There is always something new to see on a visit to the 500-year-old gardens in the Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire – if you are lucky it could be the otters.
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No ‘keep off the grass’ signs here, just a wonderful feast of fun for children and adults alike, where everyone is encouraged to enjoy all things natural.
From spring bulbs to blowsy summer roses, jewel-coloured autumn leaves to rugged trees in winter, savour year round delights in the dynamic gardens of South Wales.
Come and be part of the restoration scheme that is uncovering and restoring to its former glory an amazing Victorian garden of cascading water and dramatic sweeping terraces.
There is always something new to see on a visit in these 500-year-old gardens in the Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire. The Cloister Garden and rare parapet wall, hidden for centuries, were restored 16 years ago, and now the magnificent Georgian mansion is being brought back to life. Last year saw the restoration of the main hall and east wing of the Grade II* listed house. Don’t miss the ancient yew tunnel and the fantastical Ninfarium where tropical plants grow among the ruined walls of the central courtyard of the mansion.
The gardens are constantly evolving as woodland walks are planted up, and the walled kitchen garden gets more productive each year with its fresh fruit and vegetables going straight from ‘plot to plate’ in the café. With views over the Pool Garden, it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a meal. Head Gardener Joseph Atkin now brings his surplus bare rooted plants and cut flowers into the shop for sale, so visitors can take away a living souvenir of their visit. It’s a very popular move.
Animals appear to be smarter than most at Aberglasney at Llangathen, Carmarthenshire. Head Gardener Joseph Atkin tells how the otters in the River Tywi at the edge of the estate come up to the gardens and feast on the freshwater eels in the pool. ‘It is usually once a fortnight,’ he says. The local fallow deer have their eye on the lush planting in the gardens too. ‘We put up a tall deer proof fence to keep them out – but then noticed they were avoiding the fence and trotting along the road to come in through the visitors’ gate. Without a thought to paying!'
If you’re a nature lover, combine a visit to Aberglasney Gardens with exploring the River Tywi, which is protected for its importance to wildlife including threatened species of fish. Nearby Cilsan Bridge is a great vantage point from which to see more of the otters and the best times to look are at dawn and dusk. Bring your binoculars for bird watching too – kingfishers, grey wagtails and sand martins are among prize sights along the Tywi. Little ringed plovers gather on the shingle banks between March and July, while in winter huge numbers of wildfowl and whooper swans may be seen on the oxbow lakes. Tree sparrows are also in unusual abundance – Dryslwyn car park, where they are fed, is the place to go.
April to October: 10am–6pm
(last entry 5pm)
November to March: 10.30am–4pm
(last entry 3pm)
Café: As gardens
Adult £8.00, child £4.00