Search Wales

Activity Centres | Packages | Brochures | Images | Videos | Holiday Reviews | Experience Days

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Christmas has been and gone again!

Just when we all get geared up for the jolly festive season, wrapping our gifts for the family, stocking up on plenty of beer and choccies, Christmas has been and gone again by the time we can say Santa Claus. All that remains is a pot belly, a hole in our pockets and empty chocolate wrappers!

I can sort of understand why people like to start Christmas back in October, it gives the sparkling season that extra little bit of shelf life doesn't it? But then on the other hand, if you keep all your Christmas fever bottled up inside until around 2 weeks before Christmas, you will be bursting into Christmas tunes such as 'I wish it could be Christmas Everyday' dancing around in circles, whilst everyone else is sat with their head in their hands because their Christmas presents are wrapped, wine is chilling and the Turkey is stuffed and in the oven!

I do hope that you all enjoyed your Christmas however you chose to celebrate, mine has always been a family affair and I couldn't imagine it any other way. I couldn't believe it on Christmas Eve mind, we had a take out from the Indian in town and they were fully booked for Christmas dinner. Now call me old fashioned but an Indian spread on Christmas Day?! Shame it was full I could have booked for 11! Only to save my poor mum cooking and dad from peeling the sprouts though.

This year was rather sad for me really, mum had to break a little news to me in that this was the last year I was to gratefully receive a stocking. Being 21 in July 2009 meant that I am soon going to become an adult. Wake up and smell the coffee...

I suppose that Christmas is for the children really isn't it? Of course I know that, I just can't imagine not being one anymore! Seriously though, seeing my little nephews and niece opening their mountains of presents on Christmas afternoon was lovely, children simply make Christmas, it is a time of great joy and anticipation for children of all ages I believe.

But here we are, on New Years Eve ready and waiting to welcome a brand new year. I wonder what this year will bring for us all? I know something for certain, come Easter our phones will be ringing with people wanting to redeem their Christmas Gift Vouchers! I say Easter, but it could be much before that as many activities do run all year round. There is always some silly sausage wanting to go White Water Rafting or Kite surfing during the colder months, and with Activity Wales we are happy to accommodate those crazy people!

If you have been bought a Gift Voucher for Christmas and are unsure of any details or how to activate your Voucher, then please do contact any member of our Activity Wales team and we will be happy to help. You can reach us on 01437 766 888.

I am going to spend the majority of today trying to decide where to head for tonight, I know I am boring and am so NOT organised, but I like to think of myself to be the more spontaneous type!
Anyway, whatever you wild fires are up to tonight, do enjoy, be careful and look forward to a cosy lie in tomorrow morning! See you in 2009...

Happy New Year!

Saturday, 20 December 2008

2 Days After the Night Before...

Here I am, bright eyed and bushy tailed working on Saturday 20th December, the weekend before Christmas after having one fantastic night sleep. Quite frankly I really couldn't be feeling much better, which is a large step up from the feeling around the office yesterday.

Including myself, the majority of the peeps were just a little tired rather than spaced out and blurry eyed, having consumed a large quantity of alcohol. Well, actually there was an exception to that rule wasn't there Flaming Hot Monster Munch? Or should I say, Amy (as in Winehouse)? Now if you are keen reader's of this Activity Wales blog then you will completely, 100% understand the reference to 'Flaming Hot Monster Munch'. If you haven't got a clue, then you really do need to start reading this blog a lot more!

I really do have to say how lovely everyone looked at our staff Christmas party on Thursday, again if you didn't even know that we were having a Christmas party READ more often other wise I'll begin to think that I am typing to myself all the time! Seriously though, everyone really did make an effort and I just wish that they all continue to do so during day to day work life, we are such a handsome bunch of people!

Sorry company poacher's we belong to the 'Chief' of Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire and Activity Wales and are not up for auction.

I know the question that you are all craving to ask, 'Did my heels hold up?' Well I am extremely proud to reveal that my dancing shoes were on until around midnight, approximately 3 hours of dancing. Pretty impressive hey? I was down and grooving and I certainly was not the only one. Our team, for the majority of the dancing evening spread across half of the dance floor shaking our hips, throwing our hair and kicking our legs. If you think our unique moves sound awkward and challenging, just try and master them, it is not for everyone!

I am only joking about the wayward moves really, if I am being truthful I have to confess that we all (including the handful of guys), for a number of weeks now have been rehearsing the Macarena, Thriller and The Casper Slide! I tell you what mind, shaking my booty for hours on end definitely put my fitness levels into perspective, I have none! How unfit am I? You know the phrase, 'Sweating like a Pig?' Hmm...

Food was gorgeous and there was plenty of it for all, washed down with bottles of Red and White wine which set us up for anything. Well, you kind of already know that after reading about the dance moves that were displayed!

It is lovely to mingle with your work crowd and have a laugh and a joke with them, it is just a shame that you realise what you let slip the morning after and sink into a pit of regret! I am not speaking from experience or anything, I just watch too many movies! 'I can't believe I said that...!'

The other worrying aspect of a fantastic night out is when you walk into work the next morning and you witness a few whispers, a little chuckle and suddenly every starts busting your 'Sex Bomb' moves on the tables! I am just lucky that Build Me Up Buttercup never reached the CD player!

Bed came for me and Mart at around 2ish, but there were still a few dirty stop outs lingering like a bad smell until a little time after that I believe. By that time, you can begin to see the bar guys glaring at the very last crowd that they need to get rid of so that they can pack up and go home, wiping the same beer glass for round 10 minutes! I'm only joking, the service was excellent all night long.

All I feel that is left to be said now, is a big, italic THANK YOU for a great evening, and let's gear up to do it all again next year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Party Poopers Not Welcome!

I feel that I can officially mention CHRISTMAS without now feeling that it is either too early or receive a vibe from those around me that I am banging on about the festive celebrations a little too often. If you have not yet managed to finish your Christmas shopping then all that is left to say is...unlucky.

Now then , I really do not want to offend anyone out there by mentioning our Christmas Party (oops), especially if you are working at Woolworth's at present (but not for much longer) as I appreciate it may be somewhat of a sore point for many with the current climate etc.

