If you love daffodils Wales is a wonderful place to see them. The flower is a national emblem of Wales, and in springtime, usually between late February and early April, you can find daffodils blooming all over the country, in parks, gardens, along roadsides, on river banks – it’s pretty hard to miss them.

 

For us, spring is the best time of year to visit Wales. The blooming of daffodils everywhere is a sign of warmer, better weather ahead, a sign of renewal and rebirth as leaf buds reappear on trees and everything suddenly seems to glow with life.

 

The daffodil came to be a national symbol of Wales partly through linguistic accident. The leek had for centuries been the Welsh national symbol. The Welsh for leek is cennin, and the Welsh for daffodil is very similar – cennin Pedr.  The idea of the daffodil as a national emblem began to take hold in the 19th century, and was championed by, among others, the only Welshman to become British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George.

 

It’s not hard to see why the daffodil became popular, although many still prefer the leek.  The daffodil looks better, and has a more appealing, fragrant smell: if you walk around wearing a vegetable for a few hours, the aroma tends to linger.

 

Here’s a brisk nationwide tour of some of the best places to see daffodils Wales has, starting north and heading west and south.

 

Portmeirion

 

Image of daffodils at Portmeirion, North Wales

Daffodils at Portmeirion

 

The first flicker of spring in Portmeirion, the Italianate fantasy village close to the Snowdonia National Park, is when the daffodils bloom near the Gate House.

 

Beddgelert

 

Image of daffodils in Beddgelert, Snowdonia

Daffodils in Beddgelert, Snowdonia

 

Daffodils line the bank of the river Glaslyn as it passes through the gorgeous village of Beddgelert.

 

Rug Chapel, near Corwen

 

Image of daffodils at Rug Chapel, near Corwen, North Wales

Spring at Rug Chapel, near Corwen

 

The daffodils managed to last into April when we visited the stunning Rug Chapel, just outside the town of Corwen in the Dee Valley.

 

Llangollen

 

Image of daffodils near Llangollen, North Wales

Daffodils near Llangollen

The first time we took our baby son to North Wales, we stayed at the Bryn Howel Hotel a short drive from Llangollen. This is a scene from the hotel grounds.

 

Powis Castle and Gardens

 

Image of Powis Castle and Gardens in spring, Mid Wales

Powis Castle and Gardens in spring

 

Powis Castle has some of the most outstanding formal gardens in Wales, and they look especially wonderful in spring when the daffodils make their appearance.

 

Strata Florida

 

Image of daffodils at the memorial to poet Dafydd ap Gwilym, Mid Wales

Daffodils at the Dafydd ap Gwilym memorial, Strata Florida

 

This remote churchyard in Ceredigion, next door to the ruin of a medieval abbey, is a real daffodil haven. In this image, some have been planted next to the memorial to the 14th century poet Dafydd ap Gwilym.

 

St Davids Cathedral

 

Image of Daffodils at St Davids Cathedral, Wales

Daffodils at St Davids Cathedral

 

Springtime is very popular with photographers who head to the far west of Wales to St David’s Cathedral, built on a site where the nation’s patron saint founded a church. It’s the Welsh equivalent of Rome or Canterbury, the country’s spiritual centre albeit on its very edge. Daffodils bloom all over the cathedral precincts, in the churchyard, in fields and gardens, and make a wonderful sight.

 

National Botanic Garden of Wales

 

Image of daffodils at the National Botanic Garden of Wales

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

 

The Great Glasshouse, designed by Lord Norman Foster, is one of the main attractions of the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire, and it looks at its best in spring surrounded by daffodils.

 

Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil

 

Image of daffodils at Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil

Daffodils at Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil

 

The gardens at Cyfarthfa look at their best in summer, but the park below the castle is beautiful in spring when the daffodils and celandines flower for a few weeks.

 

Caerphilly Castle

 

Image of daffodils at Caerphilly Castle, Wales

Daffodils at Caerphilly Castle

 

Caerphilly Castle, the largest in Wales, looks amazing in springtime when daffodils carpet the grass verge outside the main gatehouse, and parts of the park behind.

 

St Fagans National History Museum

 

Image of dovecote in St Fagans National History Museum, Cardiff, surrounded by spring flowers

Dovecote at St Fagans

 

The brilliant National History Museum occupies the grounds of St Fagans Castle, and surrounding woodland, where this beautiful dovecote sits, surrounded by spring flowers.

There are also carpets of daffodils in the woods.

 

Cardiff Castle

 

Image of daffodils at Cardiff Castle

Daffodils at Cardiff Castle

 

Cardiff Castle has always been a prime daffodil site. This shot is from outside, in Bute Park, but the grounds inside are also a very happy hunting ground for daffodil lovers, especially on the verges below the perimeter walls.

 

St John’s Church, Cardiff

 

Image of daffodils at St John's Church, Cardiff

St John’s Church, Cardiff

 

The city centre parish church of St John’s is just across the road from Cardiff Castle, and well worth a visit. The graceful 15th century Perpendicular tower, with its golden pinnacles, is one of the city’s finest landmarks. In springtime, clusters of daffodils grow in the churchyard, making it look even better.

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