History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: 18th-century origins
The gardens surrounding Bolfracks House date to the middle of the 18th century, when the house was owned by the Menzies family. We don't know exactly when they were planted, but there is a map of 1767 showing them following essentially the same layout as the gardens we see today.
In 1806 the Breadalbane family purchased Bolfracks, and the property formed part of the picturesque landscape surrounding Taymouth Castle. Around 1830 they added a Gothic frontage to the 18th-century house.
The house provided a residence for Taymouth Castle's factor, who who administered the widereaching Breadalbane estates. The present owner's great-grandfather bought Bolfracks in 1922.
In 1928 a Stream Garden was laid out to follow the course of Bolfracks Burn as it passed through the estate. However, much of the colourful garden we see today was begun in the 1970s.
In spring the garden is a colourful place with early bulbs in bloom, and bluebells carpeting the ground. In summer the pride of place goes to rhododendrons and azaleas, and later in summer, the roses are at their fragrant best. And if you come in autumn you can count on lush colours, with crab apple trees and acers bursting into vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds.
The Burn Garden features a woodland with moisture-loving plants including spring daffodils, bluebells, azaleas, and moceonopsis.
Bolfracks is best known for collections of unusual plants, including herbaceous perennials, azaleas, acers, and old-fashioned roses. Most of the trees and shrubs are labelled with their botanical names.
There is an informal woodland garden, and a summerhouse built in 1930. Nearby is a burial ground with a family mausoleum for the Menzies family, with a datestone of 1708.
Bolfracks has acid soil, with planings designed to take advantage of the soil conditions and the 42" of average rainfall each year.
We have visited the garden twice; once on an overcast day in May and againon a lovely autumn afternoon. On both occasions the colours were lush and inviting and made the garden a welcome place to relax and enjoy the wonderful views. It is the views that really stay long in the memory; the vista south over the Tay valley is exquisite. Be aware that the garden is laid out on a hillside, and the upper sections can be steep.
There are two colour-coded waymarked routes through the garden; the Steep Route, and a Gentler Route for those visitors who prefer a less strenuous experience.
The garden is extremely easy to find. It is very well signposted from both Aberfeldy and Kenmore, and lies on the A827 about 2 miles west of Aberfeldy. There is parking directly in front of Bolfracks House, and an honesty box for admission in a small garden hut beside the house, where you will find information about the garden and about nearby visitor attractions.
Bolfracks does not get nearly the publicity it deserves as one of the most attractive gardens in Scotland.
About Bolfracks Garden
Address: A827, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland, PH15 2EX
Attraction Type: Garden
Location: On the A827, 2 miles west of Aberfeldy
Website: Bolfracks Garden
OS: NN830 485
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Castle Menzies - 0.6 miles (Historic House)
Croft Moraig Stone Circle - 1 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Weem Forest & St David's Well - 1 miles (Countryside)
Old Kirk of Weem - 1.1 miles (Historic Church)
General Wade's Bridge - 1.4 miles (Historic Building)
Black Watch Memorial - 1.4 miles (Historic Building)
Dull Cross - 1.5 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Aberfeldy, St Andrew's Church - 1.5 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Accommodation to Bolfracks Garden:
Nearest Self Catering Cottages
Nearest Bed and Breakfasts