Start your journey on the east side of North Wales, near Wrexham, where you will find two National Trust properties.
The first is Chirk Castle which has been home to the Myddleton family for more than 500 years. The historic award-winning garden has clipped yews, herbaceous borders, shrub and rock gardens. There is a terrace with views over nine counties!
The second property is Erddig which is an 18th century country house and is one of Britain’s finest historic houses. The formal walled garden and romantic landscape park is home to the National Ivy Collection, a canal, pond, some rare fruit trees and 13 miles of footpaths.
If there’s time, visit Powis Castle and Garden in Welshpool. It has a world famous terraced garden, overhung with clipped yews, shelters rare and tender plants with a Italian and French influence. High on a rock above the terraces you’ll find the medieval castle.
Approximate distance: Chirk to Erddig – 10 miles (16kms) Erddig to Powis Castle - 31.5 miles (50.6kms)
Approximate driving time: 50min
Overnight suggestions: Llangollen, Wrexham or Welshpool
On the second day head along the coast to Conwy and the National Trust’s 100-acre Bodnant Garden - a ‘must see’ place for every true garden lover. The setting is breathtaking, with views down to the River Conwy and across to Snowdonia. Bodnant has five Italianate terraces and manicured lawns leading down to a wooded valley with a sparkling stream running through a secluded wild garden. Main picture.
Pop into one of the friendly pubs in Conwy for a snack before crossing the Menai Strait to another classic – Plas Newydd on Anglesey. Again, the position is stunning, with the garden offering fabulous views of the Menai Straits. The spring displays of acid-loving azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons are out of this world.
A short drive away is one of North Wales best kept secrets. Plas Cadnant has three gardens to explore, ideal for groups large and small. Restoration has been ongoing since 1996 to the grounds and garden where an upper woodland garden, secret valley garden and walled garden have been discovered. Exclusive guided tours and dining experience can be arranged.
Approximate distance: Bodnant Garden to Plas Newydd 25 miles (40.2kms) - Plas Newydd to Plas Cadnant 5 miles (8km)
Approximate driving time: 35min / 15min
Overnight suggestions: Anglesey or Caernarfon
Take the A4085 along the Aberglaslyn Pass through the rugged scenery of the Snowdonia National Park to Plas Brondanw Gardens and Portmeirion, both created by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis.
Plas Brondanw is a quirky Edwardian garden, divided into rooms – each surrounded by its own different shaped hedges. The outlook tower provides amazing views over Snowdonia and the sea. You’ll also find decorative painted metalwork, ponds and statues.
Portmeirion is nearby and is accessed from the A487 between Porthmadog and Penrhyndeudraeth. It’s an architectural fantasy with beautiful planting on a wooded hillside on its own peninsula. It’s also famous for being the filming location of the The cult TV series ‘The Prisoner’! This extraordinary village is surrounded by the wild ‘Gwyllt’ gardens which contain many rare Himalayan flowering trees.
Just a ten minutes drive takes you to Plas Tan y Bwlch Gardens, an ornamental garden surrounded by oak woodland and owned by Snowdonia National Park. The Victorian mansion is a study centre but the gardens are open to the public. The higher parts of the garden have formal terraces, a water garden, a Japanese garden, rhododendron, azalea walks and a wildlife garden.
Approximate distance: Plas Brondanw to Plas Tan y Bwlch via Portmeirion - 11 miles (17.7kms)
Approximate driving time: 25min
Overnight suggestions: Porthmadog, Portmeirion, Bala or Llangollen
Please check opening times with venues direct as opening days/seasons may vary.
Visit the Gardens North Wales website for more ideas.