Much of the countryside of Wales is breathtakingly beautiful, from the north, where you’ll find some of the most stunning scenery in the world, to the long sandy beaches of Pembrokeshire.
Snowdonia, the historic heart of Wales, is unique. The mountains have a scale and grandeur which belies their actual size and the region is blessed with rivers, lakes, forests, moorlands and a lovely coastline.
The island of Anglesey ~ backed in the east by the dramatic backcloth of Snowdonia, ever changing in the shifting light ~ is separated from the mainland by the Menai Straits, a lovely sinuous arm of the sea which seems more like a tidal river in its wooded middle reaches. The island’s coastline is immensely varied and beautiful, and the little town of Beaumaris has a relaxed charm all of its own, with its urbane terraces and sea-side air.
Further south is the Brecon Beacons National Park. In it, swooping mountains look down upon the river Wye from a height of almost 3,000 ft (900m) and, should you stand on the distinctive flat topped summit of Pen-y-Fan, you’ll see spread out around and below you the truly exhilarating landscapes of the Beacons, which take their name from the towering peaks at their centre.
Then to Pembrokeshire: as Cornwall is to England, so Pembrokeshire is to Wales. It lies in the far south-west, with the sea on three sides, and it is impossible to stand more than eight miles from salt water anywhere here, for the tide runs up past Milford Haven and on, far up the Cleddau estuaries. Much of the coastline consists of rugged cliffs broken up by stretches of superb sandy beaches ~ the best in Wales ~ and rocky coves. The offshore islands of Skomer, Skokholm and Grassholm are windswept and wild homes to thousands upon thousands of seabirds.
Gardens open for charity
Cilgwyn Lodge, Llangadog, Carmarthen
Two separate gardens are set in glorious countryside. A large water lily and wildlife pond is a contrast to the more formal koi pond. A wide variety of herbaceous plants, particularly hostas and hardy geraniums, are displayed in colour-themed borders.
See National Gardens Scheme Yellow Book or visit www.ngs.org.uk for full details and opening times.