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Visiting the garden at Powis Castle

Autumn view over the Formal Garden to the countryside at Powis Castle, Welshpool, Powys.
The Formal Garden at Powis Castle in autumn | © National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

Wales is famous for its rugged landscapes and castles but less known for its beautiful gardens. Stretching out beneath the medieval castle is one of the finest gardens in Britain. With dramatic terraces, an Orangery, an Edwardian formal garden and a peaceful wooded landscape, there is so much for you to explore.

Autumn highlights

As the nights draw in and the temperature starts to drop, experience the glorious autumn colours sweeping across the 18th-century Italianate Terraces and through the Formal Woodland.

Take a seasonal stroll

Acers on the bank below the castle put on a spectacular show and glow in striking shades of gold, orange and yellow. The low afternoon sunshine bounces off the bold red-brick castle and puts it under the spotlight for all to see.

Unleash your senses and take in the mouth-watering scent of burnt sugar and caramel coming from katsura trees on the Lower Terraces and the sweet aroma of ripening fruit coming from the fruit trees in the Formal Garden. Listen to the leaves crunching beneath your feet as you explore the garden and admire the sheer size of the champion trees in the Formal Woodland.

Don’t miss the topiary trimming

The mighty task of trimming the giant topiary at Powis Castle and Garden is a must-see in autumn. They tower over the terraces at a staggering 30 feet and it takes one talented gardener 10 weeks to carefully shape them into their famous cloud-like form.

Spot autumnal wildlife

You might not see it, but you’ll certainly hear the deer rutting on the Powis Estate as you drive up towards the castle. Watch the drama unfold and hear the noise echo through the estate as they lock antlers in an unforgettable wildlife wonder.

Keep your eyes peeled for other wildlife in the garden this autumn too, including squirrels, buzzards, and hedgehogs.

Autumn vine arch with pheasant running across grass beneath
Pheasant under the vine arch in autumn in the garden at Powis Castle | © National Trust Images/Mark Bolton

Explore the Italianate Terraces at Powis Castle

Beneath the castle and blasted out of the bare rock, are the Italianate Terraces which are considered the finest surviving example of a 17th century terraced garden in Britain.

From their position high up on the hillside you can admire breath-taking views across the garden, deer park, and in the distance, the pointed profiles of Long Mountain and the Breidden Hills.

The 18th-century Orangery

Admire herbaceous borders flowering with a profusion of perennials, dancing lead and stone statues, an Aviary that once housed birds of prey and an orangery with a grand 18th-century stone doorway that was once the entrance to the castle itself.

The Edwardian Formal Garden

This area was once a Kitchen Garden but in 1912 Violet, Countess of Powis, oversaw its transformation into a formal flower garden.

Here you can stroll along avenues of ancient apple trees, enjoy the shade beneath the vine arch, admire seasonal colour and relax as you listen to the sound of water falling in the Fountain Garden nearby.

Vivid red, orange and yellow acer trees below the 13th century castle. Italianate terraces also in view.
Glowing acer trees in the garden beneath Powis Castle | © Ruth Scutter

The Fountain Garden

In the Fountain Garden admire the topiary of the trimmed trees and hedges. View their long shadows in the low afternoon light across the grass.

Look out for the wrought-iron gates, a gift from Lady Violet to her husband George, 4th Earl of Powis, featuring the vibrant Herbert family crest of an Elephant and Griffin keeping an eye on the garden.

Huge hedges

It’s impossible to miss one of Powis’ most famous features, its 300-year old yew tree hedges. Looking back to the castle from anywhere in the garden you can see the cloud-like forms of the 14 giant tumps and the 30 foot high hedge will remain in your mind long after your visit.

Walk in the Wilderness

The wooded ridge opposite the castle, is known as the Wilderness. It’s less formal than the rest of the garden and is the perfect place for a woodland walk with incredible views.

Walk alongside great oaks, rhododendrons and exotic trees. Stop by the Stable Pond, the Ice House or the Plunge pool, which are surrounded by ferns. Uncover unique sculptures and admire the view of the castle across the Great Lawn.

Facade of Powis Castle showing the sequence of garden terraces below featuring massive clipped yews at Powis Castle and Garden, Wales

Discover more at Powis Castle and Garden

Find out when Powis Castle and Garden is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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