Wales is renowned for its wild landscapes and ancient architecture; however, these five meticulously-maintained open spaces prove that it should also be famous for its gardens and world-class horticultural artistry.
Powis Castle and Garden in Welshpool
It is impossible to miss the striking medieval castle, but the stunning gardens below refuse to let such magnificent architecture overwhelm its unique beauty and embracing atmosphere. One of the most theatrical outside spaces in Wales, there are formal Edwardian and Italianate terraces to explore, sprawling woodland and the famous 30ft-high yew hedge. It is also safe to say that this garden is truly green, as it is impressively self-sufficient. It generates more energy than it uses, keeping all its plant life happy and healthy using innovative solar and ground source technologies.
Set in magnificent grounds on the spectacular shores of the Menai Strait with stunning views of Snowdonia, there is plenty for all the family to see and do at the Marquess of Anglesey’s ancestral home, which was redesigned in the 18th century by James Wyatt. Stop to admire Rex Whistler’s famous romantic mural before browsing the exhibits in the military museum and stepping outside to stroll though some of the expansive woodland, parkland and exquisitely-maintained gardens. You will find everything from tender exotics to richly-coloured Mediterranean plants, with atmospheric trees in the Australasian arboretum.
You may recognise Aberglasney from A Garden Lost in Time, a BBC television series that followed the restoration of the grade II listed mansion and gardens. In the heart of the grounds stands a magnificent traditional Elizabethan cloister garden, but this is not all Aberglasney has to offer. Step back in time and walk through the atmospheric Yew Tunnel, explore the unique Ninfarium, and stop to admire a statuesque stone archway that once formed part of a gatehouse. There is also a dedicated Asiatic garden with plants from Japan, China and Tibet, and other walled and sunken gardens with their own secrets to uncover.
This National Trust grade I listed castle was constructed between 1295 and 1310 under the instruction of Edward I, with the castle forming an integral part of the king’s North Wales fortresses. The gardens are every bit as stunning as you would expect. With over five acres to explore, you will feel truly enchanted and refreshed after a wander through the beautiful rose, shrub and kitchen gardens, admiring the seasonal planting the groundskeepers work hard to maintain all year round.
Erddig in Wrexham
This stunning 18th century country house is surrounded by 1,200 acres of beautifully-designed and maintained land. A dedicated team of gardeners has worked hard to restore the overgrown gardens to their former glory, and has done a magnificent job. Now a grade I listed garden, you can learn about the history, the designs and the painstaking restoration that took place and get a taste of what goes into conserving and managing the space so that it is somewhere everyone can enjoy. Home to a national collection of ivies and rare fruit trees, and many other secrets waiting to be uncovered, Erddig is a truly special place that will quite simply take your breath away.