view at Portmeirion

The kids had so much fun playing in the fixed boat there-cue the cutest ‘I’m the captain’ pictures before you.

Portmeirion

fun

Cutie

I must note that the food was outstanding in the restaurant there too- and I only wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry to return back to the hotel- as that evening saw my family and I judge Ch 4’s Too Many Cooks on TV. Hilarious fun but I would have loved another hour at Portmeirion!

I actually forgot the food shot (#badblogger) but here’s a fashion one of me looking pensive in a stunning red coat c/o of Jacques Vert, shades c/o Chanel and back pack bought that morning from New Look.

Backpacks are all the rage daarlings, don’t you know?!

Wellies are navy Hunters which I lived in for the trip.

red coat and Hunter wellies

The most touching part of the whole holiday was witnessing the boys bonding, yes they still fought ( a lot) but their relationship truly developed in Wales and they shared many a tender moment from precious cuddles to holding hands and even snuggling in bed together at night.


park life

park fun

Ralph Lauren Kids striped jumperbrothers brothers sweet boys smile brothers playing

Aw

brothers cuddlingI loved seeing them fast asleep in a hotel double bed together, there is nothing sweeter than two babes cuddling in their slumber.

Talking of sleep, I enjoyed a lot of disco naps myself-daytime drives through the countryside made me drop off (it was all that sea air) and it was so restorative to snooze on those journeys and wake up in the most gorgeous of surroundings.

I need to live by the sea and am putting that wish out there to the universe. Sea life make me happy.

Nothing beats collecting shells with my boys and breathing in that soul-replenishing salty sea air.

I always thought a move to LA for sunny days was in our plans one day but now I’m thinking North Wales is the way to go!

beach

by the beach Beaumaris Beach collecting shells

shells

Aw, beach time is the BEST time!

walking along the beach stony beach pebbles on the beach sea pretty stones on the beach

Under the pier I told Oliver all about a little show called Baywatch as I pretending to do the Pammy run (in a coat and wellies I might add). He wasn’t too impressed!

pier

Don’t blame him, there were sandcastles to be built and Mum was doing stupid impressions of lifeguards running down the beach!

North Wales seaside

playing on the beach beautiful beach digging on the beach

fun on the beach hey! Ralph Lauren kids

For a quick city fix, I picked up some swimsuits (I’d forgotten to pack) and a few tea dresses in Llandudno with even a spot of pamper time in Debenhams where I treated myself to a French mani and eyebrow thread and dye (simultaneously too).

I had a pedicure another day at the brilliant Polished in Bangor too. A chic monochrome salon, my tootsies have never looked prettier- and if I’d  had my way I would have spent the day there!

My sweet Xander sat on my knee throughout the treatment, stroking my arm. Such a darling Mummy’s Boy!

Now with swimwear in hand we could swim at the hotel we stayed at towards the end of the holiday and left Wales wet-headed, relaxed and totally rejuvenated.

swimming

What a happy, happy time we had.

portrait

happy boy

happy childThank you Wales, we will be back!

Don’t miss our vlog of the trip:

If you’re thinking of visiting Wales on holiday, check out this fab infographic bursting with tips and places too see from Silver Bay Holiday Village (I wasn’t paid to share this, I just liked it)!

infographic-Wales

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71 Responses

  1. Welsh Cakes and Wellies

    Gorgeous photos of your little ones and of the scenery, which really showcase The beauty of Wales. I loved reading your post. You’ll have to visit South Wales next!
    Welsh Cakes and Wellies recently posted…Christmas Shopping in CardiffMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Nicola Wiggins

    I absolutely this post. Makes me so homesick! Portmeirion is a particular favourite of mine but I can also recommend Abergele beach if you return to the area. There’s not much in the village but the beach is incredible. Love your photos too, so gorgeous x

    Reply
  3. suz

    Great pics of one of my favourite places
    #BrilliantBlogPosts
    suz recently posted…Planning my picture book videoMy Profile

    Reply
  4. becca farrelly

    Wow what an amazing time you had! Beautiful photos too! I have never been to Wales (I know, ridiculous!) but it is on my list and even more so now! I’m really desperate to get away this year as we just haven’t managed it since Mia was born 🙂
    #brillblogposts

