Wandering through the ancient heart of Wales, we seize the moment for a magical visit to Powys Castle, with its magnificent architecture in a truly breathtaking setting.
Now, up front, I’ll declare an interest – I’m passionate about the National Trust (and the Scottish National Trust) . Both organisations do such a splendid job of looking after our national treasures in Britain, including Powys Castle. But suddenly I realise that our membership tickets are not with us – and oh, the kindness of strangers – the National Trust do a quick check and we are in!
Powys was built as a 12th century stronghold against English invaders, and you can understand why when you are there, you can see for miles! Its history is steeped in that of the Welsh Princes, and while there is still an Earl of Powis, the title is on its third creation.
While Powys Castle is amazing, the jewel in its crown are its glorious gardens.
Melding seamlessly into the imposing hills, the garden’s are spectacular, even outshining the idyllic setting of the magnificent hills that surround it. Apple blossom floats in the fresh spring air. There is a sence of enduring nature, particularly of the Yew trees, planted and clipped since the 1700s, now belonging to that ancient vista.
I happen across a favourite portrait, that of Lady Henrietta Herbert, painted in 1777 by Sir Joshua Reynolds, still hanging at her ancestral home
I adore this painting, its captivating and her beauty radiates. Lady Henrietta lived life, and I am inspired by her adventurous nature, by all accounts, she was quite a character. Her collection of Indian artifacts remain at the Castle. It reminds me I have yet to visit India…..
Who could resist having afternoon tea and gorgeous butterfly cakes at Lady Violets Tea room.
It is warm enough to sit outside under the soft blue sky, surrounded by the first flush of the brightest scarlet red tulips, my sweet tooth satisfied by afternoon tea, who could wish to be anywhere else in the world.
I am delighted to find my favourite ethical company Zimbolic are also here at Powys Castles’ lovely Garden Shop.
Their beautiful and ethical garden sculpture is enchanting, and I’m particularly taken with the cormorants that stand guard on the battlements.
Tea with Mary Kate seeks to connect us to the ancient beauty that radiates around us, where we are often in danger of just rushing past.
There is a palpable sence of belonging at Powys Castle, to its history and to the spectacular and ancient lands that surrond it. If only for the gorgeous afternoon tea, but for much more, do visit as soon as you can!