10 of the best South Wales gardens

Reflecting the diverse nature of the area, the gardens of South Wales offer destinations of historical importance and a wealth of unforgettable sights, along with frequent exotic surprises and moments of scientific wonder.

  • Georgian mansion and lawns at Dyffryn Gardens
    Dyffryn Gardens, Glamorgan by fillbee

    Dyffryn is a set of intimate, highly individual gardens, set within 55 acres and overlooked by an Edwardian mansion. Relax and draw your own horticultural inspiration from its yew-lined borders, and imagine the sound of croquet being played on the nearby lawns more than 100 years ago.

  • A relatively new garden covering two acres, Brynderi offers wonderful views once you’ve made your way through the lawns, colourful topiary and specimen tree collection. Look out for the knot garden and kaleidoscopic central lawn circle, as well as the fruit trees and raised beds at the base of the slope.

  • Nurtons Garden in Tintern, Wye Valley
    Nurtons Garden in Tintern, Wye Valley by twoshortplanks

    Take your lawn-surveying hat off to this two and a half acre plant garden, because it’s spent 40 years as an organic garden in between regular visits from magazine photographers. Mediterranean plants thrive in its climate, and the herb garden has some medicinal soothers to share. This lush setting also features a pond.

  • The Alligator Grotto in Dewstow Gardens, Wye Valley
    The Alligator Grotto in Dewstow Gardens, Wye Valley by livin the dream*

    As you might expect, landscapers found quite a lot to work to do when these Edwardian gardens – buried under tons of soil after World War II – were rediscovered in 2000. Ponds, rills, a labyrinth of grottoes, ferneries and rock gardens now dot the seven-acre haven, transformed by an extensive restoration campaign.

  • Llanover Gardens.
    Llanover House Garden, Gwent by Llanover Gardens

    A spectacular 15 acre private garden imaginatively landscaped and skilfully planted by seven generations of the same family. Ponds, streams, bridges, lawns and flower beds give Llanover a joyful sense of adventure. The Black Welsh Mountain sheep introduced by Lady Llanover in the nineteenth century, continue to peacefully graze the parkland.

  • Fonmon Castle, Vale of Glamorgan

    Fonmon Castle, Vale of Glamorgan

    If the trees could speak, they’d have a tale or two to tell in the shadow of Fonmon Castle, which dates from 1200. And the gardens surrounding these old timbers aren’t bad either – the lawns are perfect for daydreaming rather than battling these days, complementing pristine beds and hedges.

  • Waterfall near Neath

    Gnoll Country Park, near Neath

    You’ve got 240 acres of land to pick from here, but perhaps the cascades and grottoes are the bits to really look out for. The cascades provide huge columns of tumbling water, flanked by plants, trees, shrubs and wildlife. The grotto was buried under a landslide during the 18th century.

  • Belle Vue Park in Newport, South Wales
    Belle Vue Park in Newport, South Wales

    Victoriana is rarely manifested as exquisitely as it is here. Lord Tredegar designed Belle Vue with a whole host of rockeries, bandstands, pavilions, streams, waterways, trees and more before he donated it more than a century ago. Magnolia blooms and autumnal splendour mark its changing seasons, accompanied by Victorian ironworks.

  • A view towards Tredegar House across the gardens

    Towards Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales

     by Russell Ede
    We could mention the 17th century mansion, owned by a hugely powerful family for 500 years, at the heart of this historic place. But for garden lovers, the three formal spaces – an orchard, an orangery and a cedar garden – are full of character, summoning that history within 90 parkland acres.
  • View over the gardens at Veddw House
    Veddw House Gardens, Wye Valley by rmtw

    Acclaimed garden designer Anne Wareham shaped this space with history in mind – one large parterre, for example, is based on a local map from 1842. The curvy hedges and planting schemes aim to reflect the rolling hills they lie in the shadow of, leading to a pool adored by visitors.

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