Already this winter we have been blessed with many a crisp winters day, perfect for a family walk. We have managed to find new places to visit and have gone back to places where we haven’t ventured to for years.
The later was the case for Bryngarw Country Park, just outside of Bridgend. On our calculations we hadn’t been there for at least five years! Having now visited it again, we will definitely be heading back there soon and will be visiting a lot more regularly.
So what can you expect on your visit?
Bryn Garw Country Park has over 100 acres of land to explore on foot or by bike, with plenty of footpaths and bike trails on offer. Be warned, at this time of year it was pretty muddy, and so I would recommend wellies or appropriate footwear.
There is car parking, with a small charge of £2.50 for the day, and then entry to the park is free of charge. There is a small visitors information point and there is also a small cafe at the entrance.
We took a photo of the map, but we ended up taking a general wander rather than sticking to any particular walk or route and walked for about an hour or so.
Woodland and Riverside Walks
Heading right when we first entered the park took us down to the river Garw, where we had a lovely woodland walk along the river banks.
It wasn’t long before we came across the oriental garden. Here there are weaving paths, bridges, ponds and an oriental style tea house. Whilst pretty when we visited, from memory it is even nicer to look at in the spring and summer months when the magnolia and rhododendrons are in full bloom, but even now it was very pretty.
From here we walked through the marshy wetlands, over boardwalks, taking us through woodland.
There was plenty of spots on the walk. At this time of year you can try and spot frog spawn. There are also bridges on which you can play Pooh sticks.
Taking a loop back towards the entrance we came back past Bryngarw house (used for weddings or private hire) and on to the duck pond, where there were a number of ducks to spot. My youngest through to my oldest all still love feeding the ducks, it’s one of the few things they can all do together.
My son thought the ducks crossing sign was hilarious, it gave him a chance to sprout his joke of why did the duck cross the road? Because it was the chickens day off! I know, I know!
On our trails we also came across a number of wooden sculptures which made for some interesting spots along route. The second one we thought looked rather like Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings.
Children Play Area
The highlight of the visit, for the kiddies at least, was the well equipped park with swings, slides and a boulder climbing area. It has a huge tower slide which the boys loved and made a beeline for as soon as they saw it.
My 19 month old enjoyed the park too, on the smaller slides and swings.
Coffee and Cake
Before leaving we treated ourselves to a coffee and tea cake in the very small and quaint cafe. This served a proper cup of coffee and a teacake oozing in butter. Just how I like them. They also had a selection of tasty looking cakes and some light bites on the menu.
We had a wonderful afternoon in Bryngarw Country Park and were plagued with questions of when we will be back, which hopefully will be pretty soon.
Additional information: Bryngarw Country Park is situated just off the M4 at junction 36. It is buggy friendly, although there are some steps to manoeuvre. It has a large playground with some parts suitable for little ones, a coffee shop and toilets and baby changing stations. The website is: www.bryngarwhouse.co.uk