I’ve been coming here since I was a child. I was brought here by aunts and childminders to walk the dog and play in the park and swim in the lake (when it was allowed…sadly not any more); we came here with Sunday School and Youth Club for group barbecues – there are built in barabecues that can be hired out. I was briefly a memeber of an archaeological group and we visited; and again, with Youth Club, we would come and hang around the medieval village; once I recall even being dressed up as a medieval peasant and manning one of the buildings. I remember coming to fetes here and watching knights charging across the field in re-enactments.
This place is Cosmeston Country Park & Medieval Village, in between Penarth and Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan.
I still spend time here these days and it still amazes me that people come here and say they didn’t know it was here. Understandable maybe from people from outside of the area; but I have close acquaintances who grew up in Cardiff, just down the road; and have never been here.
Cosmeston Country Park is a large area set around a large lake; one end of which, separated by a bridge, is a dedicated nature reserve. Within the park there is a play area, boardwalks along the lake and across marshland and various paths for all levels of fitness. There are orienteering trails and school-holiday activities; in addition to school trips being catered for – the park rangers can take children pond-dipping or den building; and there are various volunteering opportunites throughout the park and the medieval village.
Over the years there have been changes in the medieval village, but essentially it’s a reconstruction, built on the original foundations dated to the 14th Century, discovered during excavations in the 1970s, when the land, a former quarry, was handed over to the council for use of the community. These days it’s furnished and decorated and managed, in keeping with the time period
Access to the museum adjacent to the village is free; and guided tours by costumed characters start from there into the village itself a set times during the day; or self guided tours using audio-wands at your own pace.
Tickets for the guided or self-guided tours can be purchased from the reception in the main car park of the park; which is also where bookings for water activities and use of the barbecues can be arranged; not only for Cosmeston but for their sister country park, Porthkerry, down the road in Barry.
The park is managed by The Vale of Glamorgan council. More information on the park & its facilities, such as updated times and prices for access and various activities, can be found on the Vale website Here and the Medieval Village Here