Come to one of Swansea’s most attractive parks to discover Britain’s tallest magnolia, the famous ‘Face Tree’ and a stunning variety of rare shrubs and flowers.
Clyne Gardens were originally owned by the art collector and philanthropist, Glyn Vivian, who purchased Clyne Castle in 1860. When he died, the estate was passed on to his nephew, an Admiral known as Algernon, who was responsible for much of the landscaping as we know it today. Many of the 2,000 varieties of plant were the result of collection expeditions ordered by the admiral, most notably the 800 different species of rhododendron.
These are the star of the highlight the annual Clyne in Bloom festival which takes place over the month of May. Make sure you bring your camera, as the many hybrid varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas are in spectacular full bloom. Guided tours, live music and rare plant sales are all part of the festival fun.
The gardens are a great place to visit any time of year, however. In spring you can walk woodland paths surrounded by a carpet of bluebells, while in Autumn the trees around the Japanese pond are a stunning blend of fiery reds and yellows. Don’t miss Britain’s tallest magnolia tree and the towering cypress trees at the entrance to the gardens, which were planted by Glyn Vivian himself.
For the best views across Swansea Bay head to the gazebo. This is where the admiral used to stand to watch the ships coming in and out of the bay.
As you follow the paths around the garden you will come across several other attractions. You won’t miss the giant rhubarb, which stands at over eight feet tall. Harder to spot are the dogs’ graves, small markers indicating the spot where the Vivian family’s former pets are buried.
Clyne Gardens is located just off Mumbles Road, approximately a five-minute drive from the centre of Swansea. You can park at the Woodman Pub at the bottom of the gardens or up the hill at Westport Avenue. The garden is open every day throughout the year but is at its most colourful between April and August.