During the holidays, we drove to Mountain View Ranch, Caerphilly Mountain. We met up with lovely fellow mummy bloggers: Side Street Style, Down at the Mill, The Boy and Me, Cardiff Mummy Says , Family Days. Tried and Tested and my sister, Cwtches for my Cariad. It was our first visit here and I was surprised at just how close it is to Cardiff. It will make a great meeting point to see (Aunty) Ceri and Lexy in the future.
There was plenty of parking and just inside the entrance we found a sandy adventure play Area, picnic benches and toilets. This made it perfect for eating our picnic and then being able to return our bags to the car before setting off on the trail (although I kept mine with me on this occasion). There is a canteen to buy food too! The only problem we found with eating outside was there were lots of wasps around, but hopefully this isn’t always the case.
The kids had fun in the playground. So much fun, that it was hard to encourage them to eat their picnic but I did manage to get them to eat something each time they came back to the table!
They also took some convincing to leave the park but we eventually managed to get them to move on to see what else Mountain View Ranch had to offer.
First we went to see the Rabbits and Guinea Pigs. The kids thought it was funny to pretend that they were the ones in the cage!
I think the guinea pigs liked seeing the kids too.
Next, we saw the friendly ponies…
…then the “Funny Goats”. Being fans of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, we loved the Troll Bridge. There were no goats on the bridge as we walked past, not because they were scared of the troll, but because they were busy feeding. We did see some “trip trap” over there later. The goats loved being fed. Once all the feed had gone, they still wanted more and began to chew my bag and camera, so it was time for me to move on…
Next, we reached The Gruffalo Wood”. At this point, Danny had gone too far ahead for my liking so I wanted to catch up with him. There were a few fork roads, so I wasn’t entirely sure which direction he had headed. In trying to find him, I nearly lost Rebecca, and then Izzy needed the toilet again, so I didn’t really get to enjoy the Gruffalo Woods as much as I would have liked (this is my excuse for having to come back soon anyway!).
Look at the kids with the mouse. So sweet!
We walked through Badger Wood and onto the Indian Village.
The kids loved making up games and playing in the Tipis and sandpit. I did have to warn them not to get too territorial on occasion! They also all “needed” a stick. When it was discovered that one of “their tribe” didn’t have one, off they all ran back into the woods to find him “just the right stick” despite their being many good ones already around us…
|Photo by Jo Evans|
I loved the Fairy Forest and would have liked more time to explore, but the kids were already off on the next adventure…
The namesake, “Mountain View!”
We chatted whilst the kids played in the Dragon’s Lair. Baby G was so happy all day, such a lovely baby. The kids really used their imagination and made up some wonderful games as they played here together.
The younger girls befriended a dog.
They climbed (and jumped from) the climbing tree.
The kids do love a tree swing. They all took turns and helped each other.
Then they played in the Three Bears Pods- willow tree houses.
What’s that? Oh no! It’s a Gruffalo! I’m definitely going to try and make the Gruffalo Story Time next time we visit.
Then it was time for home. The kids really didn’t want to leave and kept prolonging it. They wanted a quick ride in the cart, then Danny needed a go, then they wanted to see the wild squirrels and so on. We were there past closing time and in the end had to opt for the “start walking out and hope they follow” approach. Thankfully they did (eventually!).
It was a lovely day. I met lots of new people for the first time and immediately felt at ease with them, which was lovely (and also a huge relief!). I didn’t have as much time to talk as I would have liked as we’re all busy when the kids are with us, but I really enjoyed it.
As for the kids, they all immediately got along. It was really touching to see. They held hands. Chatted. Played. Cuddled. They were instantly like old friends and I know they can’t wait to see each other again.
I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to everybody (sorry), but can’t wait to meet up with everyone again!
Have you visited Mountain View Ranch? What was your favourite part?