PLANNING a staycation or some family fun?

Fonmon Castle, in the Vale of Glamorgan, has expanded on attractions and launched new ones ready for some summer shenanigans.

Children can follow the adventures of Fon and Mon and help track down a dragon who has been causing chaos, with a new interactive story trail (in Welsh and English).

Along the way youngsters can make loud noises on woodland instruments, spot fairies and solve the mystery of why the dragon is causing so much trouble.

Ross O’Hennessy, who runs the attractions at Fonmon Castle, said: “It’s a unique story trail and very much a team effort.

"My mother wrote the story, a member of staff who also does subtitling for S4C did the translation and another member of staff created the artwork.

“The story is a one-of-a-kind experience that won’t be repeated anywhere else.”

Penarth Times:

Scallywags can also soon enjoy a new attraction – The Pirates’ Adventure Centre – which will open near the river running through the estate.

The Centre is rooted in real history; in the past the river was navigable and took ships all the way up to Penmark, passing Fonmon Castle on the way. Pirates’ smuggling activities were heavily focused on the nearby Blue Anchor pub.

“The Pirates’ Adventure Centre is rooted in those local legends and will teach children about pirates and pirating in South Wales at the time,” added Mr O’Hennessy.

Fonmon Castle has also welcomed live animals back into their medieval village; for the past year models had been used due to coronavirus restrictions.

Plus, the village now has a collection of traders’ huts in which local traders are selling their wares. These include dinosaur toys and fossils, local craft beers, honeys and infusions and “magical” items.

Penarth Times:

Several new dinosaurs have joined the herds as the adjoining dinosaur park, with a new “Raptor Feeding Area” open - which is not for the faint-hearted.


Along with these new or improved attractions a real life archaeological team will be visiting Fonmon Castle in July, to investigate an area where signs of a large Iron Age ringwork (a type of enclosed settlement) have been found.

“The archaeological team are coming from Southampton to do a geophysical survey to check it out,” said Mr O’Hennessy.

“If they can confirm it, we’ll know that people have been living at Fonmon for more than 3,000 years.”

Finally, the castle is opening a new sculpture trail in its Victorian ornamental wooded garden.

“As always, there’s lots going on here,” said Mr O’Hennessy, who is also an actor and played the Lord of Bones in the later episodes of Game of Thrones.

“Fonmon is an amazing place to work and it’s exciting developing the attractions here – it really does offer something for everyone.”

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