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Gardens open to the public in the UK, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland & Eire

www.FloraSelect.co.uk - Gardens open to the public in England, Wales & Northern Ireland


Gardens open to the public to visit in Scotland

Before visiting, please check current opening times/dates.

 

Perhaps you would like a customised self-drive tour to visit some of Scotland's best gardens? Scotland Made Easy can plan a personal itinerary to suit your interests, budget and time available. They will book you into recommended accommodation where you are assured of quality, comfort and hospitality - usually in 4 star B&Bs in Scottish homes. Optional 'specials' include a night in a castle, church, lighthouse, country mansion, etc.

Whether you have already decided which places you want to visit or if you haven't a clue where to start, Scotland Made Easy will advise and take care of all the planning for you. They are accredited by the Highlands of Scotland Tourist Board.

DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY
  • Castle Kennedy Gardens
    Just 5 miles east of Stranraer in south-west Scotland are the colourful grounds of ruined Castle Kennedy feauturing rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and embrothriums. Open daily from 10am to 5pm from Easter until the end of September. Price approx. 2 UK pounds for adults, 1 UK pound for children. Light refreshments are available and you can also buy plants. Tel: 01776 702024.
  • Glenwhan Gardens
    Located at Dunragit, by Stranraer, these hilltop gardens spread over 12 acres are open daily from mid March to mid October. Restaurant and nursery also open daily. See their web page or Tel: 01581 400 222 / Fax: 01581 400 222 for further details.
  • Woodfall Gardens Nursery (Glasserton, Whithorn, Newton Stewart, Galloway) includes a historic 3-acre walled garden which is open Thursdays and Sundays. Plants for sale all year round. Tel: 01988 500692

SCOTTISH BORDERS

  • Kailzie Garden
    At Kailzie, near Peebles, you can explore walled gardens, herbaceous borders, greenhouses and woodland walks in 17 acres of grounds. Stocked fishing pond, plants for sale, art gallery. Contact Lady Angela Buchan-Hepburn. Tel: 01721 720 007.

  • Brodick Castle and Gardens
    Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, this red sandstone castle nestles in dark trees at the foot of Goatfell mountain 1.5 miles out of Brodick. The colourful gardens which feature lots of rhododendrons, include:
    • the walled garden,
    • the "Ice House" where they used to pack ice in the winter in a hole in the ground and then store it ready for the summer,
    • the Bavarian Summer House, a hexagonal wooden structure built in 1845 and decorated with elaborate arrangements of fir cones.

    Once you are inside the castle grounds, you can also take advantage of several walking trails, including one leading up Goatfell mountain (874 metres) and another to the intriguingly named "Duchesses' Bathing Pool". There's an adventure playground to amuse the children and a Ranger Service covering the 600-acre estate. I believe that weather information is given at their hut.

    The castle is open daily from April to October 11am - 4.30pm. The Country Park is open all year round every day from 9.30am until sunset. Telephone: +44 1770 302202 / Fax: +44 1770 302312. There's a licensed restaurant and souvenir shop. More details....

  • Ardencraig Gardens
    Located just to the east of Rothesay at Ardencraig. You can visit the gardens and also see aviaries of foreign birds and exotic fish ponds in the grounds of Ardencraig House. There is a tea room. The gardens were bought by the Royal Burgh of Rothesay in 1968 and admission is totally free. Please note that the house is not open to the public. Access to the gardens is from 1 May - 30 September, Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm, Saturdays and Sundays 1pm - 4.30pm.

  • Ascog Hall Victorian Fernery
    Continuing on the road leading south out of Rothesay, you reach Ascog Hall which opens its marvellous restored Victorian fernery to visitors 10am - 5pm from mid-April to mid-October (closed on Mondays & Tuesdays). For further details, telephone the owners Wallace and Katherine Fyfe on 01700 504 555. Ferns are on sale I believe.

  • Mount Stuart House and Gardens
    First opened to visitors in 1995, Mount Stuart won the Scottish Tourism Oscar Award. It is a Victorian Gothic house with wonderful architecture both outside and inside. The interiors are absolutely sumptuous. The gardens are also very beautiful and there is a countryside ranger service which offers guided walks. 300 acres of woodland. Tea room and restaurant, gift shop, picnic areas. Coach parties are welcome, but it is best to book in advance.
    Located about 5 miles south of Rothesay, easily accessible by car or bike. There is also a shuttle bus service from Rothesay and a Courtesy Bus then operates from the entrance up to the House. The gardens open 5 days a week (not Tuesdays or Thursdays) 10am - 5pm from May 1 - 30 September and weekends in April and October. House open 5 days a week (not Tuesdays or Thursdays) 11am - 5pm from May 1 - 30 September. Telephone 01700 503 877 / Fax: 01700 505 313.

