Friday is shaping up to be the hottest day of the year, and you should make the most of it, savour every last ray of sunshine. To help you along the way, we’ve set out three different ‘perfect days’, one for families, one for couples, and one for students, each day suggest things to do on the hottest day of the year.
Each different ‘perfect day’ is an example of how to spend the hottest day of the year in Wales, in an ideal world, where teleportation is a viable option! But see it as a list of things you should absolutely do on the hottest day of the year.
If you’re not at work, then you need to do at least three of these things.
Perfect sunny day for students, by Jessica Best:
1. Breakfast in Bute Park
If I were to plan my perfect day for Wales’s hottest day of the year (on a budget), it would begin with breakfast in Cardiff’s Bute Park. Sitting in the morning sun, looking out over the great green heart of the city at the wonderful Pettigrew Tea Rooms, I’d start the day with a cuppa and some crumpets for under a fiver.
2. Boating on Roath Park Lake
Before the heat gets too intense (and the risk of my sun-starved skin being turned lobster red too great), I’d then grab a couple of friends and head over to the capital’s other green lung – Roath Park – for a morning messing about on Roath Park Lake. On either a paddle or rowing boat, a lazy hour or so would be spent trying to navigate our way around the Scott Memorial, and feeding the ducks, geese, swans and huge great seagulls that gather there.
3. Picnic in the sand dunes
Lunch in an ideal world, where travel time was no consideration, would be a home made picnic in the dunes at the beautiful Three Cliff’s Bay on the Gower Peninsula. It was recently named the third best beach in Wales, and a picnic is far more cost effective than overpriced pub grub. I’d also forgive the slightly warm cider for no long waiting times in a packed beer garden.
4. Amble around Aberystwyth
After we’d polished off our slightly gritty sandwiches and “Strawberries-a-pound!”, my dream day would see me arrive in Aberystwyth for a stroll along the front with an ice cream, followed by a scramble to the top on Constitution Hill. After we’ve recovered our breath and taken in the fantastic views, it would be time for a game of frisbee golf – there’s a free course at the summit.
5. Cider and sundown back in Cardiff
With a quick skip back to Cardiff, we’d finally get our hands on that cold cider at the Welsh Cider and Beer Festival, before watching the sun set over Cardiff Bay. Bliss.
Perfect sunny days for families, by Lorna Doran:
1. Head to the beach
When the sun’s out families usually head to the nearest beach – which, when you’re Welsh, is great as we have some of the best beaches in Britain – some of them world-class. Award-winning Barafundle in Pembrokeshire is easily one of the best beaches you’ll ever visit, with no obvious distractions other than the sweeping curve of golden sand, a shimmering sea and a stunning view. And that really is it. No facilities – and it’s a half mile walk from Stackpole Quay car park to the beach. But once you get there… gorgeous.
2. Nip to the zoo
Who can resist the chance to get out in the great outdoors, soak up some rays and make friends with some cute animals! The Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, with its pandas, chimps, sea lions and penguins, is a great day out – and you can always pop along to the seafront later. The zoo opens at 9.30am, closes at 6pm and a family ticket for two adults and two children costs £34.55.
3. Visit stunning Portmeirion
Step into the beautiful Gwynedd village of Portmeirion and you could easily believe you were in Italy. This fascinating tourist attraction will keep the whole family happy with its woodlands, restaurants, shops and a beach with views to die for. A great place to wander around when the sun’s out. The village is open from 9.30am to 7.3pm and a ticket for two adults and two children costs £30.00.
4. Head to Barry Island
Who doesn’t love Barry Island beach? We won’t argue that it can get a bit busy sometimes, but the sandy Whitmore Bay is a real magnet for families who can’t keep away from the amusements, gift shops and crazy golf. If it’s good enough for Gavin and Stacey, then it’s good enough for us!
5. Go on a Treasure Trail
Fancy turning detective while out and about in the magnificent town of Conwy? Explore the narrow streets in search of treasure with The Conwy Treasure Hunt Trail. The trail is made up a series of clues that you have to solve while you set about exploring. Each Trail costs £6.99 and you can download one as a pdf to print at home.
Perfect sunny day for couples (old or young!), by Richard Beech:
1. Surf’s Up
Actually I lie, the surf forecast isn’t great for the hottest day of the year, but that doesn’t stop you living the life of a surfer for a day. Head to Rest Bay in Porthcawl, park the car, and set up camp on the blue flag beach for the morning. The wind conditions are set to be perfect for a good wave, but unfortunately the swell isn’t big enough. When the tide starts coming in after midday, though, you might get a perfect little wave for beginners!
If that happens, then speak to Hugh at Porthcawl Surf and he’ll sort you out with a board and a wetsuit, then have the time of your life.
2. Remember the valleys
Us humans flock to the coast when the sun is shining, but if you can’t be bothered with the traffic and the crowds on the beaches, the remember the valleys. Brecon is quite simply breathtaking on a sunny day, and a leisurely walk around its beautiful lakes could be just what the doctor ordered to kick off the summer properly.
Head inland, pack a picnic, and have a romantic day away from the city, and all the topless lobster-red builders that come with it.
3. Dust off the bike
Get a duster and get rid of the thick layer of dust that has settled on your bike. You’ve probably got a flat tyre because you left it in the shed for so long, so pump it up and get yourself on the Taff Trail pronto.
It might be crowded, but it will also feel beautiful, and there are few better feelings than the wind rushing past your ears on a warm summer day.
4. Spend the day in Cardigan Bay
I’d spend every day in Cardigan Bay if I could, but that’s not an option unfortunately. Instead, on the hottest day of the year, I’d love to head there and just have a slow, slow day. I’d potter around the bay, grab a pint, probably follow it up with an ice cream.
Then head to one of Ceredigion’s beautiful beaches, like Cwmtydu beach, a truly wonderful place to spend the day.
5. Soak up the Wye Valley
One of my favourite places in the whole world, the perfect romantic setting, I proposed to my fiancée not far from Tintern, so I can vouch for its romanticism.
If you like adventure, and getting completely lost, then it’s a wonderful place to go. Head to the Wye Valley, park the car, and go and discover the place that feels like a gigantic version of the idyllic Shire from Lord of the Rings.