Dewstow Gardens and Grottoes
Dewstow Gardens & Grottoes is one of the most beautiful and fascinating historical gardens in Monmouthshire, South Wales. A lost garden with underground tunnels and pathways, buried under thousands of tonnes of soil for over 50 years. Built in the 1980’s and rediscovered in 2000, me and my Dad decided to travel across the bridge from Bristol for the day and experience this hidden away secret garden.
Before you enter the grounds, you arrive through this marvelous driveway, a large lawn with some of the most well-kept grass I’ve ever seen. I’m not kidding! You then arrive at the Café, a sweet fairytale themed pit-stop surrounded by towering trees and wild flowers – as well as a hedge shaped like a giant snail. That made me chuckle. After a quick cup of tea and little snack, you head into the gardens…
Signposted by the cutest little directions, you weave your way through this bamboo jungle, which guide you up to some stepping stones; which then lead you upon to a giant cave. It feels as if you were entering a dragon’s lair, with beautiful greenery hanging over your head and ominous cracks luminated by spotlights. The bright orange fish that swim by your feet scurry away as you step over the ponds. Be aware, falling into these ponds are far too easy!
As you walk further through the subterranean world underneath, you arrive into an open, old barn; where if you wait patiently enough, you will see the swallows swooping in and out as they find food for their chicks. It’s a unique place to sit and just watch nature pass by. “This was a garden, the likes of which is not known to exist anywhere else”.
Further in to the main grounds, you will find plenty of picnic areas, kid’s activities and an array of wildlife to be spotted. Some spots don’t even feel like you’re in the same country. There are tropical leaves as big as houses and little bridges shrouded in so much foliage it feels like you’re floating. It’s only small but it’s not the type of place to rush around. Take a picnic, bring a book or come together as a group of friends to just sit and chill for a couple of hours. It is a little escape from reality and brings you closer to nature and tranquility. The gardens are open daily from Saturday 30thMarch until Sunday 3rdNovember – my unique suggestion would be to visit the gardens on a snowy day, if you’re lucky. I could imagine the atmosphere would be beyond magical, but there’s a slim chance of catching the snow at those months.
Visit Dewstow Gardens & Grottoes at their website https://www.dewstowgardens.co.uk/and plan your next visit this summer!