But hey now, let's not ponder on that too much and move on to have a little chat about THE night of the year tonight, where Activity Wales and sister company Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire get together, all spruced up in our gowns and suits, pushing the computer's aside and get down to a little boogie and a few (quiet) drinks!

This is rather exciting for me as I have not yet attended a Christmas Party with the company, having only been here since January this year. Which means that on January 2nd the office is sure to be filled with cakes, pop and pringles and party poppers to celebrate my 12 month working spell. Either that or my P45!

I have been informed by an insider known only by 'Saint Nikoclaus' to watch out for a few individuals dancing on tables and the like, and not to name any names that could put 'Saint Nikoclaus' in danger by any means, I shall call them Linda, Alison and Mrs C, all members of the Accounts department. I do hope that is not too much information revealed Nikoclaus.

Once I have wrapped up my working day at 16.30, I shall race home (sticking to all of the speed limits along the way), shower, change and wallah! Princess Natter's has been born. I am slightly worried however that my 12cm heel will prove to be a little to daring by say around 20.00 (it starts at 19.30) and I shall be riddled with blisters and walking like a penguin. But I am sure I won't be the only one.

I hear you all bellowing 'But where does this triumphant mound of festivities take place Princess?' so I will oblige in revealing, The Wolfscastle Country Hotel otherwise known as Allt-yr-Afon. I have attended the Hotel in previous years for Wedding functions and may I say the food is absolutely fabulous, to die for, exquisite! To make way for my 3 course Dinner this evening, consisting of Leek and Potato soup ( I know, an old favourite), Butternut Squash and Raspberry Cheesecake, I have only brought along tomato soup and a yogurt for dinner so not to spoil my appetite.

I can feel in my waters that tonight we will have among us famous faces such as Cinderella (before and after), her Fairy Godmother, Prince Charming and a Frog. I do believe Shrek could make an appearance depending on what sort of day it's been. Of course I am only joking, just preparing everyone for this joyous occasion, with smiles all round and a sprightly skip in their step.

Last thought, I am thinking we should play that irritating game where you all write down a famous person or something, swap within the group, stick it on your forehead and you have to sit there like a silly person while you ask random questions about who you could possible be amongst the laughter of those around you. It's an idea I will bear in mind.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Tank Time!

Well well. Just when I thought Activity Wales couldn't get any better they go and launch a fantastic new provider offering thrilling Tank Days in Monmouthshire. Beat that hey!

Many of you I'm sure are now reminiscing of your days playing 'Tank Wars' back in the nineties, firing at opponent tanks and producing threatening dirt bombs for extra defence. How do I know? I have a grand father, father and brother.

So now that you are ecstatically over the moon that Activity Wales can bring you Coca Cola's 'the real thing', I would like to quote,

'Activity Wales. Where dreams come true and memories made'.

I agree, what a slogan.

And while we are on the subject, you know that Coca Cola Christmas advert that visits our television screens as we near the festive season where they advertise Coca Cola in glass bottles? Well, I just wanted to say that I like it very much. It makes you feel that extra little bit festive. No, I am not going mad because my partners mum thinks so too, anybody else agree?!

So, getting over the first 'random' thought for today, I shall now head back to reporting what I am meant to be, Tank School. It is fabulous, a must do and see for all, book here at Activity Wales. Finished. I am only pulling your string...

Tank School offer a number of exhilarating experience days ranging from 'Car Splat' which involves pretty much what it says on the tin. You pick a 'banger' (without the mash) that is a pathetic excuse of four wheels and watch in angst as right before your eyes it becomes crushed by a 42-tonne Russian battle tank! Just a thought, I wonder if you could do it Top Gear style and bring along the family caravan?

Along with the hilarious 'Car Splat' you and a group of mates can enjoy either a half or full day tank driving experience, learning to drive across rough terrain and woodland.

Tank School can offer a unique experience for corporate and team building events, intriguingly entitled 'Tank Combat'. Perfect for leadership and teamwork as you will be asked to follow important instructions in order to complete your mega mission.

I do believe this is on to be a real winner for those wanting an unusual company challenge, and think of it this way; present your chief with your fantastic idea of 'Tank Combat' and your 'mega mission', and if your hyped tone of voice, enthusiastic hand gestures and tank firing impressions don't quite swing it, just slip in that also included is lunch for all, refreshments and a winners presentation. You are sure then to have it in the bag.

In researching this tremendous, tantalizing tank torment I can't help but feel a bit 'ladish' for appearing to be a little excited and 'up for it' so to speak. But when you weigh the thought of painting your toe nails pink against squashing a car with a gigantic tank, I have to admit that the latter sounds so much more appealing doesn't it?! Any other girls (or guys) agree?

So there you have it, an introduction to Tank School.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Activity Wales Christmas Grotto!

Ho Ho Ho! Please do ignore the large image to the right hand side of the screen, I am only joking!

You know back in September when you all thought that I was barking mad for mentioning 'Christmas' just that teeny weeny little bit too early?

Well I hate to tell you guys, oh no don't worry, I am not springing the fact that you have skipped a few doors on your advent calender and you have awoken on Christmas morning, no no, just that here we are, the beginning of December and there are Christmas decorations and sparkling lights everywhere you blink! It can surely mean only one thing. That people are even crazier than last year and feel the need to pop up their dec's before the rest of the world, winning their imaginary award for being the first household to display their dedication and love of the festive season back in August. Okay, slight exaggeration there. Well in thinking about this not really, because my next door neighbour was singing Christmas carols on August Bank Holiday Monday whilst the Barbecue was cooking. Yes, I have been worried about her for a while now.

I do love Christmas as much as the next person, but in my opinion, I do think Christmas does kick in that little bit too early. It's like you go into a local shop to buy a bucket and spade in the Summer and come out with a Christmas Tree, flashing lights and a fairy! I don't know, maybe I am just not quite 'with it'. After all, I am twenty years old now.

Now I just thought that you may all be a little be stressed with the lead up to Christmas, with spending money on pressies and chocolates for the tree and such like, so I found a few little jokes that may cause you to remain sour faced or make you chuckle, (let's hope for the latter!):

Q: What happened when the snow woman got angry with the snowman?
A: She gave him the cold shoulder!

