Garden enthusiasts will love these beautiful gardens - one of the finest in Europe if not the world. Situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping to the south-west the gardes have a lovely aspect across the valley towards the Snowdonia range.
They are owned by the National Trust and are open from Mid March to October. There is a cafe and toilets outside the entrance - none inside and no picnics allowed in the gardens either, so make the most of the facilities first!
Its a long way back up from the lower part of the gardens to the entrance.
Entrance fee was £5.20 in 2003.
On the way down from the formal gadens to the wild gardens at the bottom of the dell you will come across little water features like this one in the pic. It was strange because the stones were slanted backwards, causing the water to back up and then eventually flow down the little steps.
At the bottom of the dell gardens is this lovely old rustic cottage and little stone bridge over the river....hmmm not so sure I'd like to sit on it though, looks like it could crumble into the water below!
Some of the statues seem to have an egyptian look about them. This one reminded me of one of the water fountains in Villa d'Este in Tivoli Italy, which we visited a couple of months earlier - guess where the water sprang from!
At the base of the valley garden, down in the dell, you will discover a still pool, water rushing over rocks and a waterfall with a bridge over it. This is a popular place to take a photo in the gardens.
The laburnum arch is a 55 metre long tunnel and is one of the main attractions of the garden in early summer. It is just to the left of the main entrance, and normally flowers from from late May to early June, when it is a mass of yellow blooms .
Probably more towards early June is best - the Bodnant laburnum is pruned so that it does not flower until a bit later than others you may see around you so don't be fooled!
We went in late May - but it could have been slightly better a week later.
Here's a closer view of Bodnant Hall.
Has some interesting architectural shapes to admire externally. Must be an amazing place to live and look out onto these gardens all year round with their seasonal colours
Bodnant Hall, built 1792, is the family home of the Aberconways - 4 generations of which had designs on the gardens. Unfortunately it is not open to the public - but really the 80 acres of gardens will captivate you anyway. Still it is a great setting for the gardens with the lawns sweeping down from the house.
The garden is in two parts. The upper part around the house consists of the Terrace Gardens as well as informal lawns shaded by trees. The lower portion, known as 'The Dell', is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn, a tributary of the Conwy, and contains the pinetum and Wild Garden.
Across the little river, just before the warterfall are some stepping stones. Everybody loves crossing over here and you also get a good view down to the little waterfall.
..and this is the view just before the bridge over the waterfall. A little girl is being coaxed by her dad to cross over on the stepping stones.
There are some fountains in the garden too - this one looks simple but a closer inspection shows that its quite intricate with the fish tails wrapped around its stand.
Just by the canal there is this lovely statue of a little boy holding a goose. I just loved the way the water trickled from its beak and splashed down onto his foot.
The pin mill reflected in the canal in the lower terrace of the formal gardends is a popular part of the garden with its statutes and terraces too.
The lawns stretch out from the house, with beautiful trees. Some have seats around them, making for a pleasant place to rest a while and drink the views n.