History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
The story of Glenwhan Gardens 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.
After decades of hard work, the bog is gone, replaced with a series of 4 small ponds that act as a base for luxuriant plantings of species from across the world. A screen of conifers and deciduous trees blocks the wind and creates 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. One 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 leads through 17 acres, with mown paths guiding visitors 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 as far as 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!
A Final Word
When we had finished touring the gardens on a lovely spring morning, my wife turned to me and said, 'This is the best garden we've seen in Scotland.' I'd have to agree.
Most photos are available for licensing, please contact Britain Express image library.
About Glenwhan Gardens
Address: Dunragit, Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, DG9 8PH
Attraction Type: Garden
Website: Glenwhan Gardens
OS: NX149 582
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
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)
Barhobble Church - 11.4 miles (Historic Church)
Nearest Holiday Cottages to Glenwhan Gardens: