History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The story of Glenwhan Garden is remarkable. Three decades ago this 12-acre site was nothing more than boggy waste ground surrounding a traditional Scottish farmhouse, a place where gorse and bracken crowded out other plants save for an occasional willow tree.
The Knott family bought the farmhouse and 103-acre farm over the phone, without ever having seen the site. What a shock it must have been when they first beheld the decrepit farmhouse and waste land. But a visit to nearby Logan Botanic Garden proved all the inspiration the family needed.
With decades of hard work, the bog is gone, replaced with a series of 4 small ponds that act as a baser for luxuriant plantings of species from across the world. A screen of conifers and deciduous trees blocked the wind and created a warm micro-climate, where plants from the Southern Hemisphere flourish. See Chilean fire bush Embothrium, Eucalyptus, and New Zealand Olearias among other unusual plants.
What to See
The Glenwhan Gardens have been described as one of the best Scottish gardens of the modern era. The garden has been carefully planted to create colour at every season. Traditional favourites like rhododendron and azalea flower in Spring, while Summer brings out the Southern Hemisphere plants, and later in the year, the hydrangeas are at their best.
Winding trails lead past water features and carefully dotted sculptures add interest. A new feature is a tree trail, linking over 150 different species of trees. A leaflet describes the trees and where they came from.
The Wildflower Walk stretches over 17 acres, with mown paths leading you past densely packed patches of colourful grasses and summer blossoms. There are more than 120 species of ferns, grasses, and flowers to enjoy in this area. At the top of the site is a 'Peace Pinnacle', a striking sculpture made of stone balls of diminishing size, stacked atop each other.
The gardens are in an elevated position, 300 feet above sea level, and the south facing site allows for a wonderful view across Luce Bay and the Mull of Galloway. There is a large resident bird population, so bring your binoculars!
The gardens have been featured numerous publications, including The Scottish Rhododendron Yearbook, The RHS ‘The Garden’, 'The English Garden', and too many more to mention!
About Glenwhan Gardens
Address: Dunragit, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 8PH
Attraction Type: Garden
Website: Glenwhan Gardens
OS: NX149 582
Photo Credit: Billy McCrorie, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
Glenluce Abbey - 2.2 miles (Abbey)
Castle Kennedy Gardens - 5 miles (Garden)
Kirkmadrine Early Christian Stones - 7.5 miles (Historic Church)
Laggangairn Standing Stones - 9.4 miles (Prehistoric Site)
Dunskey Castle - 9.5 miles (Castle)
Chapel Finian - 9.9 miles (Historic Church)
Logan Botanic Garden - 10.1 miles (Garden)
Druchtag Motte - 14.3 miles (Castle)
Nearest Accommodation to Glenwhan Gardens: