South Wales & the Welsh Borders Garden Tour
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Hills & moorland
Explore inspirational Welsh gardens at their best. The wonderful creations of iconic landscape architects – Capability Brown’s Berrington Hall and Thomas Mawson’s Arts & Crafts garden at Dyffryn – are a must-see and provide a glimpse into the heyday of opulent country gardens. The tour also features the beautifully restored “lost” garden of Aberglasney, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and the elegant Weir gardens on the banks of the River Wye.
- Explore the creations of the iconic Capability Brown at Berrington Hall and Thomas Mawson at Dyffryn
- Visit a variety of gardens, including the National Botanic Gardens of Wales
- Full-day tours to get the most from your holiday
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
- All transport to and from gardens on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach with PA system
- All garden admissions costs (please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)
Nythfa House is a charming Country House, located on the edge of the market town of Brecon. Spacious public rooms, attractive gardens and indoor swimming pool make it a popular and relaxing place to stay.
Nythfa House has 28 bedrooms. Most are located in the main house, with others in garden annexes.
Choose your room
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Single rooms are available at no extra charge
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Dining room and bar
• Conservatory which looks out onto the garden
• Free WiFi available in some public rooms
|• Range of board games and books
• Indoor swimming pool in a separate building
• The house is surrounded by extensive gardens
• Putting green and croquet lawn
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request. An under-pillow vibrating pad is available on request
- A fridge is available in the first floor lounge for storing medication
- Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff has had disability awareness training
You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.
You'll spend a lot of time on your feet: there'll be up to 5 miles during the course of the day, around the gardens.
In the evenings there will be a mixed programme of activities. On some evenings there will be a dedicated activity based around your holiday's theme; on others, you can join in with the general social activities taking place in the Country House or relax in the bar with new-found friends.
Saturday: Dyffryn Gardens and the St Fagan’s National Museum of History
Two interesting visits today will show differing perspectives of Welsh life in the past. At Dyffryn we visit magnificent Edwardian gardens designed by Thomas Mawson for John Cory who had built his wealth on coal and shipping. At St Fagan’s, by contrast, we see more humble abodes and gardens which have been saved and rebuilt from places across Wales.
Sunday: Berrington Hall and Hergest Croft
Berrington Hall provides a fine example of the work of Lancelot “Capability” Brown with wide vistas and seemingly natural landscapes yet carefully constructed and built on a massive scale to achieve the great parkland scenery. The afternoon at Hergest Croft is by contrast a more planterly affair with magnificent trees, impressive borders and plants collected from all over the World.
Monday: Free day
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.
Tuesday: The National Botanic Garden of Wales and the Lost Garden of Aberglasney
The National Botanic Garden of Wales opened in the early part of this century and now shows off plants within modern design and technology. The state of the art and vast glasshouse contains one of the finest collections of Mediterranean plants in the World. Aberglasney was made famous by the BBC television series “A Garden Lost in Time” which followed its restoration which began in the 1990s. Today it is one of Wales’ finest gardens.
Wednesday: The Weir and Stockton Bury
The Weir is a naturalistic garden bordered by the River Wye. It provides a tranquil haven in the Herefordshire countryside. Stockton Bury is more formal and with 4 acres of kitchen garden, pigeon house, grotto, rill and greenhouse all developed in what was part of the family farm some 30 years ago.
Thursday: Abbey Dore Court and Whitfield
Abbey Dore Court is a beautiful, mature, six acre, plant-lovers’ garden developed by Charis Ward with formal, wild and river areas set in the glorious Herefordshire countryside. In the afternoon our final garden, Whitfield, features parkland, wild flowers, ponds, walled garden and some impressive trees.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
We wish we could, but we can’t manage the weather, traffic jams or other venue’s operations, so if this holiday needs to change for those, or any other reasons, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
As you'll be walking around the gardens please bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and clothes for the great British weather!
