Thursday, 6 December 2012 6:55 PM
While South Wales has long been a popular holiday destination for those looking to get away from it all, Pembrokeshire is a particularly great spot to relax in. You'll find pretty public gardens throughout the south-west county that are wonderful places to take time out from the rat race.
Visiting such gardens provides a good opportunity to reflect and forget all about any stress you may have been experiencing. Once you've booked your Pembrokeshire holiday cottage, here are some of the region's stunning gardens that you may want to explore the most.
Penlan Uchaf Gardens
Situated in a working farm in the heart of the Gwaun Valley, Penlan Uchaf Gardens is a fantastic destination for those who are keen to spend a portion of their break connecting with nature.
Here, you'll have three acres of landscaped gardens to explore and will get to take in a range of flora, including conifers and alpine plants.
The garden's location overlooking the Preseli Hills presents visitors with wonderful panoramic views, so it's well worth taking your camera with you to get some snaps of the gorgeous scenery. You'll also find pretty ponds and a lovely raised herb garden to catch your eye as you take a walk through the garden.
While Penlan Uchaf is open to the public seven days a week from the early spring to late autumn (admission operating on a dawn till dusk basis), it is possible to visit the gardens out of season. To do so, however, you will have to call in advance and arrange an appointment.
Colby Woodland Garden
Visiting the Colby Woodland Garden also presents a good opportunity to appreciate Pembrokeshire's natural beauty. Located in a tranquil valley near Amroth, the gardens are open every day of the year (with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Admission hours vary depending on the season, so it's worth checking in advance to see what time you can visit.
No matter when you choose to go, however, you can expect to come across some astounding plants and flowers. Come in the spring and you'll get to take in wonderful rhododendrons and bluebells, while the summer sees beautiful hydrangeas in bloom.
As you might imagine, these gardens also contain a diverse range of wildlife. Among the creatures you can expect to come across here are frogs, toads and grassland butterflies, while if you explore the old buildings around the Bothy tearoom you might spot the lesser horseshoe species of bat.
There is also a children's play area and gallery that displays pieces made by local artists, so there'll be plenty to hold your attention if you want to spend an entire day here.
Hilton Court Gardens
If you've booked accommodation in or around Haverfordwest, it's worth visiting the nearby Hilton Court Gardens. Consisting of nine acres of woodland, this beautiful garden is a great place to relax and feel close to nature, whether you choose to wander along the sculpture trail or devote a few minutes to contemplate by one of the many ponds.
Although there are plenty of flowers and plants to catch your interest, it's perhaps a good idea to look out for the ash tree that lies at the western edge of the garden. This is the oldest tree in Hilton Court and is thought to date back some 300 years.
Open between March and October, the facility also incorporates a restaurant and art gallery, so you can easily spend a full day here without ever getting bored. Head to the giftshop and you'll find a range of arts and crafts goods – including pottery and handmade jewellery – so it's a good place to pick up some souvenirs of your time in Pembrokeshire.