Two of the world's best gardens are just a day trip away - including one that's 'hidden'

A waterfall on the Cadnant River, one of four in the gardens
-Credit: (Image: Gary Phillips/Plas Cadnant)

Two gardens which make ideal day trips from Liverpool have been recognised among the best in the world.

According to a new study by InsureandGo, research identified the top 15 botanical gardens globally and ranked countries based on their appeal for plant enthusiasts, with the North Wales locations taking the lead. The 'botanical bliss' score was calculated using several factors such as the number of recorded plant species, the density of botanical gardens, Instagram posts featuring flowers and plants, and Google search demand for gardens within each country.

More than 100 botanical gardens worldwide were analysed, with rankings based on the proportion of four and five-star reviews. North Wales boasted two sites in the top ten, although the top spot was claimed by Arizona's Boyce Thompson Arboretum, home to over 3,200 different plant species and lush gardens amidst the Sonoran Desert.

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Close behind, with 97.5% of reviews rating above four stars, was Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens near Menai Bridge on Anglesey. This garden is renowned for its grottos, follies, dark tunnels and four waterfalls.

There's a secret garden hidden behind ornate walls, a "jungle" and an avenue of intriguing yew pyramids. Perched atop the site, belvederes add a vantage point to enjoy sprawling wild woodlands and stunning peaks of Eryri (Snowdonia) in the distance, reports North Wales Live.

This haven of tranquillity sat shrouded in overgrown greenery for some 70 years until Anthony Tavernor claimed ownership in 1996, breathing new life into it. There's more to discover about this charming garden here.

Another local gem claiming an honourable place on the list is none other than Bodnant Gardens, nestled in the picturesque Conwy Valley - it scooped sixth place. With roots set deep in the past, back in 1874 by scientist, businessman and politician Henry Pochin, who along with his clan enriched the fertile soil with exotic plants unearthed by esteemed explorers like Ernest Wilson, George Forrest, and Harold Comber.

Entrusted to the National Trust, it extends an open invitation to visitors throughout the year. Visitors can amble beneath towering trees and marvel at breath-taking blooms, come springtime, a vision of yellow engulfs a sweeping Laburnum arch, casting a magical backdrop as golden flowers dangle overhead.

Other prominent gardens featuring high in the list of top 15 worldwide include the National Orchid Garden in Singapore, boasting one of the world's largest collections of orchids, Australia's Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, known for being one of the oldest and home to several heritage-listed trees, and nestled in Cape Town, South Africa, you'll find the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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