Colby's Woodland Garden
Colby’s woodland garden is a real haven for wildlife, walks, floral wows and heritage hunting.
A serene setting
Set within a tranquil valley, it covers eight acres, so there’s lots to look at.
The wildflower meadow is great for little explorers with its meandering streams and habitat-rich ponds, while the woodland trails lined with seasonal blooms offer a serene setting to leave your footprints.
It wasn’t always a place for peace and quiet, though. The garden actually spans centuries and was once a working coalfield; it still hints at its past with capped-off mine shafts and industrial remains dotted around the site.
What’s the woodland garden’s story?
The site itself played an active part in the Pembrokeshire coal industry during the 1790s when landowner John Colby acquired it.
The garden only really came into its own in the 1870s when a pharmacist named Samuel Kay bought the land and house, Colby Lodge. He began the planting and his descendants continued the legacy in the 1920s by incorporating ponds and additional horticultural features.
There have been a number of key figures at the Colby estate since, with the National Trust taking on the site in the late 1970s.
Must-sees in the woodland garden
- Rhododendrons - They’re Colby’s speciality and thrive in the garden’s acidic soil; look out for the large-leaved rhododendrons by the newt pond and old oak corner.
- Wildlife - Binoculars at the ready, the valley is teeming with all kinds of creatures; from birds to bugs and the occasional otter.
- Japanese Redwood - Reaching towering heights at 134 feet, Colby has the tallest Japanese Redwood in the UK; you’ll find it adjacent to the newt pond.
- Industrial reminders - The garden is full of heritage hotspots including mine entrances and an old mine track that leads to the beach.
- Sea views - Follow the path through the west wood and you’ll reach the summer house, which on a clear day boasts views across Carmarthen Bay with Worm’s Head in the distance.