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Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, Conwy,
Wales, LL28 5RE


Listed By
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2018-01-04 00:00:55

Opening Days and Hours
Dates/days/times open:

Jan - Feb; daily 10am-4pm,
March - October; daily 10am-5pm (open until 8pm on Weds May-Aug)
November- 23 Dec; daily 10am-4pm,
27 Dec - 31 Dec; daily 10am-4pm.
Last entry 30mins before closing.

Parties/Coaches: Yes
Group Appointment: Yes

Booking not required.

House Open for Viewing: No
National Garden Scheme days: Yes

Contact property for details.

Best Times of Year to Visit:

All year.

To see:

Magnolias, Camellias, Daffodils, Rhododendrons, azaleas and laburnum arch. Autumn color.  Winter color.

Admission Prices

Check website for details.

Onsite Facilities
Parking: Yes
Shop: Yes
Teas: Yes
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Lavatories: Yes
Plants for Sale: Yes
Refreshment: Yes
On Lead only: Yes
Disabled Access: Yes
Lunches: Yes
Picnics: Yes
Special Events: No
Other Facilities & Comments:

Dogs welcome daily November to February, and from 5pm on Weds May-Aug.  Garden steep in places with many steps. Pavilion and Magnolia Tea rooms, al fresco catering in Dell and at Far End. Check website for event details.

Garden Features & Events

Italianate terraces, waterfall and ponds, champion trees.

English Heritage/Visit Scotland Garden Grade:
National Collection:

Magnolia, Eucryphia, Embothrium

Nearby Cambridgeshire Hotels, Facilities & Amenities

Hotels & Accommodation:
Inns & Pubs:
Villages / Towns / Sightseeing:

Conwy - historic walled town and castle.
Llandudno - seaside resort
Betws-y-coed - countryside

Description of Garden

Stephen Lacey, the garden writer, lecturer and presenter has written that the scale, grandeur and scenic beauty of this garden are nothing short of stupendous...this garden is a masterpiece. If an annual prize were to be awarded to the best garden in the British Isles, Bodnant Garden would probably have won it often enough to keep the trophy. This garden, particularly at the end of May when the Laburnum Arch is in full bloom, is worth making a special tripto see. The highlights and continual delightful surprises are numerous and start with the walk down the five spectacular terraces with their expanses of lawn, huge mature cedar trees, architectural ornament, water and plants. On the Canal terrace is the Pin Mill, an 18th century mill transported from Gloucestershire and re-built on this site in 1939.

Further down the path follows the valley of the river Hiraethlyn amongst banks of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and tree magnolias and the visitor reaches the famous viewpoint looking over the river well below and turning towards the old stone mill. There are spectacular stands of enormous fir, hemlock, cedar and redwood, one of them at 45 metres the tallest in the British Isles. In autumn the marvellous colours of the japanese maples, rowans, liquidambar and birches are almost beyond description. The winter garden is a delight from December to February.

History Of Garden

The massive granite house almost 200ft above the River Conway was built in 1792 and a large number of sheltering trees, such as beech, oak and chesnut were subsequently planted. The estate was bought by Henry Pochin, the father-in-law of the first Lord Aberconway, in 1874 and, with help from Edward Milner, the landscape architect, he began laying out a 'reposeful' garden including a terrace, grass banks and many trees, especially the conifers along the valley floor. Later he built the Mausoleum and Laburnum Arch in 1878. Henry Duncan, the 2nd Lord Aberconway, with encouragement from his mother, created the five huge terraces and convinced his head gardener in 1908 to try out Chinese rhododendrons. He also subscribed to many plant-hunting expeditions, in particular that by Harold Comber in the 1920s, which resulted in the introduction to this country of the spectacular Chilean fire bush.

In 1920 Frederick Puddle became Head Gardener and was in due course succeeded by his son Charles Puddle in 1947 and then by his grandson Martin in 1982. Both the 3rd Lord Aberconway and his father have both won the Victoria Medal of Honour, the highest award of the RHS (and were at times its Presidents), as have Frederick and Charles Puddle.

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