Charles’s cultural guidebook to west Wales

Charles

Charles’s cultural guidebook to west Wales

Sightseeing
Cardigan Castle was the birthplace of the first eisteddfod in 1176. It has recently been restored, and the gardens are particularly attractive.
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Cardigan Castle
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Cardigan Castle was the birthplace of the first eisteddfod in 1176. It has recently been restored, and the gardens are particularly attractive.
This is the loveliest church in Wales. Go to a service, if you can. https://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/
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St Davids Cathedral
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This is the loveliest church in Wales. Go to a service, if you can. https://www.stdavidscathedral.org.uk/
An elegant Georgian villa designed by John Nash, set in the wooded Aeron valley. Remarkably unaltered for over 200 years, this self-sufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and lake. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/llanerchaeron It is on the Dylan Thomas trail. https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Dylan+Thomas+Trail One free garden worth visiting nearby is the Ty Glyn Davis Trust Garden: https://www.tyglyndavistrust.co.uk/the-garden
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Llanerchaeron - National Trust
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An elegant Georgian villa designed by John Nash, set in the wooded Aeron valley. Remarkably unaltered for over 200 years, this self-sufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and lake. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/llanerchaeron It is on the Dylan Thomas trail. https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Dylan+Thomas+Trail One free garden worth visiting nearby is the Ty Glyn Davis Trust Garden: https://www.tyglyndavistrust.co.uk/the-garden
Go on a Thursday, when it is open to the public. http://www.thetempletrust.org.uk/
The Cilwendeg Shell House Hermitage
Go on a Thursday, when it is open to the public. http://www.thetempletrust.org.uk/
Nest of Wales is associated with this castle. It is at the tidal reach of the River Teifi, and it is possible to canoe up from the Welsh Wildlife Centre: https://www.welshwildlife.org/visitor-centres/the-welsh-wildlife-centre/ Here is the link to Heritage Canoes: http://heritagecanoes.squarespace.com/info
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Cilgerran Castle - National Trust
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Nest of Wales is associated with this castle. It is at the tidal reach of the River Teifi, and it is possible to canoe up from the Welsh Wildlife Centre: https://www.welshwildlife.org/visitor-centres/the-welsh-wildlife-centre/ Here is the link to Heritage Canoes: http://heritagecanoes.squarespace.com/info
Explore the Iron Age village: https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/castell-henllys/ Far older is Neolithic Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber nearby: https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/pentre-ifan-burial-chamber
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Castell Henllys
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Explore the Iron Age village: https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/castell-henllys/ Far older is Neolithic Pentre Ifan Burial Chamber nearby: https://cadw.gov.wales/visit/places-to-visit/pentre-ifan-burial-chamber
Discover the spellbinding story of the Welsh woollen industry: https://museum.wales/wool/
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National Wool Museum
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Discover the spellbinding story of the Welsh woollen industry: https://museum.wales/wool/
Good exhibitions! https://www.library.wales/
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The National Library Of Wales
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Good exhibitions! https://www.library.wales/
Sightseeing
A garden lost in time, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in Wales. It was restored in the late 'nineties, and at its heart lies a fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden that is the only surviving example of its kind in the UK today. Beyond this, visitors can explore 10 acres of over 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, right through to exotic and modern along with the fully restored ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion. Good for afternoon tea.
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Aberglasney
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A garden lost in time, this is one of the most beautiful gardens in Wales. It was restored in the late 'nineties, and at its heart lies a fully restored Elizabethan Cloister Garden that is the only surviving example of its kind in the UK today. Beyond this, visitors can explore 10 acres of over 20 different garden styles from formal to woodland, right through to exotic and modern along with the fully restored ground floor of Aberglasney’s grade II* listed mansion. Good for afternoon tea.
A good contrast to Aberglasney, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales is on the site of Middleton Hall, of which very little remains. The great glasshouse is the new centrepiece of the gardens. It was designed by Foster and Partners and is the largest single-span glasshouse in the world. It is elliptical in plan, and is tilted south to maximise sunlight. The roof measures 99m x 55m and rests on twenty-four arches, which rise to 15 metres at the apex of the dome. The glasshouse was constructed between 1995-2000. It houses some of the most endangered plants on the planet which come from six areas of the world: California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile, South Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. Each of these geographical areas has regions that enjoy a Mediterranean climate. Hot dry summers, cool moist winters, dazzling sunlight, strong breezes and the occasional ground-clearing fire, create perfect conditions for many plants to thrive on the scrubby, rock-strewn landscapes. Although these regions cover less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, they contain more than 20% of all known flowering plant species, and their richness and plant diversity are considered second only in importance to tropical rainforests. Sadly, these plants are under serious threat from modern human developments in agriculture, tourism, housing and increasingly, climate change. At first glance, it is not obvious that the plants in the Great Glasshouse come from six different places in the world. This is because they often share many qualities, such as small leathery evergreen leaves and dense shrubby forms, having adapted in similar ways to the similar environmental pressures they face. Kathryn Gustafson designed the imaginative flowing landscape inside the Great Glasshouse on which these plants thrive. Covering 3,500 square metres, its rocky terraces, sandstone cliffs and gravelled scree slopes are contoured to reflect the natural environment and to create a wide range of habitats, balancing light and shade and varying moisture levels to suit the needs of different plants. https://botanicgarden.wales/about-the-garden/middleton-estate/
National Botanic Gardens
A good contrast to Aberglasney, the National Botanic Gardens of Wales is on the site of Middleton Hall, of which very little remains. The great glasshouse is the new centrepiece of the gardens. It was designed by Foster and Partners and is the largest single-span glasshouse in the world. It is elliptical in plan, and is tilted south to maximise sunlight. The roof measures 99m x 55m and rests on twenty-four arches, which rise to 15 metres at the apex of the dome. The glasshouse was constructed between 1995-2000. It houses some of the most endangered plants on the planet which come from six areas of the world: California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile, South Africa and the Mediterranean Basin. Each of these geographical areas has regions that enjoy a Mediterranean climate. Hot dry summers, cool moist winters, dazzling sunlight, strong breezes and the occasional ground-clearing fire, create perfect conditions for many plants to thrive on the scrubby, rock-strewn landscapes. Although these regions cover less than 2% of the Earth’s surface, they contain more than 20% of all known flowering plant species, and their richness and plant diversity are considered second only in importance to tropical rainforests. Sadly, these plants are under serious threat from modern human developments in agriculture, tourism, housing and increasingly, climate change. At first glance, it is not obvious that the plants in the Great Glasshouse come from six different places in the world. This is because they often share many qualities, such as small leathery evergreen leaves and dense shrubby forms, having adapted in similar ways to the similar environmental pressures they face. Kathryn Gustafson designed the imaginative flowing landscape inside the Great Glasshouse on which these plants thrive. Covering 3,500 square metres, its rocky terraces, sandstone cliffs and gravelled scree slopes are contoured to reflect the natural environment and to create a wide range of habitats, balancing light and shade and varying moisture levels to suit the needs of different plants. https://botanicgarden.wales/about-the-garden/middleton-estate/