Our favourite family days out involve exploring somewhere new so a few weeks ago we signed up to be National Trust members.
Today we put that membership to good use with our first visit to the magical Dyffryn Gardens. Nestled in St Nicholas in the Vale of Glamorgan, its 55 acres feature a myriad of gorgeous garden rooms with plants and landscaping themes from across the globe. Although just 15 minutes from Cardiff, it feels worlds away from the bustling city.
When you arrive at Dyffryn Gardens, the first thing to greet you is the park. The children raced straight in, enjoying the wooden, nature-themed playground.
After encouraging them to leave the park, we went through the Reception area to start exploring the gardens.
Our son led the way and we soon found ourselves outside the impressive Dyffryn House, a manor house built in the late 19th century which is partially restored.
We followed the path around the house to discover the croquet lawn peppered with striped deckchairs. From there, the children meandered through a network of gardens, finding vibrant flowers, apple-bursting trees and arches threaded with roses. It was stunning.
The children loved exploring the gardens, discovering arches leading to a new walled garden and the various sculptures and statues.
My favourite? The Italian walled garden and the rose garden. Our daughter loved spotting the different colour roses as we strolled around it.
As you’d expect of a National Trust property, the facilities were excellent. It had a cafe, picnic benches and sitting spots as well as traditional garden toys to keep the children entertained.
Tired little legs meant we didn’t get to go inside Dyffryn House but we will definitely be back to visit – and see the house – soon.
Overall, a beautiful family day out that is such a treat for garden lovers of the world.