It was time for our first 'big day out' on our week's holiday staying in the lovely Cochwillan Cottage, on Anglesey.
The weather could not have been more glorious for this time of year and we were off to visit Plas Newydd, a National Trust property, about half an hour's drive from where we were staying.
The Trust describes the property as being an 'Enchanting mansion and gardens, with spectacular views of Snowdonia'. It was lovely to be out and about, with no worry of rain and, with the sun shining and blue skies above, we were looking forward to seeing what we would find.
Quite a few of the National Trust properties that we have visited recently are very good at drawing you in, from the entrance, to a big reveal, letting you see the property at its very best. Plas Newydd definitely falls into this category.
There is a bit of a walk to the property, though not too far. It takes you through the main entrance and gift shop, where we always hang our noses over garden sculptures and plants that we like the look of ...
Through the main entrance is a pathway which gives you great views of the old stable block, which is now part of the Conwy Centre, an Outdoor Education Centre. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is your first glimpse of Plas Newydd House.
The right of the pathway is edged with towering pine trees, with the most fascinating bark ...
At the end of the tree line is wooden hut, which was just calling out to be photographed ...
Eventually you round a turn and are presented with a view of the most spectacular kind ...
We were lucky on our visit and got to see it at its very best ... in bright sunshine and with blue skies ...
... fronted by purple heather, backed by the blue waters of the Straight, with the mountains of Snowdonia in the background.
It was so beautiful that we did linger a while, trying to get the very best angle and shot, whilst keeping free of other visitors.
Photos done we decided it was far too nice a day to go inside just yet and started our visit be exploring the grounds.
We followed the path that takes you round to the front of the house, for more fabulous views across the straight to the mountains of Snowdonia beyond.
We explored the Italianate Terrace, where we chatted to one of the gardeners who confirmed that there were most definitely rhododendrons in flower, should we fancy the walk to the rhododendron garden.
Having decided to give the walk a go, we were a little deterred when face with this sign, but it was only a kilometer, it was a lovely day and it didn't sound that far.
It seemed to take forever to get to the first marker but we kept going. It was a lovely footpath, along the edge of the estuary, through woodland, with great views and interesting things to spot in all directions,
We met some people who were on their way back and hoped for news of beautiful flowers, well worth the walk, but they had said it was a long old way and had decided to turn back.
We managed a well earned rest along the way at a beautiful little spot which really suited the purpose.
Eventually we hit marker number 4, so we were half way and there was no turning back now.
Just past marker number 7 we met another intrepid adventurer. She was on her way back and confirmed that there were lots of rhodys in flower, which was just the motivation we needed for the final push.
Yay .... we seemed to hit marker number 8 really quickly and we were not disappointed.
The rhododendron garden is a maze of little paths and bridges. There was lots in flower and we had a good wander around and managed to take plenty of photos to prove we'd made it to the end.
After a lovely sit in the warm sunshine, just in front of the gunnera bed which is starting to spring into life ...
... we took the regulation selfies before deciding to head back.
As always, the walk back seemed to take a lot less time, though we were spurred on by the promise of a tea room treat, which did go down very nicely.
The weather was still glorious and we still weren't ready to go inside so we had a wander down to the side of the Straight, where we caught more fabulous views of the Britannia Bridge ...
... and the most amazing view looking back at the house ...
Finally we decided we couldn't put it off any longer and had just a very quick look round inside, not really doing it justice at all, before making our way back up the hill and past the enormous old pines to the car.
There was then time for a quick stop off at the viewpoint where we got to see the suspension bridge in all its glory.
Whilst we didn't really do the inside of the house justice, we had really enjoyed our visit and would definitely recommend it as one for the list if you are over this way and fancy a good walk.