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“Pleasantly surprised” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The National Showcaves Centre for Wales

The National Showcaves Centre for Wales
Brecon Road | Near Swansea/Brecon, Pen-y-cae SA9 1GJ, Wales
44-1639-730284
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Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Pen-y-cae
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Camping
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Attraction details
Owner description: Voted Britain’s Finest Natural Wonder, and the winner of all major environmental and tourism awards.There are three exceptional caves to experience - Dan-yr-Ogof, Cathedral Cave and Bone Cave. Each cave offers a unique underground adventure. In Dan-yr-Ogof you walk through beautifully decorated passageways for just under 1 kilometre; in Cathedral Cave you walk through enormous caverns, carved out millions of years ago. At the end of this cave you will walk behind 40 feet high waterfalls that cascade around you in the ‘Dome of St Paul’s’, an exceptional end to a truly breathtaking cave. In Bone Cave learn why 42 human skeletons are buried there, and why our ancestors used caves all those years ago.On site we also have one of the world’s largest collections of life-sized dinosaur models. Ranging from the ever popular Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brachiosaurs, to the lesser-known Tsintaosaurus. There are over 220 models to see – you are bound to find your favourite dinosaur! The Shire Horse Centre offers the excitement of two indoor children’s play areas. We also have the farm experience. Why not make friends with the gentle giants – our Shire horses are waiting to say hello. Include the Iron Age village, museum, stone circles, and you have plenty to see and do for all ages. As we are situated in a National Park, you might like to consider staying on our Caravan/Tenting site for your visit to the caves?For those who may want a break, there is our Coffee shop, and finally the Rock and Dinosaur shop to enjoy.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

My husband dragged me along to this attraction, just so he could laugh at the outdated dinosaurs. How surprised we were is reflected in the 5* I've given it. The attraction just kept on giving. When you turn in to the centre you are met with; alpaca, ducks, shire horses, stone circles and emu. The drive up to the caves is clean and tidy, on a nice but short well maintained drive. On entering the attraction I expected to hand over my cash, but this wasn't the case. You walk under the huge belly of a dinosaur into a small court yard, where you can eat, rest, have a nice cream and admire the views. There is a little cinema which talks about the caves, there is a cafe, a small shop, a panning for gold area, and dinosaurs dotted everywhere. The cost came when you went to see the caves, £27 for 2 adults was a bit steep...until you have a look around. There are loads more dinosaurs, all hidden in amongst the trees. As you climb you look down upon them and realise how high you are. I don't think the caves are suitable for those in wheelchairs, but there is still plenty to see. Kids will love it. There are 3 caves, all beautiful and amazing...although, the bone cave is the worst to get to and not suitable for anyone who has a bad back or is tall. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the caves, the dinosaurs were not always accurate, but that really didn't matter. The staff were helpful and chatty. The cafe clean and tidy. Could probably do with another toilet block. A great experience.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“interesting caves, but ......”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2014

Visited this site whilst on holiday in wales, promotional brochure looked appealing, with a list of other attractions included with the ticket price.
Adequate car parking and well managed by staff.
Entry was slow due to only having two ticket booths.
Shame there is no family tickets with a small discount ( I live up north and most attractions offer this).
The two large show caves were very impressive, atmospheric and my children really enjoyed them too, the caves were well lit.
Bone cave, for me personally was less impressive and scared my youngest daughter (7) because it was very dark, but the walk up there was exciting and challenging.
The caramel shortbread in the cafe was delicious, but I am sorry to say at £2.50 per slice, it is overpriced.
I felt misled by some of the "attractions", the fossil house was so small we almost overlooked it, where as the iron age village was good but behind a fence and it would have been nice to get up close to appreciate it.
The shire horse farm was nice, this area could be improved by providing a toilet and a coffee kiosk or farmhouse cafe and some outdoor seating. My children enjoyed the play area and seeing the animals roaming freely.
I have read other reviews regarding the welfare of the horses, although I felt they were well cared for, they did appear, bored/withdrawn/tired.
May, however was full of vitality, kicking away at the stable gate, which amused us all.
Overall we did enjoy our visit but feel this attraction has scope for improvement.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A surprising attraction in the middle of the national park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

My recent visit to the Dan-Yr-Ogof Show caves was mesmerising to say the least. Starting with the beautiful farm to welcome you, the trek up to the park entrance, coming face to face with a huge dinosaur is just the beginning.

The attraction was a 3 different activities rolled into one. First - The truly awesome walk through natures beauty in creating these caves and myriad shapes in the mountains. Truly spectacular - especially the cathedral caves.

Second - the various dinosaurs spread across the landscape. A visual fantasy delight for the young and old. Just something about these beautiful creatures made me relive all those dino books I read as a kid.

Third - The animal farm is fantastic for young children to learn, play and interact with a variety of animals.

Overall, I came away having spent a great day in a great part of the world.

Note for travellers with young children - This place has a lot of varied terrain and is not very buggy friendly for obvious reasons. Avoid taking a buggy where you can as otherwise, you will just end up leaving it around anyways.

Visited April 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
47 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Good Job Morgans!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

You keep on guessing which mountains around you will have those caves and suddenly it arrives after beautiful castle which is now privately owned hotel.

When you enter there are animals on right side which are good attraction for kids as you can walk near them.

Most probably there will be man directing you for the place to park. WARNING! If you have disables or old aged person or kids, please park on hill on right at the end of the road which is in fact way to caves and bit elevation to walk on or ask him for dropping them off.

When you enter go for the main cave and it is really interesting inside. Do not bother taking cameras as its better to enjoy the feel of caves. If you are macro photographer than opinion is opposite to that.

The Bone cave is road to hell. Steep and you have to bend your head. If you are not healthy enough do not take risk and its just a room size cave.

The cathedral cave is romantic, do not miss it. They also arrange weddings there if you wish to have one.

This place has MOST species artificial dinosaurs and animals of that age you will not see any where around world.

The cafe seems to be good food place and shop is also not very expensive. I did not try toilets so I can not say.

Take plenty of water and friction lightweight shoes.

Parking is free.

Visited May 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dartford, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Wales Very Own Jurassic Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

I visited The National Showcaves during a recent visit to Wales. The first thing that strikes you is the huge dinosaur at the entrance, and once inside you quickly realise they are everywhere. Why this attraction doesn't promote this more is beyond me, as most children go through a love affair with dinosaurs phase. The caves themselves are very impressive, Dan-y-Rogof cave is nicely lit to emphasise the various rock formations and stalactites and stalagmites and audio commentary shares with you the experience of the young boys who discovered the caves. On leaving there to head for the Bone Cave, you pass an Iron Age Village, which would be better if you could peak into the huts. The Bone Cave is dark and tiny, and not worth the trek to get to it. However The Cathedral Cave is a sight to behold with dramatic lighting, cascading waterfalls and a classical soundtrack to enhance the experience, definitely worth the entrance fee on its own. The museum on the way out is a bit of an after thought and there is a restaurant which has friendly service and good food when you're in need of refreshment. All in all an enjoyable day out.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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