I am some what of a cautious driver. Growing up in the country and now a City girl, I am used to most driving experiences. However, Caerleon in the northern outskirts of the City of Newport, is an absolute nightmare to get to!
It reminds me of all of the times I got lost every couple of weeks for the three years during my Nurse Training! My stress levels increase just thinking about the journey!
But I had heard of an interactive children’s event at ‘The National Roman Legion Museum’ that was taking place one bank holiday weekend and decided to brave the journey once more. Needless to say I got well and truly lost with no sat nav or phone signal. Luckily Rory fell asleep as soon as the engine started so I was able to curse and despair to my hearts content! After driving past the museum and having to go around the one way system once again, I finally managed to park. We had made it but I was already dreading the drive back home! Rory woke up as soon as the engine stopped. He is such a brilliant traveller!
The National Roman Legion Museum was a lot smaller than I expected, but it had a lovely children’s role play area where I tried to get Rory to dress up as a Roman soldier. He refused! He was more than happy to play on the carpeted play area building forts and castles out of blocks and Playmobil with the other children. I took the opportunity to sit down with a coffee and look at what else we could do in Caerleon as I knew the museum didn’t have enough to offer to keep my Rory entertained!
It was time to go outside into the small grounds of the museum where Rory was booked onto a session to learn about how the Romans lived. He made some kind of bread and cooked it on an open fire. The children were then put into teams to make a shelter using sticks and a canvas covering. The best bit for Rory was fire starting using a spindle and board. None of the children made fire but they all enjoyed trying! We had our picnic outside and after about an hour and a half of us being there, it was time to move on.
We stumbled upon the Roman baths on the way back to the car. It was a field of old ruins which Rory loved as there was lots of spaces to explore and trenches to hide in! The biggest surprise though was the Caerleon Amphitheatre. What an amazing site and totally unexpected. I sat on the grass watching him run around with the other children and rolling down banks. I felt as though I was in the ‘Gladiator’ film. I haven’t seen anything quite like it before. A spectacular setting.
On its own, The Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon wouldn’t have qualified for a day out for us. But with the combination of the Museum, Roman Bath ruins and the Amphitheatre, we had a brilliant day out in Caerleon. It was definitely worth the stress of finding it and fighting rush hour traffic on our return journey back into Cardiff! And what’s more, it was all free!