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The Hilary Guest House

32 St David's Rd, Llandudno, Conwy, LL30 2UL, United Kingdom
Self Assessed

Gwydir Castle

Gwydir Castle is situated in the beautiful Conwy Valley and is set within a Grade 1 listed, 10 acre garden. Built by the illustrious Wynn family c.1500, Gwydir is a fine example of a Tudor courtyard house, incorporating re-used medieval material from the dissolved Abbey of Maenan. Further additions date from c.1600 and c.1828. The important 1640s panelled Dining Room has now been reinstated, following its repatriation from the New York Metropolitan Museum.

Location: Half mile W of Llanrwst on B5106. 
OS Ref: SH795 610

Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens in the UK, covering some 80 acres and situated above the River Conwy on ground sloping towards the west and looking across the valley towards the Snowdonia range.

The Garden has two parts. The upper area, around the Hall, consists of formal lawns and herbaceous borders, magnificent Italiante Terraces featuring buttressed walls and brick paths, curved steps and pergolas, the Pin Mill and Lily Ponds. 

The lower area, known as The Dell is formed by the valley of the River Hiraethlyn and contains the Pinetum and Wild Garden, where 200-year old trees tower above azaleas, hydrangeas and hosters.

The season commences in March with wonderful displays of Magnolias and Camellias, and carpets with carpets of golden Daffodils. Gorgeous Rhododendrons and Azaleas flower profusely from mid April to late May, whilst the stunning 55 metre Laburnum Arch is a spectacular sight from around the third week of May until early June. Throughout the summer months the Garden looks delightful with colourful displays of roses, water lilies, clematis, eucryphia, hydrangeas and glorious herbaceous borders. This is followed by amazing autumn colours and berries in October.

At Bodnant Garden we grow a wide range of interesting and beautiful plants from all over the world, particularly China, North America, Europe and Japan that are suited to the Welsh climate and soil. As well as this, great care has been taken to place the plants in such a way that they enhance each other and contribute to the general beauty of the Garden throughout the seasons.

The Garden will interest amateur and professional gardeners, artists, photographers and families alike.

A brute of a fortress. Caernarfon Castle’s pumped-up appearance is unashamedly muscle-bound and intimidating. Picking a fight with this massive structure would have been a daunting prospect. By throwing his weight around in stone, King Edward I created what is surely one of the most impressive of Wales’s castles. Worthy of World Heritage status no less!

Most castles are happy with round towers, not Caernarfon! Polygonal towers were the order of the day, with the Eagle Tower being the most impressive of these. You will also note the colour-coded stones carefully arranged in bands.

The site of this great castle wasn’t chosen by accident. It had previously been the location of a Norman motte and bailey castle and before that a Roman fort stood nearby. The lure of water and easy access to the sea made the banks of the River Seiont an ideal spot for Edward’s monster in masonry.

Edward wasn’t one to miss on an opportunity to tighten his grip even further on the native population. The birth of his son, the first English Prince of Wales, in the castle in 1284, was a perfect device to stamp his supremacy. In 1969 the current Prince of Wales, HRH Prince Charles’s investiture took place here.

**** Dogs are not allowed into the castle or grounds *****

 
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