Thanks to WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre for providing us with complimentary admission in exchange for this review
We love Lego in our house and we’re also big wildlife lovers, so an activity combining the two was already a winner for us before we’d even arrived at the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre to see the Lego Brick Wetland Safari. And, needless to say, the trail, which is running until 4 September, didn’t disappoint.
We were camping nearby so it was a perfect place for an afternoon out, but at just over an hour from Cardiff it’s easy enough to get there and back in a day.
The 15 Lego sculptures, which are brick replicas of some of the species living at the nature reserve, are so impressive. They’re big, with some of them are up to 12 times the size of their real-life counterparts, and the detail in them is so impressive.
Each of the sculptures has an information board next to it, telling you a few facts about the species as well as how many bricks were needed to make the sculpture and how many hours it took. As with previous Lego trails we have seen, the level of skill needed for such creations is mind-blowing, with some of them taking more than 100 hours to build and involving 10-15,000 bricks.
We loved that each creature had a name too, with some of our favourites including Flavia the Flamingo, Chris the Crane and Katie the Kingfisher.
A number of the sculptures are of the feathered variety, but there’s also a dragonfly, an otter, a water vole, a frog, and an owl (one of my favourites).
I’ve included photos of a few of our favourites in this half of the review to give you an idea of what to expect. However, I know not everyone will want to see all the spoilers, so you’ll find pictures of the rest right at the end of this review, meaning you can read all the information without seeing ‘everything’ before you go. I’ll let you know when to stop reading if you want to avoid seeing all the animals on the trail!
This was our first visit to WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre – it’s somewhere we’ve been meaning to visit for a long time and the Lego trail was the added incentive to finally get there.
We arrived just after lunch on a drizzly summer’s day in the summer holidays and the place was nicely busy but not overly so. The staff at the reception gave us our map, which includes a few questions related to the animals you’ll spot on the trail, for the chance to win a goody bag, and directed us in the right direction. It wasn’t long before we spotted our first sculpture, which was next to a flamingo-inspired playground plus a pond where you are allowed to hand feed the ducks (although you can’t do this anywhere else in the wetlands).
From there, we followed the map around to successfully find all of the sculptures, as well as seeing lots of different birds and ducks, a few dragonflies and lots of beautiful flowers.
We managed to capture on film a beautiful moment when a ‘real’ nene walked right up to its Lego counterpart, Natalie the Nene, and was having a good look. I’d love to know what it was thinking. Interestingly, back in the 1950s there were only 30 nenes left in the world. The Wetland’s founder Sir Peter Scott led the way in saving them and now there are more than 2,000 worldwide.
We spent around two and a half hours at the Wetlands. As well as the sculptures and the playground we spent time in the den building area, which is designed for natural play, as well as in a couple of the wooden hides, where you can look out onto the beautiful wetlands undetected to see what you can spot.
You could easily make it a whole day trip, as there’s a café for lunch, or plenty of picnic tables if you want to bring your own food, plus there’s a whole other part of the wetlands which we didn’t explore at all but would have loved to if we’d had more time. That said, we did get to look at parts of it through the incredible large glass windows in the state-of-the-art visitor centre, which frame it so picturesquely.
The visitor centre also has a lovely gift shop with wildlife-themed gifts for all ages, a small Lego play area and a soft play for babies and toddlers, and a viewing tower.
During the summer holidays you can also hire a canoe for a water safari, paddling your way around the wetland waterways. Canoes cost £9.95 to hire and can fit two adults or an adult and a child over 5 years old. An additional child (aged between 5 and 9 years old) can also be accommodated, sitting on a canvas hammock seat suspended in the middle of the canoe. Under 5s are not permitted to use the canoes. There’s no need to book; just ask at the admissions desk, where the canoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability.
The centre also runs a number of nature activities over the holidays, including family bird watching, pond dipping, wildlife crafts, and more. Check the website for details on what’s available one each day.
We loved the tranquil atmosphere at the centre; it’s such a calming place to walk around and you’ll definitely see a variety of different specie as you make your way aroud. We didn’t see anything as exciting as otters or kingfishers… but who knows when one might pop up to say hello!
The Lego Brick Wetland Safari runs at WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre until Sunday 4 September. The trail is included in the usual admission prices of £10.40 for adults, £6.60 for children, £28.90 for a family of four (prices including gift aid donation). For more information, see the website. There’s no need to book in advance; you can pay on arrival.
WWT Llanelli, Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH
Visit the website here.
If you don’t want to see all the sculptures on the trail, stop reading now! Otherwise, a few more photos follow.