- Discover the fascinating Powis Castle history and take a look around the great halls and quiet chambers.
- Explore the Clive Museum and learn about Robert Clive’s part in the East India Company.
- Unearth the spectacular global collections at Powis Castle and discover memorable works of art.
- Take a walk through the beautiful garden at Powis and enjoy unearthing the lead statues and Italianate terraces.
- Visit Wales’ largest county, Powys, and relish the beautiful green landscapes and awe-inspiring Mountains of Powys.
Powis Castle was built around 1200 as a medieval fortress by a Welsh prince - Gruffudd ap Gwenwynwyn - and it stands on a rock high above the celebrated 17th-century gardens. The National Trust property is situated in the charming market town of Welshpool in Powys, east-central Wales. Having endured wars, sieges and conflicts during its long and fascinating history, Powis Castle is now one of Wales’ most outstanding and notable castles.
From the 1570s, the Herbert family, one of the most prominent families in Welsh history, occupied the castle. The 1st Earl of Pembroke, Sir Edward Herbert and his wife the Countess of Pembroke, Anne Parr (a lady-in-waiting to Henry VIII's six wives and sister of Catherine Parr) leased Powis Castle and Gardens in 1578 and made it their family home for over four centuries. During the Edwardian era, George Herbert, the 4th Earl of Pembroke and his wife Lady Violet initiated a restoration project of the castle and brought the grounds back to life with the assistance of the architect, G. F. Bodley. In 1952, George Herbert, the 4th Earl of Pembroke, bestowed the grand castle and elegant gardens to the public under the care of the National Trust.
Each generation of the Herbert family have added to the incredible family collection of paintings, furniture, tapestries and sculptures on view throughout the castle. Come face to face with the Herberts as you explore the great halls, which are full of amazing portraits and family history, as well as paintings of emperors, kings and maharajas.
The Powis Castle estate has one of the most important and largest private collections of Indian objects and artefacts, which are displayed in the Clive Museum. Robert Clive had an important role in Britain’s East India Company and looted a great deal of these objects during its brutal reign. Over 1,000 items have been collected from India and East Asia during the period of British rule on the Indian subcontinent dating from 1600 to the 1830s, including statues of Hindu gods, gold and ornamental silver, ivories, textiles, ceremonial armour and weapons. With the Powis connection to colonialism, the National Trust aims to address this history and recognise and acknowledge its negative effect and legacy.
Commonly known as 'the paradise of Wales', the spectacular world-famous 17th-century garden at Powis was based on the designs from the English architect and soldier Captain William Winde, whose other works include Buckingham House, Hampstead Marshall and Coombe Abbey. Inspired by Italian and French styles, the magnificent garden has rare and sub-tropical plants as well as pomegranates and roses, and the largest and most exceptional yew hedges. It also has an orangery on the terraces and original lead statues. Visitors to Powis are also welcome to explore the deer park, although dogs are not permitted here. For kids, there is a den building area and a willow tunnel.
What to know before you go
- The Courtyard Restaurant serves hot lunches, savoury snacks, sandwiches, light snacks, cakes and hot and cold drinks. You can dine inside or al fresco. There are options for kids and they are welcome to choose from the menu and smaller versions will be provided. Or enjoy a Powis Castle afternoon tea in the Garden Coffee Shop. It’s also possible to bring your own picnic and enjoy anywhere in the gardens.
- Bikes with stabilisers, balance bikes, rollerblades and scooters are not permitted into the gardens.
- There are toilets available at the entrance to the garden and in the formal garden. There are two accessible toilets available – one is in the formal garden and the other is outside the castle courtyard.
- Baby-changing facilities are located in the formal garden and by the garden entrance.
- Please leave your buggy in the exit lobby.
- Lockers are provided for large bags and rucksacks.
- It is not permitted to use mobile phones inside the castle and the museum.
- There is wheelchair access to the ground floor only in Powis Castle. There are steps to the Ballroom and Clive Museum. For access to the garden, there is a step-free route and different gradients of paths and surfaces, which are highlighted on the map. There are two manual wheelchairs available to borrow during the visit.
- It is possible to bring your dog for a stroll in the main courtyard, the East Front, the garden and the path leading from the car park to the Powis Castle and Garden ticket office from November until February. Please keep your dog on a lead at all times. Dogs are not allowed in the medieval deer park.
- Assistance dogs are permitted in Powis Castle and Garden.
- Enjoy a spot of retail therapy from the Courtyard Shop. You will find a brilliant selection of gifts, homeware and souvenirs.
- From outdoor screenings to wedding ceremonies, Powis Castle events take place throughout the year. The venue also provides some great walking trails.
- Celebrating the festive season at this venue, you can expect delicious festive foods on offer and the famous Powis Castle illuminated garden.
- If you are looking for hotels near Powis Castle for a short mini break (or longer), the Royal Oak Hotel is a mile away and is situated in a charming Grade II listed building.
- Welshpool railway station is one mile away and will take approximately 30 minutes to walk. There are direct trains from Birmingham International to Welshpool station.
- If you are arriving by bus, there are services from Shrewsbury to Llanidloes and Oswestry to Welshpool. For both, you should hop off at the high street in Welshpool.
- There are direct coach services from London Victoria Coach station to Welshpool within 5 hours and 30 minutes.
- If you are coming to Powis Castle and Gardens by car, there are signs from the main road to Newtown (A483). There is free on-site parking available for visitors.