While this is a website devoted to the parks and gardens of South Wales, many of our favourite outdoor attractions also have an indoor component. In the winter it’s a good thing too- even the most spectacular winter garden visit can be improved by having something to look at indoors as well. If there happens to be a tea room where a warming cuppa can be obtained, so much the better!
From famous, lavish residences like Tredegar House to less well known but equally interesting places like Tretower Court and Fonmon Castle, South Wales has a wonderful selection of manor houses to visit. They range from Norman constructions to medieval family strongholds to Edwardian and Victorian stately homes of the highest order.
The coal boom years saw big money pouring into Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and the Valleys. With the wealthy industrialists came a flood of grand houses- Cyfarthfa Castle and Tredegar House are probably the biggest still in top condition, and there are plenty more. Both of those are open to visitors and both are surrounded by gorgeous gardens too.
Visiting an old manor house is a pleasure, because they were built with beauty in mind and often no expense was spared in their construction. It can also be a very good learning experience, particularly at places like Tretower, where the interiors have been carefully and expertly restored.
The coal and iron boom also left behind some of our most beautiful Victorian bridges, public parks, and buildings. In fact, South Wales is one of the best places in the UK to see the history of this period in all its magnificence.