A few days ago I took the boys along with Granny to visit Carew Castle and Tidal Mill in Pembrokeshire. I remember visiting Carew Castle when I was younger and was keen to take the boys to visit it. Would it be how I remembered it?
On our way to Carew I realised that over the last three weeks the places we had visited were all within about 15 miles of each other. Granny and I discussed the merits of having the great variety of places to visit within close proximity and also the fact that we had thoroughly enjoyed our days out so far. We arrived at one of the two car parks located close to Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and quickly got the pushchair out and our coats on as it was surprisingly windy. As we walked through the car park we got our first glimpse of the very majestic Carew Castle. The older two started to get really excited and wanted to run on ahead. They were thrilled to see the approach to the castle lined with knights flags. They were really excited and had to be reminded to stay close as Carew Castle overlooks a 23 acre millpond and I was a bit wary of them ending up in the millpond in their excitement. Carew Castle’s history spans 2,000 years and shows its development from a Norman Fortification to an Elizabethan Country House.
As Rowan is only two years old we were told that the cheapest ticket for us would be a family ticket which was £12.75 and provides entry to both the Castle and the Tidal Mill. Both Granny and myself thought this was very reasonable, although we didn’t like the fact the entrance was part of the gift shop, both the older boys were quick to spy something they would like. We explained that they may be able to have something on the way out. We were given a map of the Castle grounds which had various parts of the Castle marked on it with information about those areas. Additionally we were given an ‘eye spy’ card with things for the boys to find around the castle. I thought this was a great idea as it gave the boys something to do and they were learning about the Castle at the same time.
We were all thrilled to see how much of the castle was still standing. There were several towers you could climb up and even what would have been the Castle’s Kitchen was accessible. The views from the second floor were fantastic. The older two enjoyed exploring the castle’s nooks and crannies. Granny stayed with Rowan in the middle of the Castle while I went up the tower’s with Luc and Trystan.
They hold various events at Carew Castle throughout the year, details of which can be found at pembrokeshirecoast.org.uk We had hoped to take part in one of the events but when I rang before we left to book places I was told they were only holding it during the morning that day but we saw the event finishing off as we had arrived, it looked like everyone who had taken part had really enjoyed.
Having spent around an hour exploring the Castle we decided to head back to the gift shop and on to the Tidal Mill, as the wind was picking up further. We bought the boys a knights outfit and wooden sword each which they all insisted on putting on straight away. I really not sure what dad of 3 was going to say about having three Knights at home!
As we made our way back along the path towards the car park and the lane which goes down to the Tidal Mill, we stopped to look at the 11th Century Celtic Cross.
We certainly had some looks as we walked down the lane towards the Tidal Mill with the boys in their costumes. Along the lane we were able to get another view of the quite spectacular Castle
Granny was starting to wonder if we had gone the right way when we rounded a corner and saw the Tidal Mill. Next to the Tidal Mill was a little tea shop, we were all feeling hungry so we decided to stop for an ice cream and a drink. We decided as it was starting to get overcast it was time to head home but we first walked over the causeway to the other side of the Millpond. As we passed the Tidal Mill entrance we could see there was another gift shop and decided it would be best not to go in on this occasion.
The Tidal Mill is the only restored Tidal Mill in Wales and the lease was acquired by The National Park Authority in 1983. It is certainly very impressive from the approach and hopefully we will go back and look around inside on another occasion.
We all enjoyed our trip to Carew Castle and Tidal Mill and agreed we would have to go back soon and take dad of 3 with us.