Sunday, 5 May 2013

Explore out heritage

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, May 5, 2013, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.












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Explore our heritage 
A big day out! 
RICHARD THOMAS heads to the Gower Heritage Centre. 


WHY? Set in the heart of the Gower Peninsula, the Gower Heritage Centre is a fun way to spend your day with a wide range of craft displays and activities to enjoy. In addition, the centre also holds several special annual events. This weekend there is a cheeses and cider festival at the centre.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? The Gower Heritage Centre is a visitor attraction and rural life museum based around a working 12th century water-mill. Located only a 15 minuet walk from the breath taking Three Cliffs Bay, the centre offers fun activities for all the family, including craft shops and craft activities.
ANY HISTORY? A water powered corn and saw mill was established on the site sometime during the 12th century, with the first written references to the water-mill appearing in government records from about 1300 onwards. In 1990 the Gower Heritage Centre was opened, the 12th century mill was renovated, and experienced craftspeople took up residence on site.
LOOK OUT FOR? You can watch the craftspeople resident at the centre at work and visit their stores as you go round. Some of the gifts available to buy at the centre include various items in different turned woods made by woodturner John De Filippo, puppets and puppet making kits at Poppet Puppets, as well as paintings and artwork by Cheryl Firths. Other special items available to buy at the centre include some amazing driftwood gifts and hand made candles, as well as a range of garden furniture made at the Mill. There’s also an old fashioned games arcade, as well as a sandpit area, adventure playground, soft play area, and tractor play area. There’s even an animal farm with ducks, baby rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, horses and other animals. And, if all that wasn’t enough to see, the centre is also home to the smallest cinema in Wales, the La Charrette.
WHAT TO TAKE? There is a fee of £5.95 for adults and £4.95 for children 2 years old and up. Seniors and disabled visitors only pay £4.95 and you can opt to buy a family ticket which covers 2 adults and 2 children for £2, or, a supersaver family ticket which covers two adults and up to four children for £25. Meals are available in the centre’s fabulous Tea Rooms. Also, don’t forget to bring a camera with you to take some photos.
WHEN TO GO? The centre is open from 10am to 5pm all week. On May 11 and 12, the centre is holding its annual Cheeses and Cider Weekend, where visitors can come and try a wide variety of Welsh ciders and cheeses. There will also be live music, plus a bar, BBQ, cider press demos and lots more to check out.
TELL ME MORE: For sat-nav users the full address and postcode is: Gower Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower, Swansea, SA3 2EH. More information can be found at www.gowerheritagecentre.co.uk or you can phone 01792 371206.
Visit www.richardthomas.com.

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