22 Jun 2020

Bright and Beautiful Walk – take a one mile walk around the Garden

Bruce Langridge

Length: 1 mile (1.6km)

Average time: 20-30 minutes

Steps: 2000

Calories: 80-100

Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs

Special Features: Beautiful lakes, Regency features, Wild Garden, Japanese Garden, Bog Garden, Arboretum, rare lichen, woodland birds

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

If you say you’ve just walked a mile, the chances are that you might feel good about yourself – regular walking may help prevent Type 2 diabetes, reduce high blood pressure and improve your mental health

This mile long walk will take you around the edges of the more formal Garden, you’ll pass some beautiful displays and wonderful wildlife on your walk – just follow the red arrows dotted along the route.

Leaving from the main western entrance of the Great Glasshouse, you’ll pass Principality House. This was built 200 years ago to service the much larger Middleton Hall which burnt down in 1931. Look at the signs here to see what Middleton Hall once looked like.

As you take a right down the hill, you’ll have great views of Paxton’s Tower on your left – built in tribute to Lord Nelson 200 years ago.

Halfway down, you’ll pass Sally Matthew’s hugely popular Tarw (Welsh Black Bull) sculpture, stuffed full of black sheep fleece that is regularly stolen by nest building birds. Over the summer, the Wild Garden on your right is a blaze of sweeping colours.

Near the bottom of the hill, turn right where the red arrow tells you to. At the end of the path, look out for an old goat willow tree  on your right side – the sign next to the tree will tell you about a fascinating experiment we’re doing here to conserve rare lichen.

The next path takes you past Llyn Canol – a great place to look for floating families of little grebes, flashes of blue kingfishers and motionless herons, ready to pounce for fish.

If you’re really lucky you might also see an otter.

Follow the red trail over a lovely stone bridge, with busy wagtails flitting beneath and views across the water lily laden Llyn Uchaf. Along this next path section, you’ll pass the entrance to our Arboretum which we are formally opening up to visitors for the first time in 2020.

The red arrows will then direct you past our dipping ponds, a popular learning space for schoolchildren and family visitors –  watch out for crawling toads and hopping frogs.

You’ll then pass Ty Unnos – a wooden building conceived by artist Owen Griffiths and which was erected in one day in December 2017 and is regularly used by our Wellie Wednesday pre-schoolers. As you go through the alder carr woodland, listen out for the rare marsh tit’s sneezy ‘pitchoo’ call.

As you pass our Aqualab classrooms, you’d normally see people inside – excited schoolchildren peering into microscopes or adults concentrating on creative day courses.

Over another stone bridge, past a collection of young alders, you’ll turn left past our newly restored Bog Garden on your right. Listen for the peeps and squeaks of moorhens and coots on Pwll Yr Ardd on your left.

Past the fountain surrounded by a stonework shaped ammonite fossil, you’ll pass the beautifully restored Japanese Garden.

Notice the 200 year old Ice House on your left as you continue along the path and past the Bee Garden (sorry – we’ve had to close this temporarily as you cannot be 2m apart from other visitors here). Continue to follow the red trail on the road past Springwoods on your left, a woodland rich in fungi, exotic shrubs and many woodland birds. You’ll also pass the arched entrances to what was once a Peach House within the Double Walled Garden on your right. Turn right at the Apothecary’s Hall then walk back up to the Great Glasshouse and you’ll have completed one full mile.

Feeling good? Let us know how this walk has made you feel good by leaving a comment here or on our social media pages. https://www.facebook.com/GardenofWales