The creator of Portmeirion, Sir Clough Williams Ellis, is less well known for the gardens at Plas Brondanw, where his talent for creative landscape design really shines. Set within the Snowdonia National Park, between the mountain and the sea, Sir Clough created a unique landscape inspired by the romantic and dramatic gardens of Renaissance Italy. There are strong architectural influences, with stone walls, topiary and avenues of trees leading the eye to the dramatic backdrop of the mountains. He said: ‘It was for Brondanw’s sake that I worked and stinted, for its sake that I chiefly hoped to prosper. A cheque of ten pounds would come in and I would order yew hedging to that extent, a cheque for twenty and I would pave a further piece of terrace.’ There’s a café serving local Welsh produce within the gardens.
Facilities – at a glance
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking onsite
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Gardens open all year. Café open Apr-Sep, daily 10-4
Also in the area
About the area
The county of Gwynedd is home to most of the Snowdonia National Park – including the wettest spot in Britain, an arête running up to Snowdon’s summit that receives an average annual rainfall of 4,473mm. With its mighty peaks, rivers and strong Welsh heritage (it has the highest proportion of Welsh-speakers in all of Wales), it’s always been an extremely popular place to visit and live. The busiest part is around Snowdon; around 750,000 people climb, walk or ride the train to the summit each year.
Also in Gwynedd is the Llyn Peninsula, a remote part of Wales sticking 30 miles out into the Irish Sea. At the base of the peninsula is Porthmadog, a small town linked to Snowdonia by two steam railways – the Welsh Highland Railway and the Ffestiniog Railway. Other popular places are Criccieth, with a castle on its headland overlooking the beach, Pwllheli, and Abersoch and the St Tudwal Islands. Elsewhere, the peninsula is all about wildlife, tranquillity, and ancient sacred sites. Tre’r Ceiri hill fort is an Iron Age settlement set beside the coastal mountain of Yr Eifl, while Bardsey Island, at the tip of the peninsula, was the site of a fifth-century Celtic monastery.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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