Q. What do the elves sing to Santa Claus on his birthday?
A. Freeze a jolly good fellow . . . (I have to admit I did have a right little chuckle at that one! I know, small things...)

Q. What did the big candle say to the little candle?
A. I'm going out tonight.

Santa Claus Conundrum:
The 3 stages of man:
1) He believes in Santa Claus. 2) He doesn't believe in Santa Claus. 3) He is Santa Claus.

I knew it, they work every time! Go on say it, you are now presenting your sparkling whites through a beaming smile, your bouncing up and down in your chair with tears in your eyes! But please, by all means feel free to post your own Christmas crackers in the 'comment' section if you think that you can do better than those beauties!

I chose my title, 'Activity Wales Christmas Grotto' for this festive season entry because I like to think that here at Activity Wales we have a similar 9-5 working Grotto just like good old Santa Claus. The only difference being of course that ours is actually real and not mythological. In Santa Claus mythology the Grotto is a complex located in the North Pole, and I would just like to mention here that the North Pole was considered as a location for Activity Wales.

Unfortunately, the conclusion was made that myself, Fran, Leanne and Gem would spend far to much time playing with the Polar Bears. I couldn't really see the problem myself, we do get time for lunch so we could pop out then, I guess we couldn't really convince the Chief that we would return. So, on that conclusion we did settle for Pembrokeshire. It is like a home from home really as we have Reindeer at Folly Farm.

Seriously though, I am talking to you today to present you with the answer to all your Christmas shopping worries. Our Experience Day Gift Vouchers are an ideal Christmas present for the many variations in your family, from bingo fanatic Nanny Dot to wacky Cousin Drew. Come on, everyone has their own list of the top ten things they would like to do before they hit the end of the road, and you never know, we may have a least one of them that you can tick off the list!

So, why not take a look and see if I am right, and listen guys, don't worry about me this year I am heading straight for the January sales!

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Roll Up Roll Up, Let's All Join The Circus!

I bet nobody realised that back home in our unsuspecting office in Pembrokeshire, Activity Wales and sister company Coastal Cottages of Pembrokeshire were hiding away some of Wales' most talented members of society.

I kid you not, make way for your favourite, old familiar circus tricks with a twist, as I bring you the few exceptions to our sophisticated team behind Activity Wales and Coastal, 'The Welsh Wonders', Sarah W, Linda, Alison and the man who cannot be named as he is simply far too famous to mention and his secret identity simply cannot be revealed for security purposes. I do believe he considers his identity to be as precious as The Stig on Top Gear, though he does refuse to dress up in a silly white get up as it does not justify his manly physique. You know who you are.

Let us first turn our attention to our valued older member of the team Linda, aka 'Lady Dog'. Pretty much does as it says on the tin, in her spare time Lady Dog is keen to impress by learning a number of dog tricks, to name but a few, giving her paw, playing the 'paw' guitar, and 'barking' to her favourite tune, 'Who let the Dogs Out' by the Baha Men. The irony of the story is, that Lady Dog is taught by none other then her very own pooch Peggy Sue.

Peeping in to be revealed secondly is shall we say, our middle of the road member of the team Alison, aka 'Hopping Biscuit.' Hopping Biscuit enjoys nothing more than munching on one of her favourite biccie's, an orange tangy Jaffa Cake whilst hopping on one leg. I am guessing as Hopping biscuit is right handed, that asking her to hop on her left leg is probably the funniest and most entertaining. This circus phenomenon may sound a little simple, but please feel free to try it, not as simple as it first sounded is it?!

To have a little break from the wondrous talents for a second, a researched the meaning of the word Circus for us all to understand and appreciate the true meaning.

'The word (circus) also describes the performance that they give, which is usually a series of acts that are choreographed to music.'

How interesting. So I thought I would add a little spice to their individual stories, and enhance their expertise ever so slightly and assign a song for each person, to suit each character and reflect their abilities.

For the two I have already mentioned, I thought that I just had to stick to 'Who Let the Dogs Out' for Linda, and considered the 'Fast Food Song' by the Fast Food Rockers for Hopping Biscuit? You know, to keep it food related, 'A Pizza Hut a Pizza Hut, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut, McDonald's...' yes I shall stop there.

So to carry on, I shall now reveal the sensation of Sarah W, aka 'Flaming Hot Monster Munch'. Now, Monster Munch (for short) has not only one tremendous talent up her sleeve but two. Firstly, one morning when the birds were chirping and the sun was shining, Monster Munch was practicing her amazing abilities of being able to juggle better than any Clown you would have ever seen. I can so confidently assure you that that Monster is simply greater than any clown because Monster Munch finds no need to use boring tools such as juggling balls. Oh no, Monster can juggle any food on the plate, with her speciality being that in the shape of a baseball, an orange and a banana ladies and gentleman!

Secondly, Flaming Hot Monster Munch practices her next gift religiously every morning before work, revealing her true dedication to her circus trick talent, in the shape of 'Flaming Zambuca'. I really should only touch on this trick lightly as it is only something a few of us (over 18) can relate to and requires a a strong minded individual to pull this trick off professionally. Please do not try this at home and leave it to our expert Flaming Hot Monster Munch. It really is an art and Monster is so close to perfecting it. Good Luck!
With the recent re-launch of Take That, I felt 'Relight My Fire' most appropriate, I hope you all agree.

Last but by no means least, the man who cannot be named, aka 'Rocket Boy.' I am pretty sure at this point your cogs are turning and you can put two and two together on this one. But for those who may not have yet realised, Rocket Boy is the unlucky one that is placed comfortably in a cannon (with a pillow of course), before shooting into space returning with a sore bottom, frazzled hair and steaming ears. It is a tough job but someone just has to do it, and Rocket Boy during the fair allocation of tricks, drew the short straw fair and square. On a more positive note, I do believe that Rocket Boy has been assigned the best song yet, 'Space Cowboy' by the one and only Jamiroquai.

And yes, I do have a valid reason for blabbering on yet again about random happenings, and it is all to do with a brand new provider with us at Activity Wales Inhouse Entertainments. Based in Swansea, Inhouse Entertainments offer two different types of events, both Experience and Team Building Days.

