Friday, 21 August 2020

Ardkinglas Woodland Garden


After our early dinner at Loch Fyne my mum suggested we walked it off at Ardkinglas Woodland Garden which was only a shot distance around the Loch. The gardens are open until dusk with an honesty box and when we went we were the only ones there. We picked up a trail leaflet and headed off into woodland with its very tall trees. For scale my son is 6ft (183cm):

The leaflet had numbers on it so that we could find out about the trees and other things scattered in the gardens such as this lovely sculpture:

One of the highlights was the poetry contained in this gazebo:

There were lots of tree related poems from over 300 years:

The paths were easy to follow even without a map. For younger visitors there was a special Gruffalo trail which branched off the main path:

We did come across the end of the trail with a log pile house and then... Oh help! Oh no! It was the Gruffalo:

There was something for most interests as we carried on into the gardens. Beautiful bark and fungi to photograph, big rocks to climb on and a science experiment about lichen:

To descend to the river we went down a series of twisty/turny steps. These led us down to the bridge:

The river used to power the local mill which is sadly now a ruin. It does come with a sad tale of forbidden love...

Of course we then had to climb back up out the glen. This path was a bit trickier and more dangerous than the descent but there were plenty of warnings:

We once again came across ways that the garden was appealing to younger children:

One thing the gardens are famous for are the Champion Trees in the pinetum. This was started Victorian times and contains some of the tallest specimens found in the UK. The Grand Fir has only recently lost its title of Britain's tallest tree:

Just because we didn't have small children with us didn't mean that we didn't explore the fairy village with all its wonderful little houses. You can tell it was designed for smaller people by the height of the entrance:

The gardens are also famous for their rhododendrons which have been collected since the 1920s. I particularly liked this one with its backdrop of bamboo:

I would recommend this as a good place to visit for all ages.

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