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Newcastle (Bridgend)

Visited July 2010

Location Central Bridgend
Entrance Fee No
Railway Station           Bridgend 1/4 Mile
Parking Yes - Limited
Facilities None
Map

 


 

 


Review

 

 

Have you ever spent loads of money at a theme park, only to have the kids get grizzly and want to leave after an hour, leaving you with the feeling that you have shelled out loads and not got your money’s worth? So the next day you decide to take them to the local park, at the cost of £0.00p to you, and they have a great time and don’t want to leave??  Well our visit to this castle was like the latter. I knew it was a relatively small site, and expected us to be in and out within about 20 minutes, but like the above theme park/park analogy, sometimes the most simple and unexpected places can be a surprise hit with children. Newcastle was definitely a big hit in our case.

 

This castle is situated in the middle of Bridgend, South Wales, which is convenient for those arriving on public transport as we did, as it is easily walkable from both the rail and bus station. It is set high up on the hill above the town, which means that once you are there you can actually hear very little of the traffic noise, making it a very pleasant place to be.

 

It is a compact castle, but fully enclosed by the remains of the curtain wall, which makes it very safe for children. Once you are inside it is small enough for the adults to sit and keep an eye on the children while they have an explore. This was the beauty of it for my children. They had a bit of freedom to explore on their own, whilst we could just sit and observe them but not interfere. You can pretty much see every part of the castle at once, so provided the children do not wander back out through the main gateway, they are pretty much in sight at all times. Talking of gateways, Newcastle’s  main feature is the beautifully preserved gateway to the castle. It dates from the 12th century, and makes an impressive point of entry to the ruins.

 

 


 

 


 

There are no facilities at the castle, make sure you pop into nearby Tesco beforehand for use of the toilets and to buy food if you require it. The castle makes a fine spot for a summer picnic, with a large fig tree growing up a part of a wall providing a lovely backdrop (although on hot days remember your sun hats as there is not massive amounts of shade to be found!!!)  There is no entrance fee, surprisingly this had not tempted many people in and we did not see any other visitors there on the day we went. In a way this was good for the children to be able to play without worrying about disturbing other people, but I am always slightly disappointed when a castle seems to be under-appreciated. Having said that my children did have great fun pretending they lived there, and had to be dragged away in the end.

 


 

 


 

Whilst in Bridgend, also consider a visit to Coity Castle, approx. 2 miles from the centre of the town. Both castles can easily be visited in one day-trip.

 


 

More info:  CADW Newcastle

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