I’ve been hearing great things about the National Trust’s Dyffryn Gardens for a while now, and since I had a couple of days off work this week I thought I would take the girls there to see what all the fuss was about.
As my Sat Nav app took me on a nice detour around Cardiff, in the pouring rain, I did wonder if we should head home, the weather was wrong again and I imagined it to be horrible and soggy when we arrived, but none the less I carried on. And I’m so glad I did. The sun came out as we were welcomed by the friendly staff and so we couldn’t wait to get started.
We arrived quite late in the afternoon so we decided to go into the mansion house, we were greeted by a really lovely member of staff who I chatted to for a while about photography (he’s Nikon though!) and then told us about the chicks scattered around the mansion for the children to find. So off we went in search of the little chicks (they were little toys not real ones of course).
I realised something unique about Dyffryn house rather quickly- there isn’t anything really that the children aren’t allowed to touch or play with. Even the old record players and pianos can be used. The lovely library is fully working and books can be purchased, and the gorgeous old fashioned sofas are a lovely spot to rest a while and look out onto the gardens. As a parent this is a nice refreshing change because whenever we visit old buildings I’m usually on edge trying to make sure nothing gets broken. I completely understand why this is necessary and my girls are usually very respectful, but I did appreciate the relaxed nature at Dyffryn Gardens.
The whole time we wandered around the house there were staff ready to answer questions about the history of the house and even help the children with some arts and crafts. The girls were really happy with the daffodils they made.
There were plenty of interesting facts dotted around and a great story to follow as well, plus so many different rooms, that we spent well over an hour just wandering around talking about everything we discovered. I could have sat at this desk reading and looking out the window for hours.
Once we had finally found all six chicks and had a thorough explore of all the rooms in the mansion we pottered around the gardens for a while, and by pottered about I mean took a good long walk- The grounds are huge!
There are plenty of flowers and trees, buds and even lots of honey bees already, which is wonderful to see. We enjoyed the pond with the large carp happily swimming around.
I loved the fact that I could enjoy a slow walk taking photos of everything and the girls were happily running around me laughing and chasing each other, it really was a beautiful afternoon with my daughters. They asked if we could come back the next day and I seriously considered it. We will certainly be back again soon and can’t wait to see how the gardens grow in the summer.
I always think it is worth mentioning the facilities when it comes to family activities and I am happy to report the toilets, gift shop, cafe and play ground were all immaculate and every member of staff had a smile for us and answered any questions quickly.
Truly a wonderful place to take the family. We would highly recommend Dyffryn Gardens to anyone.