Our Special Place: Dyffryn Gardens

What's Your Story? Dyffryn Gardens

When I was a child we would often visit the manor house at Dyffryn Gardens for local craft fayres. I'd wander through the dusty corridors bedecked with fake mahogany cladding, lengthy red, velveteen curtains encased the ornate windows, and I'd muse at the ornaments and homemade bric-a-brac on trestle tables.

During the 1990s, the local council closed the building as it needed extensive restoration work which couldn't be funded. For nearly two decades it stood empty, becoming more and more derelict inside despite vain attempts to fix basic structural issues, until the National Trust stepped in last year taking on a fifty year lease to restore the house and gardens.

My husband took me back to Dyffryn Gardens four years ago for my first Mother's Day, before the National Trust took it over, and therefore before the house was reopened. The Boy was nine months old and couldn't walk, the Winter was harsh and the gardens were lacking in anything vaguely attractive. Basically it was a washout.

Bless him, he did try.

However, Dyffryn Gardens now stands as our top venues to visit aside from the beach. Ever since the NT partially reopened the house last year and The Boy discovered the wonders of the hidden garden rooms, it has become our special place.

Dyffryn Gardens

The south-facing lawn is a sun-trap; barely any wind blows across the perfectly manicured lawns and the banks which flank it are perfect for rolling down. And believe me, we all have! The long ornamental pond is full of koi carp, frogspawn and newts; just perfect for exploring underwater animals. We've spent many an afternoon throwing a Frisbee around, laughing and joking in the warming sunshine.

Last weekend we returned to see the start of Spring, and what a welcome!Spring at Dyffryn Gardens

And of course, we managed to get up to all our favourite activities whilst there!

Spring Exploration at Dyffryn Gardens

We'll be returning to Dyffryn Gardens this weekend for my fourth Mother's Day, and we'll be taking my own mum with us this time, as well as my sister and her family. We've been there before, and National Trust sites are ideal for all generations as there's something for every one and every taste; history, art, horticulture, outdoor play. That's not to mention the option of afternoon tea in the café! Pop over to the National Trust 'What's On?' section to find events at your local site.

Linking up to Flashback Friday, Country Kids and Outdoor Play Party

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  1. says

    Oh wow what a wonderful post. Dyffryn Gardens really does sound like a special place, unsurprising with that scenery and so many fun things to do. Love the photos. You'll have a ball this weekend. Enjoy 🙂

  2. says

    I remember you visiting last year, I am sure all the spring growth is further on this year? Love the 50 things activities and especially Mr TBAM joining in the rolling down the hill there. It does look like the NT have made a great job of the place and transformed it from your childhood memories. Thank you for sharing on Country Kids.

  3. says

    Looks gorgeous and plenty of outdoor exploring to do for kids. It's lovely to be able to return to places you knew as a child, witb fsmily too.

  4. says

    I love Dyffryn Gardens, spent a lot of time there with eldest two when lived outside Cardiff 🙂 never been inside though. I love seeing your pictures from there 🙂 brings back so many memories. Going to make effort to visit this year to rediscover this gem x

  5. says

    awwww i adore the 'whats my story' and i love so much how this place is your special place, one that is filled with such special and fun memories. i can imagine in years to come when the boy is all gornw up and has a family of his own, you still all merting there for mothers dsay 🙂 that is very special indeed.
    i love visiting our local NT property too – i love the freedom the grounds offers the boys to run around and explore. just like the boy is in your photos.
    Thank you for linking up and sharing your special place x


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