Branklyn Gardens and Falkland Palace Gardens
Two stunning gardens to visit in Scotland, in Perthshire and Fife are Branklyn Gardens and Falkland Palace Gardens.
Both of them have unique features and take you the visitor through beautiful surroundings where you can immerse yourself in the peace and tranquility that these gardens offer.
Branklyn Gardens are a beautiful, peaceful haven for anyone with a love of plants. With several national plant collections including Meconopsis and Cassiope it is a 2 acre, dream garden destination not to be missed if you are visiting Perth.
It is a stones throw from Perth city centre. Branklyn Gardens are set on the slopes of Kinnoull Hill, overlooking the city.
These gardens were developed in the early 1920’s by John and Dorothy Renton after they built their Arts & Crafts-inspired house. I love the Arts and Crafts era and will be including more gardens throughout the UK in further articles about Arts and Crafts designed gardens.
The Rentons aspired to creating a garden that featured rare and unusual species of plants and flowers from all over the world. They planted seeds collected by renowned plant hunters of that time, hunters such as George Forrest and Frank Ludlow.
With Dorothy’s gardening skills, and years of hard work, the gardens developed just as the couple visualised.
Today, botanists, plant specialists and visitors come from around the world to admire and wonder at Branklyn’s incredible collection, particularly the rhododendrons and alpines.
The gardens are not open to visitors in the winter generally, however, Branklyn does open the garden gates at snowdrop time, usually for two weekends in February.
The current head gardener has in recent years planted some 200 varieties of snowdrops. Well worth visiting to see them in bloom, peaking out from beneath Daphne shrubs and Viburnums.
Amongst the snowdrops there are also many other winter flowering bulbs such as aconites, crocus and cyclamen.
There is a small tea room that offers teas, coffees, homemade cakes and shortbread.
In the shop you can purchase gifts, seeds and plants, including a selection of alpines, perennials and bulbs. So why not treat yourself to one or more of the lovely plants you have seen around the gardens to take home.
Car parking is available, please note it is 200m from the entrance.
Disabled parking is available at the garden entrance by arrangement with shop staff. The garden is set on a hillside, though some paths are accessible by wheelchair and there are benches at various points for when you wish to take a rest and enjoy the views.
The shop has a ground-level entrance.
There are accessible toilet facilities.
Perth and Kinross, Scotland,
For further details on joining the National Trust for Scotland and discovering a world of historic properties and gardens to visit please click here.
Falkland Palace Gardens
Falkland Palace is on three hectares of ground on a sandstone ridge which is dominated by the Lomond hills in the background. Walking around the garden visitors will notice a distinct timeline which reveals the ever-changing requirements and style of the grounds.
The earliest record of a garden here was in 1451. At that time the garden had a courtyard and stables. There was also a fishpond which provided the King James IV and his entourage with fresh fish. Fruit, vegetables and herbs were grown locally.
The gardens were redesigned in the 1940s by Percy Cane. Cane’s style can best be described as Arts and Crafts and his curvy borders were seen as innovatory at the time.
Conservation work in the garden is carried out through general maintenance, which includes leaf clearing, mowing the lawn, tidying flower beds and borders and creating wildlife habitats.
A wildflower meadow, native hedges and spring flowering bulbs have been planted to provide food and protection to various small insects and small mammals.
The current Head Gardener Sonia Ferrás Mañá is restoring the Percy Cane garden to the original design and flower choice. Mañá, staff and gardening volunteers have worked on several projects in recent years to conserve the garden and encourage wildlife.
The garden team at Falkland Palace are now encouraging wildlife by bringing back the meadow. Meadow grass has been cut only once a year for the last four years and there are now more than 10,000 wild flowers.
A vast number of spring flowering bulbs have also been planted.
One of Falkland Palace’s most famous residents was Mary, Queen of Scots.
Said to be enamoured of the Palace she spent a lot of time there indulging in falconry and hunting in the surrounding forests. She also enjoyed a game of tennis in what is now possibly the oldest surviving tennis court in the world.
Today, visitors can wander through the orchard, the living willow labyrinth, and enjoy the beautiful formal gardens.
Take a stroll too through the physic garden. The air is filled with fragrance from the herbs and plants growing there.
Parking is provided nearby in the public car park.
Falkland village has several cafés and tearooms.
Regretfully dogs are not permitted in any part of the palace or garden, except assistance dogs.
A range of gifts and books can be found at the palace shop. Also, a wide selection of plants grown in the gardens are available to buy, meaning you can take a piece of Falkland garden home with you.
Mass is said every Sunday morning in the Chapel Royal. All are welcome.
Access to the gardens for wheelchair uses is via the main entrance.
Please note there are some gravel paths.
There is no access to the shop due to there being steps into it.
Garden Opening Times
1st April – 31st Oct Open daily from 10:00 -17:00
Tea Room Opening Times
1st May-30th September Open daily from 11:00-16:00
Falkland Palace Gardens
1st Mar – 30th Jun, Mon-Sat, 11.00-17.00; Sun 12.00-17.00
1st Jul – 31st Aug, Mon-Sat, 10.00-17.00; Sun 12.00-17.00
1 Sep–31 Oct, Mon-Sat, 11.00-17.00; Sun 12.00-17.00
Closed from 1st Nov-28th Feb
Falkland Palace and Gardens
Entry is free for National Trust Scotland Members.
Places to Stay Near Branklyn Gardens and Falkland Palace
Murrayshall Country Hotel
2.9 miles from Branklyn Garden.
13.1 miles from Falkland Palace
Enjoy a relaxed evening in Stutts Bar after visiting gardens and the stunning surroundings.
The 40 bedrooms and suites are luxuriously appointed.
Indulge in fine dining on freshly prepared local produce and delicacies.
Ballathie Country House Hotel
8.9 miles from Branklyn Garden.
25 miles from Falkland Palace.
A beautiful 4 star Country House Hotel situated on the banks of the River Tay in Perthshire, Scotland.
They have an award-winning 2 Rosette restaurant which provides a tranquil setting to enjoy the wonderful food created with locally sourced produce.
Balbirnie Country House Hotel
3.8 miles from Falkland Gardens.
22 miles from Branklyn Gardens.
This 4AA Star listed Georgian house is situated in 400 acres of lovely parkland in the heart of Fife with 2 restaurants, therapy treatments and golf course.
What better way to unwind than a therapy massage followed by dinner after wandering around the Falkland Palace Gardens and Branklyn Gardens.
Join now for huge savings for families on entry Fees to some of Britain’s most loved historic properties.
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I hope you have enjoyed reading and discovering these two beautiful Garden Destinations, the first of many gardens to visit near you in Bonnie Scotland.
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