These most rare and beautiful gardens, which are still undergoing rediscovery and restoration at Aberglasney House. Langathen, Camarthenshire, date back at least to Elizabethan times and possibly to the thirteenth century. They are set in the fabulous Tywi valley just off the A40 near the little town of Llandeilo (itself well worth visiting.)
The ten acres at Aberglasney include an Elizabethan/ Jacobean cloister garden, a pool garden, walled gardens, woodlands, an unusual parapet walk, a yew tunnel and, in a pleasing nod to the gardens at Ninfa near Rome, the Ninfarium, an inner garden built within the central ruins of the house.
We went in March 2011, just before the rush of spring growth, but even so early in the season the plants were wonderful and the finely drawn structure of this lovely garden was apparent.
Delicious cakes in the cafe and an appealing gift shop complete the visit.
As a bonus for the energetic, you are not far from the National Gardens of Wales.
Tucked away in the hills of Carmarthenshire the gardens of Aberglasney took seed some five hundred years ago. Much history and lost fortunes later the gardens (it was derelict in 1995), have been painstakingly restored to their original design by the Aberglasney Restoration Trust. With a visitor information display, ninfarium, ancient yew tunnel, several areas of garden including a cloister garden and a walled garden plus lovely walks, time passes all too quickly. The licensed tea room serves excellent light lunches and teas and it is a delight to take this on the terrace overlooking the pool garden - weather permitting! The gift shop at the entrance also sells plants so you can take home a living memento of your visit.
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