Six of the best gardens in Dumfries and Galloway

Explore on foot, Explore on wheels, History and heritage, Open spaces, Towns and villages

A Nepalese paradise with prayer flags and waterfalls, Peter Pan’s playground, a sculpture garden full of abstract art… Welcome to six of the best public gardens in Dumfries and Galloway.

1. Craigieburn Garden & Nursery, Moffat

Find a piece of Himalayan paradise here in Moffat. It’s not just fascinating plants and flowers you’ll be marvelling at, although they are marvellous.

This garden is a picturesque sanctuary – managed by a former Sherpa named Dawa Sherpa – with Tibetan prayer flags, statues, waterfalls, a mini Sherpa house and the odd bench dotted about to park yourself while you take it all in.

A truly special place and one of our favourites.

2. The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Holywood, Dumfries

With a name like that you expect to see something pretty special.

And you will.

This has to be top of the list of best gardens in Dumfries and Galloway.

Open only once a year sadly, so book well in advance. But it’s worth planning your whole year around this event.

Discover nature through nature at this 30-acre sculpture garden – using all your senses including your sense of joy and wonder. All sorts of ingenious shapes and designs will delight and fire up your imagination.

It was created by landscape gardener Charles Jencks, who also designed the Crawick Multiverse in Sanquhar, an astonishing space of land art depicting science and cosmology – well worth a visit too and open all year.

3. Moat Brae, Dumfries

JM Barrie was inspired to create Peter Pan here and no wonder.

One of the ‘World’s 50 Coolest Places’, Moat Brae and its garden are set on the River Nith.

And this is no standard garden and it’s not just for children. In fact it’s for the child in all of us.

Here you’ll be enchanted by talking ‘plants’, a gang plank, pirate ship, mermaids, stone crocodiles, trees that tower over you and vibrant flowerbeds.

4. The Crichton Gardens, Dumfries

A popular spot for wedding photographs as a beautiful backdrop, the manicured Crichton Gardens sit on a significant historic site.

There is much to appreciate and linger over here: magnificent rose gardens, impressive arboretum, rock garden with specimen species, a waterfall, ornamental pond…

Join the tree trail to find out more about the Critchton’s 100 years of heritage. Free to enter.

5. Dawyck Botanic Garden, Stobo, near Peebles

Sixty-five acres of gardens which have one of the finest tree collections you’ll ever see, including the oldest and tallest in Britain and species from all around the world including Nepal, China, Japan, North America and Chile.

Many plants here were the first examples brought to Scotland. Join a themed trail or woodland walk and discover all about the famous plant explorers.

This lush green idyll will keep you occupied for hours.

6. Threave Garden & Estate, Castle Douglas

Looked after by the National Trust for Scotland, this popular attraction has an impressive collection of not just flora and fauna but wildlife too.

A truly biodiverse nature reserve, ‘garden rooms’ each celebrating a different style and scheme, a secret garden, rockery, walled garden, Scotland’s only bat reserve…

You may even spot a peregrine falcon. And the view of the Galloway Hills comes as part of the package.

Prepare to be wowed.

For more inspiration on a grand day out in Dumfries and Galloway go to our blog here.

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