Gardens of West Wales
West Wales has an abundance of great gardens to choose from. Combining beautiful flower beds with unusual specimens and amazing historic sites, you’ll never fail to be relaxed and uplifted in this part of the world...
Opened in the Towy Valley at the start of the millennium, this world-renowned centre is a major attraction and an important conservation and study facility. The centrepiece is the vast Great Glasshouse – home to rows of exoticism from as far away as Australia, South America, California and the Mediterranean.
Another amazing restoration project has taken place in the Tywi valley, where ten acres of gardens contain one of the most diverse collections of plants in the world. The cloister, from the Elizabethan and Jacobean period, is exceptional, and the formal gardens contain an abundance of pools, parapets and arches.
Fancy the sound of Elephant Rhubarb and American skunk cabbage? This is the place. There are also wildflower meadows, Japanese bridges, heather beds, towers, chapels and gazebos here, although these gardens are officially famous for their National Collections of Pieris, Enkianthus and Rhododendrons. Look out for the cottage and bluebell wood.
Plantasia is a huge adventure site, and its themed zones and mazes make it a particularly good place to take the kids. Its botanic and animal collections are as good as you’ll find anywhere, and the hothouse is a great place to find out all about the magic of plants.
An informal woodland site of about eight acres, Colby has bluebells, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas aplenty, as well as Japanese maples just for good measure. The meadows and gardens belie the industrial past of the place, and a range of fun activities (den building, anyone?) are often organised here.
Alpine and bamboo gardens and daffodil beds are a few of the spaces to look out for along the three acres here. A series of gardens have each been given their own quirky design, leading to a “bogless” bog and quiet gardens, all inspired by the surrounding agriculture and hills.
Flanked by the Cleddau Estuary, the 40 acres of Picton find space for trees as old as time, mazes, ferns, wild flowers and rare species. The walled garden, where a fountain, arches, helpfully labelled medicinal herbs and colourful flowers dwell, is one corner to look out for during the summer.
Small and definitely singular, this place was named after a Medieval ruler, and it features a series of trees representing the laws he presided over in Wales centuries ago. Find out why the family clan was all-important back then, and visit the Interpretative Centre – built in the style of the era.
There are eight acres of tranquil lakes and flowers to enjoy within Hilton Court, overlooking West Pembrokeshire’s St Brides Bay and surrounded by dense forests with a thriving biodiversity. Spot the waterfalls and experience the resident solar domes – tropical refuges of year-round warmth for their exotic inhabitants.
The gardens and landscape at Margam Park are Grade Ι listed; the long vistas have evolved since medieval times and are adored with beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers. The Orangery garden has a collection of interesting trees including Tulip Trees, a Cork Oak and cut leaved Beech. Other gardens at the park include the Broadwalk Steps with glorious rhododendrons, a Bamboo Colleaction and Japanese Garden.