  • Jura House and Gardens
    Located 5 miles from the ferry at a place called Ardfin or White Promontory, Jura House was built by the Campbells in the middle of the last century. Only the grounds are open to the public. Inside the gate is an honesty box and a huge map. The small admission charge includes a little guide book to the two walks you can try (one short, one long). Open all year 9am-5pm.Tea tent in season.

    Follow the path down to the grey coloured beach and you will find it is made from grains of the local quartzite. Further along, the path runs next to some of the famous Jura slate. You can buy plants in the walled garden. The longer walk will take you to The Misty Pool, waterfall, Bronze Age burial cairn and also a Neolithic chambered burial cairn thought to be 2000 years old.

    EDINBURGH

  • Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
    Free entry. Open daily (except 25 December and 1 January). Guided tours available.
  • Redhall is a beautiful working 18th century walled garden, run on holistic, organic principles in the most scenic part of Edinburgh - Colinton Dell. It is managed by Scottish Association For Mental Health and strives to explore the therapeutic benefits of horticulture on well-being. It has many unusual features including a wood henge, round house, zen garden, wildlife area, bog garden, as well as demonstration veg and herbaceous beds. Entry is Mon - Fri 9am - 4pm by donation. Plants, compost, barkchip, leafmould for sale depending on availability. Community Garden Fun Day - Saturday June 25th 2005. Address: 97 Lanark Road, Edinburgh EH14 6LZ. Tel: 01314430946. Email: redhall@samhservices.org.uk

    DUNDEE REGION

  • Edzell Castle and Gardens
    Some 30 miles north of Dundee which is on the Scottish east coast, are the ruins of Edzell Castle with its walled Renaissance garden called 'The Pleasance' containing stone carvings and many plants including the fleur de lys, shamrock, rose and thistle, symbols of France, Ireland, England and Scotland.

    ST ANDREWS AREA

  • Cambo Gardens
    2.5 acre Victorian walled garden. 70 acres of woodland carpeted with snowdrops. 10 minutes drive south of St Andrews. Recommended by the Good Garden Guide 2001. Open all year round 10am to dusk. Entry by honesty box 2.50 per adult. Children free. Dogs welcome on leads. Coaches welcome. Mail order service available for snowdrops and aconites.
  • photo

    FIFE

    Arnot Tower Gardens
    10 acres of beautifully restored gardens and mature ornamental woodland surrounding the ruins of Arnot Tower (built in the early 1400s). Situated on the border with Fife and Kinross-shire. 35 minutes from Edinburgh, Perth, Dundee and St Andrews, and 75 minutes from Glasgow. Wonderful venue for stylish and romantic wedding receptions. Available on an exclusive basis to ensure total privacy. Corporate dinners and dances, musical and theatrical evenings, product launches and fashion shows can all be catered for using different arrangements of the sweeping lawns, terraces and garden rooms.
    The gardens are open to the public at certain times under Scotland's Garden Scheme.

     

    ARGYLL: OBAN and FORT WILLIAM REGION

  • Crarae Gardens
    Located on Loch Fyne 12 miles from Inveraray, this is a traditional Highland Garden - not formal - and very beautiful in Spring and Autumn. Gardens are open all year. Visitor Centre open daily from 1 April to 30 September. Owned by The National Trust for Scotland since April 2002.

  • The Herb Garden
    Plant sales and B&B on the shores of Loch Fyne at Lochgair. Tel: +44 (0)1546 88 66 05 or visit web site.

  • Arduaine Garden
    Situated 20 miles south of Oban and 17 miles north of Lochgilphead on the A816 road. This sheltered garden on the west coast benefits from the Gulf Stream which enables alsorts of unexpected plants to grow here. There are also informal lawns and shrubberies, a wild woodland garden, plus many streams and ponds. Famed for its rhododendrons and azaleas. Open all year every day from 9.30am til sunset. Telephone: 01852 200366.

  • Ardchattan Priory Ruins and Garden
    Located 7 miles east of Oban, this is one of three Valliscaulian houses and was founded in 1231 by Duncan MacDougall, Lord of Lorne. It is said that the last Parliament meeting to be conducted in Gaelic was held here by Robert the Bruce in 1308 or 1309 (depending on which history books you read). The history books also say that it was burned by Cromwell's soldiers in 1654. The house is apparently the second oldest inhabited house in Scotland. Honesty box for access to the gardens and priory ruins which are open 9am-6pm from 1 April (or Good Friday if earlier) to 31 October.

