Family Faves in North Wales – Dinas Dinlle, Caernarfon Airport and Caffi HEMS
Due to the popularity of the 6 things to do in North Wales on a budget, I thought I would expand a little bit on things to do here with toddlers and children. If you’re visiting, planning a holiday over the summer, or if you live locally, there’s so much to do it’s mind blowing. The diversity of the North West Wales landscape is ideal for mini explorers. One of our favourite places on our doorstep to visit is Dinas Dinlle. It’s our local beach, so I grew up biking down and meeting friends in the Summer, sitting on top of Bryn Dinas looking over the Irish Sea trying to catch a tan.
Even when I moved away this spot has always drawn me back, because it’s so beautiful. Between mountain and Sea. It’s very quiet in the winter, and quite busy in the summer. As you would imagine a resort to be. We usually pack a picnic, but there is the obligatory fish and chip shop, ice cream parlour and gift shops along the 1.5 mile stretch of coastline. I would highly recommend a trip down to Caernarfon Airport and the aviation museum, and a visit to Caffi HEMS.
Dinas Dinlle History
There’s a truly lovely little story you can tell the kids about this part of the country too. Around 3000 years ago, on top of the hill behind the beach was a ring fort. Built to spot invading Irish from pillaging the coasts. Part of the hill has eroded away into the sea by now. The name itself is representative of Lleu Llaw Gyffes, who was an early Welsh prince, the Mabinogion (Welsh legends and folklore) refer to the fact that he built the fort to protect his people (Dinas means city, Dinlle from Lleu’s castle).
Moving into the 20th Century, it played a part in the Second World War when the Royal Air force built RAF Llandwrog. Over the years the unused hangars and buildings became dilapidated. In 1976, it was reopened for flying by Keenair and now supplies both pleasure flights and domestic commercial flights.
Spending the day
As a family of five, we quite often spend the day between the beach and the airport. The beach is mostly pebble but has plenty of parking, a mile and a half of good solid concrete walkway for pram pushing and wheelchairs. It is accessible with a wheelchair in the central part where there is a small jetty. Parking is free and not a problem, even on the most busy of days. There are loads of caravan sites here if you want to make a holiday of it, we drive down, and the road is a tiny country lane. So as with everywhere else, be prepared for the odd idiot who doesn’t know the size of their car.
In winter we walk the length of the beach. In summer there are glorious alcoves of sandy beach ideal to set up with camping chairs. Plenty of rock pools and sand castle making material to keep the little ones entranced for hours. The views alone will keep you happy. On a nice day you can see most of Yr Eifl mountains and the backdrop is the whole of the Snowdonia mountain range. In the afternoon, or if you get bored, the airport is a mile walk or a five-minute drive from the beach.
We visited the museum, and the Welsh Air Ambulance Caffi HEMS this morning, and had a glorious time. We spent about 4 hours at the airport, got there around nine in the morning and left after one. Quite a number of gliders and aeroplanes take off before they prepped the Welsh Coast Guard helicopter. G got most excited about watching this huge heli take off! G has been getting up at stupid o’clock recently hence why we were so early. The café and museum open at ten, but I would recommend getting there earlier to see all the prepping that goes on before they open.
We had a small brunch at Caffi Hems. The caff is tun by the air ambulance, and I must say not only was the food glorious and fairly priced, but the staff were so welcoming. We asked for something off menu, and were told it was absolutely no problem. The quality and variety of food available was second to none. I had a bacon and sausage sandwich, and the kids all wanted something for their brunch – mostly bacon baps, and of course we had a cake. The bill only came to £16, less than it would cost for a visit to a fast food establishment, but with much higher quality.
Meat is locally sourced and cooked to order, fresh as you wait. If you can say no to the cakes, you’re stronger than I am! The afternoon tea in this post’s featured image was kindly put together by a member of staff for the sake of this post. I’d just like to say a HUGE thanks for that! You can also view the sweet treat on my insta. There are a variety of gluten-free treats too. Even ice cream for your dog!
G learns to fly
Museum costs totalled £16 for me and two children and we spent quite a while in here. There are a number of historic planes that the children just went mad for, because they’re interactive. Most of the planes in the converted hangar are real retired planes. All three kids, from 13 to 2 really enjoyed sitting in the plane seats, and soaking up the history which I read to them from boards placed beneath the boarding steps.
The whole building is steeped in history. From mountain rescue, to WW2, to air crashes that happened around Snowdonia. There’s even a recreated 1940’s cinema and a rescued flight simulator within.
A day here is a day well spent. Everything is accessible with a pram, you can take a picnic, but I’d highly recommend popping into the café. We could have spent at least another hour here this morning. All in all, if you’re planning a short holiday, on a budget with the family, this place is just fabulous.
Total cost = £32
Enjoyment rating = PRICELESS