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Home / Entertainment / Vote now for your favourite park and garden in Special Places 2016

Vote now for your favourite park and garden in Special Places 2016

There are so many glorious parks and gardens in Wales but most people have their favourite.

And now you have the chance to vote for yours as part of WalesOnline’s Special Places 2016 campaign.

Parks and Gardens is the first of six categories we will be asking the public to consider during the coming weeks.

The others are Historic Sites, Beautiful Buildings, Family Fun, Beaches and Countryside.

Each category will feature a shortlist of 20 and the winning six will be put to a final public vote to decide which will be crowned Wales’ Special Place 2016.

Last year Dyffryn Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan made the grade while the inaugural winner two years ago was Penarth Pier.

We’ve teamed up with the National Trust for the Parks and Gardens category and here are the final 20…

Parks and Gardens shortlist 2016

1. Aberglasney House and Gardens, Carmarthenshire

Aberglasney includes three walled gardens and at its heart is a fully-restored Elizabethan cloister garden and parapet walk. An award-winning indoor garden has also been created within the ruins of the mansion’s courtyard, where rare sub-tropical plants are cultivated.

2. Bodnant Garden, Conwy

National Trust
The elegant Italianate terraces at Bodnant Garden

Possibly one of the world’s most spectacular gardens, this is famous for its laburnum arch, colourful hybrid flowers and views over the River Conwy and Snowdonia.

The formal part of the garden is in the Italian style with majestic terraces, sweeping lawns and gorgeous architectural features, while the lower garden has a wooded valley, tumbling stream and rare wild plants.

3. Bodysgallen, Llandudno

John Millar

Featuring more than 200 acres of parkland and beautiful gardens, Bodysgallen is home to rare 17th-century symmetrically planted box hedges filled with sweet-smelling herbs, rockeries, limestone outcrops, lily-pad ponds, woodland walks and several follies

4. Bosherston Lily Ponds, Pembrokeshire

Perfect for an easy family walk, Bosherston’s beautiful lily ponds, dunes and pools are rich in wildlife all year round.

5. Bute Park, Cardiff

Bute Park at sunset

The major park in Cardiff city centre features 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland that once formed the grounds of Cardiff Castle. The park is named after the 3rd Marquess of Bute, whose family resided in the castle.

Straddling the River Taff, it offers a combination of arboretum, flower gardens and recreation grounds and is one of the city’s most popular recreational areas

6. Castle Hill, Tenby

Picturesque and well-kept, this peninsula above the harbour is a conveniently quick dash from most pubs and restaurants.

Complete with an old-fashioned bandstand, and views of both the north and south beaches, it is an ideal location to while away the hours.

7. Chirk Castle Gardens, Wrexham

The parkland of this magnificent medieval fortress provides a habitat for rare invertebrates, wild flowers and contains many mature trees and also some splendid wrought-iron gates. The castle estate has 487 acres and the largest tree on the estate – a sweet chestnut – has a girth of eight metres.

8. Colby Woodland Garden, Pembrokeshire

©National Trust Images/Daniel Bosworth

An eight-acre garden located in a secluded valley near Amroth in Pembrokeshire.

It consists of woodland, meadow, gardens and walled gardens with plants such as azaleas, bluebells, camellias, daffodils, magnolias and rhododendrons along with wildflowers in the meadow.

There is also a café, a shop and toilets.

9. Cosmeston Country Park

Cosmeston Lakes Country Park

Spread across the size of 270 football pitches, Cosmeston is in Penarth and features two large lakes as well as meadows and grassland which are both a haven for wildlife.

Inside the park is a reconstructed 14th-century medieval village which was built around the remains found by a team of archaeologists at the end of the 1970s.

10. Clyne Gardens, Swansea

Gareth Lovering Photography/Flickr
Clyne Gardens in Swansea

Born from the money and passion of a 19th-century industrialist, these glorious gardens bear many exotic species and incredible landscaping, featuring a Japanese bridge, the Admiral’s Tower and the Gazebo that once gave a spectacular view of incoming ships to Swansea Bay.

11. Dare Valley Country Park, Aberdare

With 500 acres of countryside to choose from, there’s more than enough to see, with camping and caravan facilities, outdoor combat laser tag, spectacular walks, kids’ play areas, a hotel, visitors centre and cafe.

12. The Dingle Garden, Welshpool

The Dingle Garden is a secret gem hidden in the beautiful mid-Wales countryside

A secret gem hidden in the beautiful Mid Wales countryside, this stunning four-acre garden makes imaginative use of the dramatic deep valley and connecting small lakes. A network of paths meander down through an informal mix of shrubs and trees, offering unexpected and stunning views of the main lake and the hills beyond.

13. Erddig, Wrexham

Dating back to the early 18th century, this 13.5-acre walled kitchen garden houses extensive statement lawns, fruit trees (there are 148 different apple varieties grown at Erddig) and one of the longest herbaceous borders in Wales.

Other stand-outs include tranquil canals and ponds along with the double avenues of pleached limes which invite you to stay a while in their shade.

14. Glansevern Hall Gardens, Welshpool

Glansevern Hall Gardens is re-opening: the estate has been closed for over a year for a period of transition

More than 25 acres of glorious gardens surrounding a Greek revival house on the banks of the River Severn, the gardens are a mixture of formal planting, lawns, a huge lake as well as many unusual and ancient specimen trees, not to mention spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.

The impressive Rock Garden and Grotto is said to date from around 1840.

15. Margam Park, Neath Port Talbot

The castle at Margam Park

Boasting the gothic Margam Castle, ornamental gardens and a deer park, this 1,000 acres of rolling countryside also hosts a narrow-gauge railway, adventure playgrounds, a children’s area – Fairytale Land – and a rare breeds farm trail.

16. National Botanic Gardens, Llanarthne

There is so much to do and see here – from the great glasshouse, which is the largest single span glasshouse in the world, to the 8,000 or more different plant varieties on display in the gardens. The apothecary’s garden, in particular – a fascinating garden of healing herbs – is a must-see.

17. Penrhyn Castle Gardens

National Trust Images

This gem is at Gelli Uchaf, Carmarthenshire, and is centred around an old longhouse with spectacular views – the sloping site has allowed several different garden areas to be created.

Masses of insect-friendly flowers have been used to create a garden alive with colour, interest and biodiversity throughout the seasons.

18. Plas Newydd

National Trust Wales/WALES NEWS SERVICE

The country house is set in gardens, parkland and woodland in Anglesey.

Landscaped at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, there are also two prehistoric monuments on the site.

19. Roath Park, Cardiff

Roath Park, Cardiff

Officially opened in 1894, Roath Park has had a special place in the hearts of the people living in the capital city.

There are great walks, impressive floral displays, unusual plant and tree species and a diverse variety of wildlife – from terrapins to herons and swans – while the lake “lighthouse” commemorates Captain Scott’s ill-fated voyage to the Antarctic from Cardiff in 1910.

20. Upton Gardens, Pembrokeshire

These gorgeous extensive gardens surround a medieval castle and feature 35 acres of mature woodland and more than 250 different species of trees and shrubs. Walk further and you’ll come across a tidal creek and the Carew river.

How to vote…

Just click on the name of your favourite park and garden below…

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