Two Galloway gardens

Glenwhan Gardens

We arrived at Glenwhan Gardens just in time for morning coffee in the friendly tea room. This was Easter Sunday so I had expected it to be busy, but the weather was dull and damp and we seemed to be the first people there. Not so – apparently a woman had arrived earlier with a small girl in tow and enquired about their Easter Egg Hunt. When told she would have to pay the garden fee to participate, she stormed off saying it would be cheaper to go to Tesco to buy an egg. I would say 0/10 for parenting skills there! We spotted bags of mini-eggs hanging throughout the garden but, although it got a bit busier, we didn’t see many children. What a shame.

Anyway, after coffee we admired the peacock in the car park before heading through the entrance with its lovely stained glass panel.

Started in 1979, the 12 acre site was created from a hillside of bracken and gorse, with two lakes created by damming up bogs. The paths wander upwards to various viewpoints – it’s just beautiful.

There are many sculptures dotted around.

My favourite is the Peace Pinnacle, seen here from both sides.

The garden is surrounded by 17 more acres of wild land – it was even wetter under foot than the rest of the garden, but we enjoyed the moorland walk all the same.

As luck would have it, we passed the tea room again just in time for lunch (delicious) before returning to the car and setting off for our second garden of the day. However, we decided on another stop in between.

Glenluce Abbey

Glenluce Abbey was founded in 1191/2 by Roland, Lord of Galloway. The ruins are now in the care of Historic Scotland.

Finally, it was on to Castle Kennedy Gardens.

Castle Kennedy

The castle ruins date to the 16th century, but the gardens are more recent being the inspiration of the second Earl of Stair in the early 19th century. I was struck by the terraces and landforms, very reminiscent of contemporary work by Charles Jencks (and we’d be visiting one of his creations the next day). However, they have been there since the beginning, created by men with carts and horse-drawn equipment. Amazing work!

Lastly, at the top end of the gardens we found Lochinch Castle, which was rather more comfortable looking than Castle Kennedy!

We got wet several times throughout the day and it was cold (spot that I’m wearing gloves, even though it was April) so it was good to head back to our cosy cottage to dry out and warm up. We were leaving the next morning and planned to go home via Crawick Multiverse. Coming next!


41 thoughts on “Two Galloway gardens

  1. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor July 17, 2017 / 12:21

    That’s a shame about the Easter egg hunt – both for all the wasted candy due to not many children participating and the child who had to make do with an egg from Tesco instead of finding eggs in the garden.


    • Anabel Marsh July 17, 2017 / 14:53

      I felt terrible for that poor child! Imagine looking forward to the fun of an egg hunt then being taken to the supermarket instead. Somehow, I feel the eggs would not have gone to waste: I’m sure the staff would have helped out!


  2. hilarymb July 17, 2017 / 13:56

    Hi Anabel – I agree about the parenting example to small child – terrible. Trouble with the weather too – we never know what it’s going to do. Still wonderful to see the gardens and the ruins – and then a cottage to dry off in with some home comforts … cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh July 17, 2017 / 14:54

      I know, poor child! We’re good at enjoying places despite the weather – we have to be up here.


  3. Pit July 17, 2017 / 14:22

    Hi Anabel,
    I used to say “the English can do gardens”, since I visited these beautiful gardens first in Cornwall. But from your story [and from my experiences in Scotland] I have to correct myself and add, “and the Scottish can do gardens, too”. I haven’t been in Wales yet, but I assume they have wonderful gardens there, too. So, maybe the safest way would be, “the British can do gardens”. šŸ˜‰
    Have a wonderful day,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh July 17, 2017 / 14:56

      I don’t know about Wales either. There are certainly some beautiful gardens about. It’s not a talent that has found its way to me though! But I love looking.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pit July 17, 2017 / 14:59

        That is not one of my talents either. And in addition to that, even if I had the talent, the deer in our garden would make short work of any beutiful flowers and/or shrubs.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. shazza July 17, 2017 / 15:01

    We stayed in the grounds of castle kennedy and Lochinch Castle in Icehouse Cottage. Was lovely, cosy and very peaceful in November.lots of pheasants, deer and red squirrels.x


    • Anabel Marsh July 17, 2017 / 15:05

      Oh, how lovely! I saw that they did accommodation, it would be great just to walk out into that.


