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700 267 Gerddi Bodnant Garden

Portmeirion

Minffordd
Penrhyndeudraeth
Gwynedd
LL48 6ER
Toll Gate 01766 772311
Reservations 01766 770000
196 Portmeirion2
Portmeirion is as much about the gardens as it is about Clough William-Ellis’ Italianate architecture. Or cult ‘60s TV show The Prisoner, for that matter. The village was opened in 1926, but the gardens are much older than this. In fact, conifers, Wellingtonia and Himalayan Firs from the mid-1800s are still here. The gardens have been added to since, and now enjoy a cult following all of their own. Y Gwyllt, meaning ‘the wild’, has an unusually warm climate, which means species like Gunnera manicata (usually found in the Brazilian rainforest) and tender scented Rhododendrons (usually found in conservatories) are going wild. Along with probably the largest willow-like Maytenus boaria in the UK.

Plas Tan-y-Bwlch 

Blaenau Ffestiniog 
Gwynedd 
LL41 3YU
01766 772 600

 

196 150 Plas Tan-y-Bwlch (280 214)
You’d expect the gardens of the Snowdonia National Park Environmental Studies Centre to be something special. And they are. The 18th century mansion and gardens fell into the hands of the National Park Authority in the 1960s. Today, it’s one of only 2 such centres in the UK. Not your average study centre, Plas Tan y Bwlch. You don’t have to be a student at the Centre to enjoy the 13 acre gardens, either. They’re open to everyone. The higher parts of the gardens have formal terraces and a water garden, a Japanese garden, rhododendron and azalea walks, a fern nursery and a wildlife garden. With a mix of native and exotic plants, ornamental shrubs and coniferous trees. Some of which were planted in Victorian times. They’re surrounded by oak woodland with views of the valley of the river Dwyryd below. There’s a network of walks and paths through the woodland gardens and semi-wild areas, too. Which, not-surprisingly, are bristling with birds, insects and small mammals.

Plas Brondanw

Llanfrothen
Gwynedd
LL48 6SW
07880 766741
Sir Clough William-Ellis inherited the house and gardens in 1908. And when he wasn’t busy at his day job, the project at Plas Brondanw took up all his spare time. “A passion, and obsession if you like” he wrote. At only two acres it’s small. But it’s perfectly formed. Hidden up a single-track lane, it’s like a diminutive private version of Portmeirion. Clipped topiary of box and yew is everywhere. Kept low for regular glimpses of the mountains. Towering Italian cypress divide the sloping garden into a series of rooms. No ostentatious borders here, though. Mostly understated planting of hydrangeas, ferns and the like. With some of Portmeirion’s home-bred rhododendrons. And just like the gardens at his more famous creation, Portmeirion, Plas Brondanw has decorative painted metalwork, ponds and statues. And a folly. Well, did you expect any less? Climb the stairs of the lookout tower for one of the best views around.

Caerau Uchaf

Sarnau
Bala
Gwynedd
LL23 7LG
01678 530493

150 115 Caerau Uchaf
Caerau Uchaf has the highest private garden open to the pubic in North Wales at over 100ft. The Gardens were started in 1994 and are being added to all of the time. They are the home of Toby and Stephanie Hickish of "Summers Gardens" award winning Garden Designers, always happy to give advice or talk to keen gardeners.

"We have 3 or 4 acres of different gardens, rhododendrons and azaleas, woodland walks and much more. We have a Cafe serving excellent home-made teas and cakes and really good lunches".

Gwydir Castle

Llanrwst
Conwy
LL26 0PN
01492 641 687
The historic gardens at Gwydir Castle are amongst the very few in Wales accorded Grade 1 listed status.  They represent an important example of the formal Renaissance garden of the Tudor and Stuart periods, with later overlays and plantings from the nineteenth century.  As well as two fine 16th century garden arches and associated walls and terraces, there are many fine early trees, including fourteen pre-1700 yews and three surviving Cedars of Lebanon from the original twelve said to have been planted in honour of King Charles I's wedding to the French Princess, Henrietta Maria in 1625.

The Old Dutch Garden is famous for its yew avenue of 22 huge yew trees, while the Knot Garden, in the Courtyard, was laid out in 1828 by Sir Charles Barry, the famous architect, in the form of a Tudor Rose.

The fine wisteria, which adorns the Hall Range was planted in 1828, the same year that peacocks are claimed to have been introduced to the gardens.  Gwydir's sweeping views and formal vistas make it one of the most romantic gardens in Wales.

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