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Aberglasney Gardens: A Visitor's Guide

Everything you need to know about one of the finest gardens in Wales: the beautiful Aberglasney Gardens.

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The ultimate guide to Aberglasney Gardens in South Wales

Frequently asked questions

Where are Aberglasney Gardens?

Aberglasney Gardens, Llangathen, Carmarthenshire SA32 8QH, UK. (about 48 miles from the hotel)

When are Aberglasney Gardens open?

Winter opening times (October to February): Gardens: 10:30 – 16:00 | Shop: 10:30 – 15:30 | Tearooms: 10:30 – closing time varies

Spring opening times (March to April): Gardens: 10:30 – 17:00 | Shop: 10:30 – 16:30 | Tearooms: 10:30 – closing time varies

Summer opening times (April to October): Gardens: 10:30 – 18:00 | Shop: 10:30 – 17:30 | Tearooms: 10:30 – 17:00

Please note, opening times are correct at the time of writing. For up-to-date opening times, please visit Aberglasney Gardens’ website.

How long should I spend at Aberglasney Gardens?

Approximately 2 to 3 hours

How much does entry cost for Aberglasney Gardens?

Adult (17+) entry to Aberglasney Gardens costs £9.75.

Children under the age of 16 can enter for free.

Aberglasney members are also granted unlimited access during opening hours.

Prices correct at the time of writing. For up-to-date prices, please visit Aberglasney Gardens’ website.

Can I park at Aberglasney Gardens?

Aberglasney Gardens has free parking with 70 spaces.

Disabled parking is also available, along with parking for up to five coaches and bicycle racks for cyclists.

Are the Aberglasney Gardens wheelchair-accessible?

The gardens have step-free routes detailed in their visitor map, and you can borrow a wheelchair, should you require one, but they recommend requesting a wheelchair before your visit. 

Find out more about accessibility at Aberglasney Gardens.

What’s the best time to visit Aberglasney Gardens?

We like to go in the early spring to see new flowers, or in the height of the summer for beautiful weather, but you can visit Aberglasney Gardens any time of year (except Christmas Day).

If you have particular flowers or plants that you’d like to see, we recommend looking at their Garden Bloom Calendar, which details when different types of plants are due to bloom throughout the year.

What should I wear to Aberglasney Gardens?

There is no set dress code at Aberglasney Gardens, but we recommend dressing for the weather.

Shorts and t-shirts with sandals in the summer (don’t forget your suncream!), and warmer layers in the colder months. Visit the Met Office Website to get the latest forecast. 

Most of the areas of the gardens are marked with gravel paths or, in the wooded areas, wood chips, so wear shoes you find comfortable to walk in that can handle those terrains.

There are some sloped areas, which can be slippery when wet, so heeled shoes are best left at home.

Are Aberglasney Gardens dog-friendly?

Dogs are not allowed at Aberglasney Gardens, with the exception of guide dogs or service dogs.

Is there WiFi at Aberglasney Gardens?

WiFi is available in the mansion, tearooms, Cloister Garden, and by the Old Piggeries.

A ruins-to-restoration triumph in South Wales

A trip to Aberglasney Gardens makes for a great day out from the Gliffaes Country House Hotel.

The house and gardens were abandoned for 50 years and the restoration over the last 15 years is one of Wales’ most remarkable garden projects.

You may recognise the gardens from the 1999 BBC television series ‘A Garden Lost in Time’, which documented the rediscovery, renovation and restoration of the mansion and grounds.

One of the most memorable moments of the series was the uncovering of the 17th-century Elizabethan Cloister Garden – the only surviving example of its kind in the UK!

The once neglected and derelict gardens were hiding a history dating back to medieval times – 1480, to be exact – and have since been redesigned to include over 20 stunning styles of garden over its 10 acres.

Now, the Grade II Listed mansion is a beautiful venue for weddings, exhibitions, and events, as well as home to their award-winning Ninfarium (but more on that later).

While the entrance fee can be considered fairly steep compared to other gardens in the area, Aberglasney Gardens are a registered charity, and all fees go towards maintaining them and paying staff.

The ongoing work on the mansion and gardens make Aberglasney a unique and truly spectacular day out in the Brecon Beacons.

Aberglasney Gardens house

Exploring the gardens

With over 20 different types of gardens, and a vast selection of flowers, trees and plants, there’s something to see in every season at Aberglasney.

From perfectly-pruned formal gardens to wild and wonderful woodland, tropical plants to practical herbs, no matter what type of plants you prefer, you’re bound to find something that catches your eye.

Ninfarium

The award-winning Ninfarium is the only one of its kind in the UK, inspired by the Italian Garden of Ninfa, housing sub-tropical, rare and exotic plants in a glass atrium inside the mansion.

North Lawn and Yew Tunnel

The Victorian North Lawn is where many a game of croquet would have been played over 200 years ago.

The three intertwined trees making the Yew Tunnel would have been planted around the same time, although they were once thought to be considerably older.

In 1999, the BBC arranged for the trees to be dendrochronologically tested, dating them back to the 18th century, rather than 1000 years ago.

Elizabethan Cloister Garden and Parapet Walk

Dating back to the 1600s, the Cloister Garden is, as we mentioned before, the only surviving example of its kind left in the UK.

