The snow might have gone from our luxury self-catering cottages in Galloway but there’s one type of snow that won’t cause a major disruption to the roads or to people’s daily lives – and that’s the snowdrop season.
Come and stay at one of our cottages on our magical Corsewall Estate and explore the magnificent gardens across south west Scotland – we have luxury self-catering cottages in Galloway for couples and for larger groups and all the houses on the Estate are linked by a wonderful network of woodland walks and coastal paths.
The snowdrop season quickly rolls into spring and soon the gardens will be open daily. April and May are wonderful months to visit south west Scotland for the gardens alone.
One of three outposts of the Royal Edinburgh Botanical Gardens, warmed by the Gulf Stream, Logan Botanic Garden is the most exotic, with many varieties of plants and trees including a large number from Chile. It has become known as the ‘plant man’s paradise’. The gardens are open during weekends from February for the Scottish snowdrop festival and is open seven days a week from March 1. It has the wonderful Potting Shed Bistro, which is worth a trip in itself.
Glenwhan Garden is truly a magical gem. Created from rough moorland 50 years ago by Tessa Knott, it is perched on a hill with staggering views over Luce Bay. It has a large collection of rare trees and shrubs which thrive in this area thanks to the Gulf Stream. There are beautiful paths that meander through the gardens and beside the loch and out onto the moor, where there are lots of species of wildflowers, grasses and ferns. Dogs are welcome and there’s a tearoom here too.
Castle Kennedy Gardens’ first guided walk of the season starts on February 12 at 10.30am the former Head Gardener who will guide you to the best drifts of Snowdrops and bulbs inside the Gardens. The gardens have the most amazing collection of rhododendrons and azaleas – so it’s a wonderful garden to explore especially in the spring. In summer, the walled garden is spectacular. Spread over almost 75 acres, with two lochs and a huge, circular lily pond, Castle Kennedy Gardens are a great place to walk, explore and generally for children to run about, let their imagination run wild and let off steam.
Also in Dumfries & Galloway, Threave Garden & Estate, outside Castle Douglas, is a National Trust of Scotland gem. Over the years students from the Trust’s School of Heritage Gardening have created wonderful gardens at Threave – it is divided into separate areas to showcase various styles of horticulture including a rose garden, a rockery and a walled garden too. Threave Garden is open daily from January – so it’s the perfect day trip during the winter months.
Further afield in Ayrshire there are two gardens of note: Dumfries House and Culzean Castle.
The Walled Garden at Dumfries House has been transformed since King Charles bought the Estate in 2007 and has undergone a glorious restoration. It features glass houses, extensive terraces, formal gardens and an impressive vegetable garden. Take your time while you are there to also visit the Arboretum which features a delightful collection of trees, shrubs and woodland flowers. Plus, there’s the maze, with its impressive obelisks and grand Japanese pagoda centre piece. The Estate is open all year round – so this is another great winter attraction. The house is open for tours at weekends and daily throughout the summer.
Culzean Castle, perched on cliffs overlooking the Firth of Clyde is one of architect, Robert Adam’s, finest creations. There are extensive walks through the country park and a magnificent walled garden with both a kitchen garden and beautiful flower borders.
So, if you are planning a break in the next few months, do consider one of our luxury self-catering cottages in Galloway at Corsewall Estate – the perfect base to do some proper garden exploring in Dumfries & Galloway.