Follow our winter garden trail at Powis
In the dark and cold of winter it's all too easy to slip into hibernation mode, but if you wrap up warm, you'll find that there’s plenty to discover at Powis this winter. Collect your ticket and enjoy this leisurely stroll along our Italianate terraces, Formal Garden, and 'Wildnerness’ woodland. There are plenty of rest stops along the way or recharge your batteries with a hot drink and slice of cake in our Courtyard Restaurant at the end.
Powis Castle Garden Kiosk
Collect your entrance ticket from the Ticket Office and enter the garden. Follow the path, taking a left turn at the end. Continue on this path along the Top Terrace which affords a great aerial view across the garden, Severn Valley and Breidden Hills.
The garden you see today has its origins in the 1680s. The terraces and formal grass slopes on this south-facing ridge of the castle were created by architect William Winde at the request of William Herbert, 1st Marquess of Powis (c.1626–96).
At the end of the terrace, take the set of steps on your right down to the Aviary Terrace. Be sure to admire the 18th Century statues of dancing shepherds adorning the balustrade on your right before taking the next flight of steps down to the Orangery terrace. At the bottom, follow the path on your left which leads through the giant yew hedge.
The yew tumps and this 14 metre-high hedge are almost 300 years old and their unusual shape tells the story of changing horticultural fashions. Originally clipped into formal cones, the fashion for landscape gardening at the end of the 18th Century meant they were allowed to grow naturally, becoming more ‘tree-like’. This lasted until the resurgence of Formal Gardening in the Victorian era when they were once more clipped back into shape, giving them the unusual structure that is still so striking today.
Continue along the path that slopes between two yew hedges. At the bottom, turn left into the Formal Garden. Follow the path straight ahead, then turn right at the end of the path. This will take you past our holiday home The Bothy, a black and white timber framed building that was once the home of Powis’ Edwardian gardeners. Continue along the path admiring the 100 year old apple trees as you pass them by. Turn right and then right again to complete your loop of the Formal Garden.
The Formal Garden
This area was once a kitchen garden, however when several tall elms that formed a fourth ‘wall’ around the garden fell in the early 1900s, garden enthusiast Lady Violet (1865–1929), wife of the 4th Earl of Powis, renovated the area. Concerned by the unsightly view from the Castle she relocated the glasshouses, replacing them with this typically Edwardian garden, comprising of flat open spaces set within walls and hedges. She also planted the delicate fruit trees which still stand today.
As you leave the formal garden, turn left to follow the straight path between two tall box hedges. At the end turn right then immediately left. On your right you’ll see some shallow steps which will take you up into The Wilderness, Powis’ formal woodland. Continue along this path, stopping at the clearing on your right to admire the beautiful view of the Castle, terraces and Great Lawn.
The Great Lawn
In the early 18th Century Adrian Duval, a French gardener, made his mark on Powis by installing a water garden or Pleasure Ground on the flat land at the foot of the terraces. This water garden covered as much land as the castle and terraces combined and must have been a spectacular sight. Sadly, fashions changed and by 1809 the water garden had been removed in favour of a simple lawn, where deer grazed to the bottom of the terraces.
Continue along the path, taking a right at the fork. Follow this path through the Wilderness, taking in the beautiful views of the castle as you go.
Don't miss the mossy Plunge Pool surrounded by ferns on your left where the family would once have bathed. Built in the 19th century, an invigorating cold bath was believed to bestow significant health benefits to the bather.
As you reach the Stable Pond, continue ahead keeping the pond on your left. When you reach the cross roads, take the steepest path which will lead you back to the garden entrance. After your walk, why not reward yourself with something delicious from our Courtyard Restaurant? Every penny spent at Powis stays here to help with vital conservation work, thank you for supporting us.
Powis Castle Garden Kiosk
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