Today’s fun was a visit to the Royal Mint Experience. When I was a young coin-collecting person in Cardiff, I would have loved to be able to visit the Royal Mint, located in Llantrisant, but in those days it was not something you could generally do. In fact it’s only quite recently that a visitor centre has opened.
For the usual fee, you get a guided tour of part of the actual factory where coins are minted – all carefully set up to keep visitors and the coins apart. You can even (for a further fee) get to press the button and create your own £1 coin as a souvenir. This is one of the past round pounds before the fancy new ones appear next year, and it’s an exclusive design that’s only available in collector’s sets – it won’t be released into circulation, so it’s a nice thing to have.
After the factory bit, there’s a very well presented exhibition which goes into the history of the Mint, the move from Tower Hill to South Wales, and much more. Some superb old coins are on display – the kind of extremely rare items you might have seen in books, but so much better in the metal. And of course, there’s the inevitable shop, where you can buy commemorative coin sets (including some of the more exotically priced items) and other souvenirs.
I loved it – probably not worth it if you’re not interested in coins, but if you are, you’ll have a great time.
And you can always say hello to Shaun the Sheep at the entrance to the centre:
Possibly best not to mention mint sauce, though.
 Sorry, had to be done