So if you fancy yourself as the next 'Rocket Boy' or 'Hopping Biscuit' then please do take a look at our brand spanking new provider who could get you on the road to Circus Tick amazement ready to entertain the whole family over Christmas dinner!

I would just like to pop a little note at the bottom here in appreciation of all members of the team mentioned above, that kindly provided their circus secrets to myself to share with you all in good gesture. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Monday, 10 November 2008

All is to now be Revealed...

Well here I am live and kicking with a few suspicious bruises on my feet and toes. I bet you are all now thinking that I am going to start revealing some kind of hilarious story about how I got them, but sorry to disappoint, I haven't got a clue!
I am sure that you are all on the edge of your seats whether at work, school or at home awaiting my revelation of my secret weekend, so I best crack on and start typing!

It all started on a crisp Friday Morning, the sun was slightly shining, the kettle boiled and excitement rife. I presented Martin with a spotty brown box tied with a pretty pink bow and dangling ribbon. He still didn't have a clue where I was whisking him off to, only that he best make sure that he packed his wetsuit and a nice warm jacket.

Not being one with a great sense of direction, I managed to direct him as far as Carew roundabout (about 5 minutes drive from my house) then I went blank and thought it was best he pulled over in a lay by, find out where we were going and let him fathom the way to go!

Drum roll please...cue voice over guy to reveal...Llangollen, North Wales!

If any of you have ever been to visit Llangollen, you would have witnessed the outstanding beauty of the mountainous surroundings in which it possesses, or are aware of it being host to the popular International Music Eisteddfod each year.

As I have previously mentioned in my 'Autumn is in the Air...Soon' entry, I love the Autumn season, full of golden yellows and burnt oranges, racy reds, chocolate browns and falling leaves. Llangollen appeared to have been flushed with riots of colour all around and was extremely attractive, especially looking out over the Dee valley from the famous Horseshoe Pass.

The main reason for taking a road trip to Llangollen in particular, was not only the superb countryside and humble nature of the people who live there, but to experience the refreshing chill of the River Dee with a spot of White Water Rafting. It was quite surprising how much attention the River was still recieving at this crisp time if the year from locals and visitors alike, whether it be making the most of the Autumn photo oppurtunities, Kayaking, Rafting or Survival Courses on offer.
We were booked to partake in the White Water Rafting on the Saturday morning, and so having arrived at around 16.00 on the Friday, we felt a shower, a few drinks and a hot meal was called for to brace ourselves for the action to follow the next morning.
It was really funny actually because the same weekend that I had decided to go away, my Nan and Grandad had booked for a leisurely holiday too, just down the road!

I had booked for The Wild Pheasant Hotel with Champagne on arrival (I know get me hey!), and my Nan and Grandad had booked themselves into The Chainbridge Hotel only a stones throw from us! It was hilarious as I didn't tell them that we were going and so we just had to surprise them. Thier faces were a picture when we knocked on their room, I do hope they weren't disapointed that we interrupted them watching Countdown!

Anyway, that evening we ordered a Taxi into town, an absolute bargain at a mere £3.00! In chatting with the lady driver we discovered that Gales Wine Bar in town was rather interesting for a large glass of wine and some tasty grub. Taking her kind advice, we headed there and discovered what a pleasant, quaint little place it really was. The roaring fire was blazing and we enjoyed a warm bowl of Autumn Vegetable soup and a large helping of White Wine.

Wake up, rise and shine to a slightly grey, rainy morning, perfect for tumbling down the river in an inflatable raft!
Again only two minutes away from The Wild Pheasant is home to JJ Canoeing and Rafting (White Water Active) alongside the magnificent River Dee. We were pleasantly greeted by all, where we were to declare any medical conditions that they should be made aware of before we got kitted up in our wetsuits, helmets, waterproof jacket and buoyancy aid, all kindly provided by the centre for all participants.

Once kitted up and rearing to go we recieved an introduction by our leader Josh, in how to best handle the raft and paddle, sit down and how best to store your feet! Maybe my enthusiasm for stuffing my feet as hard as I could down the side of the raft was the cause of the strange bruises on my feet, just a thought!

I tell you something though, you really have to be careful swinging your paddle around. Josh was saying how a fellow colleague of his was 'accidently' caught on the receiving end of a flying t-piece, resulting in a broken jaw! Ouch.

Heading for the River, we carried our raft together and plonked it into the water, jumping on and taking our positions. I think Mart and I had drawn the short straw at the beginning opting for the front of the raft, but I reckon it was the best place to be myself, staring the adrenalin square in the face. We did though at times swap around so everyone was able to enjoy the thrill of the front and have a refreshing wash every now and again!

It really was so much fun, 'surfing' in the swell and capsizing. Yes, that is correct, the raft decided to turn upside down with us all underneath. Personally, I don't think it was my fault for eagerly grabbing onto the rope concluding with the raft turning upside down, but everybody seemed to be glaring at me as we scrambled to the bank, so I took the hint!! Clearly, at all times you have your qualified instructor on board with you, and a number of guys floating around in Kayaks to ensure your safety.

I was rather glad of one guy in the Kayak as he saved me from drifting down stream at one point. I thought I was on my way to waving to my Nan and Grandad in the window of The Chainbridge half way up the River! What a scream.
There we all were, out of the raft, laying down in the water one by one and allowing ourselves to let the current take us slightly downsteam, through the wash and then swimming safely to the bank. But no, not Natalie. I started off as supposed, until I realised that my bum was a little to low in the River and discovered the shape of a rather large stone hidden under the water. As I bumped the stone, I automatically reacted by grabbing my sore spot with my hand, resulting in me forgetting to hold my nose as I went under the water with the swish, getting a mouthful of water and missing my cue to start swimming. I thought something was wrong when Martin looked the size of an ant, waving his arms frantically for me to start swimming, I thought I was! I failed to grab the rope that was practically handed to me on a plate in front of my nose and was still floating along enjoying the scenery.

But just when I thought my knight in shining armour had forgotten me, I looked up and paddling towards me in a brightly coloured Kayak was he. I took hold of the handle on the front of the Kayak, hooked my legs around and off I went to find my feet on the bank. Phew. For a second I thought a croc was going to slyly appear from behind the rock like they did with Jack Osbourne! But fear not, I don't think Llangollen has got anything scarier than a black sheep or two.

