THE TIMES: Gardens of Snowdonia
The superb gardens of Snowdonia share the mild Gulf Stream influence, acid soils and tender, exotic plants of the better-known Cornish & West Coast Scotland gardens. Set in uniquely wild, rugged & picturesque Snowdonia, we have a special selection of visits arranged to delight and to inspire. You will stay at two of the very best hotels of Wales, both with stunning views of mountain and sea. Historic Bodysgallen Hall provides all that is great in country house hospitality including its own 3AA Rosettes rated restaurant. At Portmeirion, you will be accommodated either in the main hotel or in Castell Deudraeth, dining one night at each.
Day 1 Monday 27th June
Depart from Llandudno Junction Railway Station at 12.00 noon to coincide with the fast through train departing 9.00 am from London Euston. There is also ample parking at the station for those arriving by car. Travel together to the award winning Welsh Food Centre for a taste of Wales in the Hayloft Restaurant. Then a special guided tour of Bodnant Gardens with its wonderful terraces leading down to the Pin Mill and out to the dell and woodland gardens beyond, all in an unparalleled setting with views over the River Conwy to Snowdonia. Our hotel for the next two nights is the historic Bodysgallen Hall. One steps into the old hall to be welcomed not only by the staff but by a beautiful fresh flower arrangement. Delightful gardens make this the perfect hotel for a party of garden lovers. On arrival, head gardener Robert Owen will introduce the gardens over a cup of tea before taking you on a short walk around the restored formal gardens.
Day 2 Tuesday 28th June
Travel westwards to Crûg Farm Nursery to meet Chelsea Gold medal winners, Bleddyn & Sue Wynn-Jones who will introduce their nursery and garden with a reputation for the rare and wonderful, most of which they have collected on expeditions to tropical montane regions worldwide. Cross the Menai Straits to Anglesey to Plas Cadnant where Anthony Tavernor discovered then restored and developed this remarkable wooded garden to perfection. Both garden and house are Georgian in origin; pleasure grounds of the fashionable picturesque style. Remaining on Anglesey, we visit Plas Newydd with time to wander in the extensive gardens, visit the house featuring Rex Whistler’s largest painting, or just sit with a cup of tea and cake before returning to Bodysgallen.
Day 3 Wednesday 29th June
We spend a day on the Llŷn Peninsula that extends towards Ireland; a bastion of Celtic history and heritage and stronghold of Welsh culture and language, with visits to two contrasting gardens. At Nanhoron we are met by owner, Bettina Harden and her new head gardener who will lead us around the walled gardens and woodland walks before inviting us to lunch. In the afternoon, we go down to the remote shores of Hells’ Mouth to the small cottage garden of Plas yn Rhiw, past home to three remarkable sisters. Continue to the beautiful light-filled tidal estuary and landmark hotel of Portmeirion and Castell Deudraeth where you will stay for the next two nights. Tonight we dine together at Castell Deudraeth.
Day 4 Thursday 30th June
We start with a guided tour of the memorable, theatrical gardens of Portmeirion, setting for the Italianate village created by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis. Afterwards, we visit the Arts & Crafts home of Paul & Caroline Morgan, for a lunch and tour of Aber Artro Hall and its gardens. If weather permits we will include a short visit to the small medieval church of Eglwys St Tanwg nestled in the sand dunes at Llandanwg; time for a breath of sea air before returning to Portmeirion. Tonight we dine at Portmeirion Hotel.
Day 5 Friday 1st July
Heading for the mountains, we visit Plas Brondanw where Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and his wife Amabel created their private Italianate garden focusing on the mountains of Snowdonia. Our last visit is to the beautiful Conwy Valley at the Tudor Gwydir Castle where we meet Judy Corbett and Peter Welford, to hear about their painstaking restoration of this remarkable house and garden. Following lunch, we return to Llandudno-Junction Station for 14.30pm to catch the direct return train to London or to pick up your car.
How much & what's included:
The price per person: £2,320*
Single supplement: £260 (levied by the hotels).
*Times+ Members receive 10% discount. For information, visit: mytimesplus.co.uk.
The price includes 2 nights dinner (with wine), bed and breakfast at Bodysgallen Hall and 2 nights dinner (with wine) bed and breakfast at Portmeirion (either in the main hotel or in Castell Deudraeth) and five lunches. The price does not include extras at the hotel, or travel insurance.
FINANCIAL FAILURE INSURANCE
In accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations 1992” customers of Boxwood Tours Ltd will be indemnified in respect of their net ascertained financial loss sustained arising from the cancellation or curtailment of the declared trip travel arrangements arising solely from the event of the financial failure of Boxwood Tours Ltd. This insurance has been arranged by Travel & General Insurance Services Limited on behalf of Towergate Chapman Stevens through Hiscox Insurance Company Limited. Customer bookings will be declared on a monthly basis to Travel & General Insurance Services Limited. Invoices issued to passengers for their bookings will contain these insurance wordings. This cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the insurance policy wordings, a copy of which is available on request.