It’s since been renovated to an Elizabethan-style cloister garden.

The Parapet Walk is another unique feature, giving you access to stunning views of the garden below.

Pool Garden

The tranquil pool is like a still, glass-like mirror at the centre of the gardens, and was originally used for breeding or stocking decorative fish.

The Tearooms are also next to the Pool Garden, offering peaceful views while you enjoy a cuppa and a piece of homemade cake.

Sunken Garden and Wisteria Arch

The Sunken Garden is a remarkably modern interlude amongst classic garden styles.

A strikingly contemporary water feature stands at its centre, the creation of renowned water sculpture designer William Pye, and vibrant tulips, camassia and agapanthus bring a delightful pop of colour amongst the greens.

The Wisteria Arch, the entrance to the Sunken Garden, is an Instagrammer’s dream – perfect for a photo opportunity!

Jubilee Woodland

The Jubilee Woodland is one of the more recent additions to the gardens, a return to a more ‘wild’ area.

Asiatic Primula (wetland primroses) are scattered throughout, perfectly paired with the Himilaya Blue Poppy.

Wandering through the Jubilee Woodland is like stepping into a magical, enchanted forest.

Pigeon House Wood

Now for a completely different type of woodland.

Pigeon House, named after the cottage in nearby Grongar Hill, is a classic British forest, full of bracken, ferns, and deciduous trees. 

Stream Garden

Another beautiful spot for a photo, the Stream Garden is a picturesque meadow full of bonny bluebells in the spring, complete with a charming stream – like something out of a picture book.

Lower and Upper Walled Gardens

The lower of the two walled gardens serve as the Kitchen Garden, with fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs that you can sample at the Tearooms.

The Upper Walled Garden, on the other hand, is completely for aesthetics, designed by historian and garden designer, Penelope Hobhouse.

Alpinum Garden

The Alpinum Garden is where you’ll find the smaller plants and flowers at Aberglasney Gardens, such as ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ Japanese holly and ‘Green Column’ yew conifer.

What makes this garden unique is the limestone pathways, from a local quarry, with a few ancient fossils embedded in its surface.

Rose Garden

A British garden would be incomplete without a Rose Garden.

The Rose Garden at Aberglasny is an aromatic paradise, with sweet peas and wisteria nestled amongst the roses.

You’ll want to bottle the smell to bring home!

Bishop Rudd’s Walk

A nod to Anthony Rudd, who became Bishop of St David’s in 1594, and lived at Aberglasney, Bishop Rudd’s Walk is a dappled, partially wooded area with a bridge over the stream that runs through it.

You’ll see some unusual woodland plants growing here, the likes of which you may not have seen in the UK before.

Asiatic Garden

There aren’t many places outside of Asia that boast quite so many spectacular specimens of flowers and plants from China, Japan, Tibet, and Nepal.

At Aberglasney’s Asiatic Garden area, you’ll find rare Asiatic ‘Toad Lillies’ amongst hydrangea and Tibetan Whitebeam – a truly peaceful place to wander.

Aberglasney Gardens Cafe cakes

Food and drink at Aberglasney Gardens

Once you’ve explored the gardens and worked up an appetite, stop by the Tearooms by the Pool Garden.

On the menu, you’ll find light bites, homemade cakes, doorstop sandwiches, ice creams, and other lunchtime favourites, most of which are made with ingredients from the on-site Kitchen Garden or local suppliers.

They can cater for dietary requirements, with gluten-free and dairy-free options available on request.

Check out the specials board to see what fresh, seasonal treats they have in store during your visit.

How to find Aberglasney Gardens

Aberglasney Gardens is approximately an hour and 15 minutes drive (47.8 miles) from Gliffaes Country House and Hotel.

It’s a pleasant drive through the Brecon Beacons, along the A40, west, towards Carmarthenshire – a very straightforward journey.

Aberglasney Gardens kitchen garden plant

Our top tips for visiting Aberglasney Gardens

If you fancy a stop along the way for a coffee, Llandovery makes an excellent stopping point. Park in the public car park at the base of the castle ruins. Cross the main road and head for La Patisserie for a great selection of pastries, cakes and coffee.

The very varied and interesting planting along Bishops Rudd’s Walk and the Asiatic Garden was a highlight for me. Plenty of interesting Acers.

I think the two walled gardens however are the most beautiful part of the garden – one full of herbs and vegetables as well as the most amazing espaliered fruit trees on the big south-facing wall.

We often call in here on the way back from Pembrokeshire to have a look around and to have lunch in the very good cafe which overlooks a big pond over which swallows and house martens skim throughout the day.

You can also buy your own plants from the Gardens, to bring a piece of Aberglasney home with you.

Book your Brecon Beacons escape

Gliffaes Country House Hotel is nestled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park.

We’ve created a useful guide of local attractions and activities in the Brecon Beacons, containing information on walks, things to do, local shopping, and places to visit, which you can use to help map out your visit to the Brecon Beacons.

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a fresh, locally sourced lunch, dinner or afternoon tea, or somewhere comfortable to stay the night, our friendly country house hotel is the perfect base for your Brecon Beacons break.

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