    Reply
  5. Silly Mummy

    Looks lovely! Love the pretty little towns. I’ve never been to North Wales, only the South (which is lovely too!) Don’t think I could cope with the stress of South Stacks with two toddlers. I’m bad enough with cliff drops on my own! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  6. Jade Lloyd

    Bendigedig! Your pictures are so lovely, there seemed simplicity but perfect composition..also helps that your children are gorgeous! My family come from Wales and whilst I have settled in the South West..because they invented the cream tea and I love a scone;) the first picture brought a tear to my eye as it is a beautiful place.Thank you for that happy feeling and we are glad you had such a lovely family holiday..I have never heard of a staycation!Fab post as ever #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks lovely Jade, really touched by your comment, ooh we love South Wales too and used to live in Bristol so would visit. We had the most wonderful time. Staycations to me mean not getting on a plane xx

      Reply
  7. International Elf Service

    These photos are really stunning – I love Wales and remember many a wonderful family holiday there when we were kids! We just need a bit more sun in the UK for more weeks!

    Reply
  8. Fern P

    Judging by the photos, you’ve used the perfect word to describe your holiday: Lush! Love it. I’ve never left NZ, so love seeing the world through other people’s eyes.
    That notebook is fab – you can never have too many!

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Fern, I really want to visit NZ and have friends there, blogs are a great way of travelling without leaving the country aren’t they! I’m determined to visit! You are so right about notebooks-my husband thinks it’s hilarious so many I’ve got!

      Reply
  9. Petite Pudding

    Wow the photos in this post are totally stunning and I am feeling a trip to north Wales needing to be booked in for the summer. Might have to check out that ice cream parlor! #BrillBlogPosts

    Reply
  10. Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu)

    Some beautiful shots that I enjoyed following at the time. It looks like you had great fun and I hope you managed to relax too! FYI Loved that red coat!!

    #brilliantblogposts
    Mummy in a TuTu (@mummyinatutu) recently posted…Mummy Guilt & All It’s Absurdity!My Profile

    Reply
  11. Lizzie Somerset

    What a wonderful trip, I must admit with our addiction to Cornwall I don’t think of Wales. I holidayed there as a child! Beautiful photo’s, the boys look so happy! Love the pics of you and boys in your Hunter’s! I love a good pair of wellies. So glad you all had a relaxing break Lizzie #brillblogposts

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Ooh we were just saying yesterday we need to visit Cornwall. Wales is wonderful, definitely head there when you can. We all love our Hunter’s x

      Reply
  12. laura dove

    Wow what a gorgeous post, your photos are just beautiful and it looks like you had an amazing time!! Thanks for hosting! #brilliantblogpost

    Reply
  13. Elle

    This is such a gorgeous post hun. I was in Wales a few weeks back and was genuinely gobsmacked by the beauty of it (i’m not totally sure why), but it was really stunning. Your gorgeous little boys looked like they had so much fun too, your posts are genuinely heartwarming, lovely!

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw thanks darling, we had the most wonderful time and a much needed break with quality family time, touched by your words x

      Reply
  14. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, Wales looks beautiful and it looks like you had a really chilled out time. I love that you look all smart and then on your feet are a gert great pair of wellies! It made me smile.

    Fancy forgetting to pack the swimming costumes! Or a very clever move, giving you an excuse to buy some more?

    The photos are stunning, love the ones where the boys are sat holding hands.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…Take Care Of Your Skin This SummerMy Profile

    Reply
  15. Mel

    Those photos are quite simply stunning honey, and just looking at them made me feel relaxed! It sounds like you’ve all had the perfect holiday all together following the footsteps of the boys last year after the passport malarkey (was it already a year ago!). x

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Aw we did thank you-can you believe it was a year ago! Time sure flies x
      Honest Mum recently posted…A Lush Week in WalesMy Profile

      Reply
  16. Sarah - Craft Invaders

    What lovely photos. We love North Wales and are currently planning a holiday their with our oldest friends for this summer, so it made reading your post extra lovely. I’m glad you had such a nice break 🙂

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Oh fab, you guys will have a great time, thanks for your lovely comment x
      Honest Mum recently posted…A Lush Week in WalesMy Profile

