The temperate climate of Cowal was very suited to housing the specimens which the Victorian’s collected on their global travels and resulted in some fabulous gardens which cover acres of hillside.
Strachur House gardens and Dunans Castle gardens are part of the Scottish Gardens Scheme open days . Dunans is now accessible to the public for the first time offering a woodland walk which takes in designed Victorian landscaping including in an earlier 17th century garden and a ravine of native ancient woodland with waterfall views.
Benmore Botanic Gardens
Benmore Botanic Gardens are part of the Royal Botanical Gardens; the 140 acres are covered by exotic trees and over 250 species of Rhododendron. The garden sits at the foot of the impressive mountain range of Ben More with amazing views over the Holy Loch, and the river Clyde.
Ardkinglas Woodland Garden
Ardkinglas Woodland Garden covers 25 acres of hillside lying in a naturally sheltered pocket near the mouth of the River Kinglas, surrounded by wild Highland scenery. The gardens are famous for the mature Champion trees (including the tallest tree in the UK) and an exceptional collection of rhododendron.
Kilmun Arboretum is a fascinating collection of tree species on a hillside to the north-east of Holy Loch within the Argyll Forest Park. Four way marked paths along Kilmun Hill lead through a collection of over 162 tree species. There are wonderful walks and views over the Holy Loch.