Bodnant Garden, National Trust – Review

This is the second in a series of posts about our Festive weekend away to Snowdonia . . . 

After our trip to visit Father Christmas at Bounce Below we made our way over to the beautiful National Trust property of Bodnant Garden which was about half an hour’s drive away through stunning Welsh countryside.

We had been invited by Attractions of Snowdonia to visit Bodnant Garden and take part in the Elf Workshop which is being run by volunteers on weekends through to Christmas.  We booked our time slot as we arrived and then went off to explore!  (The Elf Workshop is free but you must book to secure your appointment.)

Having not had any lunch we decided to get ourselves a bite to eat and a hot drink in the very cute Magnolia Tea Room – with hindsight we might have been better walking back up to the Pavillion Tea Room where I believe we would have had more choice however we bought a selection of the pre-prepared sandwiches at around £4 each.  Unfortunately the sandwiches were a bit fussy for the kids (yes salad in your ham buttie is a bit too high brow when you’re 5 & Chloe wasn’t amused at all by the pickle with her cheese!)  I can’t say we particularly enjoyed our lunch however the lady working the Tea Room was absolutely LOVELY – especially when Amy decided to be sick down me! (She really does pick her moments!)

Once we’d refuelled we started to make our way down to the Elf Workshop, exploring the gardens along the way.  Bodnant Garden is literally one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, even in the throes of Winter, so I can only imagine how stunning it must be in the Summer!

Dave and I gasped and ooohed with every corner we turned and took a lot of photos!

Bodnant Garden
Bodnant Garden National Trust property
Bodnant Garden
Exploring Bodnant Garden

Chloe was especially excited as we were walking down to seek out the elves and kept looking everywhere to find them!  We didn’t know exactly where we were going but had been told by some volunteers that we should just keep on going down and look for the smoke.  Eventually we stumbled across the “Old Mill”. Ben and Chloe were enthralled with the fast running water and cute little bridge. I was pretty enticed by the warming real fire just outside the Old Mill!

Water features at Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden open fire

We had timed our walk down to the Elf Workshop pretty well and were able to go straight in.  The room was beautifully decorated with a very cottagey festive feel.  The sessions were being run by some really lovely volunteers who, despite the fact they must have been absolutely freezing, were cheerfully interatcting with all the children and helping them to create some Christmassy craft – Chloe enjoyed decorating a picture of a Christmas tree and painting an enormous pine cone, while Ben made a Christmas card with a snowman on. Once they had finished their crafting we enjoyed toasting marshmallows on the fire outside – what a treat!

We continued to explore, discovering mammoth trees, an impressive waterfall and any number of paths to wander.

Waterfall at Bodnant Garden
Team We're going on an adventure at Bodnant Garden
Climbing the steps at Bodnant Garden
I’m sure you can imagine we had two very tired children as we made our way back up to the Craft Shop and Garden Centre!  Having already seen Father Christmas at Bounce Below in the morning we decided not to take the children to see him again at Bodnant Garden in the afternoon, we did however take advantage of 20% off Christmas decorations to buy ourselves a Father Christmas ornament as a souvenir of our festive weekend away!
If we were more local to Bodnant Garden I would be investing in a family National Trust Pass pronto, it’s definitely high on my list of places to visit again in the future.

*We were invited to visit Bodnant Garden free of charge for the purposes of writing this post however all thoughts and opinions remain my own*

*Read more reviews here*

*Read about more of our adventures here*


  1. December 16, 2014 / 10:15 pm

    Oh I am a sucker for an old house and pretty gardens! This place looks awesome x

    • December 17, 2014 / 8:29 am

      It really was absolutely stunning.

  2. Catriona Stephen
    December 17, 2014 / 7:24 am

    Sounds like you had a lovely time. Lovely photos too 🙂 I've never been to the cafe you went to, but from the sound of it the top one would have been more suited to you! The gift of hindsight would be handy sometimes wouldn't it? Ha ha. It's also really lovely during Autumn, my Mum goes at least once in each season to see the difference colours! Xx

    • December 17, 2014 / 8:30 am

      It certainly would. We hadn't wanted to walk back up to eat there but I do wish we had now as we ended up spending quite a bit of money on food the kids didn't eat and we didn't particularly enjoy.

  3. December 18, 2014 / 6:39 am

    This looks so beautiful – definitely adding to my bucket list, by the way, just stumbled a cross your blog and must say awesome blog!

    • December 18, 2014 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  4. Pippa Ainsworth
    December 18, 2014 / 8:42 pm

    I really want to go back and see it at a different time of year, it's gorgeous!

    • December 18, 2014 / 9:02 pm

      Me too! I wouldn’t hesitate to return x

  5. Lyric Grace
    December 19, 2014 / 4:11 pm

    Looks like a lovely day out, glad you had good weather!

  6. Oh So Gawjess
    December 19, 2014 / 4:51 pm

    Great photography – I love Snowdonia too, and it looks like you had a wonderful day here


  7. Julia Bryson
    December 19, 2014 / 10:55 pm

    Your photos are fab. I've driven past Bodnant Garden many times but never been in, I think this has changed my mind. Love the sound of an elf workshop too! V festive! X

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