gardens spectacular could bloom
into £2m bonus for North Wales
16-day event showcasing gardens which are the jewels in the crown of North
Wales could plough up to £2 million into the region this
Last year’s inaugural
Festival of Gardens North Wales brought almost 44,000 visitors flocking to the
beauty spots involved.
And based on
Welsh Government figures for average tourist spend per head, this reaped a
dividend of over £1.7 million during the 11-day festival.
organisers North Wales Tourism, this time the event is spreading over four extra
days with even more gardens taking part.
May 27 until Sunday June 11, a total of 25 stunning gardens across the region will
throw open their gates to thousands of visitors during the second Festival of
Gardens North Wales.
programme of events, ranging from behind the scenes guided tours and photography
competitions to a squirrel watch and a vintage car rally will be staged at
various gardens as the festival unfolds.
which is being supported by the Welsh Government, will be officially opened at
the beautiful Plas Tan y Bwlch gardens near Maentwrog in Gwynedd by Gardener’s
Question Time chairman and former TV weatherman Peter Gibbs.
Tourism managing director Jim Jones said: “North Wales has some of the most
beautiful gardens in the UK and this event is all about showing them off to as
many people as possible.”
More than 100
unique events are planned over the 16 days of the festival at gardens taking
part including musical performances, orienteering sessions, treasure hunts, bug
hunts, gardening lectures, family treasure hunts, children’s trails and plant
dates have been arranged to coincide with late-spring flowering displays, which
will include rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, tulips and flowering cherries,
making this one of the best times of the year to visit the great gardens of
Jim Jones from
North Wales Tourism said: “This is the second year of the festival and it’s
going from strength to strength.
excellent example of what can be achieved when North Wales gets together for a
particular offer – in this case its wonderful gardens.
“We have some
of the most beautiful in the UK, including some real hidden gems, and this is
about showing them off to as many people as possible.
“You can see
our gardens separately but being able to visit them all together during the
festival is amazing and the event is the perfect showcase for one of our best
has been extensively marketed and we expect to attract thousands of visitors
not just from around the gardens but also from a much wider area including
other parts of Wales as well as the North West and Midlands of England.
inaugural festival was a major success and brought over 43,000 people through
the gates of the gardens involved.
Government figures show that the average spend per day visit to Wales was £39
last year, which means the festival had the potential to bring a total of over
£1.7 million into the local economy.
that figure could be even higher with the festival lasting longer and involving
more gardens, which is great news for North Wales.”
He added: “We
have an exciting, fascinating and entertaining programme of events and
activities lined up, which means that every morning, afternoon and evening
there will be at least one special event happening in or more of the gardens.
“We are also
very lucky to have Peter Gibbs, who hosts the iconic Gardener’s Question Time
on BBC Radio, to open the festival at Plas
Tan y Bwlch on Saturday
May 27, which should be a brilliant occasion.”
Peter Gibbs, the festival will uncover some hidden gems of the garden world.
was also a BBC national TV weatherman until last year, said: “A lot of people,
including gardeners, don’t realise how many different gardens there are in
the large, well known National Trust ones there are also lots of fantastic
smaller gardens and without this sort of festival they wouldn’t get noticed by
the kind of people who would really enjoy them.
instance, there’s Crug Farm Plants near Caernarfon which features many plants
you just don’t see anywhere else.
who run it, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones who I know from Gardeners’ Question
Time, have brought in plants, some of which are absolutely unique, from places
like Taiwan which grow at altitude and have to deal with the sort of conditions
you’d see in North Wales.
also now starting to contribute to conservation by sending some of these plants
to countries across the world.”
“It’s a great honour to be invited to open the festival and I’m really looking
forward to what should be a memorable occasion in a wonderful part of the
weather point of view North Wales is very interesting. It has a relatively mild
climate and because of the Gulf Stream doesn’t get a lot of particularly cold
weather. There’s also the effect of the mountains which gives you so many
advisor to the festival once again is gardens guru Tony Russell, renowned as
one of Britain’s leading experts on trees and shrubs who also makes regular
appearances on the BBC’s Gardener’s Question Time and famously put the
Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire on the international tourism map.
“Having launched the festival in 2016, I am delighted to see it develop and
grow into such an exciting event.
“For 2017 there are even more gardens
involved and between them they will be running in excess of 100 special events.
“Having worked in horticulture for over 30 years, I can honestly say there is
nothing quite like the festival held in any other part of Britain.
“North Wales has some of the finest gardens in the UK and the festival is a way
of telling the world all about them.”
taking part in the festival from the county of Gwynedd are: Plas Yn Rhiw at
Pwllheli, Caerau Uchaf in Bala, Treborth Botanic Garden in Bangor, Crug Farm
Plants in Caernarfon, Parc Glynllifon in Caernarfon, Aber Arto Hall in
Llanbedr, Plas Glyn y Weddw in Llanbedrog, Plan Tan y Blwch near Maentwrog,
Portmeirion in Penrhyndeudraeth, Plas Brondanw at Penrhyndeudraeth, Nanhoron in
Pwllheli and the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.
In the county
of Anglesey it’s Plas Newydd in Llanfairpwll and Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens in
In the county
of Denbighshire it’s Plas Newydd in Llangollen, Bodrhyddan Hall Gardens in
Rhyl, Nantclwyd y Dre in Ruthin and Dibleys Nuseries near Ruthin.
In the county
of Powys there’s Powis Castle and Gardens near Welshpool, the Centre for
Alternative Technology at Machynlleth and The Dingle Garden near Welshpool.
from the county of Wrexham are Chirk Castle near Chirk and National Trust
Erddig near Wrexham.
the county of Conwy involved in include Bodnant Garden at Tal y Cafn and Gwrych
Castle in Abergele which will be open on May 27, 28 and 29.
the Festival of Gardens North Wales:
- In Wrexham, throughout the festival the National Trust is holding Big Bug Hunt
where visitors can look for big cuddly bugs in the house and cast their
eyes over some creepy carvings outdoors by international chainsaw artist
Simon O’Rourke. Both parts of the hunt take place daily from 10am to 5pm
in the garden and 12.30pm to 3.30pm in the house.
- In Anglesey there is a Red Squirrel Walk at Plas
Cadnant Hidden Gardens in Menai Bridge on June 4, starting at 2pm.
- In Powys there is the Dig a little Deeper event at
Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth. Running each day from May
27 to June 4 between 10am and 5pm, it includes tours, activities, trails
and workshops. The festival coincides with school holidays so there will
be lots of garden inspired activities for kids and families.
- Among the highlights in Conwy is the Dawn Chorus
Walk at Bodnant Garden near Colwyn Bay on May 29, starting early from
5.30-7.30am at a cost of £20. It includes a magical tour of the garden at
dawn, including an exclusive viewing of the Laburnum Arch and expert
birdwatching advice. A full Welsh breakfast will be available afterwards
at a cost of £5.
- In Gwynedd there is a vintage car rally at Parc
Glynllifon, Caernarfon from 10am-5pm on Sunday June 11.
- Highlight in Denbighshire comes on Sunday June 11
with the annual plant fayre at Bodrhyddan Hall.
This year for the first time there
will be a Friends of the Festival Discount Card costing £5 which will include
offers such as free tea/coffee and discounted admission. For more information
about the festival go to www.gardensnorthwales.co.uk