  • Ardkinglas Woodland Garden
    Located at the head of Loch Fyne (signposted off the A83 between Loch Lomond - Inveraray). Home to one of the finest collections of conifers in Britain including many Champion Trees. Good displays of rhododendrons and azaleas. There is a woodland lochan and a gazebo which houses a unique 'Scriptorium'. The garden is open daylight hours all year round and there is an admission fee. Car park, picnic area, plant & gift sales and toilet facilities are available at the garden. Refreshments are available at the Tree Shop nearby.

  • Kinlochlaich House
    Near the Police Station at Appin between Oban and Fort William you can visit Kinlochlaich House which has the largest Nursery Garden Centre in Scotland. It is open every day (except Sundays from mid-October to March).

  • Ardsheal House
    Near Ballachulish, 17 miles south of Fort William and 25 miles north of Oban. An 11-acre garden overlooking Loch Linnhe & surrounding an old Stewart mansion house which offers B&B. Gardens open: 1 April - 30 September, 9am - 5pm.

  • Isle of Lismore
    In Gaelic the name means 'great garden'. There are nearly 300 different types of plants and wild flowers on this little island. Well worth a visit - passenger ferry from Port Appin and car ferry from Oban. Much ancient history too.

  • For more gardens in these areas, visit the web site for the Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute.

  • Torosay Castle and Gardens
    Sitting in twelve acres of ornamental gardens, Torosay Castle is a Victorian mansion built in 1858 by the Scottish architect David Bryce. It is very much a family home, with the upper floors still lived in. Easily accessible from the Craignure ferry either by car or the unique miniature railway.

    The grounds include a series of magnificent Italian statues, sculpted fountains, water garden, Japanese garden, rockery, stone lions, a domed folly and elaborate square towers on the edge of the terrace which house a very comprehensive display of the geological history of Mull, complete with photographs, timecharts and models. Well worth a visit.

    The Castle is only open from mid April to mid October, 7 days a week, 10.30am - 5.30pm. The gardens are open all year round: daylight hours only in winter, and 9am-7pm in summer. Tearoom serving light meals and refreshments. Craft/souvenir shop. Limited disabled access. Telephone 01680 812 421.

    KYLE OF LOCHALSH on the way to the ISLE OF SKYE

  • Lochalsh Woodland Garden
    Located at Balmacara between Eilean Donan Castle and Kyle of Lochalsh. Walks along the shores of Loch Alsh amongst Scots pine, oak and beech trees with bamboo, ferns, fuchsias, hydrangeas and rhododendrons in the garden. Ranger guided walks in season. Open all year every day from 9am til sunset. Telephone 01599 566325.

  • Speyside Heather Garden
    Halfway between Grantown-on-Spey and the Boat of Garten is the multi-award winning Speyside Heather Garden and Visitor Centre at Skye of Curr, Dulnain Bridge. See over 300 varieties of heather in the garden, visit the exhibition on the many uses of the plant, buy some to take home, shop for crafts, jewellery, clothes, garden produce. Restaurant (the famous Scottish Clootie Dumpling pudding is a speciality here). Open daily from 1 March to 31 October. Slightly reduced opening times during the winter. Telephone 01479 851 359 / fax: 01479 851 369. Visited by 80,000 people a year.

  • Inshriach Alpine Plant Nursery
    Scotland's premier Alpine Plant Nursery specialist is located 4 miles south of Aviemore on the B970. It is open to visitors from 9am - 5pm daily from mid February to mid November. Walk around the gardens and purchase some of the thousands of plants on display. Mail order catalogues available. More details online... Tel. 01540 651287.

  • Revack Estate
    Located on the B970 road between Grantown-on-Spey and Nethy Bridge, Revack Lodge was built as a shooting lodge some time around 1860. Today you can visit parts of the 15,000-acre estate where there are nature trails, adventure playground, plant centre and garden (orchids a speciality), restaurant and gift shop. Open all year from 10 am to 6 pm. Free entry apparently. Coaches by appointment only. Tel: 01479 872 234 / Fax: 01479 872 722.

    INVERNESS REGION

    Inverness won the 1996 award for Best large town in the Bloom of Britain competition and is a colourful city with many floral displays in summertime. Cross the river on the little Ness bridges and you can visit Bught Park. Closeby between the ice rink and the sports centre is the Floral Hall - a sub-tropical horticultural extravaganza with small waterfall, fish and alsorts of plants/trees (open all year round). The cactus hall is quite a surprise! The Inverness Flower and Garden Festival is held each year on the last weekend in August in the Sports Centre.

