The abundance of natural flora, excellent garden attractions and truly spectacular landscapes combine to give South Wales a well deserved reputation as a paradise for those who love the outdoor life. Almost a third of the county, including the entire coastal strip are in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Many of South Wales's garden attractions reflect their surrounding natural environment. Rather than being formal landscapes, most are collections of exotic species in a natural setting. This is certainly true of the National Trust’s Colby Woodland Gardens near Amroth and Picton Castle and Gardens near Haverfordwest
Start your tour with a visit to Dyffryn Gardens just outside Cardiff. Here you will find over 30 different themed areas amongst broad sweeping lawns including - the famous Pompeian garden, theatre garden, cloister garden, rose garden, and exceptional arboretum containing many rare trees.
Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through 1000 acres of historic parklands and ornamental gardens at Margam Park. Visit the magnificent 18th century Orangery, Tudor-Gothic style Victorian Mansion House, and 12th century Chapter House. Look out for the deer herd roaming through the grounds. Overnight Swansea.
Today starts with a visit to The National Botanic Gardens of Wales at Llanarthne. The first botanic garden in the UK - dedicated to conserving plant species. Set in 600 acres of 18th century parkland with exotic flowers and foliage, lakes, waterfalls and cascades. The centrepiece is its impressive great glasshouse – the world's largest single span glass structure.
From here it's just a short drive to Aberglasney House and Gardens. Described by many as The 'Garden lost in time' - it is a jewel in the British gardens' crown. Covering approximately 9 acres, including two woodlands, it has a unique Elizabethan and Jacobean cloister garden.
End the day on a romantic note by exploring Wales' most dramatically sited Carreg Cennen castle. It sits on a limestone crag 300 ft above a sheer drop to the river Cennen below – so be prepared for a steep climb to the top. Overnight Llandeilo or Carmarthen.
Your first stop is Upton Castle Gardens in Pembrokeshire. The delightful grounds encompass 35 acres of parkland, an Arboretum - home to a collection of rare and exotic trees, formal gardens, Victorian walled garden, and medieval chapel. It's particularly noted for its camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons.
If you have time visit the nearby 13th century Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, one of Wales' lesser known gems.
Just outside Haverfordwest is Picton Castle Gardens & Gallery, 40 acres of magnificent gardens, which include woodland and a walled garden with an extensive collection of culinary and medicinal herbs. A highlight is The Bluebell Walk – which cover the floor like a thick blue carpet. Overnight Haverfordwest, Fishguard or Cardigan.
Bro Meigan Gardens is tucked away in the Pembrokeshire countryside, about 15 minutes from Newport. 6 ½ acres of landscaped gardens spread over slopes facing the Preseli Hills. You'll also find a traditional tearoom in a converted 300-year-old barn, offering a mouth-watering selection of homemade cakes.
Your last stop is Llanerchaeron, an unusual National Trust property just outside Aberaeron. This 18th century Welsh gentry estate has survived virtually unaltered for years – so be prepared to be taken back to bygone times. Highlights include the working organic farm and large walled kitchen garden, which has retained its original layout. Overnight Aberaeron or Lampeter.
Included in this package:
4 nights hotel accommodation on a Bed & Breakfast basis
Hire of a self-drive rental car
VAT at 20%