Dan-Yr-Ogof

UK Wales Mid Wales Powys Ystradfellte

  • Electrical hook-ups
  • Good walks nearby
The site is sympathetically designed;families are all together in one area, with lots of room for children, and the facilities are very clean

If you had been born 200 million years ago, then you might have regularly woken up to the sound of a T. rex roaring for his brekkies. Of course, Homo sapiens was not actually around then, but that’s beside the point. And if your children are still young and impressionable, you might be able to convince them that if they’re very, very lucky, and exceptionally well behaved, they might even see a real dinosaur. A perfect solution for a nice peaceful holiday.Dan-yr-Ogof is, to say the least, an esoteric campsite, because it’s tacked onto the edge of a Dinosaur Park, complete with over 100 replicas of life-size prehistoric animals, as well as the splendidly named Showcaves, which are part of the limestone mountains. There’s also a replica Iron Age Farm (well, you didn’t think that it would be real did you?), a shire-horse centre and a Victorian farm, as well as fields full of dinky donkeys and some truculent llamas. You even have to walk through the legs of a Diplodocus to enter the caves. Children love the animals and the space; grown-ups love the Brecon Beacons, and the fact that their children are having a great time. A happy holiday, therefore, can be had by all. Dan-yr-Ogof: it even sounds like the name of a yet undiscovered dinosaur.

Details

Facilities

The caves were discovered in 1912 by 2 local farmers who drew arrows in the sand and lit their route with candles; the caves are still a very exciting attraction, with the far-reaching main cave, a further Bone Cave (where 42 skeletons of 3,000-year-old Bronze-Age people were found) and the Cathedral Cave (impressively huge with fantastic acoustics). Set a little way from the camping site, the caves and dinosaurs are fun for half a day, but there are also fields full of animals (alpaca, lambs, shirehorses, ducks, donkey, geese and chickens).

The site is on the far side of the Showcaves and dinosaur park, so you’re not actually up close and personal with a T. rex. There are 30 level pitches with one area designated for families;10 have hook-ups. Six showers are divided equally between men and women, and there are industrialized washing machines (£2) and dryers (£2).

Nearby

You are right next door to some of the most awesome scenery in the country, so this is a fabulous place for walking, cycling and ponytrekking; the National Park Mountain Centre (01874623366) can advise on routes and safety. You can hire ponies for trekking at Tregoyd Mountain Riders(01497 847351; www.tregoydriding.co.uk).Craig-y-Nos Country Park (01639 730395) is a big19th-century mock castle with 40 acres of beautiful gardens with lakes. The moated Raglan Castle(www.castlewales.com/raglan) is a nice place to picnic. Rhondda Heritage Park (01443 682036;www.rhonddaheritagepark.com) is part of a former colliery and provides interesting historical insight. If you feel inspired by mining history, there’s also the Big Pit Mine near Blaenavon (01495 790311;www.museumwales.ac.uk).

Food & Drink

The nearest village shop is 3 miles away and there are several pick-your-owns at SunnyBridge, about 7 miles away. The best local pub is the Gwyn Arms (01639 730310), but the Ancient Britton(01639 730273) and Abercrave Inn (01639 731002)are not bad either. There’s a Spar shop 2 miles up the road for basics, and you can get breakfast, lunch and tea in the onsite café.

Opening Times

Easter–Oct.

Family Friendly

This is Wales’s premier tourist attraction, and the car park is at the bottom of the site, so in busy times there are lots of cars around.

Location

Contact Dan-Yr-Ogof, The National Showcaves Centre for Wales, Abercrave, Glyntawe, Swansea SA9 1GJ

Show Map

Getting There

From junction 43 on the M4 take theA465 to Glyn Neath, then the A4109, on to theA4221 to Abercrave. Pick up the A4607 to Dan-yr-Ogof. The signs will guide you in.

Catch a train to Abergavenny, then hop onto the Sixty-Sixty bus no X43 towards Brecon/Cardiff. The bus stops very near to the site and you can find timetables at reception for your journey home.

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