Discover the Brecon Beacons
During your stay at Nythfa House you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest, either in your free time, or on your journey to and from Brecon:
Brecon is a quaint market town at the foot of the Brecon Beacons; an area of sweeping high moorland, and beautiful green valleys. The town has a good range of facilities including shops, supermarkets, post office, chemists, banks, pubs and cafés. During your stay you may enjoy visiting Brecon Cathedral or take a scenic cruise from Brecon along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. www.breconcathedral.org.uk or www.dragonfly-cruises.co.uk
Big Pit Mining Museum
Travel underground at the excellent Big Pit museum in Blaenavon and discover the life of a South Wales coal miner. Blaenavon is around 45 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/bigpit
The quaint small town of Hay-on-Wye is about 30 minutes' drive from Brecon, and can also be reached by bus every 2 hours. The town is now famed for its annual literary festival, and extensive selection of second-hand book shops.
Hereford is an attractive city, around an hour's drive from Brecon, whose cathedral houses the famous Mappa Mundi, a 12th century map of the world. www.herefordcathedral.org
Dan yr Orgof Caves
An impressive show-cave, one of the largest in Europe, with fine stalactites and stalagmites. The caves are around 30 minutes' drive from Brecon. www.showcaves.co.uk
Located near the village of Crickhowell, about 20 minutes' drive from Brecon, Tretower Court is a fine Medieval fortified manor house. www.cadw.wales.gov.uk
The vibrant Welsh capital of Cardiff is also around 40 miles or 1 hour’s drive from Brecon. A visit could include the St Fagan’s National History Museum, Castell Coch, or the National Museum. www.visitcardiff.com
Tretower Court image © Crown copyright (2016) Welsh Government, Big Pit image ©Big Pit National Coal Museum
Travel to Brecon
Our address is: Nythfa House, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7NN
The most convenient railway station is at Abergavenny. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 20 mile journey from Abergavenny railway station takes approximately 45 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £36 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Nythfa House Manager.
The X43 bus operates from Abergavenny station to Brecon. Alight at the bus interchange in Brecon. Facing the road, head left along Heol Gouesnou to the traffic lights. Turn right heading uphill along Cerrigcochion Road for around 70 yards, and then turn left into Belle Vue Gardens. Head along the road and turn right at the T-junction (still Belle Vue Gardens). Head up the road to another T-junction and turn left into Cerrigcochion Lane. Walk for about 15 yards and you will see the Nythfa House sign on your right. For bus times see www.traveline.info
Most guests approach Brecon via the A40 from Abergavenny or the A470 from the northwest. These two roads converge at a roundabout on the Brecon bypass. At the roundabout follow the B4601 into Brecon. Pass the army barracks on your right, then turn right at the mini-roundabout (B4601). Continue ahead at the second mini-roundabout. Turn right at the traffic lights (B4602), then take the first left into Bell View Gardens. Take the next road on the right, then at the next T junction turn left. The drive to Nythfa House is ahead on the right.
Travelling from overseas
For most guests, travelling to London Heathrow airport is the most convenient option.
From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. From here there are trains to Abergavenny (1 change at Newport) - allow 3 to 3½ hours. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
From Abergavenny you can travel on to Brecon by bus or taxi (see above).
Harry’s first Holiday with HF was on Arran in 1971. He has been a walks leader since 2007 and a garden tours leader since 2010. Harry has holidayed at all the current HF houses having led from most of them, too.
On top of a lifelong love of gardens and being a passionate gardener himself, Harry has also taught Garden Design and Horticulture at degree level for several years and is one of only a small number of Chartered Horticulturist in the UK. Harry has a Masters in Horticulture from the Royal Horticultural Society. He is also an RHS Flower Shows volunteer, providing guidance on RHS Gardens at shows such as the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show and RHS Chelsea Flower Show where he has been involved in delivering several medal winning gardens. He is also a specialist garden inspector for the National Trust.
Harry enjoys sharing his knowledge of the landscape, gardens and their design and history. He knows from experience of this vast field that there is something new to learn from each other at every turn. During his Garden Tours, Harry sets the pace so that there is time to stand and stare and soak it all in.
Harry does everything well - he is prepared, knowledgeable, considerate, communicative - he's the best.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person