Saturday, 27 May 2017

Top 5 outdoor places for toddlers | South Wales

We've been members of the National Trust for about 3 years now. We love taking Squidge out to explore new places, or re-explore places he's been before. For us, the best places are ones with lots of green space for him to run about, with little places to explore. He just loves being outside, it's literally his favourite thing in this world.  Here's our top places to go around South Wales with a toddler (caveat, this is of course only covering places we've actually been!).

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan
Dyffryn Gardens, the Pompeii gardens

This place is just fantastic! There's a little play park out the front by the car park, ever popular with kids. Then as you go through there's a nice short walk up to the house, and just beyond that there's vast gardens. They have some smaller formal gardens in different themes, like a mirror/reflection pond, Pompeii gardens, it's all very beautiful. Then they have a polo green and a massive garden with a little stream running through the middle of it with beautiful huge coi carp in it. There's loads of place to run about, and lots of benches dotted around for the tired grown ups, which double up nicely as little refreshment stops.
Entry fee: £9.60 (adults) or £4.80 (kids)  (or free if you have a NT membership)

Tredegar House, Newport
Tredegar House at Christmas

Another great National Trust place. Tredegar house is surrounded by vast gardens too - some of which you don't need to pay entry to walk around. There's pretty big gardens within the walls too (which you do have to pay for). As well as pretty, formal gardens, there's also the house, which is fantastic to walk around.
Entry fee: £9.20 (adult) or £4.60 (kids)  (or free if you have a NT membership)

The Kymin, Wye Valley
The Kymin, Wye Valley

This places makes a great walk/adventure. It's free entry, and they do have a little cafe there (The Round House), but it's not always open (seasonal). If you want to go into their round house, then there is a fee to pay (listed below). The walk starts around the round house, and then ventures into the woods - what kid doesn't like exploring the woods?!
Entry fee: £3.00 (adults) or £1.50 (kids) for the Round House (or free if you have a NT membership)

The Weir, Hereford
The Weir, Hereford

It's been a while since we visited here, but we absolutely loved it! There's no buildings to go in, it's just a walk, but not a very long one. There's a refreshment tent with an honesty box (when we were there, we were the only people who actually put money in it, tut tut!). The walk itself is in a loop, you start off on the higher ground, loop down some steps and walk back along the river, really lovely.
Entry fee: £7.15 (adults) or £3.50 (kids) (or free if you have a NT membership)

Forest Fawr, Caerphilly
Squidge at Forest Fawr

Just down the road from Mountain View Ranch (I'm sure this would  be on our list too, but we haven't been there yet - note that MVR has a Gruffalo trail!), it's a lovely walk through the woods with beautiful wooden sculptures along the way. When we took Squidge, he absolutely loved it! We went in the winter, so made sure we had our wellies!
Entry fee: FREE

There's loads of other amazing places, and a special mention has to go to Caerphilly Castle, Castle Coch and Cardiff Castle - all highly worth a visit :)
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