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Beautiful, Beautiful Bodnant.
Bodnant Gardens (Nr Colwyn Bay, Wales)
Member Name: London222
Bodnant Gardens (Nr Colwyn Bay, Wales)
Date: 30/07/13, updated on 30/07/13 (34 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful gardens.
Disadvantages: Steep in places.
If you follow the signposts on the A55 to junction 19 a few miles south of Colwyn Bay, then you will discover one of the best gardens the British Isles has to offer. Snuggled amongst the slopes of the beautiful north Wales countryside is Bodnant Gardens. It is one of my favourite places and I usually visit several times a year.
The gardens are owned by the National Trust and are open to the public for most of the year except Christmas and Boxing Day. Certain areas of the garden are closed in late autumn and winter. Whenever you choose to go, however, there is always something of interest at Bodnant - whether you are a seasoned gardener who wants to browse the botanical collections or someone who just wants to admire the breath-taking beauty of the gardens and their landscape setting. There are eighty acres of fantastic trees and fabulous fauna; long winding walks and plenty of benches to stop and rest upon whilst admiring the views across the Conwy valley.
There is something to appeal to all tastes at Bodnant. In the formal Italianate style garden there is a large lily pond and a selection of roses which are lovely to walk through when in full bloom and their heady scent envelops you. In summer the trellises are covered in climbing plants and the borders are filled with lilies.
The National Trust website helpfully gives you an update on what flowers and shrubs are blooming in Bodnant so you know what to look out for. It's certainly somewhere you can take some really excellent camera shots.
Much of the garden is informal in nature. There are lots of trees and shrubs under-planted with spring flowering bulbs. These areas are also spectacular to visit in autumn as the leaves on the trees become a riot of colour. I have spent hours wandering beneath these leafy canopy's over the years and since the gardens are on the side of a valley - it makes for a good stretch of the legs in places.
The 'Dell' is my favourite part of the gardens. A river runs along the valley floor and there is a lovely waterfall by the bridge. Everything seems lush and green down there. It feels hidden away from the rest of the world. I have been there in spring, summer and autumn and always have an enjoyable walk. It feels sheltered and cool by the river with a multitude of trees rising up above you from the sides of the valley. There is a huge Sequoia tree which gives you a crick in the neck staring up into its branches.
As Bodnant is a National Trust property there are lots of events throughout the year you can attend. I like the fact that they have lots of things going on for children. This summer they are running a '50 things to do' promotion with something new to do and explore each day throughout the summer. These days with so many children so focused on technology and gaming it's good to see them getting interested in nature and roaming around outdoors. Adults can also attend special events such as a 'walk and wine evening.' It must be noted that some of these events must be booked ahead of time and there is often a small extra fee. Even dogs are allowed around Bodnant on selected dates. Check the website for details at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden.
The tearooms offer hot lunches and rolls, homemade cakes and puddings. There are also picnic benches around Bodnant's large car park which is set amongst woodland. There is a gift shop and plants for sale. The loos - as at most National Trust properties - are cleaned and maintained to a very high standard.
There is plenty to see in Bodnant to make a day of it - but should you want to move on there's plenty to do and see in the immediate area. You are a short drive away from the seaside towns of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay, The Great Orme Copper Mines at Great Orme, Llandudno; the Conwy Suspension Bridge; Penrhyn Castle in Bangor; Bodelwyddan Castle in Rhyl, Denbighshire is less than 20 miles away.
If you are not a National Trust member the standard prices are: Summer (1 March to 27 October)
Group adult: £7.35
Winter (28 October to 31 December)
Group adult: £3.95
Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, LL28 5RE
Telephone: 01492 650460
Bodnant is a really special place to visit. I love it. Would recommend.
Summary: A must-see place to visit.
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