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From GBP 570
During your week in Wales you can visit some of the very best gardens and stately homes in the country. Built from as early as the 18th century, these magnificent buildings and surrounding grounds are incredibly picturesque and peaceful with fascinating histories.
Experience some gardens with a difference, where you can find plants and plots you would never associate with Wales. You can visit ‘Happy Valley’ – a tiered garden home to a number of rare tropical plants, the hidden gardens of Plas Cadnant on the beautiful island of Anglesey and the spring garden and Australasian arboretum overlooking the Menai Straight.
In addition to gardens and properties, there is a lot to see as you travel through the Welsh country roads. Such as the UNESCO heritage site Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a marvel of engineering this amazing structure stands tall in North East Wales and is well worth a visit. Why not visit some of the many castles that Wales is famous for too? These impressive buildings and ruins are steeped in a fascinating history and many have their own fair share of fantastic gardens and exotic plants.
Ideal for avid gardeners, historians and casual holiday makers alike, this tour ensures a relaxing break with time to appreciate your beautiful surroundings.
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Day 1: Arrival in Wales
First make your way to the picturesque North East of Wales. Here you can visit Erddig House and Gardens, an atmospheric house featuring 1,200-acre Country Park with formal canals, avenues, walled gardens and late-eighteenth century park. The nearby Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is also well worth a stop. From here travel to Llandudno, a Victorian coastal resort complete with promenade and Britain’s only cable-hauled tramway.
Day 2: Llandudno and surrounding area
Today spend some time exploring Llandudno. You could first take a ride on and the Great Orme tramway and have some lunch before visiting Bodysgallen Hall and Gardens in the afternoon. Why not visit the so-called ‘Happy Valley’, a beautiful tiered garden with many rare tropical plants and spectacular views? It is nestled in a sheltered hollow on the eastern side of the Great Orme. Listed by CADW as a public park it was dedicated to the town of Llandudno by Lord Mostyn in 1887. The lower slopes of the park consist mainly of informal gardens. Nearby you will also find the town of Conwy, famous for its impressive UNESCO World Heritage Castle.
Day 3: Llandudno > Caernarfon
This morning travel along the coast to Penrhyn Castle and Gardens, an enormous 19th-century neo-Norman castle that sits between Snowdonia and the Menai Strait. The (60 acres) of grounds include parkland, an exotic tree and shrub collection as well as a Victorian walled garden. In the afternoon, take your time to visit Bodnant Gardens. The award-winning Bodnant Gardens, winner of "The National Trust Gardens Award" and voted "The Favourite Garden in the Country" by Daily Telegraph readers, and featuring formal terraces, wooded valley and streams.
Day 4: Caernarfon and surrounding area
This morning travel over the Menai Strait on to the Island of Anglesey, whose long stretches of coastline that have been declared Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Spend the morning enjoying Beaumaris and visiting Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens, located amidst the Menai Bridge and Beaumaris. In 1996 work began on the restoration of the historic garden and grounds, the home of the Price family since 1804. The gardens have undergone a spectacular transformation and are being restored to their former glory. In the afternoon, visit Plas Newydd Country House and gardens, set on the shores of the Menai Strait amidst breathtakingly beautiful scenery. There's a fine spring garden and Australasian arboretum, with an understorey of shrubs and wild flowers, an italianate-style summer terrace and massed hydrangeas which give autumn colour. A woodland walk gives access to a marine path beside the Menai Strait. From the house and grounds, the views across the Menai Strait to the mountains of Snowdonia are simply stunning.
Day 5: Caernarfon > Aberystwyth
Today travel down the coast of North Wales through the stunning Snowdonia National Park. Stop at Plas Tan Y Blwch, a 13 acre picturesque Victorian garden that is situated in the Vale of Ffestiniog overlooking the small village of Maentwrog. Predominantly a woodland garden the gardens have a large variety of Rhododendron and Azalea species along with a large ornamental pond and sweeping lawns and a Sensory garden all of which are overlooked by a large Victorian mansion that is currently run as a Study Centre. From here, if time allows, we recommend a visit to the unique coastal resort of Portmeirion. Based on a Mediterranean village, it was opened in 1926, but the gardens are much older than this. In fact, conifers, Wellingtonia and Himalayan Firs from the mid-1800s are still here. The gardens have been added to since, and now enjoy a cult following all of their own. Both have undergone a major renovation programme since 1980, with much clearing, restructuring (especially the lakes, which have been re-dug and reshaped) and extensive replanting. Continue on from here to your accommodation for the night in the bustling University town of Aberystwyth.
Day 6: Aberystwyth and surrounding area
Today spend the day exploring the county of Ceredigion. You can take a steam train through the stunning Rheidol Valley up to the nearby Devil’s Bridge which is shrouded in myth and features amazing waterfalls which you can spend some time at, or travel to the Hafod Estate, which dates back to the late 18th century. This historic location offers spectacular views, as well as waterfalls and woodland walks. It is a haven for rare plants and wildlife.
Day 7: Departure journey
Begin your onward journey after breakfast. If time allows, stop along the way at Welshpool which boasts two must-sees for keen gardeners! One of which being the Powis Castle and Gardens with a world famous terraced garden, overhung with clipped yews, shelters rare and tender plants with an Italian and French influence. This medieval castle sits high up, overlooking the stunning landscape.