We spent some time in North Wales recently. It’s an area I’d been to before, but many years ago long before I had my son. We’d had a few very foggy days but then the sun decided to finally make an appearance and I thought we would make good use of our National Trust membership and spend some time exploring Bodnant Garden which was only a short dive away from where we were staying in Conwy.
Exploring Bodnant Garden was a first for all of us and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as soon as we looked at the map of the grounds I knew it was just our sort of place.
Whilst the house itself is still privately owned you have free access to wander around the grounds and enjoy the views across to Carneddau mountains of Snowdonia.
It was the first day of our trip that we’d actually seen a mountain so we were all impressed with the beautiful views. There are lots of different paths to follow when exploring Bodnant Garden, we’d arrived at 10am just as the garden opened so we decided we’d explore as much of the grounds as possible.
I can imagine that by the end of next May there will be so much colour throughout the garden, and that the famous Laburnum arch will be totally transformed.
Whilst my son ran on ahead, I got to admire the flowers and trees that were early bloomers.
There were so many little paths to wander along, woodland to admire, as well as a stream running through the grounds. It really was the perfect way to spend time enjoying the outdoors.
Every so often my son would stop and wait for us to catch him up. He’d tell us about what lay around the next corner before dashing off again.
The babbling brook was such a lovely feature and the noise of the water trickling along was a great accompaniment to the birds singing all around us. A bit of a morning has broken kind of day.
It appeared that my son was having a stick free adventure, very unusual! But he did find some logs to climb over.
And a tree or two to admire along the way.
The stream crisscrossed the pathways at various intervals and there were a range of bridges to admire and cross.
At the furthest end of Bodnant Garden in the Skating Pond and Boat House which are well worth a visit.
The area really was beautiful.
I had a major panic attack when crossing stepping-stones in the Lake District years ago, the result of my issues with water. It made my heart jump to see that my eight year old holds no such fear. He was off and was so pleased with himself when he reached the other side.
He was so chuffed he spent the next few minutes crossing back and forth. He truly completed the stepping-stones challenge when we were exploring Bodnant Garden.
As we headed back towards the main house and more formal gardens we looked down to admire the Old Mill, where you can also buy refreshments and use the facilities if needed.
The Pin Mill reminded me so much of the gardens within Alhambra in Southern Spain with their moorish feel.
I’m a sucker for a water garden.
There are some terraces which I’m sure will come into their own in the months ahead.
Then we reached the upper terrace with its large pond. It gave my son a moment to stop running around and just sit down and admire the view.
It really is a stunning setting.
The mountains were calling us but there was still a little more to see as we ended our time exploring Bodnant Garden.
It was time to continue our time in North Wales with a trip into Snowdonia but we were all really pleased that we’d made the time to visit Bodnant Garden and we will definitely return if we are in the area again.
We can thoroughly recommend the coffee and walnut cake in the cafe by the garden centre. There’s also a large cafe at the entrance to the garden itself which looked very popular as we headed back to the car park. It’s a real gem of a place to explore. Have you been?