Admire historic buildings and flower-filled gardens

A plethora of ornate turrets and chimneys, arched windows and crested porticos, Margam Castle is the centrepiece of the park. It's an imposingly huge 19th-century mansion built in the Tudor Gothic style and it took ten years to build. A terrible fire devastated much of the interior in the 1970s and the restoration programme continues to this day.

Statue of nymphs in front of ornate orangery building
Orangery building with porticos and windows

Gardens and statues in front of the Orangery

Close by, you'll find the 18th century Orangery, the ruins of a Cistercian monastery, the restored Citrus house, all of them surrounded by the flower-filled fragrant Orangery gardens ideal for a meander in the sunshine. Look out for the enormous beech tree growing right next to the tumble down walls of the monastery's ancient Chapter House. It's many hundreds of years old and was recently named Welsh Tree of the Year. It's a truly remarkable sight.

Read more: 10 country parks in Wales

See the deer

You'll see lots of wildlife at Margam but the deer are particular favourites for visitors. They roam freely around the grounds. They are carefully looked after by the park's game keepers and the largest herd numbers some 300 fallow deer. Several years ago six red deer were reintroduced from Scotland and there are now over 60.

More recently a far rarer breed called Pere David was introduced. This endangered species is part of a breeding programme run with Whipsnade Safari Park, in Bedfordshire. There are just over 30 so they're much harder to spot. They look quite different to the red and fallow deer with a much broader face, a little reminiscent of a horse.

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Hang out with the kids

Margam Park is especially good for families. There's plenty to keep even the most energetic kids busy all day. Kids aged 10 and under will love the Fairytale Village with its miniature Tudor houses and adventure castle. And they can swing jump and slide all over the place at the Adventure Playground which is perfect for ages six to 12. If the kids are into animals, the Farm Trail will keep them happy for hours with ponies, sheep, pigs, goats and chickens - many of them rare breeds. Then there's the Wood Vibrations adventure trail for exploring the forest.

Older kids (and grown ups too!) can pull on a safety hat and harness and swing from the trees and rope bridges at Go Ape. They'll be doing it like a shot, but will you have the courage to try the mighty Tarzan Swing and the 180m-long zip?

Read more: Getting active in the South Wales Valleys

11 year old boy walking across a plank in an adventure playground

Walking the plank in the adventure playground

Head out on foot

There are hundreds of acres of parkland, woods and gardens to explore. So, take your pick from just wandering where the mood takes you to following one of four waymarked trails. All are easy strolls of around two to three miles (3 to 5 km), though several have slightly steeper sections. They're a great way to explore the park's historic remains like the hill fort, the Abbey ruins and the ruined chapel. You can look out for wildlife and take in the vast views from the tops of the hills. For more detailed itineraries download walk packs or buy them at the entrance and gift shop.

For a full-on hike, pull on your boots and stomp all the way along the Coed Morgannwg Way to Afan Forest Park. Or how about trying one of the Orienteering routes or having a go at Geocaching?

If you're less able to walk, or just fancy taking it easy. There are electric tramper buggies available for hire. Two flat, wheelchair accessible, marked trails, take in many of the park's sights and are ideal for exploring by buggy. Dogs are welcome, but because the deer roam freely they should be kept on a lead at all times when in the historic deer park, gardens and on the farm trail.

Mother and son walking through a leafy park, backs to camera

A leafy stroll along one of the trails

Attend a night time event

In the run-up to Christmas, Margam plays host to Luminate Wales. A spectacular array of displays glittering with lights is set up in the grounds with a trail to follow to see them all. It's a truly magical experience, perfect for warding off the dark winter nights and getting ready for the excitement of Christmas!

Light up Luminate sign with a small child standing by it
People walking the illuminated trail at Margam Country Park at Christmas time.

Enjoying the festive excitement of Luminate

Make a splash

There are three large expanses of water in the park offering limitless possibilities for fun on the water. Outdoor pursuits company Margam Park Adventure is based at the park and offers paddle boarding, canoeing, pedaloes and even raft building. The tranquil waters of the ponds make them ideal for learners of all ages who are comfortable in the water and can swim.

There are even special canoe and kayak sessions for dog owners. Your four-legged friend comes with you in the boat! You're provided with all the gear - paddles, wetsuits, buoyancy aids. Advance booking is required for most activities.

A boy in a green t-shirt  with his back to camera looks at a waterfall
ducks on a tranquil lake with trees in the background

Ponds and streams at Margam Country Park

Go for a ride

To see more of the park, join the chain gang! If you have a bike of your own you can just peddle where the mood takes you. But please wear a helmet at all times when cycling and be careful to give walkers plenty of space too.

If you don't have your own bikes, hire is available by the hour, half day and full day through Margam Park Adventure. It’s highly recommended that you book these in advance.

There are four marked biking trails offering biking for all abilities. The Green family trail is mainly flat tarmac and gravel, ideal for little peddlers, balance bikes and tag-a-longs. Blue is a bit more challenging with a single track downhill section. Red and Black add in steeper sections, drop offs, rocky sections and jumps - ideal for getting your pulse racing if you're an experienced rider. There are full details on the downloadable bike trail map (PDF).

Read more: Mountain bike heaven in Wales

Huge beech tree alongside ruins of a chapel

The Chapter House beech tree was voted Welsh tree of the year in 2020

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