Parks and gardens
Until the 18th century Wales was an agricultural economy. As the industrial revolution took place and towns built up around the heavy industries, the availability of green leisure-space and summer holidays on the coast were important to the quality of life in Wales. While the heavy industries have diminished, our love of the outdoors remains.
Summer is a great time to visit Wales' parks and gardens. It's enjoyable to see so many flowers in full bloom and the weather often pleasantly warm. There are many parks to choose from, so we thought we'd tell you about some of them.
Country Parks in Wales
Cosmeston Medieval Village
Across Wales, you will find many country parks. Country parks are a great place to take a walk and see wildlife. See the deer at Margam Park or see dragonflies and feed the swans at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. Take a look at the reconstructed medieval village while you're there.
Conwy Valley Maze
Conwy Valley Maze is the world’s largest garden maze – as well as being the oldest hedge maze in the world in continuous use.
Town and city parks in Wales
Did you know that Cardiff has more green space per person than any other city in the UK? There are plenty of ways to enjoy the outdoors in and around the city. Cwmdonkin Park in the heart of Swansea city is one of the places where Welsh writer Dylan Thomas drew inspiration.
There are nine Green Flag Award parks in Conwy, including Queens Gardens in Colwyn Bay.
You'll find local parks in every town and city in Wales. Local authorities look after these parks. They provide facilities such as playgrounds, flowers gardens, boating lakes and sporting venues for local people and visitors.
Parks also provide outdoor venues for some of our festivals during the summer months. These include Cyfarthfa Park, originally built by the Crawshay family, Iron Masters in Merthyr Tydfil and Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd, created as a war memorial park in the 1920s. Within the park is Lido Ponty, a Grade II listed lido. The lido reopened in 2015 having been restored to its former glory. It has three heated swimming pools and caters for people of all ages.
National parks in Wales
We have three national parks:
- Snowdonia National Park in north Wales, which features Snowdon, the highest peak in both England and Wales
- Brecon Beacons National Park in south east has much to see both in the daytime and at night. The entire national park is an International Dark Sky Reserve.
- Pembrokeshire National Park in south west Wales, the UK’s only coastal national park.
Gardens of Wales
Summer is a particularly good time to visit many of our beautiful gardens. You will see many flowers in full bloom at this time of year.
- There is so much to see in the National Botanic Garden in west Wales that in the summer months visitors are able to buy a single ticket which allows them to visit as many times as they like during the following week.
- Another enjoyable day out is a visit to the gardens in Portmeirion in north west Wales, an Italianate village
- The 55-acre gardens of Dyffryn Gardens, south east Wales is an exceptional example of Edwardian garden design. The house is now open to the public.
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- Parks and gardens UK
Search by county
- National Trust
Discover the National Trust properties in Wales that you can visit this summer.
- South Wales Parks and Gardens
Discover a variety of parks in south Wales, including Roath Park and Bute Park in Cardiff, Dewstow Gardens in Caldicot and Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr Tydfil.