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“Lovely gardens”

Castle Kennedy Gardens
Ranked #1 of 17 things to do in Stranraer
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Welcome to Castle Kennedy Gardens, one of Scotland’s finest gardens, set in 75 acres and offering something for everyone to enjoy. From stunning fauna, to beautiful scenery, sculptured landforms, magnificent walks and popular bird hides, the Gardens are a hidden treasure in South West Scotland and a perfect haven for relaxing and exploring. The gardens and neighbouring Lochinch Castle also host civil and religious weddings and between them offer a diverse range of beautiful wedding venues for ceremonies and celebrations. We have a number of luxurious self-catering holiday cottages too for couples and families which are open for bookings throughout the year. Family home to the 14th Earl and Countess of Stair, the Gardens were the inspiration of the 2nd Earl of Stair in the 1730’s and are famous for colourful displays of Rhododendrons, Azaleas and Embothriums, many rare and exotic plants, 21 Champion Trees and a number of spectacular avenues and the romantic ruins of 16th Century Castle Kennedy. An elaborate series of terraces and land sculptures can be found throughout the Gardens forming stunning patterns of curves and banks. Despite their contemporary look and feel these were constructed in the 1730’s using men with carts and horse drawn equipment to move and mould the landscape. The stunning Avenues in the Gardens were originally planted with specimen seeds given by famous botanical explorer Joseph Hooker. Each Avenue was planted with a single type of tree, many of which can still be seen today. These include the 150 year old Monkey Puzzle Avenue, the Thuja Avenue and the Dettingen Avenue which is lined with evergreen oaks. The beautiful two acre Circular Pond filled with rare Victorian water lilies is also a highlight. Our charming Tea Room is the perfect place to enjoy a light meal of sandwiches, soup, baked potatoes, hot drinks, delicious home-baking and tasty children’s menu. Access to the Tea Room only is available without paying admission to the Gardens, making it an ideal journey break or unique location for a business or social lunch. This year we continue to enhance your visit to our Gardens with a wide range of events and activities for the whole family. These include weekly Ranger Activities which follow a monthly theme and our regular guided garden walks. And the romantic ruins of 16th Century Castle Kennedy provide a stunning backdrop to open air theatre productions. We hope you find a special event of interest to you and your family and enjoy your time in the Gardens.
Reviewed 23 September 2013

Ruined Castle, lake, trees, landscaped mounds, interesting flora and fauna. Stately home (not open the the public). Excellent little cafe serving good food. We went mid week on a damp day and had the place to ourselves. It was excellent exploring all the different paths and the variety of views which opened up. We really came here to see some of the locations for the Wicker Man but it was a wonderful magical garden to visit in its own right.

Thank darkisle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (236)
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"lily pond"
in 16 reviews
"castle kennedy"
in 18 reviews
"walled garden"
in 49 reviews
"extensive gardens"
in 7 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 17 reviews
"beautiful grounds"
in 6 reviews
"monkey puzzle"
in 5 reviews
"full bloom"
in 5 reviews
"entrance fee"
in 9 reviews
"red squirrels"
in 4 reviews
"tea and cake"
in 4 reviews
"few hours"
in 8 reviews
"sandwiches"
in 8 reviews
"autumn colours"
in 3 reviews
"gift shop"
in 6 reviews
"hidden gem"
in 6 reviews
"nice cafe"
in 3 reviews
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190 - 194 of 236 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2013

though not an all day thing, the gardens and castle ruin were delightful very picturesque and loads of walking to do, the place is quite large. lovely views over the lake. shame you cant go into the building itself, you don't really get chance to have a good look at it, only from a distance or the side of it in the closer gardens. we were there for about 2.5 hours.

bring drinks and food though. i bought 2 small bottles of water and a apple juice carton and it came to £4.50!! the toilets are also in the car park, but you do get given a sticker if you need to leave the site to ,to come back in.

staff are friendly and helpful.

Thank faedensmummy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

My other half and I went to visit the castle and gardens during our Scottish holiday in August. It was a dry day with a bit of sun, so perfect weather. The gardens are lovely and the lily pond and waterways have some colourful birds. We spent quite a while walking around the grounds, which I recommend, as the views and trees and flowers are lovely. A very relaxing few hours

Thank 127tigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013 via mobile

Visited here for its locations that are used in the 1973 movie the wickerman. It has a beautiful ruin and mystical landscapes. It also has very magical atmospheres with its diverse amounts of diffrent scenery. I especially liked the long road used in the movie that they danced down before the burnt the wickerman at the end. Will visit again.

Thank tizzwaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 August 2013

Highlights for us included the walled garden and some of the views of the two lochs. The 'old Castle Kennedy was interesting, yet completely different to the newer, 'grander' structure which superseded it.The staff we encountered were all friendly and helpful, and a visit to the tearoom was also a pleasant experience.

Thank ambridge78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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