Plas Tan Y Bwlch GardensMaentwrog, Snowdonia
A visit to the stunning Plas Tan Y Bwlch Gardens is certainly worthwhile as it contains some of the best scenery in all of North Wales! For relaxing daytime entertainment, this Victorian garden walk will be a couple of hours of pure bliss admiring Snowdonia’s spectacular wildlife and nature across 13 acres of land. The best part? It is a seasonal garden so there is always something to see no matter when you visit! Even better still? Regular woodland trail events are held at the gardens, keeping the children happy too!
Plas Tan Y Bwlch Gardens are in the heart of Snowdonia National Park in Blaenau Ffestiniog, a historic mining town. The rural location enhances the beauty of the gardens and has helped the wildlife within to thrive over the years! Established in the 17th century, it has since been rebuilt, improved and grown to become one of the top attractions to visit - come for a meander around the gardens, get an insider's view on the new restoration underway, a peek into the mansion or visit the bee residents in the beekeepers section to see what family-fun can be had here!
These gardens are a real delight! In Spring you can enjoy the 120-year-old Rhododendron tunnel, azaleas and camellias, and in summer the hydrangeas and eucryphia are at their best! Although nothing beats the vibrant colours of the autumn leaves falling from the Japanese Maples and Oak trees. In the colder months, winter shrubs can be seen, including Christmas box and Witch Hazel. Pleasing to all the senses with constant colour and natural perfume!
The superb grounds are a part of the Tan y Bwlch estate, accompanied by the impressive Victorian Gothic mansion which was once home to wealthy slate quarry owners. The Oakley family were the original owners, but the property is now manned by the Snowdon National Park Authority as an environmental studies centre and public attraction. Some of the highlights of these great grounds include the formal terraces, water garden and pond, sloping lawns, ornamental shrubs and coniferous trees. Not only that but Oak, Beeches, Scots Pine and Irish Yew trees too. For the green-fingered gardeners, it is a real treat spotting a new and exciting plant with each step!
Along the walk, be sure to keep an eye out for all of the garden’s residents. There are several insects and small mammals to spot, as well as a variety of birds; Flycatchers, Woodpeckers, Jays and Cuckoos to name a few. For those with hawk eyes - see if you can find the Holy blue and Purple Hairstreak butterflies! To get the most out of your visit, you can always partake in a guided tour, or view the restoration currently underway. A fair amount of the garden was damaged during the storms in 2013 and 2014, and the project is now working on replanting and regenerating the garden! Staff members and volunteering schemes have helped make this happen, as well as create a beekeeping section. Since May 2012, six hives have been added to promote beekeeping and provide beginners with the chance to gain experience. Together they have produced honey commercially, which can be bought from Plas! Can’t get much fresher than that!
If honey is too sweet for your taste, then you will surely find something to sink your teeth into in The Dwyryd Tea room cafe in the conservatory. Here you will also find a free paper guide of the gardens which you can study over a cup of afternoon tea, with front-row seats to the glorious views of the nearby mountains and rivers - just lovely!
Daily: 10am to 5pm
The Tea Room is open from 11am - 4pm, Easter - October. Winter opening varies during so it is recommended to call in advance to avoid disappointment.
Phone number: 01766 772600
There are picnic benches outside of the cafe.
There is ample free parking.
The cafe and loos have disabled access, as does most of the garden. Due to the nature of the garden, especially the woodland and more wild areas, some parts may not be entirely accessible or wheelchair suitable.
Dogs are welcome on site on leads.
Other useful info
Plas Tan Y Bwlch offers a variety of courses of interest to countryside lovers aiming to expand their knowledge and enhance their interest of the local wildlife and nature which are worth partaking in if you visit the area often
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