Day one

Start the tour with a visit to Dyffryn Gardens (National Trust) just west of Cardiff.  Here you will find over 30 different themed areas amongst broad sweeping lawns including - the famous Pompeian garden, theatre garden, cloister garden, rose garden, and exceptional arboretum containing many rare trees. Group rates are available for pre booked groups. 7 and 14 day touring passes are also available for international visitors.

Margam Castle, Neath Port Talbot
Margam Park, Port Talbot

Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through 1000 acres of historic parklands and ornamental gardens at Margam Park. Visit the magnificent 18th century Orangery, Tudor-Gothic style Victorian Mansion House, and 12th century Chapter House. Look out for the deer herd roaming through the grounds.

Approx. distance: Dyffryn Gardens to Margam Park - 28.5 miles (45.8kms)
Approx. driving time: 35 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Swansea

Day two

Today starts with a visit to The National Botanic Gardens of Wales at Llanarthne. This is the first botanic garden in the UK - dedicated to conserving plant species. It is set in 600 acres of 18th century parkland with exotic flowers and foliage, lakes, waterfalls and cascades. The centrepiece is its impressive great glasshouse – the world's largest single span glass structure.  Discount rates are available for groups of ten or more.

From here it's just a short drive to Aberglasney House and Gardens. Described by many as The 'Garden lost in time' - it is a jewel in the British gardens' crown. Covering approximately 9 acres, including two woodlands, it has a unique Elizabethan and Jacobean cloister garden. Group rates are available and there are special group tours including history tours and tours with the Head Gardener. The garden also offers an exclusive evening admission and tour with the Head Gardener.

Carreg Cennen Castle, Carmarthenshire
Carreg Cennen Castle

End the day on a romantic note by exploring Wales' most dramatically sited Carreg Cennen castle. It sits on a limestone crag 300 ft above a sheer drop to the river Cennen below – so be prepared for a steep climb to the top. Discount rates are available for groups of fifteen or more.

Approx. distance: NBGW to Carreg Cennen via Aberglasney - 20 miles (32.2kms)
Approx. driving time: 50 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Llandeilo, Carmarthen

Day three

Today is an optional day visiting Pembrokeshire otherwise continue to Llanerchaeron. There are a variety of gardens to visit in Pembrokeshire and we recommend that you choose a selection of the following: Your first stop is Upton Castle Gardens in Pembrokeshire. The delightful grounds encompass 35 acres of parkland, an Arboretum - home to a collection of rare and exotic trees, formal gardens, Victorian walled garden, and medieval chapel. It's particularly noted for its camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. 

If you have time visit the nearby 13th century Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, one of Wales' lesser known gems.

Picton Castle Gardens Near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire
Picton Castle Gardens

Just outside Haverfordwest is Picton Castle Gardens & Gallery, 40 acres of magnificent gardens, which include woodland and a walled garden with an extensive collection of culinary and medicinal herbs. A highlight is The Bluebell Walk – which cover the floor like a thick blue carpet.

Approx. distance: Upton Castle to Picton Castle 16 miles (25.7kms)
Approx. driving time: 30 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Cardigan

Day four

Dyffryn Fernant Garden is located 3 miles from Fishguard under the Preseli uplands. It provides 6 acres of a modern garden which contains natural, exotic and stylish plants. Refreshments can be offered from the main house. Groups of up to 20 are welcome and private tours can be arranged, both with a guided tour. Minibuses and small coaches (up to 30 seater) can gain access to the property. There is a layby on the main road for larger coaches with a minibus transfer for the remaining half a mile for a fee.

Your last stop is Llanerchaeron, an unusual National Trust property just outside Aberaeron. This 18th century Welsh gentry estate has survived virtually unaltered for years – so be prepared to be taken back to bygone times. Highlights include the working organic farm and large walled kitchen garden, which has retained its original layout.

Approx. distance: Dyffryn Fernant to Llanerchaeron 40 miles (64.8kms)
Approx. driving time: 1 hour
Overnight suggestion: Aberaeron, Lampeter

Please check opening times with venues direct as opening days/seasons may vary.

Visit the South Wales Gardens website for more ideas.

Related stories