Gardens in North Wales
Bodnant Garden, near Conwy
At Bodnant Garden 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 or early June each year although there is much to see throughout the year. Group rates are available for 15 or more and booking is essential. Tour guide and driver are admitted free of charge. More information on group visits.
Penrhyn Castle and Garden, Bangor
Penrhyn Castle and 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 and a fantasy, fixtures and fittings tour can be arranged on request.
Plas Brondanw Gardens, Llanfrothen, near Porthmadog
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. For groups of 12 or more, guided tours can be arranged in advance.
Plas Cadnant, Menai Bridge, Anglesey
The ‘hidden garden’ at Plas Cadnant is being restored to its former glory. Restoration work continues to unearth its secrets but there is still plenty to explore in the grounds. Clients can visit the secret valley garden with its waterfalls, the upper ancient woodland and a walled garden. There is a tea room onsite and space for coach parking. Private tours for groups can be arranged on request.
Plas Newydd House and Garden, 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 Strait from the grounds. Guided tours of the house and garden are available by special arrangement. Private out of hours tours can also be arranged. There are discount rates for groups of 15 or more when pre-booked. A dedicated coach parking area is available near the reception where the group will be met by the team.
Plas Newydd, Llangollen
The garden has 10 acres of ground to explore. The formal garden is full of colourful blooms and even when the flowers are gone, clients can enjoy the topiary and riverside walk. The autumnal colours can provide a spectacular walk around the Dell where the summer house steps and heritage handrail have been restored to its original look. The stable block tea room offers cake and refreshments. Tours of the house can be arranged for groups of 15 or more with a complimentary heritage assistant offering talks of the house, its occupants and famous visitors. Coaches may drop off their clients and park in the nearby Market Street.
Surrounding the impressive Italianate village are 70 acres of sub tropical forest known as The Gwyllt, Wildwood in Welsh, and includes some of Britain's largest trees, secret gardens, castle ruins and rare flowers. Discount rates are available for groups of 12 or more. A dedicated coach park is available close to the entrance. There is free entry to the village for the tour guide and driver. A voucher for complimentary refreshments to use in the Town Hall café is also offered to the driver.
Gardens in Mid Wales
Glansevern Hall Gardens, Welshpool
Located on the banks of the River Severn, there are 25 acres of gardens to explore. Glansevern Hall is a Greek revival house with a walled garden, Victorian courtyard and Georgian Orangery. There is a bird hide on the edge of the river, reached by walking through the seasonal wildflower meadow. Clients can take longer walks toward the lake where they will encounter an iron footbridge and gazebo, the water garden and may be lucky to spot the resident kingfishers along with other breeds of waterfowl. There is a café and gift shop on-site. There are reduced rates for groups of 12 or more and coach parking is available. Catering can also be provided. The garden can be opened exclusively on closed days for large groups.
Gregynog, Tregynon, Powys
Set in the rural heart of Montgomeryshire, the Grade 1 listed house and gardens is one of Wales' premier country estates. The 750 acres of ground was awarded the status of National Nature Reserve due to its historic significance and design. Clients can not only enjoy the seasoned colour and beauty but also the fountains, statues, trees and colour-coded woodland walks, where they can discover a cottage, painting shed and birdwatching hide. There is a courtyard café open to visitors from Thursday to Sunday.
Powis Castle and Garden, Welshpool
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 East Wales
Dewstow Garden & Grottoes, Caldicot
The garden is landscaped with beautiful paths leading to pools, waterfalls and decorative beds. Another of its main attractions is the labyrinth of tunnels and grottoes beneath the garden. Group visits of 10 or more must be pre-booked which can be arranged on most dates at a discounted rate. Guided tours are not offered so your clients will have the freedom to explore once they receive a personal greeting on arrival. Guides and coach drivers will receive free admission and the driver will also be offered complimentary refreshments.
Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas
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. Discounted rates apply to groups of 15 or more. Tours of the gardens and house can be arranged with at least one month's notice, and is subject to availability. Pre-booking is essential.
Llanover Garden, near Abergavenny
A private 18th century garden surrounding the birthplace of Lady Llanover in 1802 and opens to the public on special open days for charity. However, they welcome groups of 15-45 by prior arrangement from late March to end of October and offer a guided tour or a day course, free entry for coach driver and guide, free parking and catering options. They also offer a programme of talks. Once in Llanover village, do not follow the postcode as this will direct drivers down a narrow lane. Carry on a little further up the A4042 where opposite the bus stop is a pair of tall black iron gates which is the entrance. See Information for Tour Operators for more details.
