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National Botanic Garden Of Wales: A Visitor's Guide

Described as “a beautiful science laboratory”, the National Botanic Garden of Wales boasts a plethora of plants, numerous species of wildlife, a vast array of different trees and its own dedicated bird of prey centre. 

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The Ultimate Guide To The National Botanic Garden Of Wales

Frequently asked questions

Where is the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

Middleton Hall, Llanarthne, SA32 8HN (around 55 miles from the hotel).

When is the National Botanic Garden of Wales open?

30 March – 31 October: 10am – 6pm.

(Autumn/winter opening times are yet to be revealed)

Please note, opening times are correct at the time of writing. For up-to-date or November to March opening times, please visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales website.

How long should I spend at the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

Most people spend around 2-3 hours at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

How much does entry cost for the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

Adults can gain access to the National Botanic Garden of Wales for £12.50. Children aged between 5-16 are charged £6 per ticket. However, there are various family tickets available that can reduce costs. Families with 2 adults and up to four children pay £36, whilst it will cost £24 for a family with one adult and up to 4 children. Children under five go free. 

It costs £1 per person to access the Birds of Prey Centre. Tickets for shows at the Birds of Prey Centre cost £3. Group discounts for 10 or more people are available – you can call the team on 01558 667149 for more information. Carers can access the garden for free with the person that they’re caring for. Once you have bought your ticket, it will remain valid for 7 days. This means you can return to the garden as many times as you like.

Prices are correct at the time of writing. For up-to-date prices, please visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales website.

Can I park at the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

The garden is located just a few minutes away from the A48 dual carriageway. There’s a dedicated car park for coaches and a generous number of free car and minibus parking spaces.

We’re conveniently located just two minutes from the A48 dual carriageway, we have a dedicated coach parking area as well as plenty of free parking spaces for cars and minibuses.

Is the National Botanic Garden of Wales wheelchair-accessible?

According to the website, the National Botanic Garden of Wales has been designed to offer access to everyone. All formal garden paths are wheelchair-friendly, and the Gatehouse has several manual wheelchairs that you can use once you reach the garden.

Find out more about accessibility at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

When is the best time to visit the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

The National Botanic Garden of Wales offers plenty to see and do throughout the year. No matter when you visit, you should be able to enjoy a host of beautiful spectacles. The garden has more than 8000 different types of plants which are spread across a vast 560 acres. The team at the National Botanic Garden of Wales aim to “inspire, educate and conserve”, and there are various themed gardens open to appeal to various tastes. There are 100 days of events and family activities spread throughout the calendar.

What should I wear to the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

The National Botanic Garden of Wales doesn’t have a strict dress code, so you should dress as you normally would during the particular time of year you’re visiting it. This means shorts and t-shirts should be ideal during the warmer months, with coats, jumpers being suitable for the colder months of the year. Before you head out to the garden, it’s wise to check the Met Office Website so you can see what the weather will be like.

Is the National Botanic Garden of Wales dog-friendly?

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to take your dog into the garden unless it’s an assistance dog. However, the team do regularly organise special “Doggy Days” where you can bring your pet. Sadly, you won’t be able to take your pet into the Great Glasshouse or the Tropical House.

Is Wi-Fi available at the National Botanic Garden of Wales?

Yes. You should be able to get complimentary access to Wi-Fi throughout the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

The National Botanic Garden Of Wales: A World-Famous, Award-Winning Hub Of Natural Beauty

The National Botanic Garden of Wales has been entertaining and inspiring visitors from across the UK and around the world since it first opened back in 2000. The attraction was the first national botanic garden to be created this millennium and has won a host of accolades over the past two decades.

The garden is the most visited in Wales, with over 2.5 million guests walking through its gates so far. The Landscape Institute named the garden as Wales’ most influential landscape garden scheme, and the garden has also been voted as the top garden to visit in the country by BBC Gardeners World. The Western Mail has given the garden several awards, branding it as Wales’ best place to go for afternoon tea, the best garden for children and the most romantic garden in the country. Other plaudits have been given by Visit Wales and the Carmarthenshire Tourism Association.

Plants at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is described as a “beautiful science laboratory” by the official website. The plant collections reflect the main objectives of the garden, which are to “inspire, educate and conserve”.

