If you’re a garden or gardening enthusiast looking for things to do in North Wales, a Bodysgallen Hall garden tour needs to go straight to the top of your list. It’s quite possibly the most marvellous way to spend a couple of hours.
Originally built in the 13th century as a watchtower for Conwy Castle, it wasn’t until the 16th century that Bodysgallen became a home (and then a hotel in the 1980s). It initially belonged to Richard Mostyn who served as High Sheriff of Caernarvonshire, and was believed to be quite a modest establishment. Somewhat different to the fabulous country hotel that it is now, right?
The hall sits in over 200 acres of its own parkland and gardens and there are three ways in which you can gain access to have a look around - in 2008, the hall was gifted to the National Trust but it’s not a property that you can simply turn up at and amble around:
One - stay for the night.
Two - pop for afternoon tea.
Three - book an official garden tour.
As I mentioned, we went for option three. A tour led by head gardener, Robert Owen - a wonderful storyteller with so much knowledge of the history of both the hall and gardens. It was so interesting to hear him explain how the gardens used to look in the past, what has changed over the years, and how he and his team have tried to recreate certain sections based on old photographs.
Here are a few snapshots from our walk:
And if the garden tour isn’t enough, it’s followed by a delicious two course lunch in the beautiful South Dining Room. It’s a set menu, so call ahead if you’re fussy or have any dietary requirements. And leave room for the fudge. Oh, the fudge! All days should start with beautiful gardens and end with amazing fudge, right? Shall we make it the law?
You can find details of the Bodysgallen Hall Garden Tours here. They cost £38 per person. The June one - Summer display of roses in the historic walled garden - sounds particularly fantastic.