Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Penarth

#2 of 8 in Things to do in Penarth
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park is a public country park in Britain, owned and managed by Vale of Glamorgan Council. It is situated between Penarth and Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, 7.3 miles (11.7 kilometres) from Cardiff. On 1 May 2013 the country park was designated a Local Nature Reserve LNR. Parts are Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The park, visitor centre and cafe are open all year round.GeneralThe main feature at this country park are the two large lakes divided by a bridge on the main footpath 'mile road'. The country park has a variety of habitats covering over 100 hectares of land and water, with some areas designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (S.S.S.I) protecting the rare and diverse plant and animal species.Within the country park Cosmeston Medieval Village can be found. The reconstruction of this 14th-century village, discovered during the landscaping of the park, has been described as the best of its kind in Britain.Park historyThe park is located on land that was once the enclosed fields of croft farms. The farming would have been poor because of the combination of underlying limestone with being kept permanently wet by many natural springs.Opened in the 1880s the site was a commercial limestone quarry operation owned by the British Portland Cement Manufacturers and later Blue Circle. The quarries here provided limestone for the large cement works that stood until 1970 on the site of the present Cosmeston housing estate opposite the country park. The peak year of production was 1962, when 175,000 tons of cement were manufactured. The famous ‘Dragon’ brand of cement was used to produce many of the early paving slabs laid in Penarth. The works finally shut in November 1969. Blue Circle stated it was not possible to upgrade the old plant to increase production any further, nor extend the existing quarries, which were closed in June 1970. The only factory building left standing today is the Harvester restaurant. Once quarrying ceased two of the excavated sites were used for landfill and the remaining two naturally flooded creating the lakes that are seen today. More information is available on the history of the Portland Cement Company at Cement Plants and Kilns in Britain and Ireland.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
264 reviews
  • August 16, 2017
    Lovely location for nature, relaxation and exercise The lakes are so beautiful with much wildlife to be seen (more if patient) Great walks - make sure you explore all the trails, great for bike riding...  more »
  • August 16, 2017
    Very good, great walking, and wildlife, great for picnics, and walking the dog. Good size area for the kids to play, though only 1 picnic table I could see, and there was an open area which couldnt qu...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    Went to Cosmeston this morning to walk the dogs and get some peace and quiet, quite busy but still lovely, large free car parking with good access for disabled in the restaurant and toilets, also the ...  more »

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