People often ask how we manage to visit more than one place in a day on holiday. I always say it’s getting up early (although many holiday tourist spots don’t open til later than places at home), being focused on what we want to see, and having a child who rushes round places and doesn’t dawdle. He obviously takes after me (I’m like that with shopping and museums)
On our recent camping holiday in South Wales, one day we knew was potentially going to be a bit drizzly so we planned to get out and see some of the Swansea area rather than sitting in the wet on the beach. I wanted to see the Mumbles and check out the pretty seaside houses and thought Oystermouth Castle could be a good option.
The Mumbles in the grey isn’t that attractive a prospect but we had no problem parking and it was still lovely to walk around the promenade, look at the fishing boats. We didn’t get all the way up to the pier because I’d not put enough money on the car, but we found a great little playground so N spent some time charging around there.
Of course there was lots of moaning about us walking on further, so we headed back round to watch some swimmers in the bay (nuts swimming amongst the fish and boats) and see the small beach area a bit further up. It would have been lovely to see the front in some brighter weather because I did spot some pretty houses.
We didn’t get chance to look round the central area of shops, but managed to get a car parking space at Oystermouth Castle. If I’d realised it was in the middle of the town I’d have stayed parked in the long stay and walked up as there isn’t specific castle parking and it was a bit of a bun fight getting a space.
The castle is just above a residential street. It’s a steepish walk up to it, so for those in buggies or wheelchairs be prepared. Although the castle itself has lots of steps, so probably isn’t somewhere you’d get a lot out of if you can’t walk around the ruins.
Entry is cheap enough, although we didn’t spend more than an hour there. There’s a film about the castle’s history – probably better for older children upwards, but mostly it’s lots of walking around the ruins and the views over the Mumbles.
We wandered up to the battlements which you can walk around, and took in the views. N thought Oystermouth Castle was in his Horrible Histories Castle book but I couldn’t confirm that. At the moment any historical places we visit, he wants to know about the gory past.
We struggled to find the dungeons (a few signs would have been good) before the rain pelted down and N decided he was done and that he was ready for lunch and the cinema trip I’d promised him.
If you’re in the area, it’s worth an afternoon walking around the Mumbles. The pier is meant to be lovely, the playground is a good break point to pep up children, and the castle is fine for checking out views and entertaining younger children. Friends of ours with younger children who went said they stayed a couple of hours and the children really enjoyed it. Maybe we’re just spoilt and expect a bit more learning or trails from a visit somewhere.
Are you a castle fan? Where do you recommend in Wales to visit?
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