Family Friendly - National Collections - Explore Outdoors

Free Admission – Open Doors


Open Doors

Date: 5 & 6 September 2015

Opening times: 10.30am - 5.00pm (last admission 4.30pm).

Free admission for all to Bodelwyddan Castle & Park, and also to the nearby Marble Church ( please contact them directly for opening times).

To discover more about Open Doors and other locations taking part throughout September, please visit:

12 September: Small Mammal Encounter…


Have you ever wondered about the furry creatures that live in the woods? Come and see what we have caught in our small mammal traps - a real close encounter! Help to release them back at the end of the season.

Workshop times: 10.00am-12.00pm

Booking Essential

Workshop price: £2 per child (recommended minimum age 6+), booking essential, General admission to the Castle & Park also applies

Annual ticket holders: Workshop fee applies only

T:(01745) 584 060

A rare discovery…



We are extremely lucky to have two species of orchid currently in flower on the driveway verges at Bodelwyddan Castle.  The Common Spotted Orchid, which as its name suggests is the commonest of all UK orchids, and the much rarer Bee Orchid shown in the picture above.

The Bee Orchid gets its name from its main pollinator - the bee. To attract the pollinating bees, the plant has evolved bee-like flowers; drawing them in with the promise of love, the bees are naturally attracted to the flowers and fly in to attempt a mating. As they land on the velvet-textured lip of the flower, the pollen is transferred and the poor bee is left frustrated. Sadly, the right species of bee doesn't occur in the UK, so Bee Orchids are self-pollinated here. Look out for their diminutive flower spikes on dry, chalk and limestone grasslands from June to July.

This attractive and hardy orchid can grow up to 30cm, and can take 5 to 8 years to flower. The flower is very unique, with its pink petals and a brown centre which looks like the body of a bee. The bee orchid is declining. In the case of the bee orchid the single flower is the culmination of up to 8 years growth and, if picked, the plant is unlikely to flower again and has lost its only chance of producing seeds.

- Hywel Dodd, Environment Manager at Bodelwyddan Castle & Park