Gardens to visit in South Wales

The lush gardens of Dyffryn Fernant. Photo: Jonathan Need

Pembrokeshire has more than 180 miles of vast, unspoiled coastline, where beaches embrace rugged cliffs, largely untouched by modern life. This region beckons families and solo travellers alike, offering a tranquil getaway.

2048x1365_Dyffryn-Fernant-Jonathan-Need2
Sculpture anchors the planting at Dyffryn Fernant. Photo: Jonathan Need

During a trip in late August, my family and I stayed in Cwm-yr-Eglwys, a picturesque village by the sea near Dinas Island. Not an island in the true sense, its charm lies in the circular headland walk. Both winding and sometimes challenging, it presents panoramic vistas at every turn. If visited during certain seasons, rare seabirds, seldom seen elsewhere in the UK, can be spotted on the horizon.

Pink nerines at Dyffryn Fernant JONATHAN NEED
Pink nerines at Dyffryn Fernant. Photo: Jonathan Need

Venture inland to visit whispering woodlands, hidden waterfalls and exquisite gardens such as Dyffryn Fernant. Located between Dinas Island and Fishguard, this garden has a lasting impact on visitors. From Nicky’s field, teeming with diverse grasses and sedges, to the tranquil pond, the garden unfolds in delightful segments. The Kitchen and Nursery Gardens showcase a wide range of herbs, igniting aspirations for your home garden.

Fabulous views at Dyffryn Fernant JONATHAN NEED
Fabulous views at Dyffryn Fernant. Photo: Jonathan Need

For me, the Fernery was the highlight. Set behind an old brick building this small space, populated with ancient ferns, felt like a journey travelling back through time.

Whispering grasses at Dyffryn Fernant jonathan need
Whispering grasses at Dyffryn Fernant. Photo: Jonathan Need

Deep within Pembrokeshire, the Ffynone and Cilgwyn Woods also await, cradling a waterfall notable not just for its beauty but also its legend. Tied to the folktales of magic and heroism of The Mabinogi, some believe this cascade could be a portal to Annwn, the mythic ‘Otherworld’. A brief, enchanting walk from the parking area immerses you in the sounds and sights of nature. Bring wellies or a towel – the pristine waters invite visitors for a dip, a temptation that’s hard to resist!

Factfile

  • Getting there: The M4 takes you straight along the south of the country into Pembrokeshire to Fishguard
  • Where to stay: Visit the Pembrokeshire Tourist Board website for a range of accommodation types
  • When to visit: Anytime – be prepared for rain or heatwaves. Wellies useful at the beach

 

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