Learn all about it
Want a day out with a bit more to it? There’s a wealth of fascinating information to be gleaned in our gardens and parks, with plays, weekend courses and guided talks and walks.
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It may seem an ordinary park in a pleasant suburb of Swansea but it happens to have been the inspiration for Wales’ greatest modern poet, Dylan Thomas.
Trace the varied past of South and West Wales from medieval ruins to the might of the industrial age – the legacy that is left is now a mellow mélange of delight.
Enjoy the experience of being transported back to the more leisurely Victorian era, both inside the elegant house and outside on the spacious parklands.
Find out more about the sights you are seeing
Want a day out with a bit more to it? The easily accessible gardens and parks of South and West Wales show you the way. Listen to Dylan Thomas’s melodic poetry at Cwmdonkin Park on the outskirts of Swansea, the spot where Wales’ famous poet played in his early childhood and which so inspired him.
Or take a step back in time and experience the upstairs-downstairs life of a Victorian family at Scolton Manor in Pembrokeshire. Admire the pineapple house in the developing walled garden and discover how tropical fruit could be grown during a Welsh winter. School children can go on a special 'Woodland Explorer' tour, which gives them hands-on experience of wildlife and plants in their natural habitat.
As you step out of your car in the new cark park at Penllergare Valley Woods, on the outskirts of Swansea, cast your eye across to the domed building behind. It is a working 19th century observatory from where the very first photographs of the moon were taken by keen amateur photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn who owned the original house, now gone. It is still maintained by local astronomers.
Sign up for a gardening course at Aberglasney, Llangathen, now approved by the Royal Horticultural Society as a satellite centre, or enrol for a Field Council Studies (FCS) course at Margam Discovery Centre. There are courses for the whole family, covering birds and bats to beetles and butterflies, and state-of-the-art eco-friendly accommodation is provided at the centre.
The rugged outdoors always has an appeal – but how many of us would really know how to survive? At Bryngarw in Bridgend you can learn fieldcraft from the park rangers, who will teach you everything from building a shelter to finding the right materials (pine needles actually) to make a cup of tea. Now that’s life saving!