I really do recommend this experience to everyone and anyone. I'm sure there was a little fella of around 12 years old having a bash, so what are you waiting for?! Okay, it may be a little chilly and the wetsuit may reveal a few unwanted lumps and bumps, but the joy and laughter out weighs them all. Trust me.

Through Activity Wales we are able to book White Water Rafting in either North or South Wales, along with accommodation such as The Wild Pheasant or Chainbridge Hotel to tie up your weekend activity package. Please feel free to give myself a call to discuss my individual White Water Rafting experience as I would be delighted to share my story with you over the phone. I have probably told it about a million times over now, but never mind, to me it never gets old!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

My Last Day...

Today is my last day.

Now I know what you all are thinking, that I am leaving the team at Activity Wales and fleeing to America to pursue a successful singing career led by the super gentlemen that is Simon Cowell. But, do not worry, panic or shed a tear, as you are wrong, and I am only off for the weekend to a secret destination.

The reason for it being secret and therefore why I cannot identify the location, is due to me being a terrific partner and whisking Martin off for his 30Th birthday celebrations, and that he is likely to read this at some point before we leave. As I have managed to keep this to myself and a very additional few others since the end of August, I would find it rather devastating if I gave the game away now. I must simply keep my trap shut and stay tight lipped for a little while longer, which for those who know me and work with me daily appreciate how hard this has been for me.

So, why am I pointlessly writing and telling you all something that I cannot tell you? Well I'm not to sure really.

I guess it's because I will be able to share mine and Martin's birthday experience with you all on my return, and believe me there will be story to report!

I will now leave you pondering in a puddle of thoughts to whether we are going Quad Biking in Dulais Valley, having Helicopter Lessons at Whizzard, or joining Jack Osbourne in the Sahara Desert for this weeks episode with Josh Hartnett. I know I'd be hoping for the latter!

This is now Natalie signing off for the weekend, and fear not I will be back in the very near future with stupid stories, the revelation of my secret location and amazing activities to experience in Wales!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Witness Whizzardry!

I am very excited to inform all you guys, girls and young terrors out there of a brand new provider that we are delighted to bring to you all, courtesy of Whizzard Helicopters.

Located in Welshpool Powys, they bring bounds of fun, offering Helicopter Pleasure Flights to presenting you with the opportunity to try your hand dipping and diving, operating the Helicopter yourself. But of course, you will not find yourself in a similar situation as Del Boy in Only Fools and Horses and his turmoil to control his Para glider, as you will, at all times, be accompanied by a highly qualified instructor.

If you are an avid fan of Only Fools and Horses, you will appreciate my little reference to the hilarious episode above, if not (tut tut), I shall now make you familiar.

Basically, Del and Rodney continue to compete against one another throughout the episode to steal a young lady's heart, who happens to be highly interested in Paragliding. During the heated competition, Rodney believes a glorious sun-kissed tan will make her weak, and jumps on the sunbed. Big mistake while old Del Boy's on the prowl. Del feels he isn't getting much of a tan, and so cranks it up to high, Rodney falls asleep. Ouch.

Waking up, Rodney is rather sore and seeing red, looking remarkably like a Baboons bottom and seeking revenge. He gladly accompanies Del to the hills, where he has announced to the lady that he is a terrific para glider, cue a recipe for disaster. But Del is no silly billy. He arranges with Rodney, that just when he is about to take off, Rodney is to shout out in front of everyone that the 'car phone' is ringing and Del must leave urgently. Sorted? I don't think so.

All kitted up, Del is ready to hear his loyal brothers call. Surprisingly, it doesn't come. So, thinking Rodney has forgotten, Del prompts him, ''Is that our car phone I can hear ringing Rodney?'' Rodney happily replies, ''We haven't got a car phone!'' Absolute class, gets me every time. And I am sure you can imagine how Del returns home! If you would like to watch the episode for real, though you do now know what happens, it is amongst the cracking, 'Tea For Three'.

Well anyway my apologies, I did go off on one then with Only Fools, back to my reason for writing to you all. The magnificent wonders of Whizzard Helicopters. With Christmas just around the corner and Activity Wales knocking at your door with experiences such as this, what are you waiting for. If your loved one is after a surprise this year, then don't you think giving them a few Helicopter Lessons would fit the bill?!

If you would like to take a little time and have a quick look at the Experience Days that we are offering you for Whizzard Helicopters, then please do click here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Half Term Mayhem!

Since having left College a few years ago, I seem to have lost all knowledge of the school holidays throughout the year. I guess it would due to the fact that I don't really have a reason to be up to date with that sort of thing anymore.
But, oh boy are we soon aware of any break from school, college or uni at Activity Wales. Common symptoms are the constant sound of the phones ringing, late lunch breaks and the presence of a red hot sweat across our brow! All of those symptoms lead to a firm diagnosis. The students are loose and craving excitement!
It really is a fantastic time for all our team though, keeping us busy and up on our toes, working together and helping all you adrenalin junkies out there to give meaning to your holiday!
Talking of adrenalin junkies, I am fixated at the moment with Jack Osbourne. He has got to be American and have been fathered by Ozzie, what a nutter! Mind you, not only does he get jiggy with heights, wrestle with white water and enthusiastically leap from helicopters (he is dangling by a rope mind, he's not that crazy!), he brings a few of his 'friends' with him! I would take my hat off to him if I was wearing one. Go Jack.

I do feel however, that there are plenty of Jack Osbourne wannabes out there in Wales and beyond, who fancy their chances at giving a few daring Activity Wales Experiences a try! Don't worry, they are all led by highly qualified instructors and not Jack himself!

We can offer you so so many mind- blowing episodes lasting from short, snappy taster sessions to action packed and boundless day entertainment! So why not have a browse on the Website and see which experiences tickle your fancy. But be aware, it is impossible to only find one adrenalin fuelled, activity experience that appeals to you. In the slightly amended words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, You will be back.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Happy Halloween!

