Penrhyn castle, National trust, Bangor

Penrhyn castle, National trust, Bangor

Whilst on holiday in Anglesey, we used our national trust membership twice. We had one day at Plas Newyyd which I wrote about after our visit at Easter. The other national trust site we visited was Penrhyn castle just outside Bangor, North Wales.

As soon as we left the A55 we spotted the large castle in the distance. We were using the satnav for directions but it soon became clear these were unnecessary as the castle was so big we were left in no doubt about which direction to take.

Once we’d parked up and loaded up the pushchair we headed to the information office. The staff in there were really helpful and friendly. They gave us information about Penrhyn castle and a map. They were also great with F and gave her a 50 things to do before your 11 and 3/4 booklet and some ideas for things she could do on her visit.Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

We headed up the hill to the impressive neo-gothic castle. From the top of the hill, it was difficult to decide which way to look. The castle is huge and impressive but if you turn round the views over the North Wales coast are stunning and equally demanding of your attention.

We didn’t get long to admire the view though. F had heard the words “adventure playground” and there was only one place she wanted to be. So off we went past the castle, through the picnic area and into the woods. Here we found a lovely play area and a couple of picnic trails. E was a big fan of the swing and F enjoyed parts of the assault course and the sea saw (her rocket, she has a great imagination right now).

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

After a picnic, we head to the gardens for a bit of a wander before the sky turned grey and we heard the distant sound of thunder. Fortunately, we were expecting the rain so we headed to explore the Victorian kitchens. Here we saw rooms set out as we would have been with lots of pretend food. We sampled treacle scones that a volunteer was busy making using a 1950s recipe that she had modified by adding more sugar and an egg. They were delicious and not a type of scone I’d seen before.

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

We stopped for a drink and slice of cake in the cafe before exploring the railway museum. F enjoyed seeing the traditional steam engines and on the opposite side of the courtyard is a small room of miniature trains.

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Finally, before leaving we had a quick look around the castle interior. To be honest, I’m not a fan of touring stately homes and castles and prefer the outdoor side of national trust properties. There were teddy bears hidden in most rooms for children to spot and I believe there were quizzes for older children. There is also a temporary large scale, inflatable sculpture on display in the castle as part of an exhibition called slate or state. This is on until the 5th November.


Penrhyn Castle

Penrhyn Castle

Overall we had a great day out at Penrhyn castle. If the weather had been drier there was plenty more of the grounds we would have liked to have explored. If you’re in the area and wondering where to explore, it’s worth considering Penrhyn castle. They’ve got plenty of activities on over the summer too. Sundays are camp Penrhyn (nature trails, archery, camping skills and outdoor games). Mondays are wild nature (wild art, pond dipping, bug hunting and animal tracking). Thursdays are inspired by Oliver Jeffers the great paper caper with trails, story telling and crafts. I wish we lived nearer as I love the sound of all 3 of these. For more details visit the national trust website.

Our top tips or visiting Penrhyn castle:

  • The grounds are suitable for pushchairs and prams. If you want to explore the walled garden fully, you need to go back out the gates at the top and walk down the edge to explore the lower parts.
  • Picnics are welcome and there are plenty of tables.
  • There is a lovely cafe too.
  • The railway museum is very small so won’t take a long time to see.
  • The toilet and baby change facilities in the court yard were quite dated and cramped but they were clean.
  • For up to date information about events, prices and opening hours check their website.
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Penrhyn Castle

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  1. August 8, 2017 / 9:02 am

    We were in anglesey last week went to plas newyyd but didn’t get round to this one. Sorry to have missed out


    • August 8, 2017 / 6:53 pm

      Plas Newyyd is great too. I think I prefer Plas Newyyd although Penrhyn has more for when it is raining.

  2. August 14, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    It was like I visited Penrhyn castle through this post. All pics are fabulous and captured artistically.

    • Claire
      August 15, 2017 / 7:11 pm

      Thank you. That’s very nice of you to say.

  3. August 16, 2017 / 10:22 am

    This looks beautiful, love your photos. Definitely somewhere we’d go if we’re in the area. Great tip about picnics, it’s always useful to know that they’re welcome, so much cheaper than buying food! Thanks for linking up to #familytraveltips!

    • Claire
      August 17, 2017 / 8:53 am

      We find picnics less stressful with young children!

  4. August 16, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    Penrhyn castle looks such a fun place to visit! I always find a castles kitchens the best place to visit. However here, with the adventure playground and other attractions look equally as appealing! Thanks for linking up to #familytraveltips

    • Claire
      August 17, 2017 / 8:54 am

      I did enjoy the kitchens most. I think my eldest probably enjoyed the playground most!

  5. August 19, 2017 / 6:24 am

    Woweeeee! That’s some impressive castle and grounds. Love all the extra activities to do for children as well, the natural play area and the colouring in. Must try and visit! #Countrykids x

    • Claire
      August 19, 2017 / 7:04 am

      The extra activities sound great don’t they. Next year we will be restricted to school holiday trips to Anglesey so hopefully will try some of the activities.

  6. August 19, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Penrhyn Castle looks like a spectacular sight to see, I bet it was a great way to spend the afternoon. F looks like she was in her element in the adventure playground, my lot would’ve loved exploring that when they were little. It’s a shame you didn’t get to explore as much of the grounds as you would’ve liked but you still managed to cover an impressive amount of Penrhyn Castle!

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids.

    • Claire
      August 19, 2017 / 8:40 pm

      It is a spectacular sight. At least we have a reason to go back and explore more.

  7. August 19, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Wow, that is a seriously impressive castle, I love the look of it and would happily visit there. The National Trust provide our family with so many wonderful days out. Mich x #CountryKids

  8. August 19, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    We passed here on our way to Holyhead last month! I now so wish that I had stopped looks fab.

  9. August 20, 2017 / 9:26 am

    It certainly is an impressive castle! I have a feeling that I went here as a child (and have a picture of me in the kitchens – I love a Victorian kitchen!) but I’ve not been since. My train obsessed five year old would be beside himself at the steam engine! Wales is on our list for a visit soon so this will be on my shortlist of places to go. Might need to be several trips to Wales as it is a growing list covering a big area now! #countrykids

  10. August 21, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    I love places that have a lot going on at them. Those activity days truly do sound fantastic. #CountryKids

    • Claire
      August 21, 2017 / 6:37 pm

      I think so too.

  11. August 23, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    The gardens look so beautiful, and what a great play park. The house looks amazing too. We had NT membership before we left the UK and we loved it, always somewhere beautiful to visit. #CountryKids

    • Claire
      August 27, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      We only joined at Easter but so far we are really pleased we purchased it.

  12. August 23, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    I am a huge fan of North Wales as we had a caravan in Abersoch for years. It holds a special place in my heart. Penrhyn Castle looks awesome, so much to do here, and I love all the organised kids activities like pond dipping, getting kids outside! #Countrykids

    • Claire
      August 27, 2017 / 8:37 pm

      I really want to go to Abersoch! The organised activities sound great. Wish we were able to go to some of them.

  13. August 24, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Great photos. It looks like fun. #CountryKids x

    • Claire
      August 27, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Thank you. It is a great day out.

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