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The National History Museum, St Fagans, still commonly referred to by its former title 'The Museum of Welsh Life', this is a fantastic 100 acre park on the edge of Cardiff filled with rescued, restored and authentically furnished buildings from all over Wales, in order to ilustrate the social history of Wales and its people. Wales's most visited heritage attraction and it is not hard to see why.
This place is amazing. Spend as much, or as little as you like. The car park is £3.00 and then the most amazing experience is free.
The museum is spotlessly clean and caters well for little children as well as adults. People of all ages from tiny children to pensioners will think it was wonderful. Everything is hands on, with experienced knowledgeable guides at every site. Every cottage is authentic and amazing. There are stores - grocers, hardware, bakers, sweetshops, icecream vendors, all olde worlde and genuine. The tea rooms are wonderful and like everything else are a step back in time. There is a small adventure playground for the little ones with picnic tables for packed lunches (the wasps really like that one!!). The museum proper- costumes, farm implements etc, is beautifully presented, with the rest of the experience gloriously outdoors and arranged authentically. Even the weather isn't so important as when the odd shower occurs it makes a different experience to shelter in one of the many exhibits until it passes over. Houses, churches, schools or shops which have been demolished, and then reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle in new surroundings.
Because it is all traffic free, the walkways through the grounds and woods are safe and surprise you with the odd hidden cottage in clearings. There is a stone age type of village, with straw huts, just constructed, but looking 1000 years old with knowledgeable craftsmen to inform and educate if you wish. The many craftsmen such as potters or saddlers take part in demonstrating their skills and answering the myriad of questions fielded by them.
The original farm is there and is the only building apart from the big main manor house not to have been lifted and resited there, with poultry and pigs etc.
The big house is well worth a visit, it is well presented and again, informants are there ready for the asking and although there are many such places throughout the UK, they are probably not accompanied by such a variety of cottages and dwelling places (all Welsh).
The older generation especially are amazed at finding articles and situations so familiar to them displayed for all to see.
If you see only one thing on your visit to South Wales - step back in time and make it this one, you won't be disappointed.