Ok, I promise this is the last post about Wales. I’ve either bored your socks off or you are booking your holiday cottage!
I’ve saved the best for last.
Caerau Uchaf is a beautiful privately owned home sitting at over 1000 ft up a mountain, and surrounding it are its breathtaking gardens set against the backdrop of North Wales.
The gardens came to life in 1994 and are constantly being added to by the owners Toby and Stephanie Hickish.
The Hickish’s (say that 10 times quickly after a lot of gin!) ran an award-winning Garden Design and Landscaping company, and after wandering around Caerau Gardens, you can see why they won awards.
We’d been tipped off by David at the Glassblobbery that we should really make a stop here on the way back to the campsite. We are so glad we did. We arrived after weaving our little Aygo up, and up, and up the long driveway, till it finally levelled out, where we were greeted warmly by Toby and their gorgeous woofters.
Toby instantly made us comfortable despite the driving rain, and we ordered a pot of tea to wait out the shower. And may I say, I’m not often impressed by café tea, but me and Mama Pigeon managed to get 4 cups EACH from the teapot. Epic.
As we sat, rain drumming on the roof, Stephanie appeared and after checking we had been seen to, asked my youngest brother JN, if he wanted to help her feed the animals. He was absolutely delighted. At only 10, he loves being hands on. He was so pleased that he got to collect the eggs from the chickens, he’s been asking when we are getting our chickens so he can help when he visits! P found some rabbits to coo over….which made his day.
The rain subsided to a light drizzle and we started our wander around the Gardens.
First of all….a trampoline set in the ground? GENIUS! P and I are sorely tempted to do this if we ever get a big enough back lawn. JN would have quite happily spent the entire visit here, running from the grass onto the boingy (yes…that’s a technical term) trampoline.
Please note: That small building in the background is a holiday let! AMAZING… I know. Stephanie and Toby have a few lets that you can find here on their website. I’m going to beg P next time we go to North Wales that we get our accommodation from the Hickish family. They are really lovely people, and even offer home-cooked take-away meals for those staying near! How cool is that?
Their holiday lets range from very ‘back to basics’ to the adjoining cottage to the house, which has all the mod cons. I’d vote for a back to basic holiday, reading, eating and wandering around in Snowdonia. Lush.
All over the Gardens there were things to discover. A water feature in an ivy covered den. A willow maze. A tree swing. A massive tea-cup. An adventure fort!? JN loved not knowing what we’d stumble on to next.
I loved the water feature in Rory’s Place, a circular thinking spot with an overflowing bowl.
There was plenty of fun to be had, even on the dreary day we visited! P took hundreds of pictures. He honestly couldn’t stop clicking! Caerau Gardens is a must for photographers and artists. There is so much inspiration.
Caerau Gardens is perfect for those who love old-fashioned fun. It is pretty much like stepping into an Enid Blyton book…and those who know my obsession with Enid Blyton will know how much of a compliment this is!
The adventure play area had a zipline, a Tarzan swing, a home-made seesaw and the most amazing homemade fort!
Picture from here.
And yes…that drawbridge works! Very cool. There were secret entrances, towers to climb and all sorts of fab hidey holes for boys (and girls!) to find!
P & I had a fab time playing…after all, we are big kids at heart.
The rain cut short our visit, and we skipped back to the car wishing for better weather and longer days.
Please, please, please if you go anywhere near Bala in Wales, go check them out. Wonderful people in a wonderful setting. We’ll be heading back that way as soon as we can.
Caerau Gardens, Sarnau, Nr. Bala, LL23 7LG