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The Winter Garden and distant view of the Carneddau mountains at Bodnant Garden, Wales
The Winter Garden at Bodnant Garden, Wales | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Bodnant's Winter Garden trail

Take a gentle circular walk among nature on Bodnant’s Winter Garden trail. This short walk takes you through 250 years of horticultural history at Bodnant Garden and is suitable for all the family to enjoy.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Begin your walk at Bodnant Garden's visitor centre. Map reference: SH 80150

Step 1

As you leave the visitor centre take the curving gravel path straight ahead beside the old acer tree. After a few metres take the first left turn and head for the Laburnum Arch. On the left of the arch entrance you’ll see another old acer (Acer dissectum palmatum). Its twisted trunk looks stunning even in winter.

Step 2

Exit the arch by turning right and continuing ahead until you reach the main path. Continue to your left and follow the path. To your right you’ll see four large trees – two sessile oak (Quercus petraea), a common beech (Fagus sylvatica) and a sweet chestnut (Castanea Sativa).

The red and orange stems of a dogwood shrub with the white flowers of snowdrops peeking through in the Winter Garden at Bodnant, North Wales
Cornus and snowdrops in the Winter Garden at Bodnant, North Wales | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Step 3

Continue along this path a few feet until the next turn on your left, next to the Himalayan birch (Betula utilis, var. Jacquemontii.) Turn left here into the Winter Garden. Continue along the path, passing Magnolia ‘Heaven Sent’ to your left. A little further along you’ll come to a bench on the right, where you can sit and enjoy the view into the centre of the Winter Garden. Looking left as you continue along the path, you’ll see the Old Park, a meadow with native trees laid out in Georgian times. Continue down the path alongside the boundary of the Winter Garden.

Step 4

Just past the gate to the Old Park meadow you’ll see an evergreen champion tree on your left – you may catch the scent of its white winter flowers too. This is false holly (Osmanthus fortuneii). At 8m high, it's the tallest of its kind in the British Isles. At this junction, you can either turn right and loop back up in a circular route along the crazy paving through the Winter Garden, taking in more of the planting (there are five shallow steps along the way) or continue to Step 5.

Visitors in the Winter Garden at Bodnant Garden, Wales
Visitors in the Winter Garden at Bodnant Garden | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Step 5

From the Osmanthus tree continue onward a few metres towards a bench on the left. A little further on the right-hand side spot a large group of early flowering, pink Rhododendron nobleanum. From this bench you’ll get a great view of the formal East Garden, running from the Round Garden to Bodnant Hall.

Step 6

Loop around the Round Garden and back up along the north boundary of Winter Garden alongside the Top Lawn.

Step 7

At the top of this path turn left along the Puddle Garden which runs parallel to the Laburnum Arch. Developed in 2011, this area pays tribute to three generations of Bodnant head gardeners, Frederick, Charles and Martin Puddle, who played a key part in the development of the garden from 1920 to 2006. It is filled with plants loved by these men, including a number of rhododendron hybrids raised here.

Step 8

Back at the Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ near the visitor centre, turn left on to the Range borders. You’ll find the garden exit along the garden wall on the right.

End point

End your walk at the garden exit. Map reference: SH 72330

Trail map

Winter Garden walk at Bodnant Garden
Winter Garden walk | © National Trust

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