Ad: Cyfarthfa castle and park is somewhere we’ve driven past numerous times but we’ve never been inside. The Valleys asked us to go and explore to see what we thought. With a splash pad and park, museum, castle, miniature railway and gorgeous grounds, it’s a great, inexpensive place to spend a day with plenty of things to occupy the kids. Read on to find out all it has to offer.
For the purpose of the review, we were refunded the amount for entry, a ride on the train and lunch
It’s got an awesome free Park and Splashpad
Once the kids heard there was a splash park, they made no qualms about wanting to make a beeline for it. The park is set behind the castle and is a great size. With play structures for kids of all ages, ours soon got stuck in testing them out. They loved the big hamster wheel and the huge pyramid climbing structure which they spent ages climbing up and down.
It’s got a very convenient cafe
The nice thing about this park from a parent’s perspective is that once your child is of an age where they can independently play on the structures, you can either join them or, conveniently, there is a café overlooking the park. So you can enjoy a coffee or ice-cream whilst they play. Someone designed this park right!
Next to the park (and again in sight of the café) is the splashpad. The kids had brought their costumes so got stuck in. They loved it. It’s not a massive park and it looks a little tired around the edges but the kids don’t care about that. The best thing is that they are free so you’ll only have to pay for your visit to the café. If you want to keep those costs down, there are a few benches scattered about so bring your own flask and picnic.
Cyfarthfa Castle museum is so reasonable and interesting
We weren’t quite sure to expect with the castle. The museum charges for entry but it’s only £2.20 for an adult and kids are free. You start by entering the basement where the museum starts off with a blast from the past. Some of the areas are decorated as rooms from the past, like an kitchen with a range, a blacksmiths etc. You also get to learn about the coal mines and the factory industries of Methryr’s past. There are a number of things that the kids can touch and get involved with so they weren’t bored at all walking around.
As you move upstairs, the museum has an eclectic set of exhibits to keep you amused. From Julian Macdonald and Laura Ashley fashions (they both orignated from Merthyr) to a mummifed head! For the kids, in each area, we found little activities to keep them amused, from colouring to puzzles. So they were happy enough racing about.
For the amount of money this cost, it was great, kept the kids entertained and would provide a handy reprieve from the weather should it get too hot (not so often) or rain (more than likely!).
The Miniature Railway is so much fun!
There is a little sit on steam railway at the bottom of the park underneath the house. The rides cost £1.50 each and the train goes twice around the track. You go through a little tunnel and next to a lake. This might be the costliest thing in the park as the kids wanted to go on it time and time again. If you’re like miniature railways, why not check out our Heath Park post where you’ll find another one.
The Lake is a good place to feed the ducks
Next to the railway, there is a little lake where there are plenty of hungry ducks to feed. You’ll have to be a little careful as there aren’t many fences so watch they don’t fall in! They sell bird food in the steam train office for 50p a bag.
The walks around Cyfarthfa Castle are just beautiful
As it was a gorgeous day when we visited, the kids spent so much time in the park and the splash pad that we didn’t get a chance to do one of the family friendly walks signposted around the park. We’ll have to try them out next time we visit! If you want more information about the walks you can do…..visit them here.
Here’s how we rate Cyfarthfa Castle, park and museum
On a sunny day, this is a full day out and for very little cost. We visited in the summer and were able to make the most of all the facilities. The parks kept the kids interested for a long time and the museum was quirky and had plenty to do for the kids. The cafe is better for snacks and drinks and it’s very handily placed. You can head inside the castle for a lovely tea rooms if you want something a little more substantial. All in all it got the thumbs up from us and we will be returning!