Town centre parks, amazing nature reserves, and vast country parks – these are just some of the green spaces in the Vale which you can enjoy this spring. Being as locals usually know the best places, here are a few recommendations from those in the know.
For family fun
Porthkerry Country Park has plenty of space for the young ones to let off steam. There’s a network of trails through meadows and woods, a Victorian viaduct, a café and a pebble beach with spectacular cliffs. Discover even more with the digital AR trail. Each spring, carpets of bluebells can be enjoyed right across the Vale, with none more spectacular than in the woods at Porthkerry Country Park.
For spectacular views
Windsor Gardens, a well-preserved Victorian park, has a magnificent position on the cliff top above Penarth, with stunning vistas across the Bristol Channel. After enjoying the view of Penarth Pier, venture down onto the Esplanade and get a different perspective from the very end of the Pier.
For a history lesson
Cowbridge Physic Garden is a tranquil space tucked away in this historic town. The formal planting plan includes herbs, flowers and trees used for healing, cooking and dyeing in the 17th & 18th centuries. Adjacent is the equally gorgeous Old Hall Gardens which contains sections of the old town walls.
For watching wildlife
One day is probably not enough to explore the 200 acres of Cosmeston Lakes Country Park. There are well marked trails around the lakes and across the meadows and woodlands, and a bird hide overlooking the western lake. Keep your camera handy for capturing Instagrammable wildlife shots.
For green fingers
Be inspired by the magnificent Grade 1 listed Edwardian gardens at Dyffryn House. Explore the arboretum, the kitchen garden and the series of intimate outdoor rooms each with its own distinctive architectural and planting style.
For watching the world go by
With its lake, formal borders and sunken garden, Knap Gardens in Barry is a really pleasant place to while away an hour or two. Relax on a lakeside bench while watching the ducks and, occasionally, model boats on the water. It’s just a short stroll to the many eateries in Barry town.
For more ideas, see all our Parks & Gardens.