Pretty soon most of us silly spooks will be celebrating the Halloween holiday that occurs (thankfully), only once a year on 31st October. Traditions including costume parties, trick-or-treating, carving Jack-o-Lanterns and Ghost Hunting are amongst the celebrations for many. Especially if you live in America, they just go crazy for all things Halloween!

Being an avid fan of the television programme 'Most Haunted', a would personally love to spend a night in a haunted Welsh Castle, to hear the bumps and bangs disturbing the eerie silence, and lighting candles to brighten up the plentiful dark rooms.

As a youngster, (not that I am that much older now), I loved to dress up as a grumpy, old Witch. I would wear a black bin bag with a hole cut with scissors to pop my head through the top, and rummage through my mums expensive make-up bag in order to decorate myself with lipstick and blusher to enhance my gruesome, witch-like looks. I did always wonder though why my mum insisted drawing a pimple on the end of my nose if I wanted to play witch for the evening. In thinking about it though, I suppose I do associate a Witch with having a crooked, rather large nose with a big, black pimple on the end. I guess that must be the same image for us all, including my mum. But hold on, if it is, then I have spotted a big problem. Mum always popped the pimple on my nose. That's not good.

I guess everyone has there own, unique way of celebrating this chilling time of year, or maybe just not bothering at all. But, if you are open to ideas of partaking in something completely different and intriguing this year, then why not try a haunted break in a Castle, in Wales. You can then let me know how scary you found it, and then maybe I'll book in for next year!

Seriously though, if you do fancy a spooky trip, then through Haunting Breaks, Activity Wales can offer you overnight ghost hunts in Maesmawr Hall and Ruthin Castle. So, what are you devils waiting for?!

And don't worry everyone, I am definitely going to speak with my mum when I return home this evening.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Total Eclipse

I am not writing to you in relation to a Solar Eclipse where the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, resulting in the Sun becoming wholly or partially obscured. Nor am I writing to tell you the sequence in how I eat my Jaffa Cakes, revealing a Full Moon, Half Moon, Total Eclipse.

Instead, I bring the many delights of Eclipse Spa in Pembrokeshire. An extensive list of beauty treatments are on offer, from Body Exfoliation to a Detox Foot Spa, Hot Stone Massage to Pembrokeshire Indoor Sunshine. All served with a welcoming, friendly smile and performed in a professional manner. Perrrfect.

Now then. I know it's slightly premature to mention that jolly festive season that comes knocking at our doors only once a year and has our streets decorated with bright lights and beaming colours. You know, the one where you try to steal a sneaky kiss under the mistletoe and fill your belly with delicious homemade mincepies? Well, I love it how everybody tries to convince themselves that they don't start shopping for pressies or even thinking the word CHRISTMAS until at least November, but we all do. Don't we?!

So, what better present can you think of than to surprise your beautiful older sister or reliable, hard-working mum, than a Gift Voucher to pop along and visit Eclipse Spa in Pembrokeshire?!

Our Experience Day Gift Vouchers are an ideal Gift for any occasion, whether it be CHRISTMAS, a special birthday or simply a good will gesture for a close friend. For more information and many more Experience Days to choose from, click here.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Autumn is in the Air.....Soon!

Waking up to the sun shining, air brisk and not a cloud in the clear blue sky. It's Autumn (well nearly), and I am already loving the fresh feeling that my favourite season brings.

Autumn officially starts on September 22nd, but I woke up this morning, opened my curtains and the sun beamed through my window. I was immediatly convinced that Autumn had arrived. An excuse in my opinion, to tell everyone how awesome Autumn really is.

I think that Autumn bursts individuality, the riot of colours that appear, its a gold rush for Snow Whites Seven Dwarfs. I bet even Grumpy cracks a smile or two when he is witness to the beaming shades!

Well last night, for the first time in around 3 weeks, myself and partner saw the sun shimmering, water as flat as a pancake, and decided to kit ourselves out in our penguin gear, and do a spot of Wakeboarding along the Cleddau Estuary. You could say, that as I confidently leaped into the rather chilly waters, I would have been grateful to have actually been a penguin for that split second!

I couldn't be more certain of my harmony with Autumn after last night though guys. As my desire for Autumn and it's fruitful nature appeared powerfully through my cheeks, fingers and toes. I became a fiery glow of purples, deep reds and oranges, as the icy waters seeped through my wetsuit, and reminded me of how things become, much cooler when Autumn knocks at the door!

However, I do have a method to madness and a reason for sharing my experience with you all. Lets not worry that our Summer time warmth has passed. Instead be active, positive and fearless.

Even when the brisk mornings nudge you to put an extra layer on, or prompt you to turn the heating up, that shouldn't stop you from getting out there and doing what ever you want to do. Whether that be Surfing in St Davids, Kayaking in Pendine or Kite surfing in Newgale; blow yourself away this Autumn and by Spring next year, you'll be diving into a Welsh Indian Ocean!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Brand New and Exciting Tree Tops Trail!

Heatherton Country Sports Park have launched a brand new and adrenalin fuelled challenge for visitors and residents of Pembrokeshire, their very own 'Tree Tops Trail'.
Calling all fit and limber candidates who fancy their chances 25ft up in the trees and being monkey for the day, let's congregate together and experience the adventure!
A combination of rope and wooden bridges teamed with a testing zip line, on both Adult and Junior courses await you, with the help of your experienced instructor to assist you along the way. Separating the sprightly young guns from the antique veterans and the taller from the smaller, your selected course is determined by your love of sweetcorn and aspiration to become the Jolly Green Giant. In other words, your height decides which course you shall go on and tackle.

So, if the 'Tree Tops Trail' appeals to all you daring primates and Tarzan wannabes, please click here for our Experience Days available or give one of our experienced team a quick call on 01437 765 777.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Proud To Be British!

As probably THE biggest event for the next four years is happening in Beijing at the moment, I thought that I would have to post the success of our GB Team at the Olympics for you all today. 17 Gold Medals and still going strong, and our best, most successful Olympics so far. What more can I say than flipping well done guys!!

My first and foremost congrats just has to go to the Scottish mean machine powered by mighty tree trunks for thighs, Chris Hoy. Isn't his Cycling triumph just amazing? He is 'the' man of the Olympics for me, becoming the first Briton in 100 years to win three Gold Medals at an Olympics.

