Nestled within 1000 acres of glorious parkland, Margam Country Park is immersed in history, home to rare wildlife, and offers outstanding natural landscapes. There’s something for everyone, which is why you absolutely must make a trip to the park when visiting Neath Port Talbot. Need more convincing? Take a look at our top five reasons to visit:
1. Margam Castle
This striking 19th Century Tudor Gothic Mansion was built for Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot in the 1830s, costing approximately £50,000. Sandstone from a nearby quarry was used in the construction of the Grade I listed building. This incredible mansion has also been used as a filming location for film and TV, including the likes of Doctor Who, Torchwood, and Da Vinci’s Demons.
2. The Gardens
Margam Country Park is home to Grade I listed gardens that surround the Orangery and flank the magnificent Broadwalk steps leading up to the Castle terrace. The gardens have evolved over 200 years and there are many distinctive trees dating back to the early 19th century, some of exceptional form. The age and size of these specimens is in keeping with the landscape and architecture creating an impression of immense space. Most notable are the majestic tulip trees, the octopus-like oriental plane and the fairy tale cut-leaved beech.
The formal Castle Terrace gardens are being developed to have interest throughout the year with grasses and flowering perennials framed within neat box and yew hedging. The old walled kitchen garden is home to an apiary, wildflower meadow and fruit trees.
Rise to Go Ape’s Treetop Challenge (the only one in Wales!) and experience free-falling for 6 whole meters on the UK’s biggest Tarzan Swing! Experience exhilarating thrills with obstacle cross overs and zip lines above the forest floor. If heights aren’t your thing, discover Margam Park Adventure which runs a whole range of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, canoeing, stand up paddle boarding, archery, pedal go-kart safari and more, all from one fantastic location. However, if you’d rather a more laid-back experience, discover the many walking trails throughout the park; enjoy a leisurely afternoon walk through the ornamental gardens or hike up into the hills along the Monastic Trail towards the remains of Hen Eglwys Chapel, where on a clear day you’ll be rewarded with wonderful views across the English Channel.
4. The Deer Herd
Margam’s home to an ancient herd of beautiful fallow deer, which graze alongside smaller herds of the endangered Père David deer and red deer. The famous Margam Deer Herd move freely through 500 acres of parkland, and with around 400 deer within the herd, you’re sure to find a few as you explore the park!
5. It’s Dog Friendly
The parkland at Margam Country is a self-described dog walking heaven! Dogs are allowed to walk off lead and run around to their heart’s content, across 500 acres of open space. Just remember to keep a close eye on your furry friend, as Margam’s deer wander freely around the park and your dog must be kept under close control. You’re also free to stroll through the Orangery gardens and use the picnic benches outside Charlotte’s Pantry, so long as you keep your dog on a lead. You’ll find a self-service Dog Wash near the exit – the first in Wales! With warm water, wash products, and a doggy dryer, there’s no chance of your four-legged friends leaving a trail of dirt throughout your car!
Margam Country Park is also proud to be part of the national Chatty Café scheme, where having a friendly conversation with other visitors is encouraged! You’ll find their ‘Chatter & Natter’ tables in Charlotte’s Pantry, and several ‘Happy to Chat’ benches located in the park marked by a sign that reads: “Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say HELLO!” These are part of an initiative to help break down social barriers and allow people to simply say ‘hello’, which is something that Margam Country Park cares about deeply. Whether you’re visiting on your own, as a family or as a group, everybody’s welcome to stay for a chat!
With all of the above in mind, what are you waiting for?! A spectacular day out for the entire family is waiting for you in Margam Country Park, Neath Port Talbot. Find out more about Margam Country Park here.