We headed to Bryngarw House in Bridgend earlier this week. My plan was a few hours exploring the gardens and parks, followed by a trip to McArthurGlen designer outlet, just five minutes away at Junction 36, to pick up new school shoes at Clarks.
Well, let’s just say the first part of my plan went so well we had to completely abandon the second bit because my children were covered in mud, grass, dirt and goodness knows what else, not to mention being absolutely shattered after five or so hours of running around in the fresh air.
It was the first time we’d been to Bryngarw House and country park and I highly recommend it as a fun and free (apart from £4 for all-day parking) family day out.
As soon as we drove into the grounds, we saw the children’s playground and that was our first port of call. We stayed there for well over an hour. There were climbing frames for different age groups, swings, a huge silver climbing frame with three slides of differing heights, plus rocking animals. There’s also a climbing rock, which seemed to be popular with the older children who have outgrown the playground.
My three spent ages climbing on the fallen wooden tree trunks. Even 17-month-old Baby Boy I did a great job of balancing along them while holding my hand.
From there, we headed down the path towards the pond. I was a bit nervous of the signs warning of deep water, given how close the path is to the pond. Baby I was back in his buggy at this point as he is at that age where he likes to wander off with no sense of danger, but my Little Miss E, my 5½-year-old daughter, and Little Man O, my 3¾-year-old son loved watching the ducks and the bubbles made by the fish jumping up to the surface in search of food.
The house itself is a grade 2 listed building and it hosts weddings and other events, as well as having 19 bedrooms you can stay in. Certain areas of the house are open to visitors, but for some reason it was closed on the day we visited. That didn’t really make any difference to our day though. The benches on the lawn outside were perfect for a picnic lunch. After that, my three spent a good half an hour rolling down the hill outside the house (number three on my kids’ summer to-do list successfully ticked off), and generally running around.
We randomly bumped into a friend at this point. Her children are older than mine at 10 and 7, but all of them had fun building dens in the woods, climbing trees, building a campfire and rubbing sticks together to make a fire (thankfully they were pretty rubbish at this, as he last thing we wanted to be responsible for was burning down the woods!).
We had a quick walk in the woodlands around the pond, again climbing on fallen tree trunks and walking in mud. There are other woodland trails to explore, but we didn’t make it that far. I noticed one of them had steps leading down through the woods, but there were others that seemed accessible with the buggy.
There is a shop and a café, and various activities taking place during the holidays and at weekends for an additional cost.
We really enjoyed exploring the woods and the grounds and Miss E and Little Man are desperate to go back so that they can show Daddy their new favourite place. I’m sure it won’t be long before we plan a return trip
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