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  • Writer's picturesharlaine quick

Fonmon Castle (Cardiff)

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

I've been wanting to visit here for AGES - everyone says it's the best Santa in town at Christmas and does a pretty scary Halloween event too - but I just wanted to see what it was all about as a few people have recommended it to me over the past year or two. I'm definitely glad we went and we had a great day out and it didn't cost a fortune either.

Entry was £13 an adult and £11 a child (Ralffi was free as he was under 3 years of age) - I personally felt you got a lot for your money. We could easily have spent all day there (which is 10am - 5pm) but we had a hand break disaster on the way so didn't arrive until 12.30pm!! We did manage to see everything, just about, before 5pm but we definitely could have spent a lot longer there.

We were met by a very enthusiastic lady at the gate, and I have to say, all the staff were SO lovely here; makes a difference doesn't it? They all had some snazzy Dino dungarees as well which I appreciated (you may have noticed my love of dungarees!)

Immediately on arrival you'll see a big plane on your left. Totally random but pretty cool as this is an indoor area to have a picnic! There were absolutely loads of places to picnic around the whole park, all in old train carriages or various cabins. You can buy food there too though. They have a burger van selling pies and chips at a fair price for an attraction like this and a nice cafe inside the castle too.

There's a great park at the entrance, which is always appreciated by Cooper and a small obstacle course a little further into the park too.

The main attraction here however is the dinosaurs and there's plenty of them. Carwyn and me were arguing over where's better for seeing dinosaurs between here, The Dinosaur Park and Dan Yr Ogof Caves - we didn't agree, obviously! Let me know what you think if you go!

Towards the end of the dinosaur trail there's a sign taking you down a pretty steep hill towards a pirate ship play area. It's quite a pull back up but there are dinosaurs to see along the way to break it up a bit - but the hill is not an easy walk back up with small children or a pram (in my opinion!) Down this hill is the frisbee golf area as well, although we didn't have time to go and have a look at that properly.

I should also say a big DIOLCH YN FAWR to the park for ensuring that every sign and fact in the park was in Welsh too - that goes a long way with us Welshies!

In the dome close to the entrance is a Dino show (it was at 1pm and 3pm when we went) and was a good little half hour for young children. It's not what I expected (the word show suggested some singing and dancing to me - lol) but the lady that was doing it was making a great effort to interact with the children in the audience (and it was very informative!)

There's also a small medieval village there with some shops to buy knights/witches/wizards costumes and props and some fake and real farm animals in this area too.

Around the grounds you'll find the walled gardens and also an Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter's Tea Party set up.

Towards the castle there's a story trail and some fairy houses to see and plenty of woodland walks to explore (providing you don't have a pram with you like we did!)

So, as you've probably gaged from this blog, there's a fair bit to see and do at Fonmon Castle - although the castle itself is closed to the public as someone actually lives there. I was looking forward to having a look around there, I love looking through castles and mansions, but sadly wasn't meant to be. Apparently there are times during the year that they open it up (when the owners are on holidays) but this wasn't one of those times.

Cooper gave his visit a solid 9 out of 10 so I'd say that's a place worth visiting for sure! Due to the amount of walking as this is spread over a pretty big area of land, I would wait until your children are walking confidently and old enough to do a pretty long walk before going (unless you're taking a pram or a cart!) By the way - no dogs allowed here unfortunately.

We'll definitely revisit when Ralffi is a little older! Another one off the bucket list!


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