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Ynyshir Hall

Listed under Unusual Places to Stay in Wales, United Kingdom.

  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
  • Photo of Ynyshir Hall
Photo of Ynyshir Hall
Photo by Donna Dawson
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Solitude is precious and readily available at Ynyshir Hall, once owned by Queen Victoria and set amongst breathtaking scenery in the secret heart of Wales. Cradled in 14 acres of glorious gardens, this luxury hotel in Wales sits midst the splendour of the Dyfi Estuary, surrounded by mountains that were once the refuge of the Celtic princes and has been cherished by a succession of eminent owners.

Parts of the hall date back to the 15th Century, but its first recorded owner was David Lloyd, who lived here in the 17th Century. Ynyshir Hall was later owned by three High Sheriffs and later acquired by Queen Victoria who loved the abundance of birds on the estuary part of the estate. She had the hall refurbished and put a lot of effort into establishing the gardens, with many of the trees she had planted still being in evidence today. 

In 1928, it was sold to William Hubert Mappin of Mappin and Webb, Jewellers, who did a great deal of work on the gardens. On his death in 1966, he sold 1,000 acres of the estate to the RSPB, to establish the bird reserve that still exists there today, much to the disgust of the shooting parties who had visited the area for generations. 

This luxury country house hotel in Wales has the good fortune to share its Dovey estuary location with one of Britain's finest bird reserves, the RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve. The walk to the estuary from the hotel is a magical ramble. The Dovey estuary is also the only Welsh Biosphere Reserve. 

It’s little wonder Queen Victoria loved these beautiful gardens, stunningly located between the mountains and the estuary. A fairytale landscape, now 14 acres, the gardens contain many rare varieties of exotic and native trees and shrubs.

Snowdrops and crocuses carpet the gardens during February, followed in March by carpets of daffodils. You’ll marvel at the breathtaking display of bluebells throughout the woodland gardens surrounding the house, and at the vibrant blaze of the Azaleas and Rhododendrons for which the gardens are renowned, a magnificent explosion of colour, in April and May.

There are also large collections of Camellias, Magnolias and Hydrangeas. Splendid examples of Sequoia and Wellingtonia trees flank the drive; in fact, the gardens play host to the definitive collection of Wellingtonii in the UK and Queen Victoria is reputed to have planted the Persian Ironwood (Parrotia), famed for its autumn colour.

The rocky woodland garden climbs steeply up behind the house. Follow the path through the trees to the blue gate on your way to the bird reserve and you’ll cross the babbling stream that then cascades down to a delightful water feature at the bottom. The large rocky mound in the middle of the garden is an idyllic setting for quiet contemplation and meditation.

Written by  Donna Dawson.

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