The National Showcaves Centre – Part 1

The National Showcaves Centre – Part 1

Dan-yr-Ogof for non-Welsh speakers is the name of the National Showcaves Center. Located in the middle of the two towns Carmarthen and Abergavenny in southern Wales, this multifaceted activity and cultural hub is a fun packed bundle of activities for families looking to get the best for their money. With indoor and outdoor features that range from exploring caves to walking with prehistoric beasts, this single destination has an obvious pull that attracts thousands of visitors to enter through its doors annually. New arrivals are sent to the theatre as they enter and shown a short film that acts as a preview of all the things the National Showcaves Center has to offer. This may seem a little unnecessary for onlookers but here there is so much to do that it begs some sort of introduction, it also helps eager kids get fired up for what is about to come.


The caves are a great starting point. As with many things in Wales, much of the history remains underground and here there is no difference. The Cathedral Cave is a wonder all to itself, this picturesque natural opening creates an awe inspiring walk for visitors as they wander through the formations. Giant walls curve around into passages and narrow stalactites and  stalagmites bring the genuine old cave feel to the forefront. Here across rail guided walkways visitors can marvel at the rocks in the ambient lighting and even walk by the waters that cascade from above. The echoing sounds of water falling and the shimmering refracted light make for a fairy tale location that many have come to adore. This cave is so elegant in fact that it now serves as a popular wedding destination for those hoping to begin their marriage with rock solid foundations. Pro cave divers can get in touch to do further exploration into the waters and the narrow passageways that remain unaltered but beg discovery.


Those seeking a less claustrophobic activity may wish to partake in Mr Morgan’s Victorian farm, which fortunately sits above ground. Here in the open air visitors can get up close and personal with a whole menagerie of domesticated creatures. Stables allow for casual strolls and glances at goats, and Shetland ponies, while the fields also allow them some space to free roam. Kids will love petting the friendly pigs but may be less familiar with the alpacas and llamas that happily graze on the green pastures. Animals big and small populate this playful and familiar environment, even household favourites like gerbils can be seen scurrying above in their custom built tunnels. On the opposite end of the scale the farm is also home to a handful of shire horses. The shire horse centre sits next to the Victorian farm and houses much larger and incredibly muscular breeds that will notably be different from the ponies. These large, proud animals are also part of the history of the area, thanks to their combined strength and obedience the early throws of industry occurred only with the help of horses such as these.