Bodnant Garden, Blooming Marvellous, North Wales

Laburnum arch, Bodnant GardenBodnant Garden is the best garden in Wales – OK we’re biased as we live here, but it truly is a gem not to be missed.  The 80 acre garden was the brainchild of an industrial chemist by the name of Henry Davis Pochin, who wished for him and his family to escape the fumes and dirt of industrial Manchester so bought land in the verdant Conwy river valley and over the years developed not only a family home, Bodnant Hall, but the magnificent year round garden we have to enjoy today.  Having been handed over to the care of the National Trust, it’s now open to the public year round, but its jewel in its crown has to be the world famous Laburnum Arch (pictured).  This flowers for a couple of weeks once a year around end of May or early June and I caught this in 2018 in full bloom early one morning.  There’s so much to explore in addition to the famous arch, so even if it’s not in bloom you can avoid the crowds by visiting at other times of year and explore the 80 acres.  Also on site there are 2 tea rooms, an Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop and garden centre selling quality plants.

Part of the Bodnant Estate and just around the corner is the Bodnant Welsh Food Centre (not National Trust and free entry) which showcases all things Welsh food and drink related.  There a café, farm shop, restaurant, cookery school and the National Beekeeping Centre of Wales.

The garden can be a full day cruise ship tour from Liverpool or Holyhead or a full or half day coach tour from Caernarfon, Llandudno, Bodelwyddan or Chester.  The Bodnant Welsh Food Centre can be an add on if time permits.  Note: Bodnant Hall in the centre of the garden is NOT open to the public, as it’s the private home of the McClaren family, descendants of Henry Davis Pochin.