Dan yr Ogof, also known as the National Showcaves Centre for Wales, is a 17-kilometre long cave system in south Wales, just 20 minutes from the M4, junction 45 and fifteen miles south west of Brecon in the Brecon Beacons National Park. It is a Cave exploration attraction with a dinosaur park, museum, Iron Age farm and kids’ play area.
There are three caves to explore; Dan Y Ogof, Cathedral cave and Bone Cave.
The first cave is called Dan Y Ogof. You feel like an explorer entering a world of underground lakes, waterfalls and colourful hanging cave formations such as the “rasher of bacon”, the “angel” and the Alabaster pillar.
Please note many parts that are completely unsuitable for prams with some really steep inclines and lots of steps. You are able to leave the pushchairs at the entrance of the caves. There is a lot of history for those who are interested in learning about the caves and it is great to be able to wonder through at your own pace.
The caves are lit up. You will need to bring sensible shoes, a coat or jumper with you as the caves are wet and it can get cold. There are flash lights outside the caves to take with you.
The second cave is called the Cathedral Cave. It is absolutely beautiful and it has been lit perfectly to show off its features. At the end of the cave it opens up in to a beautiful cavern and is called The Dome of St Paul where people can get married. You would need to be a brave bride to walk through the cave past the waterfall to get to the ceremony. The path you follow down takes you between two waterfalls that are 40ft high, very spectacular.
The third cave is called The Bone Cave, due to the fact that 42 skeletons have been found here dating back to the bronze age. It is a very steep walk, up lots of steps to reach this cave, with the final part being a covered walkway where you have to wear hard hats! The kids thought this was great.
The adults will need to duck down as it is very small and narrow. The cave itself is actually quite small, the entrance is only about 4 foot high, but it does open up inside. The caves have been created well with exhibits inside, showing how the cave has been used over the years and the dangers the inhabitant faced.
I didn’t realise that there were over 220 life-sized dinosaurs to spot! My children were fascinated at the size of the dinosaurs and that something was taller than their daddy. They loved having their photo with these Jurassic beasts.
About a five minute walk or a tractor ride away out of the caves there is more to see. There is Mr Morgan’s Victorian Farm where you can meet the animals and learn what it was like for Mr Morgan, Megan in the farm shop, Dai the Blacksmith and Twm the sheepdog. The sheep were roaming around the grass. The animals are themed nicely in their own houses, and were sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas and chipmunks. Next to the farm is the Shire Horse Centre. There is an indoor play area called Barney Owls playground, it prove difficult to get the children out of here! Good if it starts to rain as you are in the Brecon Beacons.
There is a nice gift shop called the Rock and Dinosaur Shop. The children loved buying a dinosaur puppet on a stick. It seemed to be the main toy everyone was buying! There is a tasteful selection of Celtic inspired silver pieces of jewellery and if you have a keen explorer they might like the fossils and minerals you can buy. The gifts were pocket money toys so not expensive.
We have visited twice during the summer months and on dry days. There are themed events for Halloween and Christmas and the caves are decorated.
We used out Tesco Clubcard vouchers to gain entry and found this to be good value for money.