During the tropical temperatures of the last May bank holiday weekend we made our first visit to Powis Castle & Gardens, Powys in Wales. Powis Castle was once a medieval castle but has been a family residence for the last 400 years. It has the largest private collection of Indian artefacts in it’s Clive museum. But it is more than an interesting stately home. Whilst it may not have the fun children’s adventure play area of Erddig it still has a lot to offer.
The first thing you will notice especially if you have a pushchair is that Powis Castle is situated at the top of a hill. Whilst not as far to climb as other NT properties like Chirk, it is still quite a walk if you are pushing a toddler and all the paraphernalia that a family day out requires. There is a shuttle service that can run those that need it up to the castle from the car park.
The staff are very helpful and provided us with a map, pointing out the pram friendly routes. Often there are outdoor and indoor trails for children to follow when you visit National Trust properties, so it is worth asking when you arrive. We didn’t venture into the house on this visit and decided to walk around the gardens which are quite stunning. The gardens are terraced in spectacular style, appearing to almost cling to the side of the hill. They boast fabulous views across surrounding countryside, but this does mean that they have rather a lot of steps. We detoured around the terraces and descended the pram friendly path to the lower gardens. The path is moderately steep, my sister and I both had prams and managed to get both up and down, but it is worth baring in mind if you have any mobility issues.
There are large areas of open grassland, woodland and an orchard. The gardens beg to be explored and lend themselves to some quiet (or not so quiet with toddler in tow) meandering. We worked our way to the cafe which is nestled near the orchard. After our picnic and some ice-cream, we wandered around the gardens (the orchard in full bloom was especially beautiful) and found ourselves in a grassy area with a central fountain. We threw down our blanket and relaxed whilst the kids crawled/ran on the grass. There were plenty of other parents doing likewise and it was a great way to chill out. It is possible to navigate some of the woodland paths with a pram if you don’t mind a few gentle steps. It is worth it as the view across to the house from the plunge pool (disappointingly now an empty pit) is quite impressive.
Facilities are good as you would expect at National Trust properties. Powis Castle sports the usual restaurant, shop and cafe that one usually finds at NT properties, and there is a garden shop near the car park. The car park has charging points for electric vehicles which is worth knowing. Entry is not cheap at £13.50 for an adult and £6.50 for children over 5. However kids under 5 are free and they do offer a variety of ticket bundles for families etc, which can be found on the website.
We gave it a 4/5 as it is a great day out, but if you have mobility issues or a pushchair then you can’t reach all areas of the garden. Not for thrill seekers, but great for quality family time.
This is based on our experience of one day out. Please remember to verify all information yourself as things may have changed.