Holiday success

After our failed attempt at a holiday in Dorset back in March (when Alex refused to sleep at night), we were somewhat apprehensive about a week in the Brecon Beacons.  But we needn’t have worried – Alex (mostly) slept very well and our hopes of regular family holidays are alive again!  We spent the week based high above Abergavenny, on the slopes of Sugarloaf, in Holly Cottage.

We chose the Brecon Beacons as it provides such a fabulous base to visit our friends and family out West.  En route to Wales, we popped in to visit our friends Amy and Jim (and their gorgeous daughter Isla) in their new home near Bath for lunch – a welcome respite from the M4.  Alex enjoyed the opportunity to get out of his carseat, and he quickly caused havoc by pulling over a big plant all over Amy’s new carpet – whoops!

On our first day in Wales, we crossed the Brecon Beacons to visit Matt’s Welsh family in Nantgaredig.  We loved catching up with everyone and introducing Alex for the first time – whilst enjoying one of Muriel’s legendary roast lunches.  Alex was entertained by his second cousin, William:

Alex with his second cousin William in Godor

In the rainy days that followed at the beginning of the week, we discovered the joy that is soft play.  It turns out there are loads of soft play centres in Wales, so for a couple of quid, we enjoyed playing in the toddler areas with Alex.  He loved the ball pits, sensory rooms and many many different toys.  Here he is looking nervous about sinking into a rather deep ball pit!

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Thankfully the weather improved dramatically, so we spent most of the week enjoying the gorgeous Welsh outdoors (regretting that we didn’t pack shorts!). We got plenty of use of our baby backpack – although given how heavy Alex is getting, we did some really quite short walks, usually involving pubs to rest Matt’s back!  I think Alex enjoyed being outdoors more than this picture suggests…

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Since our cottage was located just above the Sugarloaf vineyard – we took the opportunity to pop down regularly and sample the pretty decent wine and scrummy lemon curd cake.  We enjoyed several bottles over the week after alex was in bed – it really did feel like a proper holiday sitting watching the sunset over a glass of Welsh bubbly 🙂

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We cycled along a section of the Brecon-Monmouth canal, stopping at some waterside pubs along the way.  Don’t worry – Matt didn’t cycle into the canal after this picture was taken!

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We spent our last day enjoying a pub lunch with our friends Luke & Laura (and their growing bump!).  Alex looks a little concerned here that he’s dangling over the water…

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And on the way back to London, we continued the theme of visiting friends and family by dropping in on Eve, Stuart and their girls in Cheltenham, as well as Matt’s parents in Crowthorne.  Phew – what a busy week!  And so reassuring to know that Alex is more settled in his travel cot, so we can get on with planning some more trips as a family 🙂

And if you want even more photographs, here’s a slideshow of photos from the trip (including the obligatory Welsh sheep pictures!)

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