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14 Mar 2022

Days out in spring

The flowers are beginning to bloom as spring arrives in Scotland
Spring has sprung! As the weather warms and flowers bloom, enjoy a full day out at one of our wonderful places combining natural and cultural heritage.

Newhailes House & Gardens

Where: Musselburgh, East Lothian

Newhailes is at its most photogenic in spring, when the mature cherry trees in front of the country house are in full bloom and wildflowers blossom around the grounds. It’s a lovely place to celebrate Mother’s Day, with the renovated Stables Café offering a superb range of fresh and tasty treats and the quirky and colourful Weehailes play park to keep children entertained. Make sure to leave plenty of time for a stroll around the grounds, where highlights include the Shell Grotto, Tea House and Ladies’ Walk.

Large cherry trees, laden with blossom, stand at either side of Newhailes House and the sweeping gravel drive.
Cherry blossom at Newhailes House

Inverewe

Where: Poolewe, Wester Ross

Inverewe Garden reopens for the new season in April, enabling visitors to experience this coastal garden’s extraordinary spring-blooming flowers, including celebrated collections of erythronium and rhododendron. But there’s fauna as well as flora to enjoy here. The wider Inverewe estate is one of the very best places to spot iconic species of Scottish wildlife, with a resident harbour seal colony in the loch, otters around the coastline, red squirrels in the woods, deer on the hills and eagles soaring in the skies above. A boat trip from the jetty provides one of the best wildlife-spotting opportunities – you can find more information and book a trip online right here!

A mottled-grey seal pup pokes its head out of clear turquoise water.
A seal pup at Inverewe

Brodick Country Park and Goat Fell

Where: Isle of Arran

Make the most of the bank holidays with a long weekend on the fantastically diverse Isle of Arran. Britain’s only island country park is just two miles from the ferry terminal and offers a full day out in and around Brodick Castle, including the exciting Isle Be Wild play park, waterfalls and winding trails. Late spring is a wonderful time to explore the estate’s woodland garden, with the rhododendron collection putting on its most spectacular show between April and May. For the adventurous island visitor, nearby Goat Fell is also in the care of the Trust and offers a challenging but hugely enjoyable day’s hillwalking.

A sunny yet cloudy view from the top of Goatfell
The view is worth the climb! From the peak of Goat Fell

Threave Garden & Estate and Rockcliffe

Where: Dumfries & Galloway

Threave – situated just outside Scotland’s ‘Food Town’, Castle Douglas – is always worth a visit in spring, if only for the sunny sight of the garden’s wonderful daffodil bank featuring over 300 varieties. But don’t miss the opportunity to explore the wider Threave estate, where in 2021 we launched an exciting project to restore former farmland to nature, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem where wildlife can thrive. Already there are new paths to explore, wildflowers to enjoy and wetland birds to look out for. At nearby Rockcliffe, spring brings seas of indigo bluebells and if you visit before nesting season starts in May, you can walk out at low tide to the bird sanctuary of Rough Island.

Sea pink flowers cover the grass before the lichen-covered rocks on the shore at Rockcliffe.
Sea pink flowers at Rockcliffe

House of Dun

Where: Montrose, Angus

Following the reopening of House of Dun in summer 2021, there’s more to see and do in and around this beautiful Georgian house than ever before. Enjoy a tour of the house in the company of costumed characters from the house’s history and explore the Angus Folk Collection in a fascinating series of rooms across the courtyard. Out in the wider grounds, a spring highlight is a wander along Lady Augusta’s Walk through the Den of Dun gorge, taking in the colourful spring rhododendrons and azaleas. The estate also encompasses part of the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve, where spring highlights include the arrival of seasonal sand martins and the hatching of ducklings and chicks.

The rose bower at House of Dun