We had a fantastic time at the Llanelli Wetlands Centre. It was the perfect place to head for a full family day out with nature loving kids. A haven for outdoor enthusiasts. It spans a massive 450 acres full of lakes, streams, pools, lagoons and salt marshes. And as well as exploring there are organised bug hunting and pond dipping activities too.
There are several ponds to visit, all with different bird habitats from across the world. We saw Black Swans, Red Breasted geese, an Eider walking along with her ducklings. Not that I know my bird species, but there were helpful signs around to help us identify the different types. We also spotted a turtle and were joined at lunch by a Robin.
You can buy bird seed at the main entrance. Some of the geese even fed straight out of our hands. Just be careful of the ducks though, as my son found out they weren’t as gentle.
There are also the pink flamingoes to see and you can time your visit to see them in-line with the daily talk. We were fascinated to learn that what we had previously assumed were their knees were in-fact their ankles. You can’t actually see their knees as they are hidden up beneath their bodies. Please tell me I’m not the only one who didn’t know this!?
Whilst there is a cafe there we had taken a picnic. There were some picnic tables scattered about past the pond areas which made for a nice spot to stop for lunch.
So what’s there for the Kids?
We found plenty of stuff to do there with kids from den building to bird watching to feeding the ducks. In-fact we ran out of time and didn’t manage to fit everything in.
In addition to self led activities there are the guided pond and bug hunting activities which are well worth doing. We didn’t have time during this visit, but for next time we’d like to give the canoes a go and perhaps hire bikes too.
We arrived first thing in the morning, just after 10:00. Which meant we were there just in time for the bug hunting. With my middle son having a very keen interest in bugs, it was a no brainer for us to join in.
The kids were given their own magnifying glass boxes and a spatula to catch bugs. They spent around half an hour looking under the trunks and rocks which had been placed there to ensure there were plenty of bugs to be found. During this time they could return to the lab area to see what they had found closer up under a microscope.
Having done the bug hunting we weren’t sure whether to head back there again for the pond dipping in the afternoon. As we thought it would be too similar. It also meant we had to head back to the same place preventing us from exploring some of the other areas. But we’re glad we did as it was really fun and educational at the same time.
For the pond dipping we were given nets, a large plastic tray to keep our finds and a magnifying glass. The little one was also given gloves as she had cut her hand earlier in the day.
The pond dipping part lasted around half an hour. We found water spiders, water snails and worms. As a group we then headed back inside to share our finds on the television screen. There was then an interactive fun talk which lasted for around half an hour and this gave us more information on all the creatures found. The kids loved it, especially the water spider with its bubble back to carry air!
Den building and Explorer Trails
There are trails throughout the wetlands and there are some lovely walks too. There was also a den building area, obstacle courses, a willow den area and small wooden houses to explore. My kids loved the balance beams through the marshes. Great for them but slightly nerve wracking for us as we’d forgotten to take spare clothes. Luckily no one fell in 🙂
Our Verdict of Llanelli Wetlands Centre:
We loved it. There was so much to see and explore and the pond dipping and bug hunting activities were both great hits with our kids. We’d like to head back again and try out the canoe activity next time as we didn’t have time on this visit. You can also hire bikes there too.
Address: WWT Llanelli, Llwynhendy, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, SA14 9SH
Dogs – Due to all the birds roaming freely dogs are not permitted into the Wetlands Centre.
Facilities at Llanelli Wetlands Centre:
Cafe, Toilets, Baby Changing, Disabled Toilets.
Wheelchair and buggy friendly routes available
Parking – Free
Monday to Sunday 09:30 – 17:00 (Grounds open until 18:00 in the summer)
Monday to Sunday 9:30 – 16:30
Prices (inc. gift aid):
Family tickets – £26.85
Adult – £9.70, child – £6.10, under 4’s – Free
If you like discovering nature you may also be interested in the trail at Parc Slip near Bridgend.