The steps into the castle tower looked narrow, dark, dank, dangerous - and very inviting to my husband.

"Come on," he said. Our five-year-old, Eve, didn't need further prompting and was soon past the first bend. But I held back.

"We can't take the baby up there."

"Of course we can," said my husband lifting Max out of his pushchair and heading for the ramparts of Harlech Castle.

"Stop," I said, retrieving our son before my husband had reached the third step.

"Don't be ridiculous. The sign says NARROW STEPS AND LOW CEILING. What if there were an accident?"

My husband turned very huffy. "You have no sense of adventure. You always have a downer on things."

"I'm just trying to be the realist here," I argued. "I don't want our child's life endangered."

"Huh," he said, and stomped off after Eve's echo, leaving me feeling wounded and our baby looking confused.

A few minutes later, I heard the distant cries of "Mummy."

There was Eve, jumping up and down fearlessly on the mighty walls, while her dad was making odd gestures to me and clutching his stomach.

Several minutes later Eve was running back across the courtyard, followed by her queasy-looking dad.

"God, that was awful," he said. "The stairs were really narrow and I hit my head. And then when we got to the top I had an attack of vertigo. I felt all dizzy."

"It's just as well you didn't take ..."

"All right," he interrupted. "I accept I was wrong. Again."

My poor husband. He had been looking forward to our holiday to Wales so much, and now most of his attempts to explore this scenic, majestic corner of the British Isles were being hampered by his family.

He had me bleating on about how wet we were getting, Eve moaning about car sickness whenever we set off anywhere and Max having screaming fits if we didn't keep him topped up with Welshcakes.

Every morning my husband looked out of the window of our holiday cottage towards the misty peaks of Snowdonia and sighed wistfully before changing Max's bottom.

Every evening, after a day of fraught mealtimes, journeys with monotonous nursery rhyme tapes and shouting matches, he would again gaze at the green vista.

After the first few days, it became obvious the one attraction he really wanted to do - take a slow train to Snowdonia - would not be possible.

Max had just started walking and the last thing he wanted to do was sit on a lap for two hours.

So we spent the first few wet days busying ourselves with child-friendly activities a visit to the slate mines, a family "fun day" in the local village and a trip to a button-pressing exhibition on alternative technology.

And then the sun came out and our damp, drizzly landscape suddenly became as glorious as the South of France.

My husband didn't get his treks into the hills but he did get to sit on the beach and watch our children go bonkers over acres of soft sand littered with dead starfish.

"There is no place on Earth more beautiful," I said taking off my waterproof and rolling up my trousers for a paddle. "I'm so glad you made us come here."

"Really?" he said, looking astounded. "In that case, next time we can go camping."