A big thank you to the National Trust for inviting us to review Dyffryn House and Gardens.
February half term is usually damp and dreary but this year it has been quite the opposite. On Wednesday we took full advantage of the good weather and headed to Dyffryn House and Gardens.
Dyffryn Gardens is a collection of botanical gardens located near the villages of Dyffryn and St. Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. It is around a 20 minutes drive from Cardiff.
The main entrance can be found next to the free car park. As you walk towards the visitor centre you will find a small park, a tea-room with indoor and courtyard seating and a small gift shop which offers a range of gifts.
As I walked through the courtyard I noticed an affordable seasonal plant sale. Unfortunately I had no time to stop as the outdoor event we wanted to attend was ending shortly.
Luckily, we hitched a ride on a buggy and made it to the event with time to spare.
We were attending the half term event – cook on a campfire.
More events can be found in my last post – Welsh Mummy Blogs
We grabbed our s’mores kit and made our way to the campfire.
The boys loved roasting marshmallows on the open fire. It was an experience they will never forget and at only £2 per roasting pack it was affordable fun for all. The boys took the toasted marshmallows and squished them between two delicious chocolatey biscuits.
Harry got to try his very first roasted marshmallow!!!
After some family bonding we headed to the outdoor obstacle course to burn off the excess energy! The obstacle course was a wooded area suitable for all ages, mums and dads included!
We then had a run about on the main lawn and had an explore around the many themed gardens. We enjoyed walking around the Mediterranean Garden.
I must admit I was a little disappointed that the pond on the great lawn was empty. I was also sad that some flowers had been ruined from honey moss.
This did not spoil the sheer elegance of the gardens though. As we walked about we saw the first signs of spring in the form of sprouting flowers, the colours were already breathtaking.
Walking through the main entrance I felt as though we were entering a family home.
A tour guide approached us and asked if we would like a tour or if we would like to walk around the house ourselves. We said we would prefer to take it in our stride so decided against a tour, however, I did have a good chat with the tour guide.
The lovely tour guide told us that the house came to the National Trust in 2013 without a collection. The house had no original belongings, pieces of furniture or art! The great hall we were stood in was the main family room for the Cory family.
The tour guide informed us that all items of furniture have been donated. The lady also said that a few of the rooms in the house have been furnished, but with a twist. The family friendly house has been designed to be touched and it has several interactive elements.
Therefore she assured us that kids can be kids and if we fancy chilling on the sofas or making use of the interactive elements we can.
This was really reassuring as I usually keep my boys close when touring a manor house or castle, at least here I didn’t have the worry about damaging any furniture!
I was impressed by the knowledge of the tour guide and further impressed when the lady informed me that all guides are volunteers. The lady also said that most of the grounds people are volunteers and without the help of volunteers the house and gardens would not be what it is today.
The house has many different styles of decor. I particularly liked the decor in the Morning room which is now used as an art room for visitors. The room was decorated by the BBC for the Doctor Who spin off The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The Dyffryn house and gardens has featured in many TV series including Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Merlin.
My boys had lots of fun colouring in some pictures of flowers and wildlife.
Whilst the boys and hubby coloured some pictures, I had a browse in the second-hand bookshop which is located in the red library. I was not the only person to sit and read, I found many visitors sat on the comfy sofas reading. It was a pleasure to see.
My husband had a soft spot for the Billiard Room, complete with billiard table. He said he imagined that the gentleman back in the day must have had hours of fun playing pool and snooker in this room.
I fell in love with the original fireplaces and the blue drawing room. The room felt very homely and welcoming. I sat peacefully in this room whilst listening to a young lady play on an 1830’s grand piano.
We made our way upstairs. The grand staircase was beautiful. On the landing we had a good view of the Stained Glass Window in the Great Hall.
Upstairs I was surprised to find no beds in the bedrooms, instead the rooms were filled with visitor information about the house, history and Estate.
One of the rooms was set up like a boudoir. There was a place to dress up and also a place to make your own perfume! You would think this room was every girls dream but my boys loved it!!! They enjoyed dressing up and making perfume.
After our explore around the house we headed to the tea rooms for a much needed cup of coffee. The tea room was very affordable offering children’s snack packs for £4.25. We then had a look in the gift shop and bought some sweets for our drive home.
Our overall experience was a good one. I would highly recommend Dyffryn house and gardens to anyone who wishes to relax and unwind. Its a great place for families, there is plenty of space for children to run around and lots of activities to keep young minds occupied.
We didn’t get a chance to see everything the gardens had to offer so I would recommend arriving early as there is much to do!
I cant wait to head back to Dyffryn house and gardens during the summer to see the beautiful gardens in bloom.
For more information and upcoming events at Dyffryn house and gardens please visit – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dyffryn-gardens
We are thinking about becoming a National Trust family member. As a member, we will enjoy free access to hundreds of unforgettable places and also help protect them for future generations. For more information about the membership, please visit – https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us