4 Jan 2017

Nice and Easy – take an outdoors walk around the Great Glasshouse

Bruce Langridge

Length: 1/2 km (0.3miles)

Average time: 10 minutes

Steps: 700

Calories: 25-35

Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs

Special Features: Mediterranean plants, giant tree roots from Ghana, history, views

Due to the Covid 19 virus, you must keep 2m apart from anyone not in your household.

If you’re wanting to keep fit, walking outdoors is a great way to start. This might be the shortest of our Garden walks but you should find plenty of interesting things along the way. Just follow the purple signs and they’ll take you on one flat circular path around the Great Glasshouse.

If you have a stony garden, you might find some fascinating ideas in our Boulder Garden.

Full of eye catching plants, this  horticultural cornucopia features many plants that would normally be suited to a warmer climate than Wales, particularly the Mediterranean.

Can you see the bog yellow building? This is Principality House. Built 200 years ago to service the much larger Middleton Hall, today this is used as a conference centre.  Middleton Hall burnt down in 1931 but you can still see the layout of its rooms and signs here to see what Middleton Hall once looked like and as well as the restored Regency landscape which is due for completion in Autumn 2020.

Further round is the Ghost Forest. These giant tree roots from a Ghanaian tropical rainforest have all developed a character of their own since they arrived here on heavy loaders in 2014. Notice which ones kids like to climb on or hide inside, which are being eaten away by bizarre looking mushrooms and how some are gradually shedding bits whilst others remain sturdy and intact.

This is also a great place to watch the spring and summer explosions of colour on our Wild Garden, the large expanse of hillside that runs down to our lakes.

Keep your eyes open for colourful butterflies and for wild orchids – they’ve recently colonised this hillside. Listen too for the steady buzz of bees – they love all the pollinating plants here.

Notice the circle of stones below you when you look down at the Broadwalk.  Hand chiselled by stonemason Darren Yeadon, these Preseli bluestones are from the same area as the inner stones of Stonehenge and reputed to have energising powers. So when you’ve finished walking a few circuits, go and touch them – they may help to revive you.

Before you return back to the western entrance of the Great Glasshouse, there is a stone about 10m to your left that is full of 300 million year old tree fossils that created the South Wales coalfields. This stone is just part of a series of geological treasures that form the Rock of Ages display along the Boardwalk.

Feeling good? Let us know how this walk has made you feel good by leaving a comment here or on our social media pages.