Animals, beaches and walks – Clarach Bay October Half Term   4 comments

As I mentioned in my post about my stunning walk in the Preseli Hills, we’ve been staying in my parents caravan the last few October half-terms. It’s normally close to D’s birthday so this year as a special treat we invited his best friend J along. We managed to keep it a secret until his birthday and it was a really exciting surprise for him.

We gave D free range to choose what he wanted to do and for the first day he chose the local zoo or Animalarium to give it its proper name at Borth. It’s a very low-key place tucked away behind the sea-front and it specialises in finding a home for unwanted exotic pets. I’ll not enter into the zoo debate here as I know there are strong feelings about whether it’s right to keep wild animals in captivity and I share those conflicting feelings. For this day I’ll just try to share the enjoyment we had getting close to animals that in all likelihood would not have survived as their owners became tired of their exotic pets.

Borth Animalarium, Meerkat

Borth Animalarium, Meerkat

As most of the animals are ex pets they are very much habituated to human contact to they approach you with interest and you get very close encounters. A large majority of the animals are primates and small monkeys which you can feed by hand.

Borth Animalarium

Large Reptile

The kids loved this element and really enjoyed the much closer connection with the animals. They also have a regular program of closer encounters throughout the day and the kids especially enjoyed the meerkat feeding and the reptile encounters. Nothing beats holding a massive python to give you that close connection with a giant of the jungle and the whole thing was handled with a very relaxed and informal air.

Borth Animalarium, Albino Python

TBH holds an Albino Python

Borth Animalarium, python

D holds a normal python

It’s only a small place but we managed to spend the best part of a day there. I’m amazed it survives tucked away in such a quiet little known coastal backwater as Borth but it appears to be thriving and the owners are friendly and informative. Our favourite animal was Mango, the black-capped brown capuchin, all box-head hairstyle and attitude – he was a treat. I hope they can continue to thrive and remain a hope for these “pets” that have no home.

Before we went home we took a late afternoon stroll on the beach to look at the petrified tree stumps.

Borth Beach

Kids on Borth Beach

These are the remains of an ancient forest and there several spots along the Ceredigion coast where you can see them at low tide. The kids and adults alike were fascinated and I was amazed how they survive. They would surely get washed away in a major storm you would think but they survive. Despite the fact that I spent most of my childhood exploring this coastline, I had no idea about this feature until earlier this year.

Borth Beach, Petrified Forest

Borth Beach, Petrified Forest

As the sun started to set the low light behind the clouds reflecting off the wet sand gave some stunning images.

Borth Beach

Sunset at Borth Beach

Borth Beach

TBF and L on Borth Beach

Borth Beach

Sunset on Borth Beach

The next morning while the kids went swimming, I headed off early for a fantastic walk under clear autumn skies in the Preseli Hills. In the afternoon D wanted to show his friend the local eminence of Constitution Hill that separates Clarach Bay from the town of Aberystwyth. It was a stunning afternoon and the views were spectacular.

Clarach Bay, Constitution Hill

Clarach Bay from Constitution Hill

Aberystwyth, Constitution Hill

Aberystwyth from Constitution Hill

To the north beyond the coast was Snowdonia with Snowdon itself clearly visible, and the Lleyn Peninsula with Carn Fadryn and The Rivals there as always. To the south beyond Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion coast, Pembrokeshire and the Preseli Hills I’d climbed in the morning.

Snowdon, Cardigan Bay

Snowdon across Cardigan Bay

Clarach Bay, Constitution Hill

View north from Constitution Hill

There is a range of kids stuff at the top so the kids played ten-pin bowling and bounced on the bouncy castle while TBF and I enjoyed the expansive views. We took a further stroll on the beach in the afternoon sunshine on our way bacxk to the caravan.

Clarach Bay

Clarach Bay Beach

Clarach Bay

Clarach Bay Beach

I had to head home that evening but TBF and the kids stayed for the week. They got lucky with the weather and had some warm sunshine while most of the rest of the UK was blanketed under cloud and drizzle. They took some walks in the hills, along the coast from Borth and had a happy day on the beach in Abertystwyth.

Aberystwyth, Constitution Hill

L takes in the view of Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth Beach

Aberystwyth

L playing on Aberystwyth beach

Aberystwyth

The boat landing pier at Aberystwyth

Clarach Bay, Borth

Coastal walk between Borth and Clarach Bay

I returned the following weekend just in time for the little mild blast of winter we had and another very cold night and morning in the caravan. The sunday was a total wash out of torrential all day rain (handy for me to catch up on some blogging) but the Saturday – well that was an absolute cracker. Stay tuned…

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4 responses to “Animals, beaches and walks – Clarach Bay October Half Term

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  1. Very nice shots. I enjoy the ocean views.

    Like

  2. “Nothing beats holding a massive python.” Fnar, fnar.

    Like

    beatingthebounds

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