National Trust – Powis Castle & Garden
Nestled in the mid-Wales countryside on the outskirts of Welshpool, Powis Castle & Gardens is another fabulous property in the National Trust’s portfolio.
Powis Castle was originally built in the thirteenth century by a Welsh Prince named Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn (try pronouncing that if your not Welsh). One of the Prince’s descendants sold the castle to Sir Edward Herbert in 1579 where it remained in the family until 1644 when it was captured by Parliamentary troops. It was later passed on to the Clive family (having married into the Herbert family somewhere down the line) and remains to be owned by the family now, looked after by the National Trust.
The castle houses the Clive Museum which features a collection of artifacts from Bengal and other parts of Bangladesh, which the Clive’s collected during their time working for the East India Company.
The main reason for my visit to this property were the gardens. Steep Italianate terraces, colourful borders, 30ft tall shaped yew hedges sitting high above the great lawn along the Edwardian formal gardens and the woodland beyond. It looked too good to miss.
Dating back more than 300 years the garden at Powis Castle is one of the only places in Great Britain that you can still see a true Baroque garden.
Let’s take a wander from the castle, through the terraces down to the formal gardens below.
The terraces work down from the imaginitively named Top Terrace, followed by the Aviary Terrace, Orangery Terrace and finally (yep, you’ve guessed it) the Lower Terrace.
These terraces are where you will see the 300 year old yew tumps (14 of which sit along the top terrace) and hedges, which are a major element of this part of the garden. Clipped into strange cloud like formations, they are certainly a spectacle.
The terraces are also home to a collection of dancing statues.
In summer the borders are packed full of colour.
The great lawn at the bottom of the terraces offers fantastic views up to the castle.
Next to the great lawn are the formal gardens of the property, as well as the croquet lawn. There’s also a gorgeous Edwardian Cottage called The Bothy, where you can stay overnight.
Once you have had a look around the formal gardens, you can grab some refreshments at the Garden Coffee Shop, sit outside and admire the surroundings before taking a stroll along the woodland paths beyond, where you will catch glimpses across the great lawn towards the terraces with castle perched above.
Following the woodland pathways around will bring you back towards the stable pond and ice house, before arriving back at the entrance. There is also a Courtyard Restaurant at the castle, as well as the expected National Trust shop.
Powis Castle & Gardens is one of the most impressive and photogenic properties I have visited. It’s open year round and worth visiting anytime, but I would definitely recommend a summer visit when the garden is in full bloom.
Powis Castle & Gardens, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 8RF