If you’re looking for a complete change of scenery, take a drive inland to the fabulous Powis Castle, well worth the journey, which will also take you back in time.
The original castle was built in around 1200 as a medieval fortress and since then, has been remodelled to suit the needs of each generation of owners, with the Herbert Family at the helm since the mid-16th century. In 1784 Henrietta Herbert married Edward Clive, eldest son of Clive of India, a match which improved the family fortunes and accounts for many of the exceptional works of art on site, including paintings, sculpture, furniture and textiles from, India, East Asia and Europe. The castle also houses the Clive Museum which contains one of the UK’s most significant collections of Indian objects.
In 1952, George, 4th Earl of Powis bequeathed castle and gardens to National Trust.
Powis Castle is an imposing sight, sitting high on a cliff with its two 14th century drum towers intact and offering stunning views across the valley. Your visit will take you through the rooms, which are wonderful and filled with treasures, but the jewel in the crown is the world-famous Grade 1 listed garden. The Italianate terraces are considered the finest surviving example of a 17th century terraced garden in Britain; you’ll also find 300-year-old clipped yew tree hedges, lovely old roses and exotic plants, a glorious 18th century orangery with beautifully planted borders, a formal garden (previously the kitchen garden) fringed by avenues of ancient apple trees and a woodland walk in the `Wilderness’.
Dogs welcome and well considered but check before you travel as they won’t be able to accompany you to all areas of the grounds, depending on the time of year. Visit the website in advance for seasonal opening dates and times and for a glimpse into the wonderful world that awaits you!
If you’re inspired by Welsh history and castles in particular, a visit to Harlech Castle is also a must. Its location is jaw-droppingly dramatic, sitting on a sheer rocky crag looking out to sea, with the rugged peaks of Snowdonia as its backdrop. Considered the most spectacular of Edward I’s castles in north Wales (with all four awarded World Heritage Site status), it’s a thrilling way to step back in time and at under 90 minutes’ drive from Plas Talgarth, well worth the trip.