TURNING up at nursery early and telling your two-year-old son you’re going on an adventure to find a dragon isn’t your usual Monday.
But that’s what we did today.
As soon as we found out a huge dragon had turned up at Kidwelly Castle we knew we’d have to take Santi to see it. The 4m long beast is part of Cadw’s Historic Adventures season and has toured Wales over the summer, visiting Chepstow, Beaumaris and Rhuddlan Castles over the summer. And while we might not have taken in much history having a busy toddler in tow, it was definitely an adventure on a damp and grey afternoon.
Santi spent the whole journey (which had a questionable dragon-hunting soundtrack including If You Like Pina Coladas) asking where the adventure was, and if there would be soldiers with drums – the last time we came to Kidwelly was for the carnival when there was a marching band. Thankfully he wasn’t disappointed when there weren’t!
Anyway, we parked up and he stomped his way up the hill armed with the dragon slaying essentials – a plastic golf club and a glittery Christmas ball he found in the car.
He peeped through the big wooden gates and into each dark doorway to find the dragon, which looks as if it has broken through the grass into the castle grounds. I wasn’t sure if Santi would be a bit scared, especially when it started breathing smoke, but with no hesitation he headed straight over and poked him in the eye. One dragon slayed.
Having found the dragon, we headed upstairs to explore. This is where our parenting fail came in as we didn’t think to take our baby carrier for Ezra, and just had the buggy. With the steps being slippery in the rain we didn’t want to risk carrying a three-month-old up and down so took it in turns to sit downstairs while the other wandered around with Santi.
It’s a great place for curious children. We looked out over the town, climbed stairs to the towers and ventured into the dungeons. Some of the steps are very steep and uneven, which makes it a bit difficult for little legs, but Santi didn’t let that put him off and at one point I looked up to see him and Stew at the highest point of the castle.
As I said, we didn’t take in much history as it’s difficult to explain to a two-year-old that people used to live in the ruins, but he did stop for a round of golf when Stew said they would have played games. For older children there are information signs dotted around the place explaining what various rooms would have been, and a visitors’ room with a model of the castle.
After an hour-and-a-half and an unsuccessful attempt at a family selfie with the dragon we were sufficiently wet and called it a day … but we’ll definitely be back to explore some more!
The dragon is at the castle until September 15
Entry is £4 for adults, concessions £2.80, disabled free and £10.80 for a family ticket (two adults and up to three children), children under five go free
The castle is open from 9.30am – 5pm daily
Parking is free