Gardens of West Wales
Tucked away in the rolling countryside of Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire are some fine parks and gardens, both large and small; ancient and modern. The centrepiece of our tour is the National Botanic Garden of Wales, the first garden of its type to be created in the United Kingdom for 200 years. This spectacular re-interpretation of the historical garden blends the careful restoration of the historic, double-walled garden with Norman Foster’s Great Greenhouse, the largest single span glasshouse in the world, where mere panes of glass separate the familiar green hills of Wales from a panoramic sweep of warm, Mediterranean scenery.
By contrast Aberglasney is a superb 16th/17th century garden, which was discovered after 50 years of neglect and has been restored to produce a garden with immense appeal, including a unique Elizabethan/Jacobean cloister and parapet walk. We visit two superb woodland gardens, at Picton Castle and Upton Castle along with Cae Hir, which has established itself as one of Wales’ best loved gardens. Singleton Botanic Gardens, home to a spectacular herbaceous border.
We also visit some interesting private gardens, including Dyffryn Fernant, built from scratch by Christina Shand and Lamphey Walled Garden, which demonstrates how quickly a garden can be restored and improved, and round off our tour in the tranquil surroundings of Dyffryn Botanic Gardens have also been recently restored to Thomas Mawson’s original 1904 design with the help of lottery funding.
Coach Bays on Tothill Street, Westminster
Outside Sainsbury’s, Jcn 12, M4
Holiday Inn Express, Frankland Rd
Bus stop outside DoubleTree Hilton, Redcliffe Way
Bus stop outside Anglia House, Derrys Cross Roundabout
Bus stop, South Street, outside Newham Stores
Bus stop on Castle Way, outside Mecca Bingo
Gordano services (Bristol)
Coach parking bays, Welcome Break Gordano
Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £195
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Day 1 -
We depart from your pick-up point and travel west to Swansea and Singleton Park Botanic Gardens, located within the old walled garden which was once part of the estate of Lord Swansea. The gardens contain many fine specimens of rare and exotic plants. A wonderful feature on entering from the north is the herbaceous border, which was originally planted in 1921. The stunning plant collections and creative bedding schemes are truly breath-taking.
We continue into Pembrokeshire and visit Lamphey Walled Garden, which has been extensively renovated since 2005. With several hundred different species and cultivars it is a plantsperson's garden with a very natural feel as wildlife are wholly encouraged with attention given to plant selection, peat free compost and natural fertiliser being used and wild areas where biodiversity can flourish. Over 40 Salvia species fill a large border with vibrant colour, old roses, lavender, sunflowers, grasses and ferns adorn other twists and turns in the garden. Espalier apples and pears plus fan trained plums, almond, apricot and cherries are starting to bear fruit after five years of development. A heritage vegetable garden grown naturally provides interest and food all season long.
Following this we transfer to our hotel.
Day 2 -
This morning following breakfast we will visit Picton Castle. The gardens comprise 40 acres of some of the most beautiful woodland gardens in West Wales. Discover woodland walks, a maze and rhododendrons. The Walled Garden has an elegant fountain, rose strewn arches and a door that leads to the fernery, a tranquil and fascinating habitat for less hardy fern species.
In the afternoon we visit the gardens of Upton Castle, which consist of 35 acres of listed historic gardens, surrounded by ancient woodlands containing a number of trees listed as veterans. Within the gardens there are spectacular herbaceous borders, a delightful formal rose garden and a fascinating, traditional 19th century walled garden, now being restored to its former use as a kitchen garden. Rare trees and shrubs abound throughout the gardens and include a stunning collection of rhododendrons, tree Magnolias and Camellias whilst the arboretum lists amongst its many unusual specimens a large handkerchief tree, Davidia involucrata, Drymis winteri, Cunninghamia and the fern leafed beech Fagus heterophylla.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 3 -
After breakfast we depart for Dyffryn Fernant Garden, a plantsman’s garden, created from scratch by Christina Shand and David Allum. They have made a number of ‘rooms’ including an azalea bank, a bog garden and a fernery and camellia walk. These rooms are punctuated by attractive sculptures plus mouthwatering displays of herbaceous shrubs.
We cross briefly into Ceridigion (Cardiganshire) for our afternoon visit to the gardens of Cae Hir, which since it first opened to the public in 1989 has become one of Wales' best loved gardens. Owned, managed and maintained by two generations of the Akkermans family who first moved over from Holland in 1983, the garden is a love affair between nature and nurture. Cae Hir has become synonymous with blending the wild and the cultivated, of using ordinary materials in extraordinary ways and of thinking 'outside the box' in its approach to garden design.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 4 -
Following breakfast we will travel to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in the exquisite location of a 568 acre estate in the heart of Carmarthenshire. Among the innovative and informative features here are the Great Greenhouses (the largest single span glasshouse in the world – focusing on temperature species, many of them endangered); the oval walled garden; the water discovery centre and the herbaceous boardwalk.
We continue to Aberglasney, set in the beautiful Towy valley. This is a superb 16th/17th century garden, which was rediscovered after 50 years of neglect and has been restored to produce a garden with immense appeal by a young and energetic team of gardeners. Set within nine acres are six different spaces with a rich and diverse collection of plants, including three walled gardens and the unique Elizabethan/Jacobean cloister; a walled garden of concentric herbaceous beds and a parapet walk.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Dinner|
Day 5 -
This morning after breakfast we will check out of our hotel. First today we will visit The Boathouse in Laugharne, where the poet Dylan Thomas lived and worked in his later years and which provided many of the characters featured in his poetic works. The house is now owned by the local council and is dressed in authentic 1950s style, including some of the original furniture, with a recording of Thomas’s distinctive voice playing in the background.
Our final visit is to the magnificent Dyffryn Botanic Gardens, a Grade 1 listed Edwardian garden designed by landscape architect Thomas Mawson displaying a series of garden ‘rooms’ enclosed within clipped Yew hedges. There is something to see year round at Dyffryn – a Roman garden; Japanese garden; fountains and pools and an arboretum containing trees from all around the world including the original Acer Griseum collected by ‘Chinese Wilson’. Dyffryn is one of the best 100 gardens in the UK as selected by the British Tourism Association. A light lunch is included here.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Availability|
|5 September 2022||BGWW220905||5 September 2022 (Monday)||9 September 2022 (Friday)||£745
|£100||£195||Book your trip|