A record-breaking 100,000 visitors at Dyffryn
On Christmas Eve, the team here at Dyffryn downed tools to mark a momentous occasion and welcome some very special visitors.
One of our Christmas wishes came true on Christmas Eve as we made history and welcomed our 100,000th visitor for 2016.
Staff and volunteers all downed tools and gathered around the Visitors’ Reception to welcome the rather surprised Mr and Mrs O'Riordan, and celebrate the milestone with some bubbly and Christmas treats.
The couple, who live in Sussex, were visiting our Grade II listed house and Grade I listed Edwardian garden with relatives, Anne and Isla Sharp, to see the Twelve Days of Christmas trail.
Christine O’Riordan said: “It’s our first time in Wales over Christmas so this is a very special treat for us.”
“My daughter lives in Cardiff and visits the gardens regularly, so recommended that we visited. It is magical that this has happened on Christmas Eve.”
Designed by eminent landscape architect Thomas Mawson, our gardens are the early 20th century vision of industrialist John Cory and his son Reginald.
From 1996, the property was then used as a conference centre with the Vale of Glamorgan council and went through extensive restoration thanks to over £6 million in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In 2013, the underdeveloped treasure was then passed over to the National Trust as a part of a 50-year lease from the Vale of Glamorgan council.
Following years of care, development and recognition as Wales’ best-loved location in WalesOnline’s Special Places competition for two years in a row, our attraction has been able to grow and exceed visitor expectations.
Reaching the 100,000 milestone is an incredible achievement for all of us here at Dyffryn Gardens.
" In 2013 we saw over 66,000 visitors and were expected to reach around 100,000 in 2017. With the help of a hardworking team of staff and volunteers within the National Trust, we have smashed through our target. I can’t thank the team enough for all of their hard work."
2016 has also been a very special year for us as we celebrated our 110th anniversary this year.
" We have got some really exciting plans for the future of Dyffryn Gardens, including an ongoing restoration project for our arboretum, which is only going to make our attraction and visitor experience bigger and better for 2017 onwards."
What to look out for in 2017
• Treescapes Project with the construction of a natural play area throughout the year with opportunities to get involved
• Arboretum revival which is a part of an ongoing project to enhance the visitor experience and grow a great garden for future generations
• 2017 will see Dyffryn Gardens turn into a Plantsman’s response to World War One, with beds and borders filled to bursting with vegetables to mirror the 1917 war effort
• 10,000 snowdrops will be planted as part of a community effort to fundraise for the restoration of the fountain pool
• There will be lots of offerings over the Easter holidays. Follow the first signs of spring to outsmart Bunny and seek your prize