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Crarae Gardens

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PA32 8YA

The main garden at Crarae is set on a hillside down which tumbles the Crarae Burn, the scene is reminiscent of a Himalayan gorge.

The surrounding tree and shrub collections are rich and diverse, planted for artistic and naturalistic effect. The garden contains one of the best collections of the Rhododendron in Scotland, unusually rich in cultivars, as well as part of the National Collection of Nothofagus and particularly good representations of Acer, Eucalyptus, Eucryphia and Sorbus. The autumn colours of the leaves and berries are a perfect balance to the earlier blooming rhododendrons and azaleas.

Extending to around 25 hectares, the garden was traditionally accessed by a network of paths that criss-crossed the burn via a series of footbridges. The Trust intends to reinstate these routes as part of a phased programme of repairs to allow visitors full access once again.

Lady Grace Campbell, aunt of the Himalayan plant-hunter Reginald Farrer, began the development of Crarae Garden from woodland in 1912, on land owned by the Campbell family since 1825. Her son Sir George inherited the estate in 1925 and lived there until 1967, greatly extending the plant collection. His son, Sir Ilay Campbell, carried on this work, then generously gave the garden to the Crarae Garden Charitable Trust in 1978. The garden was forced to close in 2001 following financial difficulties, but after a successful £1.5m fundraising appeal to save it for the nation, The National Trust for Scotland was delighted to accept ownership of the garden in April 2002.

General Information:

  • Shop
  • Tearoom
  • Access limited
  • Visitor Centre, shop, refreshments accessible
  • Disabled toilet
  • Disabled parking within 10 metres of Visitor Centre
  • Dogs allowed on leads
  • Childrens activities
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    Road: A83 10m South of Inveraray.
    Bus: infrequent services from Inveraray and Lochgilphead pass garden entrance.

    Crarae Gardens Postcode for SatNav: PA32 8YA


    +44 (0)1546 886 614
    +44 (0)1852 200 366

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