There are approximately 6000 types of plants in the garden, with the Great Glasshouse playing host to a huge collection of Mediterranean climate zone plants. The Great Glasshouse is also home to a range of lesser-spotted Welsh plants and an orchard of Welsh apples. It is the world’s largest single-span great glasshouse. The Double Walled Garden has a special display of flowering plants that track their evolution over time. There are many exciting themed gardens to visit, and these include the Wallace Garde, Japanese Garden, Boulder Garden and the Growing the Future Garden. 

The collections are used to teach visitors of all ages about horticulture, maths, medicine, ecology and botany. The gardens are frequently explored by researchers investigating the conservation challenges faced not only in the UK but around the world. You can also take a look at the gardens online before and after your visit.

Wildlife at the National Botanic Garden of Wales 

The National Botanic Garden also has an excellent reputation when it comes to its animal life. Home to thousands of fascinating and often rare species, it houses more than 100 types of butterflies and moths, over 50 kinds of birds, palmate newts, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, worms, otters, bats and dormice. There are almost 200 kinds of lichen, various rare types of fungi and more than 90 types of moss. There are also more than 25 types of snail. 

One of the reasons there is such a big and diverse range of wildlife at the National Botanic Garden of Wales is that the soil is incredibly fertile. Boulder clay has been mixed with soils from Old Red Sandstone Bedrock to create these fertile conditions. This part of the world also has a very warm, moist climate, with winds from the Atlantic Ocean keeping the air clean. Another reason for this diversity is that the Waun Las National Nature Reserve has been treated with great respect over the decades, which meant native plants were allowed the opportunity to survive rather than face extinction. This is why the garden has become so popular amongst visitors hoping to see various lesser-spotted types of bugs, crickets, moths, butterflies, whorled caraway and greater butterfly orchid. Voles have been enabled to feed barn owls and red kites, with badgers continuing to feed on otters and earthworms. 

British Bird of Prey Centre at the National Botanic Garden of Wales 

In addition to all of the wonderful species listed above, the National Botanic Garden of Wales also boasts a dedicated bird of prey centre. 

Home to more than 20 birds of prey that are native to the British Isles, the British Bird of Prey Centre offers visitors the chance to see falcons, kites, hawks, buzzards and – if that wasn’t enough – it is one of only a handful of places in the UK to see a golden eagle! 

Arguably the main attraction of the British Bird of Prey Centre is the daily flying displays. They take place every day at 11:30am, 1:30pm & 3:00pm, with each display showcasing a variety of birds from the centre. If you wish to take your experience to the next level, you can fly owls and red kites directly to your glove! (Additional charges apply) 

Woodland at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales also plays host to semi-natural woodland including boggy alder carr woodland and drier oak, hazel and ash forestry. The woodland provides the ideal environment for birdlife, lichens, fungi and dormouse, offering a safe haven for one of the most at-risk mammals in the UK. 

Food and drink at the National Botanic Garden of Wales 

The garden is home to various places to eat and drink. Caffi Botanica is located in the Stable Block part of the garden and is the ideal place to refuel with a hot meal or sandwich. The café serves dishes made from various locally sourced organic ingredients. These include ingredients that have been grown in the garden. At the time of writing, the Mediterranean Garden is closed, though this could change in future.

How to find the National Botanic Garden of Wales 

The National Botanic Garden of Wales can be found via satnav by using the postcode SA32 8HN. If you travel by public transport, you may be able to receive a 50% discount on your ticket price. The garden is located 10 minutes from the M4 and is two minutes from the A48. It should take you around half an hour to reach the Garden from Swansea and 55 minutes from Cardiff. Those travelling from Bristol can expect the reach the Garden within 90 minutes, with Midlands visitors needing to allow 3 hours for travel. 

If you’re travelling from the hotel, it should take around 55 minutes to reach the National Botanic Garden of Wales. You can either take the A40 for the shortest journey or A465 for another scenic route. Alternatively, you can use the A40 and A4067 to get to the Garden from the hotel. 

Our top tips for visiting the National Botanic Garden of Wales 

Prior preparation can help you make the most of your trip to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. There are so many great things to see at the Garden, so it’s a good idea to head to the website and see which activities you want to prioritise. Some people are more interested in the plant life than the wildlife, whilst others opt for the perfect balance between the two. The team at the National Botanic Garden of Wales have created several trails and apps that will help you make the most of your experience. If you do have any specific questions or special requirements, we recommend that you contact the team beforehand.

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