Our favourite places: Mountain View Ranch, South Wales

You almost can’t believe that this place is a mere 20 minute drive from Cardiff, with endless verdant open spaces broken up by patches of majestic woodland, streams and ponds. 

The guys that run Mountain View Ranch have done a spectacular job of balancing the creation of a large family attraction with maintaining a sense of space and peace. 

Theme parks are out and free-range fun is most definitely in at Mountain View Ranch! We visited probably during one of their busiest days in the summer holidays, yet never felt crowded or queued. We took the girls around on their bikes as we wanted to explore the whole site and they’re still a bit young to manage walking the whole way. 

We bypassed the excellent looking play park at the entrance as our girls are a bit young to mingle with the older kids that were there during the summer holidays. After passing through the animal park with rabbits, guinea pigs, tortoise, horses, goats and chickens, we found a nice spot under some trees for a picnic. Then we set off to explore. 

First we came to the Indian Village, complete with tipis and a totem pole, then we entered the Fairy Wood through a beautiful willow arch. The girls were enchanted by the miniature doors and fairies on the enormous beech trees, and we all made a wish in the wishing well. There was a swing for the older children and I was tempted! 

 Next we pushed the bikes down ‘roly poly hill’ and past the climbing tree; again a bit large for our little ones but next year there will be no stopping them. We strolled past ponds humming with dragonflies up through the Gruffalo walk; an amazing trail through the woods with beautiful willow sculptures of characters from the Gruffalo.  The girls were completely enamoured with the mouse!! 

We just had time to stop in the cafe for a drink and a snack before heading home. The menu was really tempting as were the cakes but i felt it could have benefited from an injection of more ‘green’ stuff and some obvious gluten free and clean eating options. 

It only cost us £8 as the girls went free under 2. We took trikes but carts are available for hire; they looked great fun! We can’t wait to go back; I have a feeling it’s going to be a firm favourite amongst our family for years to come. 

More info here: Mountain View Ranch Website

Monkey and Mouse