Plas Brondanw

Clough Williams-Ellis's garden in Snowdonia

I have visited this magical garden many times and never tire of it. Set in the foothills of Snowdonia, with views of Cnicht mountain, it was the home of Clough Williams-Ellis, better known for the creation of the Italianate village, Portmeirion, nearby. He inherited Plas Brondanw in 1904 and the creation of the garden became his hobby. Peopled with eccentric topiary shapes that never quite match, it is charming in its not-quite-formal way, with yew-hedged enclosures, sweeping steps, stone and cobble motifs and ballustrades painted in Portmeirion turquoise. In the romantic woodland above the house stands a small tower, built by Williams-Ellis with money given to him as a wedding present after his marriage to Annabel Strachey. Plas Brondanw garden is open to the public all year round, with a cafe that opens in spring and summer, and an honesty box system from October-March.