We spent a wonderful afternoon at Dyffryn Gardens which is a National Trust property just on the outskirts of Cardiff. It’s in such a beautiful setting with fantastic gardens and is ideal to visit with children because of its fantastic open spaces for them to burn off some energy.
The history of Dyffryn Gardens dates back to the 7th century. It is a wonderfully historic house that you can take a tour of. It has been preserved well and there is lots of history to read and explore. It is easy to get to only being 7 miles away from Cardiff.
Dyffryn house stands at the entrance to the gardens, listed at grade II* status it had been remodelled from an earlier mansion in 1893 and was completed in 1895.
The Cory family were industrialists and made their wealth through coal. The house provided a secluded family home within commutable distance of their business interests across south Wales. The house is a platform to view the beautifully well maintained gardens.
We visited during the summer school holidays and there were outdoor games for the children to take part in such as giant chess, croquet and dominoes to name a few. The sheer size of Dyffryn Gardens meant that it was not overcrowded. There was lots of space and you could walk around comfortably.
Covering more than 55 acres the grounds feature a stunning collection of intimate garden rooms including a rose garden, Pompeian garden and several ponds. There is a large glasshouse, statuary collection, and arboretum featuring trees from all over the world.
Within the gardens, Dyffryn House, a grand Victorian mansion overlooks the key aspects of the gardens. Parts of the ground and first floors have been restored and are unfurnished.
What I like about National Trust properties such as Dyffryn Gardens is that nearly everything in the house has been designed to be touched and played with and is very child friendly. Almost every room had something for you to do which was fun and engaging for the girls.
The Blue drawing room has been restored back in to a music room complete with an 1830s grand piano you can play.
The Red library has been transformed into a second hand book shop with comfy sofas to enjoy a good book on a rainy day, and one of the upstairs rooms tells the story of Dyffryn in its conference centre days where you can have a go on one of our typewriters. The children loved this.
If you or your children like make believe you can pretend to be the Lord or Lady of the manor and also enjoy a game of billiards or have a go at sewing in the morning room.
There is a lovely café selling homemade cakes and a shop selling jams, biscuits and preserves.
A recommendation for a morning or afternoon out and dogs are also welcomed in the gardens.
Top Tip: if you have a bank account with NatWest there was a voucher to print out which allowed complimentary access to a National Trust Property. You are allowed two visits per year and this was a really good use of the voucher.