Fellow Cyclist Victoria Pendleton, aka 'Queen Victoria', who also blitzed her rivals to win the Gold she craved, is feeling totally inspired by the 'Real McHoy', and is voting, 'Chris Hoy for Superman? Yes!' I know I'd vote, wouldn't you?!

My title outlines how proud I am to be British, but doesn't the victorious Cyclist Nicole Cook from our very own Swansea, remind us all how amazing it feels to be Welsh? Fair play to the girl and her thrilling sprint finish in the challenging 126km race.

Rebecca Adlington sure knows how to keep us all glued to our television screens during her performance in the 400 metre freestyle. Producing an astonishing finish by the length of a fingernail, (and if it is the length of mine, there was certainly not much in it at all!), pipping American Katie Hoff to snatch her well deserved Gold.

Aged only 19, the teenager blew the opposition out of the water in her favourite event, the 800m, to smash the world record, gaining the title of Britain's most successful swimmer of the last 100 years. One massive hand shake to you!

I am not sure whether our typical British weather of rain, wind and occasional sunshine has something to do with our Brit's doing tremendously well in the water based events, but the performance by them all has had me wondering whether in a few hundred years a number of our British population will have grown tails, fins and developed a five second memory.

Whether it be Rowing, Sailing, Swimming, Windsurfing or Canoeing, our Brits have certainly done us proud. You know who you all are, so give each other a good old-fashioned tap on the back!

From previously being a keen Equestrian competitor along with my loyal companions Trixie and Finn, I still carry a fondness for the amazing abilities of the Horses and their Riders, knowing how much they rely on each other to tackle the obstacles and strive forward to achieve.

Our battling Equestrian Britons are continuing to fight for that Gold Medal, but have rightly claimed two Bronze Medals in the Olympics so far.

Tina Cook and her gem Miners Frolic made their dream come true in the Women's Individual Eventing category to pocket the first glistening Bronze, followed by them performing alongside William Fox-Pitt and Parkmore Ed, Sharon Hunt and Tankers Town, Daisy Dick and Spring Along, Mary King and Call Again Cavalier, to take the second Bronze in the Team Eventing, a true team effort.

All that is now left to say, is well done and congratulations to all our Britons, we are truly proud.

'Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.'

Monday, 4 August 2008

Morfa Bay Adventure Bargain!

I am delighted to offer you a fantastic opportunity at Morfa Bay Adventure, that is one not to be missed by any folk!

On Sunday 10th August, Morfa Bay are offering a Gorge Walking extravaganza, for less than half price of it's normal session cost.
You can snap up a 3 hour adrenalin adventure in the stunning Neath Valley, otherwise known as Waterfall Country for only £20.00 per person, (normal price £45.00)!

If you are unsure of what Gorge Walking entails, then here is the low down for your reference:

Gorge Walking, an activity with a tempting twist, involves making your way upstream through narrow canyons, deep pools, tunnels, whitewater, and climbing and jumping from waterfalls. An awesome and exhilarating experience with plenty of adventure for all!

If you require any further information on Gorge Walking at Morfa Bay Adventure, or would like to grab a bargain and book your place on Sunday's session, then please do not hesitate in contacting our Activity Wales Team on 01437 766 888.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Ruthless Combat Vs Pampered Bliss

As I mentioned at the beginning of July, decisions were looming around the office for our July Team Thrash Bash!
After much thought, the hard nuts in the office thought it would be a marvellous idea to test their pain threshold, and have a go at a Paintballing battle at Heatherton! Myself, and the majority in the office however, were more than happy looking forward to being pampered and soothed in the hands of a qualified masseuse!

But, whether our choice was to be battered and bruised by blobs of paint, or to float between sensual aromas that left us feeling dreamy, soothed and beautiful, what a fabulous time we all had!

Arriving at St Brides Hotel and Spa, we were shown into the robing room, to slip into something a little more comfortable than our work uniform, and take a dip in the Vitality Pool, overlooking the fabulous views of Saundersfoot Bay. Luckily, we had terrific weather in Pembrokeshire that afternoon, and I'm pretty sure I could have caught a few sun rays if I had stayed there long enough!

Each of us floated around the Spa in whichever direction we fancied, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere and stunning views in which we were surrounded.

I chose to test my ability to survive an intense 20 minutes in the Sauna, which I did, leaving me desperate to cool down. So, I felt smothering myself in crystals of ice that were to hand, and hydrating myself with ice cold water a rather good idea!

After we had all enjoyed our truly invigorating, individual treatments, we all met on the balcony area overlooking Saundersfoot Harbour, feeling refreshed and stimulated.

Okay, now to have a complete contrast to our exhilarating Spa experience, I shall move on to report the ruthless combat that had taken place just down the road at Heatherton Country Sports Park!

I have received a detailed report from my fellow colleague Leanne, to ensure that I have the occurrence's of the Paintball battle correct and accurate for your reading, so (guys in the office), if I have mentioned anything that you feel not to be sufficient or exact, then please address Leanne!!

Two teams were chosen, (slightly unfairly) with having only three on one team, Leanne (team captain), Jake and Nik, and four on the other, Sarah (team captain), Matthew, Mickey and Carl.

The excitement (and fear), was clearly rife among them all as they paraded to the war zone, as Leanne took a sneaky shot at the opposition, leaving Carl with a nice, healthy bruise somewhere he would rather not mention, but trust me, he is finding sitting down for long periods of time a painful experience!

Other painful relations consist of Matthew (unarmed) pitifully rolling around the ground losing all control of his faculties, targeted by the 'Mighty Mickey' taking cheap shots at the wounded wherever possible! ( I know, they were on the same team, I don't understand it either).

However, I have been told that each member, at some point during the five games, was on the receiving end of a few impressive, fierce shots which they have been constantly reminded of for a few days after!

The end of the Paintball war zone, brought commiserations for Leanne and her alliance, and expressions of admiration to Sarah and her forceful tribe.

At the end of the blissful, and painful happenings of the day, showered and changed, we all lounged on the balcony awaiting our feast for the evening, exchanging stories of the afternoon gone by. For some, the angry war wounds they inflicted shall fade, and the essence of tranquil oils shall vanish, but the stories of the eventful afternoon shall remain forever!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Watch Out...Shark About!

