Visit Southern Wales

Visit Southern Wales Blog

History Comes Alive!

Recently during an office conversation I made a startling revelation to my colleagues, I had never been to St Fagans National History Museum!  Gasps of horror could be heard throughout the office followed by complete disbelief.  Having lived in South Wales all my life I had to admit that I had reached the age of 32 and never been to this well known attraction.

Once the initial shock had subsided the afternoon was filled with stories of people reminiscing about their visits, from school trips to taking their own children to this fantastic place.  Have also admitted that the rest of my family and my own children had been, I felt it was about time that I went to discover this place for myself.  I also couldn't bear the look of disgust from my fellow workers any longer!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and so I decided that this would be a perfect time to find out what I was missing.  On arrival at the museum I was struck by how unlike a museum it was.  There were coach loads of people milling around the entrance which houses the coffee shop and souvenir shop, no hushed voices just people enjoying themselves.

Greeted by the friendly front of house staff I was equally surprised to learn that entrance is free.

100_5187I was kindly accompanied by a St Fagans veteran, who having mocked my lack of knowledge agreed to show me around.  Walking through the open air museum I couldn't believe how much they had to offer.  Now in my 32 years, St Fagans hadn't completely escaped me and I did have some knowledge of what was there although I think it's fair to say that it's only when you visit you get a true sense of how wonderful this place is.  Catering for all ages, there were young families, groups of school children (including a number of international students) as well as older couples and groups all marvelling at the history, the wonderful buildings and the story behind each one.  Over forty original buildings from various historical periods and locations in Wales have been re-erected in the 100-acre parkland and with traditional craftsmen still occupying some of the buildings the traditional crafts and activities bring the place alive.

Keeping cool from the summer sun the resident Blacksmith was keen to show us his workshop while the aroma from the Derwen Bake House filled the air.

As well as all this, there is a year round programme of events (including an autumn food festival) and even a working farm, where you'll soon be able to buy some of what they produce.

I couldn't resist the traditional sweet shop and a treat for the office was too tempting to ignore.  Taking the road train whilst tucking into some Sherbert Lemons was the perfect finish to a fabulous day.

I can't believe it's taken me this long to visit this wonderful piece of Welsh history and I certainly won't be waiting too long to return.  it's no wonder it Wales' most visited heritage attraction, and after yesterday they definitely have one more fan.

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