Wales is well known for it’s rugged landscape, but it is also home to some unique Gardens and Parks in North Wales. Here are a few Geraint and I like to visit this year and why. Love Jane.
1. Bodnant Garden, really worth a visit.
A favourite of ours, you can never visit enough times in our book. We enjoy the dramatic scenery of Bondant Gardens, we head for the historical plant collections, Champion trees and love to see the horticultural styles they range from the Victorian inspired formal lines to the crazy exotic. It’s a nice walk not too strenious and there is so much to look at. Geraint and I had a lovely day out there, and it’s nice to take a pack lunch but we actually ate in their Canteen which is located before the entrance to the Garden. The food is OK, (I can cook better), sometimes you like to treat yourself with a lunch out, so this is what we did.
We were looking for a relaxing day out where we could stroll, catch up and look at flowers to give us inspiration for the Llawr Betws Park. This did the trick we looking at beautifully landscaped gardens and are always amazed, it’s a place that you need to visit whilst you are staying with us. It is a National Trust property near Tal-y-Cafn, in the county borough of Conwy, Wales, situated overlooking the Conwy Valley towards the Carneddau range of mountains. It’s a beautiful drive out, and right near is Bodnant Welsh Food Centre. They have a nice restaurant there too. We wished we’d popped in there instead as we hear the chef is very good.
How to get there by car
Tal y Cafn, nr Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28 5RE
January, February, November and December 10am-4pm.
March – October 10am-5pm. Last entry 30 minutes prior to closing.
Plas Tan y Bwlch, Boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain.
We’ve not been but it’s on our things to do for 2018. They say they have formal terraces, a water garden and pond together with sloping lawns, ornamental shrubs and coniferous trees, some of which were planted in Victorian times. In the Spring and early Summer, species of Rhododendron and Azalea are ablaze with colour.
From the car park at Plas Tan y Bwlch you are able to enter a network of paths into the informal, largely shaded, woodland gardens where native flora such as oaks, beeches, Scots pine and Irish Yew intermingle with trees and shrubs imported from abroad.
These long-established, peaceful, semi-wild areas form habitats for a wide variety of birds, insects, small mammals and wild flowers, some of which come under the protection of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. Informality is the keynote in these parts of the gardens.
In conserving and restoring these gardens, to protect wildlife habitats and integrate them with the formal gardens: hence, the retention of brambles and log piles in many woodland areas and creepers on trees.
Extended walks around Dyffryn Maentwrog and Llyn Mair with over 30km of footpath network maintained by a partnership of local landowners is also a great place to explore
Daily Easter-end October, gardens open from 10am until 5pm. Winter times do vary.
Caerau Gardens is the highest private garden open to the public in North Wales
Caerau Gardens is only a short drive away from Llawr Betws. Its good for family visits as there’s plenty for the kids to do. I wanted to try the large sunken trampoline but Geraint was wondering who would run the park if I injured myself. A kill joy but a valid good point, he’s never fancied running the park without me, so I didn’t attempt it.
There is a fort to discover and zip wire in the woods too, its a fun place to visit with the little ones. There is a cafe serving a full menu, they say they have the best chips and home-made meals.
Open Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm
The Gardens are open from Easter until the end of September 5 days a week, not Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s.
How to get there
Portmeirion – It’s so wonderful here.
Do you remember the old 70’s film called the Prisoner…’I am not a number’ well it was filmed here. If for some reason you’ve never heard of the place this is what you need to know, but actually don’t read about it, just visit. My words don’t do this special place any justice.
Portmeirion is an Italian inspired village built from scratch by architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in 1925. Portmeirion China is made here too, founded by Cloughs daughter in the 60’s but if you have not heard of either then I’m so please you are reading this as its a place I urge you to go and see. It’s so special, the iconic architecture, scenic surroundings, vast woodland and its coastal position and on a sunny day it is simply spectacular . You can find out more about the history of Portmeirion when there on the free tours and train rides (high season only).
A fairly new festival was created for the village called Festival Number 6 Festival, people travel for miles to be part of it. They say they are a multi-genre music festival based right in the middle of Portmeirion. We’ve never been I don’t think its our scene but our children plan to go.
Open Daily 9:30am to 7:30pm (except Christmas Day)
How to get there by car
Gwynedd LL48 6ER
Visit Wales have a great list of Gardens to have a look at their top Ten Gardens click. Here