Bryngarw House and Country Park
Walk this way through a woodland rich in wildlife, where there’s a team of rangers ready to show you the ancient skills of fieldcraft.
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Part grand estate with rare breeds, part fairytale castle and ancient ruins, Margam is a park for the people like no other.
Experience wonderful encounters with nature in our parks, gardens and woodlands, from twilight walks with bats to seeing the secrets of the hive.
Kids’ stuff that adults love too, from swinging across a stream to whittling wood round a campfire. There’s fun for all in our wild and wonderful landscapes and parks.
If you enjoy the great outdoors head for Bridgend. Take a long walk, or cycle, within the 113 acres of woods surrounding the elegant Bryngarw House. Thrill to the topaz flash of a kingfisher, catch a glimpse of a nuthatch in the gnarled oaks, or look out for the dippers fishing in the fast flowing streams – you might even spot an otter.
Learn the ancient arts of fieldcraft, from foraging for food and drink to fire lighting and den making with our rangers. Then take in the tranquillity of the Japanese garden and its fiery maple trees before you relax in the brand new café, with its fresh locally sourced food. Welsh cakes are a speciality. And there’s local honey on sale: nectar-rich wildflower meadows and Himalayan balsam keep the bees well fed. Now that’s a good day out.
For an invigorating walk surrounded by wildlife, Bryngarw Country Park at Bridgend hits the spot. Awarded a Green Flag in 2010 and with 113 acres of woodland and meadows there is room to roam. Wherever you go, there is also that comforting knowledge that tea and Welsh cakes await you!
Take a gentle Riverside Ramble along the River Garw – it means ’rugged river’ but in Victorian days when its water was used to wash the coal it was also known as the ‘black river’. Under the canopy of sweet chestnut trees are great spotted woodpeckers, buzzards and tawny owls, and at the streamside otters, kingfishers, nesting dippers and, towards the end of the day, the swoop of bats.
Choose the Meadow Meander and follow the butterflies, which may lead you to the wild orchids; listen to the calls of whitethroats and flycatchers in the hedgerows. Stride out for the longer Woodland Walk which takes you round the lake with the kingfishers and the acer-filled Japanese garden, pretty with blossom in spring and dramatic with reds and golds in autumn.
Pick up a ‘Nature Watch’ guide to walks in Bryngarw Country Park and you’ll be amazed by the ingenuity of the birds and beasties all around you. Discover how nuthatches crack open nuts and are able to travel beak first down trees, or why the tips of orange tip butterflies warn off predators. You might think there’s a mass of spring frogspawn in the ponds, but just five eggs from 2,000 are likely to make it all the way to adult frogs! And can you spot the different feeding techniques of squirrel, mouse and vole from hazel nuts you find in the woodlands? Or guess how distinctive fungus growing on the birch trees was once used to sharpen knives?
Summer: from 10am (last entry 5.30pm)
Winter: from 10am (last entry 4.30pm)
1 April to 30 September: £2.50 half day,
£4.00 all day
1 October to 31 March: £1.00 all day
Bryngarw House and Country Park
01656 725155 (park)
01656 729009 (house)