  5. susan@onesmallwalk July 17, 2017 / 15:31

    So many beautiful places to see in your neck of the woods! It’s fun to keep traveling along with you šŸ™‚


  6. Jemima Pett July 17, 2017 / 21:58

    “As luck would have it, we passed the tea room again just in time for lunch”
    Sure šŸ™‚


  7. Su Leslie July 17, 2017 / 23:07

    That poor wee girl! We used to do Easter Egg hunts when the boy-child was little and even the kids that didn’t like chocolate (there were two of them amazingly) joined in because it was such fun. That aside, your images are lovely and I enjoyed your excursion.


  8. Donna July 18, 2017 / 00:58

    Hi, Anabel – I love how your adventures and posts always seem to include a nice cup of coffee somewhere in (or near) the center of action. And I totally agree with your assessment of the 0/10 parenting skills. That was so sad!


    • Anabel Marsh July 18, 2017 / 02:36

      No outing is complete without a nice tearoom! I don’t understand how anyone can lead a child to an egg hunt only to take her away again. I expect the poor kid will have to get used to such disappointments – if she hasn’t already.


  9. Blue Sky Scotland July 18, 2017 / 09:43

    I always enjoy water gardens and that first one looks impressive. Any landscaped gardens I visit I’m always slightly disappointed if they don’t have a pond or two so both these tick the boxes nicely.


    • Anabel Marsh July 18, 2017 / 15:31

      Yes, they were lovely even in the rain. A bit too much water!


  10. Birgit July 18, 2017 / 16:21

    These gardens look so inviting and I love the warthog sculpture. It looks so nice but so much care is needed for gardens to look effortless. Love the ruins and it does look cold because I saw your mitts.


    • Anabel Marsh July 18, 2017 / 16:51

      This is why I only have a tiny garden – too much effort!


  11. Ann Coleman July 18, 2017 / 20:20

    Gorgeous photos, and what a great place to spend Easter Sunday!


  12. Heyjude July 18, 2017 / 23:17

    How nice to see Glenwhan again, though we were luckier with the weather it seems! There are some fabulous gardens in Dumfries and Galloway, we were very impressed.


  13. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) July 19, 2017 / 13:12

    I think the wild boar is my favourite sculpture! And that poor girl missing out on the egg hunt. šŸ˜¦ I’ve never actually participated in an egg hunt at a garden or attraction, which seem to be common in Britain (I don’t think they’re really a thing in America), but my mom would hide oversized plastic eggs filled with candy and 50 cent pieces all around the back garden for us every Easter, and it was always the highlight of the day (considering the rest of the day was filled with church and a disgusting ham dinner, it wasn’t much of a contest, but still).


  14. Claire@LinleyRoss July 20, 2017 / 16:59

    Oh what a shame for that wee girl! I hope her mum a least hid the egg from Tescos!! Thegardens look gorgeous ā€“ Iā€™m planning to paddleboard at Girvan soon, must see if a wee dip further south is possible!


    • Anabel Marsh July 20, 2017 / 17:05

      I suspect the child was dragged along to Tesco. Maybe at least she got to choose the egg.


      • Claire@LinleyRoss July 20, 2017 / 17:56

        I hope so! Poor wee thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Marcia Strykowski July 23, 2017 / 18:32

    You find the most beautiful places to visit. I love all the sculptures and azaleas, and wow, that peacock!


    • Anabel Marsh July 23, 2017 / 22:45

      Always amazed at what I still have to discover in Scotland. It’s great that we can still go somewhere new after 30+ years here.


  16. Traveling Rockhopper July 23, 2017 / 22:00

    Beautiful places!
    The weather wasn’t the best, but it gives a dramatic scent to the pictures šŸ™‚


  17. restlessjo July 25, 2017 / 08:31

    We’ve been to Castle Kennedy, but none of the others. I’m in despair of ever getting back to Scotland again! šŸ˜¦


    • Anabel Marsh July 25, 2017 / 16:38

      Oh no! So much still to see (even for those of us who’ve been here over 30 years).

      Liked by 1 person

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