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Best gardens in Scotland

Statue of a lion among flowers at Pitmedden Garden

Looking for the best Scottish gardens to visit? Discover the most beautiful gardens near you and all over Scotland, with something to suit all tastes. From Threave Garden in Dumfries & Galloway to Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross, the National Trust for Scotland cares for many glorious gardens and designed landscapes, covering over 1,500 hectares of land.

Pitmedden Garden, Aberdeenshire

Discover a masterpiece of garden design at Pitmedden Garden. The parterres, made up of almost 6 miles of clipped box hedging and intricate patterns, are some of the best in the world. See the orchard, packed with more than 200 fruit trees, delight in the scents of honeysuckle and jasmine, and stop by the fascinating Museum of Farming Life.

Did you know?

It takes over 30,000 annual bedding plants to make up the colourful designs in Pitmedden’s parterres.

Branklyn Garden, Perthshire

If you’re a rare-plant fanatic, you’ll love the enchanting Branklyn Garden – an attractive, peaceful haven within walking distance of Perth city centre. Created in the 1920s, and overlooking the city, this verdant spot is an exhibition of colours and rare species.

The garden holds the national collection of the Himalayan blue poppy, as well as many other plants grown from seeds collected by celebrated plant hunters and botanists.

Branklyn Garden

Inverewe Garden, Wester Ross

In one of Scotland’s most remote corners, the iconic Inverewe Garden provides a year-round calendar of colour and scent, and is home to exotic plants from around the world, such as Himalayan blue poppies, rare Wollemi pines, New Zealand daisy bushes and Tasmanian eucalypts. Lose yourself in the lush setting and enjoy unrivalled views across Loch Ewe and the wider estate, home to Scotland’s ‘Big 5’ species – red squirrels, golden eagles, red deer, seals and otters.

Did you know?

Inverewe’s creator Osgood Mackenzie spent 20 years growing a shelterbelt – a protective brand of trees – around the perimeter of the garden before he planted any flowers.

Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire

Visit the enchanting Crathes Castle estate and discover one of its best features – the stunning walled garden.

Split into eight areas that incorporate every green delight imaginable, the garden includes sculpted topiary, soft herbaceous colours and modern exotic blooms. 

Nature spotters will love the waymarked trails along the Coy Burn. Keep an eye out for buzzards, herons and kingfishers – they’ve probably been at home on the estate for at least as long as the castle walls.

Crathes Castle Garden

Brodick Castle, Isle of Arran

The grounds of Brodick Castle offer something for everyone. Take a stroll through the colourful formal gardens, admire stunning waterfalls and bathing pools, and enjoy miles of woodland trails, where you’ll spot an abundance of wildlife, including red squirrels. Discover the brand-new Silver Garden, which beautifully reflects the castle’s extensive silver collection and includes art installations, along with a silver talking tube, xylophone and wind chimes.

Falkland Palace, Fife

Falkland Palace Garden

The garden of Falkland Palace is widely acknowledged as outstanding both for its historical value and as a work of art. 

Wander through the historic orchard, complete with a spectacular display of cherry and apples trees, as well as a living willow labyrinth. Marvel at the beauty of the formal gardens, filled with colour and fragrance from the herbaceous perennials, all set against the backdrop of the stunning palace itself.

Threave Garden, Dumfries & Galloway

Lovingly created over the years by students of our School of Heritage Gardening, Threave Garden is one of the best examples of landscaped beauty. Divided into a series of smaller gardens to showcase different styles, it includes a rose garden, rockery, walled garden and the brand-new Garden of Contemplation – a beautiful, peaceful space specially designed for quiet reflection.

Aberdeenshire & Highlands gardens

No trip to Haddo House would be complete without visiting the delightful terrace garden, with its lavish herbaceous border and geometric flower beds.

Leith Hall is home to the highest altitude garden in the Trust at 186m above sea level – from here, the views across Aberdeenshire and the surrounding hills are awe-inspiring.

Breathe in the beautiful perfumes of the Drum Castle Garden of Historic Roses, and see how these exquisite roses have been cultivated from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

Ayrshire & Galloway gardens

Discover the gorgeous garden of Broughton House, created by artist E A Hornel, whose love of oriental flora is evident throughout – explore winding paths, arching branches and a colourful blend of Eastern and Western horticulture.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum weaves through the beautiful village of Alloway, and is teeming with historical and cultural significance. Stroll around the luscious landscaped gardens, home to the iconic Burns Monument.

Take inspiration from the flamboyant formal gardens at Culzean Castle, and marvel at the magnificent double walled garden, with its huge herbaceous borders and beautifully restored Victorian vinery.

Broughton House Garden
Broughton House Garden

Edinburgh, Lothians & Borders gardens

Malleny Garden is the perfect picture of cultivated calm. The garden is a haven for plant lovers thanks to a large variety of colourful and fragrant flowers and shrubs, and is home to four magnificent 400-year-old clipped yew trees.

Harmony garden
Harmony Garden

Fragrant flowers, tall trees, clear ponds, wildlife galore and a heady mix of rare and familiar scents – the walled grounds of Inveresk Lodge Garden have all the ingredients for a garden paradise.

Discover manicured lawns, scented borders and fruit and vegetable beds spread out from a charming Georgian manor house at Harmony Garden. Soak up the excellent views of the majestic Melrose Abbey and nearby Eildon Hills.

Across the road from Harmony sits the delightful Priorwood Garden. Enjoy a picnic in the stunning orchard, which cultivates many historical apple varieties, as well as plums, pears, damsons and greengages

Glasgow & Argyll gardens

A must-visit for enthusiastic gardeners, Greenbank Garden is an oasis of greenery boasting over 3,600 plant species. Explore the walled garden surrounded by beech trees and wildflower meadows.

Crarae Garden

Punches of colour, a succession of seasonal plants and delicious fresh fruit and vegetables give the celebrated Geilston Garden its classic yet vibrant feel.

Marvel at the exotic botanicals to be found at the tranquil oasis that is Arduaine Garden, and take a stroll across to the coastal viewpoint to enjoy a remarkable panorama of the Sound of Jura. 

Crarae Garden is a spectacular 50-acre woodland garden in a dramatic setting with a wonderful collection of plants centred around the Crarae Burn, which tumbles through a rocky gorge in a series of cascades.

Did you know?

Crarae Garden hosts an amazingly varied collection of trees – some are champions of their species – and a National Collection of southern beech (Nothofagus).

Fife & Stirlingshire gardens

Explore the landscaped gardens of Hill of Tarvit Mansion, with its formal lawns, yew hedging, flowering borders and a sunken rose garden, all designed by celebrated architect, Robert Lorimer.

Take a wander through the Arts & Crafts garden of Kellie Castle, complete with magnificent herbaceous borders, filled with the heavy scent of old roses, along with fruit and vegetables which are all grown organically.

Walled garden at Kellie Castle
The walled garden at Kellie Castle

The intriguing shape of The Pineapple sits at the head of this relaxing walled garden. The grounds are an oasis for wildlife, where you can enjoy a peaceful walk around the former curling pond.

Culross Palace is a must-see property, with a beautifully reconstructed multi-level period garden, overlooking the Firth of Forth. It is complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens.

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