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Crarae Garden

Overview

Rare trees and exotic shrubs from around the world thrive in the mild climate and the magnificent setting of this Highland glen. There are literally hundreds of varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas, so the garden is a riot of colour in spring and summer. The garden is also appealing in Autumn, when the leaves of the wide variety of deciduous trees start to turn red and gold. 

Started by Lady Campbell in 1912, the design of the garden was inspired by the experiences of plant collectors who recognised the similarity in the growing conditions of the Himalayan valleys, where rhododendrons naturally occur, and the sheltered slopes of the glade formed by the Crarae burn.

There is a visitor centre selling crafts and refreshments which is open seasonal hours. When you get your tickets in the visitor centre, make sure that you pick up one of the "maps" of the walks around the gardens as there are several routes and it is helpful to know where they intersect.As you walk around the garden there are small information boards which are quite interesting and they tell you more than just the fancy Latin names for the plants.

The gardens also contain a neolithic burial chamber which is very easy to find as it is not far from the visitor centre. You can also buy some locally grown plants at the visitor centre should you feel inspired to start your own rhododendron collection.

Worth visiting when at its most colourful peaks in mid to late May.

Address:

Crarae, Inveraray, PA32 8YA

Operated by:

National Trust for Scotland

Opening Hours:

Garden: 3 January - 29 March, Daily 9.30 - 16:00 (last entry 15:30) 30 March - 31 August, Daily 9.30 - 17:30 (last entry 17:00) 1 September - 23 December, Daily 9.30 - 16:00 (last entry 15:30) Visitor centre: 30 Mar to 31 Aug, Daily 9:30 - 17:30 Visitor centre: 1 Sep to 31 Oct, Thu - Mon 9:30 - 16:00

Admission:

Adult £ 7.50, Child £ 5.50, Senior £ 5, Family £ 18.50

Parking:

Yes

Languages:

English

Accessibility:

Yes

Toilets:

Yes

Shop:

Yes

Cafe/Restaurant:

Yes, basic arrangement where you can self serve.

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