Sometimes the most unexpectedly good family days out can arise from a sheer mistake or by pure luck. Our trip this week to The Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran was one such day and came to be by “googling” what to do with the children. The picture that initially came to the screen for the centre was that of a wicker badger and I immediately knew that Tiggy’s brothers would love it!
So that was that. Another “google” for the weather ahead, a day picked and the family bundled into the car with the postcode for the centre input into the Sat Nav.
I’d like to think we’re an adventurous family, always a little last minute and open to new ideas and new places and we’ll generally have fun wherever we go. I truly believe that things are what you make of them so that should we end up somewhere not too great we’ll still have a great family day out.
There were no such thoughts about the Welsh Wildlife Centre, it was all it looked to be online and more. We parked and walked up to the main building which in itself is architecturally gorgeous, very modern, a great use of space and design and on the day we visited wonderfully light owing to the vast amount of sunshine pouring in through the glass frontage.
Hazel had great local knowledge, even marking the map with best times to view certain areas, some being tide dependent and factoring other activites in, basically ensuring we made best use of our time that day. Thank you Hazel.
Having taken the best part of an hour and a half to arrive at the centre, our first port of call was the café on the top floor where the food is all sourced locally and fresh that day. The thoughtful people at the centre even had colouring activities on the tables in the most pretty wooden pencil holders, all very in keeping with a nature theme.
The area that the badger is located in has the most wonderful views out over the river and there’s a little seating area which was great to just sit for a moment and enjoy Tiggy’s brothers racing about and enjoying themselves. There was also a sweet little “bug house” with a wonderful not so little bug on top.
From here we ventured down to the chickens, all named; Prunella, Gladys, Clio and Hyacinth, and each friendly coming right up to the little fence to see the children. One was almost nose to nose with Reuben and Tiggy seemed to enjoy, squealing with laughter at Reuben laughing.
Once at the view point Hazel was right, what a view! There was also a board detailing the significance of the area and the river and as always Tiggy’s brothers asked me to read it out aloud. I love that they are interested in these things, it’s great for them to explore and learn.
We also went into the “Hides” and met a chap in one who had just spotted a kingfisher so we sat quietly with him for a while but the kingfisher didn’t make another appearance. He also told us of an otter he’d seen earlier that week but no sign of that either but it was nice to listen to him as he clearly knew a lot about the area and the view from one particular hide was outstanding.
Once story time was over and having enjoyed the café so much, we went for a second visit for coffee and cake and some ice creams and another feed for Tiggy. We took a second look at the badger and then it was time to head home. We hadn’t appreciated how close we were to Cilgerran castle so we had a quick visit here too! A perk of being a member of the National Trust, we didn’t pay to get in so just a short few minutes here didn’t seem to be wasted as the children were all getting tired, the hour getting late and the winds starting to pick up so I didn’t fancy venturing to the top of the castle. An excuse for a second visit to Cilgerran, maybe in the summer months with a picnic in tow……