Tredegar House, Newport
There are 90 acres of parkland and gardens to explore, along with a visit to the main house. A range of themed guided tours of the house and garden can be pre-booked. The garden tour will take your clients around three very different walled gardens with an expert enthusiastic gardener explaining the history and pointing out seasonal horticultural highlights. There is dedicated coach parking close to the entrance and tea rooms are on-site where pre-booked catering can be discussed when making a booking. A Group Visit Pack is available on the website which includes a suggested itinerary but check availability prior to completing the booking form.
Veddw House Garden, Monmouth
The quirky ornamental gardens are set over two acres, with a further two acres of forestry to explore. There are a variety of garden plots, all of which have a seating area to relax and enjoy the flowers, plants, wildlife and sculptured hedges. One of the highlights of the garden is the sinister 'black' reflecting pool. Group and coach party visits are offered by appointment only in the afternoons and evenings from May to September. Visit the website for important information about coach parking.
Wye Valley Sculpture Garden, Tintern
Winner of a Sustainable Venue award in 2018, the garden’s values are all about being organic and sustainable. Gemma Wood manages the garden and as a recognised national artist, her sculptures are a main feature, predominantly created from natural materials. Groups of 12 or more are welcome by prior appointment during the first two weeks of February and between June and August. A variety of refreshments can also be arranged. The garden is a three minute walk from the coach park.
Gardens in South West Wales
Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen
This garden is lost in time and is set in the beautiful Tywi Valley of Carmarthenshire. It covers approximately nine acres, including two woodlands. Discount are available for groups. The coach driver and tour guide receive free admission and a voucher to spend on a meal in the tea room. There are a range of tours available including a history tour, a Head Gardener tour and an exclusive evening tour with supper in the tea room. All tours must be pre-booked. The large coach park has easy access.
Clyne Gardens, Swansea
The gardens offer a variety of plants set in beautiful parkland and contains the finest rhododendron collection in Wales. The gardens are beautiful to visit all year round. Coach groups are welcome via prior arrangement.
Dyffryn Fernant Garden, Dinas, near Fishguard
Six acres of garden has been developed over the years under the Pembrokeshire Preseli Uplands. Modern, historic, exotic and natural, the garden has it all and has been designed with places to sit and enjoy from different perspectives and angles. Groups of 10 or more will receive a personal welcome by Christina, the garden’s owner, and will be available as a guide and for talks with the group. Access to the private car park can be gained by large minibuses. Coaches will need to park in the layby on the A487 and minibus transfers can be provided at an additional cost. For enquiries and bookings please contact directly.
Margam Country Park, near 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. Entry to the park is free although there is a small charge for parking, a different rate depending if it is a minibus or coach.
National Botanic Garden of Wales, Llanarthne
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.
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. In 2021 the Regency restoration project was completed which saw the restoration of a 0.9 mile (1.5 km) lake; a waterfall and a cascade; a new 350 metre (1148 ft) long dam built and six new bridges. Groups of 10 or more will receive a discounted rate. There is a dedicated coach park and drivers will receive free entry to the park and a meal voucher.
The British Bird of Prey Centre is also located here and offers daily flying displays of kestrels, hawks, and eagles. Clients can also book with Eagle Experience Wales in advance of arrival. This provides the unique opportunity to privately fly three of the largest birds of prey in the UK. There are three experiences run per day (two during winter) and up to 15 spectators can be added to the booking. The session run by a falconer lasts 1hr 45mins. Bookings include the entry fee to the botanic garden, a show, and tea and coffee.
Picton Castle Gardens, near Haverfordwest
Here there is 40 acres of magnificent gardens, including woodland and a walled garden, with an extensive collection of culinary and medicinal herbs. Reduced rates are available for groups of 10+ which includes entrance to the garden, galleries and a guided tour of the castle. Groups of 20 or more will be split in two by a window of 15min for each group. Should clients not wish to visit the castle, tickets are available to visit the gardens and galleries. A gift shop and restaurant is on-site. Pre-booking is advised. For more information and booking form, see their groups guide.
Situated in the heart of Swansea, this impressive tropical hot house has a computer controlled environment and houses a horticultural box of delights. Three distinct climatic zones take visitors from tropical rainforests to deserts.
Upton Castle Gardens, Cosheston
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. Pre-booked tours of the main garden can be arranged for groups of 12 which can include home made teas. Bookings can be requested via the online form.
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. Restored to their original splendour and offering new visitor attractions and facilities, the gardens warmly welcome group visits.
Free or 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 their annual publication or on the National Garden Scheme website.
The NGS website also provide a search 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).
For even more information about Gardens in Wales, visit the Royal Horticultural Society website.