Social media followers will know that this week we’re on staycation in Wales. My brother and sister-in-law have decamped to France, so we’re house sitting while they’re away and making the most of everything Pembrokeshire has to offer.
Our holidays have been on a shoestring ever since BB was born, and each summer we make the most of the National Trust membership that my mum and dad buy us every year for Christmas which gets us into all of the National Trust’s properties and gardens for free.
We discovered Colby Woodland Garden quite by chance en route to Amroth beach, and it turned out to be a perfect rainy day activity and is therefore the fourth instalment in my summer days out with the kids.
What: An informal National Trust garden hidden in an enchanting valley with a wildflower meadow and walled garden where kids can climb trees, navigate stepping stones across a stream and run around to their heart’s content
Where: Amroth, Pembrokeshire, SA67 8PP
How much: Free to National Trust members and children under five, adults: £5.40, children over five: £2.70, families: £13.50
I do like an unexpected find. After packing a picnic and heading to Amroth beach in traditional Welsh mizzle the mizzle predictably turned to heavy rain. Having spotted a signpost to Colby Woodland Garden on the way and knowing the National Trust can be relied on to have a barn or somewhere under cover you can eat your own picnic, we headed there.
Ironically they didn’t have somewhere undercover we could eat our picnic, but we forgot all about that as soon as we stepped inside the gates. The garden is set in a valley with a stream running through the middle of a wildflower meadow, where kids can run freely and let off steam.
Woodland runs parallel to the meadow and the path is completely covered by trees, meaning that even though it was properly raining we didn’t get completely soaked. The path runs to Amroth beach, although we didn’t venture that far, and there’s plenty to look at on the way: little cottages nestled among trees, a swing rope and a tree studded with coins (money really does grow on trees in Wales!)
The staff were really child friendly, and are running a competition to name three ducks living in the Walled Garden. BB suggested Leo, and when I asked her why she said: ‘because that’s what I thought of’. Which is as good an answer as any.
Of course a trip to a National Trust property isn’t complete without a trip to the tea room and the obligatory slice of cake: Colby boasts a courgette & lime sponge which I am now qualified to say is absolutely delicious.
My top tips: Wear Wellington boots – the paths are dirt and with many of them covered with trees they’re rather muddy (says the woman who wore white Birkenstocks). And take cash for the tea room – it doesn’t accept cards.
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