Last weekend we were invited along to try out the Bryngarw Park Reindeer Trail and to then call in for a coffee and a mince pie at Cedars Tea Rooms. For those that don’t know, the trail involves walking around the Bryngarw Park and hunting for wooden reindeers. Apparently this has been a regular annual event at Bryngarw Park, but it was one that had passed us by until this year.
The Bryngarw Park Reindeer Trail
When we were invited along, I really didn’t know what to expect. I thought we would just go for a walk and spot some wooden reindeers along the way. But it was much more organised and much more fun than that.
When you arrive at the reception you are given your reindeer trail sheet. On one side is the map and on the other are some questions, relating to Christmas. You are also given some reindeer food which you scatter at each of the reindeers. A good way to feed the birds this winter, ahem I mean reindeer.
When you discover the first reindeer, you take a sticker from the reindeer (kept in a small pot) and add it to your record sheet. You then have to unscramble the letters which hand around the reindeers neck to answer the question on your sheet. Then you carry on until you discover all the reindeers on your sheet.
Now, my kids love this sort of thing, and so it was right up their street. They competitively fought it out to see who could find each of the reindeers first. I did have to remind the boys that the little one is only three and so they had to give her a bit of a chance.
The map and the path of the trail directs you around the main path of the park and so even though there had been a lot of rain, the walk itself wasn’t particularly muddy. The whole walk ended up taking around an hour to complete, but this was at a pretty leisurely pace. Think that of a three year old!
The questions weren’t particularly difficult. I would say, that with the questions and the unscrambling of the letters, the trail was ideal for ages 7 and up. But, younger ones would enjoy too, as did my little one. The reindeer spotting, adding stickers to their sheet and sprinkling the food was enough to keep a toddler more than happy.
Also on the walk, keep an eye out for some wooden sculptures as there are many dotted about the park.
For a change it was nice to do something festive and be able to take the dog along too. I’m not sure she was bothered about the reindeers, but she did enjoy the walk.
When you return to the reception area you are encouraged to write your letter to Santa and add to the sack. Ours had already written and sent theirs to Santa so instead they wrote a thank you letter. This was popped into the sack and the staff ensured it would be sent first class.
Cedars Tea Rooms at Bryngarw Park
After the walk we called into the Tea Rooms which is based right at the entrance to the park. They serve up homemade cakes and light snacks. Its nice and cosy inside and it was festively decorated for Christmas with the most stunning tree which was sourced from the Garden Centre located in the grounds of the park.
The service was very friendly and the kids were made to feel very welcome. All the food is served up on mismatched vintage tea plates which I really liked. The coffee and hot chocolates warmed us up after our cold walk. And the festive homemade mince pie and the banana loaf cake went down very well.
If you have the dog with you, there is an outside seating area and a hatch where you can place your orders through.
We are already big fans of Bryngarw Park, as it is a beautiful park to explore. The kids really enjoyed the walk and we would love to do it again ext year. We spoke to another family and they had been doing it for the last couple of years with their little ones. I can see it turning into a new tradition for us too. The cafe is also lovely and is a nice place to stop for a cuppa or a spot of lunch.
The reindeer trail cost £3.00 per activity sheet. You could either buy one for each child or they could share.
For additional information on the park and for a list of what’s on at Bryngarw visit the website: www.bryngarwpark.co.uk
For information on the cafe visit: www.cedarstearoom.co.uk