Aberglasney Gardens

Top choice in Swansea, The Gower & Carmarthenshire

Wandering through these formal walled gardens feels a bit like walking into a Jane Austen novel. They date originally from Elizabethan times, have evolved continually, and contain a unique cloister built solely as a garden decoration. There's also a pool garden, a 250-year-old yew tunnel, a 'wild' garden in the bluebell woods to the west and various other horticultural havens. In the summer exhibitions and musical events bring further life and gaiety.

At its heart stands a semi-restored manor house (Georgian, over an Elizabethan core), where you can watch a video on the estate's history and view temporary art exhibitions. The derelict kitchens have been converted into a glass-roofed atrium garden full of subtropical plants such as orchids, palms and cycads. Out on the terrace, a whitewashed and flagstoned tearoom sells cakes and snacks.

Aberglasney is in the village of Llangathen, just off the A40, 4 miles west of Llandeilo.

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