A 3-Day tour around the gardens of North Wales
Start your journey at 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 5 Italianate terraces and manicured lawns leading down to a wooded valley with a sparkling stream running through a secluded wild garden.
Why not pop into one of the friendly pubs 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 Menai views. The spring displays of acid-loving azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons are out of this world.
Approx. distance: Bodnant Garden to Plas Newydd 25 miles (40.2kms)
Approx. driving time: 35 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Anglesey, Caernarfon – search for accommodation
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.
Approx. distance: Plas Brondanw to Plas Tan y Bwlch via Portmeirion - 11 miles (17.7kms)
Approx. driving time: 25 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Porthmadog, Portmeirion, Bala, Llangollen
On the east side of North Wales, near Wrexham, you will find 2 national trust properties - Chirk Castle and Erddig.
Chirk Castle 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 with a terrace with views over 9 counties!
Erddig’s 18th century country house 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.
Approx. distance: Chirk to Erddig – 10 miles (16kms) Erddig to Powis Castle - 31.5 miles (50.6kms)
Approx. driving time: 50 minutes
Overnight suggestion: Llangollen, Wrexham, Welshpool
Read more on gardens in North Wales
Please check opening times with venues direct as opening days/seasons may vary.