Living in South Pembrokeshire, I was quite relieved to find out that a Porbeagle Shark was spotted in Goodwick, North Pembrokeshire recently, and not cruising around the Cleddau Estuary, where I probably would have had a nasty surprise during my wakeboarding session! (I can only just about set my mind to ignore the jellyfish tickling my toes, but would find a shark's sparkling white dentures simply too much to stomach!)

So, yes, an estimated 8ft long shark surprised onlookers in Fishguard last week, by making an unusually up close and personal appearance in the local waters, proudly showing himself off for video and photograph opportunities I believe!

The rather large fish was noticed to have fresh abrasions around his snout and tail stock, which is believed to have been his war wounds, a result of being beaten up by a group of Bottlenose Dolphins, that had been filmed earlier that day feeding on mackerel at the harbour mouth.

It seems that the dolphins didn't take to kindly to the sharks presence, and certainly didn't feel like sharing their breakfast!

But fear not everybody, as a member of The Sea Trust has noted, that although Porbeagle Sharks were described as potentially dangerous, there were no records of the species attacking anyone in British waters. Phew!

If you are visiting North Pembrokeshire this summer, or any time in the near future, then I would certainly recommend an offbeat Jet Boat Wildlife Adventure with Venture Jet, bringing the excitement of New Zealand water-jet technology to Pembrokeshire! Offering RIB ventures through caves and coves, exploring Ramsey, Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm Islands, their unique experiences are not to be missed.

Choose from a 1 hour Jet Therapy experience to a Wet and Wild Adventure exploring Ramsey Island, trust me, there is something for everyone!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Dulais Valley Quads

Here at Activity Wales, we are always looking to welcome fantastic new providers on board, and recently, I am delighted to announce terrific reports for Dulais Valley Quads who joined with us at the beginning of June.

Mandy Godleman noted: 'I just wanted to say what a wonderful time we had at Dulais Valley Quads. We were given a warm, friendly welcome and a very comprehensive and interesting safety talk. The bikes were in good condition, and the terrain was beautiful, interesting and most of all fun to ride on.'

If you feel that you would like to pass on your feedback for any Experience Days you have had through Activity Wales, then please feel free to e-mail as we are always welcoming and appreciative of your comments.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Relentless Wakestock 2008

After a fantastic long weekend away at Relentless Wakestock (I will explain in a second!), I felt I had to write up the outstanding event as it truly was an experience to remember, yet again!

Myself and my partner are entertained for many evenings, the warm and sunny, and the raining and dull, on the waters of the Cleddau, developing our skill of Wakeboarding, so two years ago, when we heard of Relentless Wakestock, we just had to go and see what all the fuss was about, and have been addicted to the sport ever since!
The only disappointing part of the weekend, is when you witness the ability of the pro-riders at Wakestock, and you realise just how much more developing we need to do!
But, you can't take it away from them, the guys are simply pure class.

While most people are getting geared up for their Summer Holiday away in the sun, packing their sunnies and suntan lotion, myself and my partner are loading up the car with our wellies, pringles and beer, to begin our drive to Abersoch, North Wales for an inspiring Wakeboard and Music Festival!

What is Relentless Wakestock?
Relentless Wakestock is Europe's largest wakeboard music festival, combining the cultures of music and the world's fastest growing water sport, in a weekend of high-octane excitement!
The event is primarily held in Abersoch dubbed 'Little Cheshire', but this year, the event took a proud leap by announcing a second location of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. I am sure that the palace as a backdrop and terrific lake on site made the festival shine as much as it did in Abersoch.
At the event in Abersoch, the Wakestock rail course is located down the road at Pwllheli Marina, which challenges the worlds best riders to not only make it to the end of their run, but to bring their own style and technical rail tricks to the table in order to come out on top in front of the contest's 8,000 spectators.

If you have never been introduced to the intriguing watersports before now, then fear no more, as I am about to tell you all you need to know, including how you can begin your learning curve through Activity Wales and our exciting new provider.

What is
Wakeboarding is the latest action sport to take over the world. Born through a lack of waves and a desire to further surfing, wakeboarding has grown from its routes in Carlsbad, California to cover every continent around the world, from Cuba to Russia and everywhere in between.
This high-speed action sport is predominantly participated behind a purpose built speedboat with the rider towed behind at around 25mph where they use the boat's wake to launch into the air, pulling technical inverts and spins of up to 1080 degrees.

We have recently had a fantastic new provider join Activity Wales,
Quadra Boats, and they offer Wakeboarding located off the Pembrokeshire Coastline.
So, if Wakeboarding appeals to you, for more information please click here.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Team Thrash Bash!

The 'Thrash Bash' is a welcomed get together the whole team enjoy throughout the year, a chance for us all to kick back and relax outside of the office!

This will actually be my very first attendance at a Thrash Bash as I only started with the company in January of this year! I unfortunately couldn't make the last one at CC2000, as I was away exploring the slopes in Andorra, which makes this one even more exciting!

Ideas have been floating around the office for a little while, with the conclusion now being a choice of indulging in a luxury spa treatment, (an opportunity for everyone to become princess for the day!), or for the more adventurous, a chance to let out their wild side for an hour with a session of Quad Biking! Difficult choice I know, but which would you prefer, a chance to be Kate Moss, (if only for an hour!), or to look like farmer Giles in your overalls! So, on that note, my choice just had to be the Spa!

Thoughts are then to head into the quaint town of Tenby to round off the evening and to carry on the party at a local pub. Perfect end to the day I feel.

If this sounds like your cup of tea then why not check out our selection of Experience Days in Tenby.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Retail packages are a go!

As you are aware Fran has been trying desperately over the last couple of months to create our retial product. Basically, activities in a box, but to do it so you do not have to pay high street prices!

And I am pleased to say that she has done it, and done it in style!! We have also had a sports bag made, that is great for wet gear, or carrying those essentials, and we are giving it away with all the experience days too.

Hope you are enjoying the weather and with Fathers day around the corner, why not treat him to a true Activity Wales Experience.