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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.
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2014

Lovely for a nice relaxing stroll! I live in Stranraer and often take my dog a walk here. I love nature walks and it doesn't get much better than this. Highly recommend!

Visited August 2013
2 Thank AlfieMoon12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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216 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
York, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“A very pleasant experience.”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

If you like formal gardens, fish ponds, lochs, woodland walks, landscape gardens and stunning views, you'll like this place. It has them all. The plants and trees are helpfully labelled.

The café is a little expensive, but aren't they all? Take a picnic. The gardens lack the gimmicky bling of Alnwick gardens and there isn't the £3.50 charge just to park your car. A very enjoyable visit.

Visited August 2013
Thank Bill A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bishopton, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great place to have a walk”
Reviewed 11 April 2014 via mobile

Visited for the first time, very impressed, really attractive estate and great for a leisurely walk, lots of good views and photo ops. Would come back.

Visited April 2014
Thank Neil S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stranraer, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
153 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
“Lovely strawberry sponge”
Reviewed 6 April 2014 via mobile

Great place for country walks, previous walks we have seen fantastic displays of snowdrops and today lots of helicopters out on exercise. After our gentle walk we enjoyed strawberry cream sponge (made by the cook in castle Kennedy), good hot chocolate and a passable coffee.

Visited April 2014
Thank Milliespringer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2014

The snowdrop trail was amazing, better than last year. In this Garden, there is always something different around the corner. Lots of children out and about, wearing their new trainers, trying to keep them clean. Always wear wellies or walking boots, unless the weather is dry

Visited February 2014
Thank brian e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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