Gardens in north Wales
Bodnant Gardens, Conwy
At Bodnant Gardens there are a number of different gardens all rolled into one. Bodnant is said to be one of the finest gardens in the world. There are commanding views across the Conwy valley to the peaks of Snowdonia. Probably most famous for the yellow flowered Laburnam Arch that flowers late May / early June each year although much to see throughout the year.
Penrhyn Castle, Bangor
Penrhyn Castle and its garden enjoy magnificent views over the Menai Strait. The garden extends to a full 60 acres and comprises many different environments, including open parkland, woods, formal gardens which includes a shrub collection and even a semi-tropical area. Head Gardener Walks can be arranged on request.
Plas Brondanw Gardens, Llanfrothen, Gwynedd
A garden created by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, aiming to provide a series of dramatic and romantic prospects inspired by the great gardens of Italy, with many architectural features and acres of topiary.
Plas Newydd, Anglesey
The fine spring gardens offer a range of wild flowers and shrubs and a delightful woodlands walk. There are magnificent views of the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia and Menai Straits from the grounds. Head Gardener Walks can be arranged on request.
Surrounding the impressive Italianate village are 70 acres of subtropical forest known as The Gwyllt (Wildwood in Welsh) and includes some of Britain's largest trees, secret gardens, castle ruins and rare flowers.
Gardens in mid Wales
Powis Castle and Garden, Powys
This world famous garden has Italian and French influences retaining original statues. The garden overhung with enormous clipped yew trees, shelters rare and tender plants in colourful herbaceous borders. Private garden tours with senior gardeners can be arranged subject to availability and may incur a cost.
Gardens in south Wales
This garden lost in time is set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney Gardens cover approximately 9 acres, including two woodlands. Aberglasney can offer behind the scenes, out of hours and specialist tours by arrangement and the Café can also cater in the evenings.
Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan
With more than 55 acres, the Pompeian garden and other Edwardian features include a paved court, reflecting pool, theatre garden, Italianate terraces, cloister garden, rose garden, lavender court, vine walk, alpine garden and arboretum.
Margam Country Park, Neath
Margam Park and its Orangery, in 850 acres of historic parklands, is a tranquil picturesque garden of serenity. The park is open all year round.
National Botanic Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire
The National Botanic Garden was created to develop a viable world-class botanical garden, dedicated to the research and conservation of biodiversity and its sustainable utilization, and to lifelong learning and enjoyment of the visitor. With prior notice they can offer behind-the-scene garden tours. Themes could include Sustainability; Horticulture, Education; Science; Library/Archive; History and Heritage; Farming. The British Bird of Prey Centre is also housed here with daily flying displays at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm of kestrels, hawks, and eagles. Visitors discover a sense of calm when visiting the Japanese Garden 'Sui ou tei' which refers to the national flowers of Japan and Wales (the cherry blossom and the daffodil). The garden was given a permanent home here from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and was rebuilt here in 2001. Another highlight is the tropical Butterfly House inside the double walled garden, which is full of tropical butterflies from rainforests around the world.
Picton Castle Gardens, Pembrokeshire
Here there is 40 acres of magnificent gardens, including woodland and a walled garden, with an extensive collection of culinary and medicinal herbs.
Situated in the heart of Swansea, this impressive tropical hot house has a computer-controlled environment, houses a horticultural box of delights. Three distinct climatic zones take visitors from tropical rainforests to deserts.
Upton Castle Gardens, Pembrokeshire
The garden has a number of gardens all rolled into one. With 35 acres of garden there’s plenty to see. The arboretum is surrounded by woodland leading down to the tidal Cleddau estuary.
One Historic Garden
One Historic Garden is a collection of seven glorious parks, gardens and woodlands in South and West Wales, united by the fascinating story they each have to tell. Recently restored to their original splendour and offering new visitor attractions and facilities, the gardens warmly welcome group visits.
Free/discounted entry is offered to groups at the seven gardens: Aberglasney Gardens, Bryngarw House and Country Park, Colby Woodland Garden, Cwmdonkin Park, Margam Country Park, Penllergare Valley Woods and Scolton Manor.
The gardens offer lovely walks, inspirational planting, beautifully restored architecture plus tea and cake with a view. Soak up the scents of a flower-filled walled garden; spot an exquisite painted gazebo; stroll through a medieval cloister garden; marvel at the UK’s longest orangery or relax in a jewel-coloured Japanese garden.
Private evening tours of Aberglasney with the head gardener followed by supper; as well as visits to the Honey Kitchen and Bee Keeping Centre where Scolton Manor’s golden harvest will be produced and bottled. Group tours of Penllergare Valley Woods are also available - hear the story of this sleeping beauty and how it is being brought back to life.
Other highlights include afternoon tea and a guided tour of Colby Woodland Garden and a wild food foraging walk at Bryngarw Park. Have fun spotting the locations in Margam Country Park which feature in TV’s Dr Who, Merlin and Da Vinci’s Demons or enjoy an outdoor play at Cwmdonkin Park.
Visiting private gardens
The majority of private gardens in Wales are part of the National Gardens Scheme, a charitable trust. In addition to their published opening dates many gardens will open by appointment. Details of these gardens can be found in the annual ‘Yellow Book’ or on the National Garden Scheme website.
Use the ‘Garden Finder’ tool to find gardens presented in the following ‘county’ areas:
- Cambrian Coast: Anglesey, Aberconwy, Gwynedd, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire & Carmarthenshire.
- North Wales: Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Wrexham.
- Powys: Breconshire, Montgomery and Radnor.
- Glamorgan & Gwent: Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, Newport, Neath-Port Talbot & Swansea Bay.
The National Gardens Scheme County Organisers are useful contacts who may be able to assist you in finding private gardens suitable for your clients. Some may be able to provide a bookings/guide service for an appropriate fee (note this would be on a private independent basis, not associated with the National Gardens Scheme).
National Gardens Scheme County Organisers
Gwynedd & Anglesey
Hazel Bond +44 (0) 1407 831354
Mrs Pat Causton +44 (0)1974 272619
Carmarthenshire & Pembrokeshire
Jackie Batty +44 (0) 1437 741115
Mrs Rosamund Davies +44 (0) 1656 880048
Cathy Davies +44 (0) 1291 672625
- North East Wales: (Flintshire, Denbighshire, Wrexham & Conwy)
Jane Moore +44 (0)7769 046317
- Powys South
Christine Carrow +44 (0)1591 620461
Susan Paynton +44 (0)1686 650531
For even more information about Gardens in Wales, visit the Royal Horticultural Society website.