by Hannah Craven
Planning a visit to the glorious gardens of Wales? From the incredible laburnum arch of Bodnant Gardens to the impressive greenhouse in the National Botanic Garden of Wales, we’ve got a whole host of amazing gardens to explore.
Whether you’re stopping in North Wales or heading further down south, there’s plenty of choices. Many of the gardens are owned by the National Trust, which means they’re easily accessible and most offer on-site cafes to rest your legs with a warm cup of coffee or tea in hand – just what’s needed after a busy day of strolling around these gorgeous Welsh gardens.
It was a challenge to choose our favourites, but here are nine of the best gardens in Wales…
Location: Glan Conwy, Conwy
With over 80 acres of carefully planned gardens, Bodnant Garden is a must-see for anyone stopping in North Wales. Easily reached just off the A55 in Glan Conwy, this National Trust-owned garden is home to an array of seasonal displays. One of the most renowned features is the vibrant Laburnum Arch which bursts into life during the summer months.
This 55 metre-long avenue was first created in 1880 by the garden’s Victorian founder. Considered to be one of the oldest and longest arches in the whole of Britain, this golden display attracts over 50,000 visitors each year. You’ll have to be quick though – the arch only blooms for around three weeks!
Location: Llanllwni, Ceredigion
Covering over three acres, you’ll find seven individually-themed gardens within the grounds of Norwood Gardens. Enjoy the vibrant Mediterranean Garden or take a stroll through the delightful woodland area – there’s lots to be discovered here.
You’ll also find a tea room on-site, serving up lunches and hot drinks – great for taking a well-earned mid-day break! Visitors can sit on the patio and enjoy the peace and quiet of the gardens – absolutely lovely!
Location: Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is set within the scenic village of Llanarthney in Carmarthenshire and boasts over 568 acres of beautiful gardens. Both a visitor centre and a hub for botanical research and conservation, this impressive garden is home to rare and endangered plant species from across the world.
It’s also home to the world’s largest single-span glasshouse, which contains a huge collection of Mediterranean plants. Visitors are free to roam around this impressive greenhouse and enjoy the warm temperatures within!
Location: Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire
The Penllergare Trust offers 12 square miles of enchanting woodlands and seven miles of picturesque footpaths, as well as its historic walled gardens that have been undisturbed for over 50 years. Restoration has been underway to restore these gardens back to their former glory, while also protecting the old ruins of the Vinery and Orchid house.
While these gardens are somewhat of a work in progress, they’re still worth a visit. If you’ll be bringing your pooch along on holiday, they’re a great place to go and make the most of the dense woodlands that surround them.
Location: Llangathen, Carmarthenshire
Featured on Channel 5’s Great British Gardens and the BBC’s A Garden Lost in Time, the Aberglasney Gardens in Llangathen offer some of the most impressive displays we’ve ever seen. Among its many features is the Elizabethan Cloister Garden, which is the only remaining example of its kind in the whole of the UK.
Set across its 10 acres, you’ll find over 20 different themed gardens ranging from formal displays to traditional woodlands. On the grounds, you’ll also find the impressive grade II* listed mansion, which is regularly used as a venue for weddings and exhibitions.
Location: Cribyn, Ceredigion
Set within the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains, the Cae Hir Gardens are just eight miles from the stunning coastline of Cardigan Bay. With over five acres to explore, it’s a great day out for families – even well-behaved dogs are allowed to visit as long as they are kept on a lead.
It’s a very relaxed atmosphere at Cae Hir; guests are encouraged to enjoy the gardens at their own pace – whether you’re enjoying a picnic on the lawn or wandering through the gardens, there’s no need to rush around to see it all.
Location: Portmeirion, Gwynedd
Boasting over 70 acres of sub-tropical forest, the Portmeirion Gardens are certainly worth a visit. With 20 miles of scenic trails and hidden lakes to explore, you’ll easily spend a whole day wandering around the huge grounds of The Gwyllt. From the exotic Japanese Garden to the impressive Shelter Valley, there’s just so much to be seen.
With so many exotic flower displays, you’ll soon forget that you’re in Wales! During peak seasons, guests get to enjoy free train rides to the Oriental garden, from which they can reach the other incredible gardens and the 16 miles of unspoilt coastal paths.
Location: Llandudno, Conwy
The historic gardens of Bodysgallen Hall in Llandudno are great for a relaxed day out. Surrounded by over 200 acres of parkland, these award-winning gardens are home to a variety of plant displays. From the fragrant herb garden to the serene lily pond, there are so many great places to sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the grounds.
A walled rose garden offers some of the most delightful scents during the summer months, while the potager garden is used to produce the organic fruits and vegetables used in the restaurant. As you wander through the gardens, you’ll discover a choice of pretty pathways including the Ladies Walk and Eastern Covert Walk which takes you to a gothic tower.
Location: Swansea, South Wales
If you are looking for beautiful gardens in South Wales, be sure to head to the Clyne Gardens in Swansea. There’s an abundance of scenic walking routes to enjoy across its many acres of beautiful parkland – a delight to visit in every season.
One of the most impressive features is the gorgeous Japanese Bridge, which was designed by Admiral Algernon Walker-Heneage-Vivian – the owner of Cyne Gardens up until 1952.
If you’re planning on visiting one of Wales’ beautiful gardens, why not enjoy a stay at one of our cosy Pembrokshire cottages? From snug shepherd’s huts to spacious family homes, we’ve got something for everyone at Welsh Cottages.
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