Gardens near Portpatrick and the Gardens of Galloway
There are probably more gardens within easy reach from Portpatrick than in any other place in Scotland. Galloway`s mild climate & fertile soil help make sure our gardens are spectacular.
Don`t miss the exotic gardens at Logan Botanic Gardens, less that half an hour away from Portpatrick on the road to the Mull of Galloway, Scotland`s most southerly point.
Logan House Gardens are next door to Logan Botanic Gardens so a visit to both can be easily combined.
In Ardwell, we have Ardwell House Gardens. ( We have learned that Ardwell Gardens are, at present, not open to the public)
Much closer to Portpatrick is Dunskey Walled Garden & Maze which is within less than an hours walk or a few minutes by car.
Also in the Rhins is Aldouran Wetland Garden where insect and birdlife are actively encouraged and where there is an accessible walkway to the birdhide. There is pond dipping for the curious.
Near Stranraer is Castle Kennedy and Gardens which were laid out in the 18th century by one of the Stair family
Glenwhan Gardens are another highlight and are a few miles to the west from Castle Kennedy.
You can find out about some of Whats Going on in the Gardens our our news pages.
Gardens of Galloway
Six of the above gardens have linked up to form the Gardens of Galloway – Scotland`s Garden Route and a “passport” can be obtained from their website entitling you to a discount of 10 percent off the entrance fee.
While not in the Galloway Gardens group, Aldouran Wetland Garden in Leswalt is a seventh garden you can visit within the immediate area.
Galloway House Gardens also date back to the 18th century and are situated near Garlieston on our neighbouring peninsula known as the Machars
Further afield, there are wonderful gardens at Culzean Castle, ideal for a day out from Portpatrick. There are excellent gardens also at Threave near Castle Douglas where a vist can be combined with a look at our “Food Town”.
Galloway House Gardens
These historic seaside gardens are in a sheltered position on Wigtown Bay. they date back to 1740 and are set in over 50 acres of parkland near Garlieston on the Machars Peninsula.
The gardens are open all year round but the walled garden is currently closed for repairs.Admission is free but there is a £2 charge for parking if required.
The gardens and woodland lead directly on to the seashore where there is a sandy beach to enjoy or a walk to the ruins of Cruggleston Castle.
One of the more unusual species in the garden is a mature Handkerchief Tree that flowers in late spring alongside Eucryphia and Magnolias.
Logan Botanic Garden
Logan Botanic Gardens describe themselves as an “exotic paradise” at the south western tip of Scotland. Recently Logan Botanic Gardens were awarded 5 Star status by Visit Scotland.
Logan Garden is only a few miles away from the Mull of Galloway which is the most southerly point in Scotland and it is well worth spending a day or two exploring the Mull and Logan Botanic Garden during your stay in Portpatrick.
Logan Gardens was one of many locations in our area of the cult movie The Wickerman and features treasures from South and Central America, Southern Africa and Australasia rarely seen in the U.K.
New for 2014 a large victorian style conservatory has been built which features plants from South Africa. Energy for the new conservatory is entirely from renewable sources.
Logan Gardens also has a Tasmanian Glade. You can stand in the shade of awesome giant rhubarb-like Gunnera or wander through groves of eucalyptus.
Digital Audio guides are available and a stroll to the highest point will be rewarded with a breathtaking view across the Rhins to the Galloway Hills and beyond. Regular events are held throughout the season.
Castle Kennedy & Gardens
Castle Kennedy & Gardens are one of Scotland`s best known gardens where the owners are always looking to add to the attraction of the gardens.
They hold regular events and have for 2012, introduced landrover safaris exploring the natural beauty of the hills and moorland around Castle Kennedy. There is also a new bird hide on the shore of White Loch adjacent to the gardens themselves.
The gardens and the castle are situated on a narrow strip of land between two lochs and the gardens are famous for colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and embothriums as well as many tender and exotic plants.
There are four carefully designed walks of varying lengths and interests which reveal the gardens throughout the seasons from the snowdrops, spring bulbs, camellias and magnolias early in the year, through to the herbaceous borders later in the sumer as well as woodland and lochside views
The gardens are home to 25 “Champion Trees” These are either the tallest, most massive or oldest example example of its kind recorded in the Tree Register.
Aldouran Wetland Gardens
Aldouran Wetland Gardens are in the village of Leswalt about 15 minites from Portpatrick. The garden consists of raised beds linked by all-ability paths with seats and picnic benches provided.The crewation of the garden, originally intended to be of purely multi-sensory appeal and now including native plants and young trees, has reulted in the promotion of a wider diversity of wildlife both in the garden and wetland.
Just outside the formal garden is a boardwalk to a bird hide overlooking the pond. A Hoopoe was recently spotted!
A woodland walk also starts from the hide and takes about an hour, wending its way up Alodouran Glen which is owned and managed by the Woodland Trust Scotland. The walk is through an “Ancient semi natural wood” of the type which would have cloaked much of Scotland at one time.
There are beautiful views of Loch Ryan to be seen from the footpath.
Culzean Castle Gardens
Culzean Castle is just over an hours drive from Portpatrick and makes a very popular day trip as the drive takes in beautiful coastline with lots to explore on the way. On the drive there are opportunities for seal spotting near Ballantrae, to check out the Electric Brae or visit the harbour at Dunureand its ruined castle.
The gardens at Culzean Castle are extensive and include a large and historic walled garden, terraces and woodland walks.
When Tessa Knott bought the 103 acres of uncultivated land, covered in bracken and gorse that was to become Glenwhan Gardens, she said ” I let nature be my guide when I created my garden out of untamed wilderness”
Glenwhan is in an area of immense natural beauty, 300 ft above sea level , overlooking Luce Bay, the Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man.
Glenwhan is an ongoing labour of love and will always be a wild garden. Every effort has been made to nurture the balance of nature in this peaceful and magical setting. Glenwhan Gardens have a tearoom.
Dunskey Gardens. Portpatrick
Currently Dunskey Gardens are only open for groups by prior arrangement. Dunskey Gardens are within walking distance (30-40 mins) from Rickwood House or just a few minutes by car.
The main features are a charming 18th Century Walled Garden with McKenzie & Moncur glasshouses and interesting woodland gardens by the loch.
Dunskey is home to the National Collection of Clianthus and Sutherlandia and it is also famed for its spectacular snowdrops.
A unique feature of the gardens is its hedge maze which is based on the design of the famous maze at Hampon Court.
There is a lovely woodland walk from the gardens through Dunskey Glen which goes right down to the sea shore from where you can folloow the Southern Upland Way back to Portpatrick.
Dunskey Gardens has a tea room with an open-air terrace serving home-made food all day.
New for the summer of 2015 it is possible to visit Dunskey House itself – appointment required.
Threave Gardens. Castle Douglas
For guests staying in Portpatrick for several days, a visit to Castle Douglas takes about 90 minutes by car, depending on how many stops are made to admire the views.Castle Douglas itself is a great town for shops as the main street is lined with independently owned shops and many cafes.
Threave Garden and Estate is a National Trust Property and the gardens are open all year round. The gardens include rock and patio gardens, a secret garden, water features, heathers, perennials. There are woodland walks and a bat trail along with a nature reserve with bird hides and an osprey viewing platform.