Monday 17 June 2019
Portmeirion & Plas Brondanw Garden
Monday 17 June
Enjoy a scenic drive past Bala as we make our way to Portmeirion where the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis worked out his Italianate fantasies. The television series – The Prisoner – was filmed here. The gardens are formal, with a mixture of Mediterranean plants and exotic palms, and full of architectural bric-a-brac of every period. Other attractions include tree ferns, gunneras, phormiums, ginkgos and holm oaks. Williams-Ellis began to lay out the garden at Portmeirion in 1926.
The gardens have been further developed in the last 20 years, taking advantage of the mild climate. One garden – almost at the furthest end of the estate and planted with a background of eucalyptus trees – is known as the ‘ghost garden’ because of the way the wind whistles in the leaves. There are a number of eateries from which you can choose. The land train operates all day free of charge and will take you up into the woods above Portmeirion. Sir Clough Williams-Ellis has recorded on film the history of the building of Portmeirion and can be seen free of charge in the cinema.
Plas Brondanw is a fine example of Sir Clough’s talent for creative landscape design. The main features date from the early part of the 20th century before he began Portmeirion, but work continued until the 1960’s. It is the much smaller neighbour but nevertheless lovely with its little rooms and long borders. The whole experience is one of peace and tranquillity.
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was given Plas Brondanw by his father in 1902. The house and garden had long been abandoned by the family and subdivided into allotments and tenements. Only the big trees remained of its earlier grandeur. Over the next seventy years, Sir Clough created a unique and characteristic garden landscape. His main objective was to provide a series of dramatic and romantic views. The design of the Plas garden is strongly architectural, relying on stone wall, topiary and avenues of trees to form the vistas which lead the eye to distant mountain tops. A delightful terraced restaurant serves home-made tea and cakes.
The total cost of the trip is £49.50 per person. This includes all coach travel and entry into Portmeirion and Plas Brondanw. Please send a £15 non-refundable deposit per person when booking. The coach will leave Shrewsbury at approximately 9am and return about 7pm. The exact timings will be confirmed 7 days before travel.