  • Cawdor Castle
    This is one of my personal favourites. Set in wooded grounds 12 miles east of Inverness, the castle dates from the early 14th century and is well worth a visit. Outside to the rear, the blue bridge spans Cawdor burn (a stream) which flows into the River Nairn. Cross it and you will find the start of many signposted nature trails in the vast expanse of woodland.

    Cawdor gardens photo

    The walled garden features on many postcards of the castle. It provides a colourful contrast to the stony backdrop of the building. In the summer, flower beds of reds, oranges, purples and whites vie for attention with the tunnel of roses and Copper beeches. There is also a walled maze and a 9-hole golf course. The castle and grounds are open daily from 1 May to the second Sunday in October between 10am and 5.30pm. Full details and photos.

  • Brodie Castle
    This picturesque castle, 4.5 miles west of Forres and 24 miles east of Inverness, is a popular stopping place on the visitors' trail for its fine interior and grounds. There's a picnic area, adventure playground, woodland walks, gardens and a lake. If you have chance to visit during the Spring, the famous collection of daffodils will be in full bloom.

    Admission charges are 6 pounds for adults and 4.50 pounds for children, or family tickets for 16.50 pounds. Group and school discounts. Open from April to September, Monday to Saturday 11am - 5.30pm, Sunday 1.30pm to 5.30pm. In October the castle is open on Saturdays 11am - 5.30pm and Sundays 1.30pm to 5.30pm. Last entry is usually about an hour before the castle closes. The grounds are open all year round every day. Tel: +44 1309 641 371 / fax +44 1309 641 600. It is owned by the National Trust of Scotland - see their site for more photos. Various events are hosted here throughout the year including theatre, musical events, teddybears picnic, ranger walks, flower festivals.

  • Logie Steading
    6 miles south of Forres. An art gallery, walled garden, garden shop, tea room, crafts, antiques & rare books for sale, etc. Open every day from the end of March to Christmas, 10.30am - 5pm. Phone 01309 611278.

  • Dunrobin Castle
    Seat of the Earls and Dukes of Sutherland, this beautiful castle with a French influence sits looking out across the North Sea on Scotland's east coast a mile from Golspie. The formal gardens were laid out in 1850 by Barry, the architect who built the Victorian extension to Dunrobin and also the Houses of Parliament in London.

    The castle is open every day from April to mid-October from 10.30am (except some Sundays when it doesn't open until 12 noon). The 1998 admission charges were 5 pounds for adults, 3.50 pounds for over 65s and children. Family tickets available for 15 pounds. Tearoom. The gardens are open all year round and entry is free of charge when the castle is closed. Limited disabled access to the house. Telephone: 01408 633177.

    • Achiltibuie Hydroponicum
      North of Ullapool, called the garden of the future, full of exotic plants, fruit and vegetables which grow without soil. Hourly guided tours. Gift shop and cafeteria. Open daily from Easter to end-September 10am - 6pm. Telephone 01854 622 202 / Fax: 01854 622 201.

    photo
    The old conservatory
    at Leckmelm Shrubbery
    • Leckmelm Shrubbery and Arboretum: 3 miles from Ullapool on the main road. 10 acres of grounds and a walled garden. No parking for buses or large vehicles. Entry fee: 1.50 pounds (honesty box). Originally laid out in the 1870s by Mr. Pirie of Aberdeen, it was redeveloped in 1985 and is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Troughton.
    • Inverewe Gardens
      To the west of Ullapool and 6 miles north-east of Gairloch, on the A832 road, by Poolewe, are the very famous Inverewe Gardens originally designed by Osgood Mackenzie. This colourful sub-tropical garden owned by the National Trust for Scotland is located further north than Moscow, but thanks to the North Atlantic Drift, all kinds of exotic plants grow here in 50 acres of land. Highly recommended. The gardens are open daily all year round, but the Visitor centre with restaurant and shop is only open from April to October. Guided walks with the gardener during the summer season take place Monday to Friday starting at 1.30pm. Telephone 01445 781 200.
    • From mid-May to mid-September on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays only, a boat from Kylesku will take you to Kerrachar Gardens. The boat leaves at 1pm and takes 30 minutes each way. Cost: 10 pounds for boat trip plus entrance to the gardens. Children under 12 travel free. Children between 12 and 16 half price. Boat trips contact - tel:01571 844446. Gardens contact - tel: 01571 83 32 88.

    Other useful links:
    Scotland's Garden Scheme
    The National Gardens Scheme (UK)
    Glorious Gardens of Argyll and Bute

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