Furnace Wood and Meadow Trail, Bodnant Garden
With 80 acres to explore, there's a walk for everyone at Bodnant Garden. This hillside trail through Furnace Wood and Meadow is a challenge that will take you to new heights and reward you with panoramic new vistas.
Begin this walk from the Old Mill in The Dell
Starting from the Old Mill, follow the path leading past the refreshment kiosk towards the Dell garden. Take the first right hand path uphill over a small wooden bridge which takes you up the long Douglas Path, which is lined with mature Douglas Firs. Continue to a clearing at the top.
A native of North America, the ‘exotic’ Douglas Firs were planted by Bodnant Garden’s founder Henry Pochin and his daughter Laura in the late 1800s.
This route brings you to a clearing where you'll see Furnace Meadow. Looking across the river you can also spot The Poem mausoleum perched on a rocky outcrop. From here take the path which follows the boundary of the meadow, steeply uphill through many more towering conifers. As you continue uphill, views across the garden begin to emerge through the trees.
This is a species-rich grassland now being managed for wildlife. In summer, mown paths provide walkways through grasses and wildflowers buzzing with bees and butterflies. Take a breather and take in the views from one of the picnic benches.
Reaching the brow, the path flattens and you approach the Penjerrick Walk. On either side you’ll see young Penjerrick rhododendrons and other newly planted rhododendrons - come back and see them mature in years to come. A parallel path running above here runs along the very top of Furnace Hill where, if you take a short detour, you'll see the River Conwy running through the valley towards the sea.
The new Penjerrick Walk was planted in 2015 to recreate a historic 80 metre flowering avenue which existed on Furnace Hill in the early 1900s.
At the next junction your path loops and winds back down the hillside alongside Lady’s Seat. Feel free to stop and sit down here, and take in the glorious vista across the garden. From here you'll get a bird's eye view of the famous Italianate Terraces on the opposite side of the valley, built between 1904-1914.
Lady's Seat Path
Lady's Seat was presented to the present Lady Ann Aberconway on her 80th birthday in 2004 - with these view it's not hard to see why this has been a favourite spot.
As you continue along the path past the Lady’s Seat take in many lovely Asian rhododendrons, magnolias and cherries in spring. Some of these are old and rare, grown from seed collected in China by planthunters of the early 1900s.
Look out for plants with green labels – these are special hybrids, bred here at Bodnant Garden in the last century.
Back at the junction of Meadow Path you may loop back and extend your walk by taking one of the other paths which criss-cross through Furnace Wood. Or you may decide to continue southwards alongside the meadow down to The Far End lake area, making your own way back through the Yew Dell and Glades (see property map). Or you can return the way you came, down the Douglas Path to the Old Mill.
The Old Mill
The Georgian Old Mill is a Grade II listed building. In 2013 it was part renovated by volunteers as an indoor space for exhibitions and workshops. Take a look inside where you’ll find a display about Furnace Wood and Meadow.
A circular route back to the Old Mill
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