      Reply
  17. Sara Skillington

    What beautiful photos! Glad you had such an amazing time. Definitely great to have some family time together. I think Wales is somewhere we should visit more often. It is years since I last went.Loving the Hunters:) #BrillBlogPosts
    Sara Skillington recently posted…From Planting to Plate! 8 Important Reasons To Garden & Cook With Your KidsMy Profile

    Reply
  18. Joanna @mumbalance

    Wales is gorgeous and so close to London really. We like to go there, and find that accommodation is reasonably priced.
    The pictures are stunning!
    Joanna @mumbalance recently posted…Sometimes…My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Ooh you should visit although I live outside of Leeds not London so not sure how far North Wales is from London, South Wales is closer x
      Honest Mum recently posted…A Lush Week in WalesMy Profile

      Reply
  19. Bread

    I recommend Ceredigion – it’s pretty amazing. I live here so I may be bias but it is amazing. We went to Harlech this month, the train ride alone was worth the trip.

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      OOh I’ve heard of Ceredigion and Harlech sounds fab, will go next time, thank you!
      Honest Mum recently posted…A Lush Week in WalesMy Profile

      Reply
  20. Jennifer Howze

    I LOVE Wales. So delighted to discover another great place to visit there. It looks lovely.
    Jennifer Howze recently posted…7 reasons to visit Aerial Extreme, StaffordshireMy Profile

    Reply
  21. Petra / Be Healthy Now

    So beautiful, I really want to go there one day! I love your scarf by the way..
    Petra / Be Healthy Now recently posted…2 weeks in Slovenia – In pictures (healthy eating, exercise & green beauty)My Profile

    Reply
  22. Mess and Merlot

    Lush indeed! Such beautiful photos too and of course your boys look scrumptious as always. Glad to hear you had a lovely time together and are back feeling refreshed and raring to go, I think you’ve more than earned a bit of R&R! #BrilliantBlogPost
    Mess and Merlot recently posted…Beauty and The BrainboxMy Profile

    Reply
  23. Notmyyearoff

    Oh my goodness it’s so beautiful. I love discovering places like this where it’s just so colourful and stunning and you can’t stop looking. You all sound like you had a really brilliant holiday too x

    Reply
  24. Cheryl | TimeToCraft

    Wonderful to find a new happy place for the family. Lots of childhood memories being made. Happy days. Who needs LA?
    Cheryl | TimeToCraft recently posted…Ta Da! A daisy blanket ready for spring!My Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Haha I do still love LA and it’s on the list of maybe’s for a move in 5 years but we adored Wales for sure and will be back x

      Reply
  25. Margaret Gallagher

    Great place for fun laughter and browsing
    Off to Llandudno this weekend for the annual fair .hope the weather improves

    Reply
  26. Rach

    Gorgeous photos, looks like you had a lush time and I have now added it to my places I need to visit list. PS. I have an obsessed with notebooks and indeed all stationery too! Glad it’s not just me! #brilliantblogposts

    Reply
  27. Helen

    It looks like you had such a lovely time and your photos are simply beautiful. You’ve caputured so many special moments 🙂

    Helen x

    http://treasureeverymoment01.blogspot.co.uk/

    Reply
  28. John Adams

    Well I’ve lerned something. I didn’t know about the history of Portmerion. Must say, Wales is a place I have barely set foot in but I’ve always wanted to explore. Great shots of the kids by the way. And I think I can see where you Julien Farel images were taken!! Thanks for hosting #BrilliantBlogPosts

    Reply
  29. Regina L. L. Wells

    What a fabulous vacation…from the boys bonding, to the gorgeous (yes, lush) scapes, to the pampering…just everything. That one cliff that was recommended to you makes me imagine Wuthering Heights. I can just see Heathcliff and Catherine now. LOL! Glad you had such a beautiful vacation, Vicki! Oh, and here’s to your dream of living by the sea coming true!
    Regina L. L. Wells recently posted…My #1 Reason to Boycott TargetMy Profile

    Reply
    • Honest Mum

      Hehe thanks Regina, we actually don’t live far from where Wuthering Heights is based in Yorkshire. Utterly stunning views, we had such a wonderful time x

      Reply
  30. Angela at Daysinbed

    These are amazing photos. I have never been to wales but it looks so beautiful. No I have wonderlust after reading your post. I love the wellies! Angela from Daysinbed x
    Angela at Daysinbed recently posted…I am Brit Mum Here Me RoarMy Profile

    Reply

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