fun things to do with kids wyw valley wales   Travel for Kids
  | South Wales

Wye Valley & Vale of Usk

  National Roman Legion Museum (Caerleon)The Romans made it all the way out to Wales, and here in Caerleon, their fortress guarded the region for 200 years. In addition to the Museum is a beautifully preserved big Roman amphitheater, ruins of Roman baths (swimming pool and frigidarium) and barracks.
    Learn about the life of a legionary solider, dress up in a replica suit of Roman armor, run around the amphitheater where gladiators fought to the death. According to legend, in later times the mound over the amphitheater was believed to be Arthur's Knights of the Round Table.
    Raglan Castle (Raglan, near Monmouth) – This castle is a Tudor newcomer (15th century) and is in great shape. If you like the classic, fairy tale castle with moat and turreted towers, this is it. In its heyday, it was a social center, filled with the fashionable nabobs dining for hours in the huge banqueting room.
    Big Pit (Blaenafon) – For a hundred years the Big Pit in Blaenafon was a major center of coal mining, steel and iron production. Put on a hard hat with miner's lamp to ride down the shaft in the pit cage to walk through the underground tunnels of this coal mine. Your tour guide will be a miner or engineer (5 years and older to take the tour.)

Chepstow Castle (Chepstow) – Chepstow Castle is neither Welsh nor English, but Norman (quasi French). Construction on this castle began only a year after 1066 and is wonderfully situated above the cliffs on the River Wye. The castle has a marvelous Great Hall, where you can just conjure up all those sumptuous feasts.

  Tintern Abbey (near Chepstow) – Tintern Abbey brings to mind all those gushy words like sublime. And it is. Tintern Abbey, a Cistercian Abbey founded in 1131, grew up, bustled, fell into decline, and in the late 18th century, it was picked up by the Romantic painters and poets. Turner's watercolor of the abbey shows the ruin overgrown with ivy, light streaming in from the windows and roof.
      Today when you visit Tintern Abbey, the ivy is gone, but the ruins positively glow in the late afternoon sunlight. There's more than just the church to explore, kids can also see the ruins of the kitchen, refectory, infirmary, dormitory and chapter house.
    Canoeing on the River Wye – In summer, the meandering River Wye is perfect for a canoe trip. Hire a canoe at Ross-on-Wye, or Hay-on-Wye, they'll provide lifejackets, paddles, and will pick you up downstream.
    Editor's note: We stayed in an absolutely delightful Norman castle, St. Briavel's, in the Wye Valley. The 13th century castle is now a youth hostel, with family rooms. We had a second floor room with leaded glass windows and thick stone walls, but very comfortable.
travel for kids | wales | south wales | wye valley - vale of usk
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