On a recent day trip to beautiful Pembrokeshire we decided to visit a couple of its castles. We thought this would be fun for the children as well as educational.
Our first visit was to Pembroke Castle and what a wonderful place it turned out to be. Partly surrounded by the waters of Pembroke River and well preserved it looked like something out of a fairy tale. You can take an official tour or just go around in your own time. All the staff are enthusiastic and friendly. As well as exploring the rooms, passageways and towers, the children loved the exhibitions and the giant map of Wales in the courtyard.
The map is the largest painting in the UK and the largest map of Wales in the world. Although not on when we visited, we saw details of Dragon Days, Knight School, Falconry Days and lots of other activities. The children can't wait to go again to take part in some of these fun events. Check the website before you go to see what's on.
There is a cafe with a good selection of hot and cold food and drink and a mouth-watering selection of cakes. We finished our visit with a look round the gift shop. There is a good selection of gifts and toys at varying price levels and an impressive range of books especially historic and children's stories. All in all, we had wonderful time and the children went home tired and happy.
For our second trip we went to Carew Castle and Tidal Mill.
Another stunning location, the castle is situated next to the large mill pool. A walk around the pool offers wonderful opportunities for the keen photographer. The castle itself is not quite as well preserved as some but still plenty of nooks, crannies, rooms and passages to explore. Some of the steps are steep so be careful. There was a treasure hunt for the children, which they really enjoyed, and there was calligraphy and crown making. There is also lots of other activities throughout the year, check online here.
The Tidal Mill is situated at the other end of the mill pool. It is no longer in operation but we found the machinery, exhibition, and audio commentary very interesting. There were also some interactive displays, which the children loved. We found out that the causeway outside the mill is a great place for crabbing! Everything you need is available at the little mill shop. The kids had a whale of a time while we sat and relaxed with a drink. The mill shop sells crisps, biscuits, Welsh Cakes, drinks and some delicious ice creams. Note that there are no toilets at the Mill, only at the Castle and and by the car park. The Castle shop selling the same plus gifts. Although there is no cafe offering meals there are two lovely picnic areas and a nearby pub. Yet another great day out.