Colonsay House Gardens

Colonsay House Gardens, Isle of Colonsay: Address, Phone Number, Colonsay House Gardens Reviews: 4/5

Colonsay House Gardens
4
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4.0
60 reviews
Excellent
25
Very good
18
Average
10
Poor
3
Terrible
4

iain m
Glasgow, UK106 contributions
May 2021
Visited on a sunny day. Stunning beautiful gardens. Good cafe too. Great atmosphere and lovely walks.
Written 13 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jo W
Hereford, UK12 contributions
May 2021
We visited the gardens and cafe on a sunny but windy day in early May.
The most sheltered place on Colonsay!
The gardens are beautiful, with mature and interesting trees and shrubs, streams and bridges, an ancient carving (moved from elsewhere on the island), lots of good sitting places, and Colonsay House - not open to the public - making an attractive background. The walled gardens are a fascinating blend of their former formality with current projects. The rose garden is not what the name conjures up, rather a collection of shrub roses in grass - much better. I would love to see it in flower.
This is not a manicured garden! It is a relaxed and happy place, with lots of ground elder. Also what I think is a huge patch of naturalised Chilean guava, which must provide enough little strawberry-scented fruits for a whole dynasty of Queen Victorias (it was her favourite fruit), or for the whole island to have with their muesli.
We had lunch at the cafe, sitting on the terrace in the sunshine. Leek, potato and wild garlic soup, bread roll, tea and lemon drizzle cake, all home-made and delicious, and served by a charming young couple.
Written 9 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

lurganbob
Aberfeldy, UK79 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
When on Colonsay you must visit the gardens and see some amazing trees, plants and flowers. Great homely food in the cafe served by two lovely youngsters from Latvia.
Written 18 September 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emma W
Auckland, New Zealand331 contributions
Apr 2019
We visited Colonsay House Gardens on a beautiful spring afternoon. The cafe set up is very strange, a crammed, messy little space tacked onto the house. We had cake and coffee on the deck before heading into the Gardens.

The cake and coffee was pricey enough and then we had to pay extra to walk around the gardens, which we could see from the deck. The gardens have a wild charm to them but seeing areas of dead plants, was disappointing.

I understand you can rent apartments in the house but it seems strange that visitors to the gardens have no access to the house and no information about the history of the house.

I got the feeling the owners don't really want visitors so they put in minimal effort with the cafe and gardens, while keeping the house off limits. I think the house and gardens could be a really lovely attraction, if some more care and effort was put in.
Written 2 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mike3132018
Dunfermline, UK41 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
It may well be, as the advertisements say, that this is one of the greatest collections of rhododenrons and azaleas in the country but the neglect is apparent. We visited at the peak of flowering time but the site is so overgrown that the large specimens are flowering way above one's head and it is impossible to stand back and view them. A little investment would go a long way here but apparently his lordship has other priorities. Incidentally there is allegedly no charge to visit the woodland garden but great care is taken to conceal this fact, and the map you are given does not relate at all to the woodland garden or the collection. The tearoom (it's not a cafe) is housed in a shed with a ramshackle collection of tables and chairs and the lady running it is to be congratulated on producing an excellent cuppa in trying circumstances. Enjoy the walk around the woodland garden by all means but don't be induced to part with a fee to view a neglected formal garden.
Written 21 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hannah C
2 contributions
May 2019 • Family
It’s not often I actually review places but thought I should write one down! The gardens themselves were gorgeous after paying a £5 entry fee to see the gardens... map is extremely unclear and NOT TO SCALE!! We weren’t even sure where in the gardens we could go due to large private signs being on every gate.... the cafe itself was okay. Not much of a selection for actual food! We had the wild garlic, feta cheese and red pepper tart. Which was nice but the “salad” you get is a joke. A handful of lettuce leaves, some cucumber slices on the side.... that’s it!! Not even a choice of any other sides and seeing as both myself and my daughter don’t eat salad... fair enough to say we were still starving after our food! We tried the cakes. They were nice. The chocolate and “almond” cake had no almonds? Scones were lovely. Not sure I would pay the price we were charged again.. almost £5 for a roll with some ham or cheese on?!?! Won’t be back for the cafe again.... just the gardens if they sort their map out!!
Written 4 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

DGRI361530
Chester, UK26 contributions
Jul 2018 • Couples
We went to the cafe twice on our travels around the island. We decided on one visit to stroll around the gardens (small charge) on one of the visits. Surprised how pleasant it was considering the size and hence amount of hard work that is required to maintain a garden of this size. Taking its remote location into account it was well maintained and worth the stroll around.
Written 6 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane F
6 contributions
Jun 2018
Great combination of more formal gardens around the house, interesting kitchen garden and a network of paths through the extensive woodland garden to explore. Lunch in cafe was excellent!
Written 23 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

what-about-chicken
7 contributions
Jun 2018 • Friends
As there is no listing for the apartments at Colonsay House I'm forced to write my review here.

Accomodation is extremely disappointing. The house is in a sorry state with lumpy chairs, painfully uncomfortable beds and poor facilities. Everything points to the owners being cheap with money, from the awful toilet paper to the watered down hand soap (I'm not kidding) and guests being made to pay for their electricity use on departure.

But the absolute worst part of our stay was finding out that even as paying guests of an expensive and fairly rubbish apartment, we were not allowed to access the beautiful gardens at the back of the house. These are only open for three afternoons a week for an entrance fee. Never in my life have I stayed somewhere where access to the grounds was mostly forbidden or required payment.

We were asked to leave the gardens very rudely twice by owner Jane Howard. She made no attempt to fully explain their baffling policy and frankly seemed annoyed at our presence.

After some research it appears that the owners of Colonsay House (and indeed Colonsay itself) make a habit of agitating the other delightful inhabitants of this island. From our brief interaction with Jane, it's easy to see why.

I would advise that if the Howard's wish to keep their garden private that they consider closing the accomodation there. They clearly have no interest in providing good customer service.

Avoid at all costs.
Written 5 June 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Federico Marsili
Edinburgh, UK232 contributions
May 2018 • Couples
Me and my partner stopped on our way back to our place to see the gardens. I really liked them and I happily paid the £2.50 to help them keep the place in good shape.
To be surrounded by trees and little birds it was a nice break of the barren-like surrounding of the island.
The small café in the gardens served a very nice brownie, I would have given 5 stars if the cake would have been accompanied by a ball of ice cream!
Written 1 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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