Save up to £50 per person

Scottish Highlands Gardens Tour

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Duration: 7 nights
Interests: Garden Tours
from £1,039pp £989pp

Dramatic backdrops, characterful castles and heaps of variety await on this spectacular tour. Take in the quaint grounds of Druimneil House, relax as you explore the peaceful woodland garden, and marvel at the isolated but beautiful Ardtornish Castle. Elsewhere, the walled garden of Ardmaddy Castle on the Isle of Seil, the endangered coastal garden of Arduaine and the truly magical Himalayan ravine at Crarae provide inspirational sights for flower lovers.

Holiday Highlights

  • The magical Himalayan ravine at Crarae Garden with its inspirational rhododendron collection and a wide range of other species
  • Ardmaddy Castle's walled garden, in its unique setting overlooking the sea shore of Seil Sound
  • Arduaine Garden, owned by the National Trust for Scotland and in a delightful sheltered setting in Asknish Bay
  • Relax as you explore the peaceful woodlands of Angus Garden

What’s included

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • The guidance and services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • All transport to and from gardens on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach with PA system
  • All garden admissions costs. For Garden Tours, National Trust, English Heritage  and RHS admissions are not included.
  • Heritage gardens(please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)

 

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You can check-in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. All guests are invited to join us for afternoon tea – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.


You will spend the morning visiting Druimneil House which has a large garden overlooking Loch Linne. The garden is made up of many varieties of trees, rhododendrons and woodland shrubs. The owner of the house, Janet Glaisher is the winner of the Diana Macnab Award 2020 and has run Druimneil House as part of Scotland's Garden Scheme for 37 years. 

In the afternoon you will be visiting Angus' Garden. Angus' Garden was created by Betty Macdonald out of love for her son who was killed in Cyprus in 1956. The garden was started the following year. Betty Macdonald's vision for the garden was for the creation of a spring flowering garden set within a natural woodland area. It's purpose to be a place for forgiveness and reconciliation. The garden covers approximately nine acres of land and is home to many varieties of rhododendrons and azaleas alongside other flowering shrubs and trees. 


In the morning, you will be visiting Ardtornish Garden. The garden has been created out of a rocky hillside and has stunning views south west along Loch Aline to the hills of the Isle of Mull. A lot of the garden is covered by native birch as well as a large range of exotic species, mature groups of larch, firs and pine. At one point there were 12 gardeners and 2 horses employed to maintain the garden. 

 In the afternoon you will be visiting Ard Daraich, an informal hill garden situated on the shores of Loch Linnhe which is complemented by the hills of Ardgour, which provide a stunning backdrop. The garden boasts a lovely collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, scattered among species of Magnolia, Sorbus, Acer, Populus, Quercus, Larix and Pinus. 


In the morning you will be visiting Ardmaddy Castle Gardens. Set in a spectacular setting, surrounded by mature woodlands, carpeted by bluebells and daffodils in spring, the gardens are complimented by the elevated castle in the background. The gardens are full of magnificent rhododendrons and an increasing collection of rare shrubs and plants. Don't miss the 'clock garden' filled with flowers, fruit and vegetables all grown using labour saving methods and set within dwarf box hedging.

An Cala Garden is currently approaching 'historical status' as it was established in 1930 by Colonel Arthur Murray. He decided along with his wife, the actress Faith Celli, to commission Thomas Mawson to create plans for the 5-acre plot. It took a year and six men create the garden from Mawson's arrangement. 


You can use our Discovery Point to explore the local area or relax in the wonderful surroundings of our country house.


In the morning you will be visiting Ardkinglas Woodland Garden. The garden is situated on the shores of Loch Fyne against a lovely background of mountains and forest. Ardkinglas Estate spans across 4800 hectares. The garden is famous for the mature champion trees which include the "mightiest conifer in Europe" 

 In the afternoon you will be visiting Crarae Garden. A tranquil woodland garden with Himalayan plants and tumbling waterfalls. Crarae garden boasts to be an exotic Himalayan - style wilderness set in the hills of Argyll. The garden was created in 1912 by Lady Grace Campbell who was the aunt of plant hunter Reginald Farrer, who helped source trees and shrubs from China, Nepal and Tibet for use in the garden. 


In the morning you will be visiting Ardchatton Priory garden. The garden has a natural tranquillity with views over Loch Etive. Shrub walks lead off the main drive and the natural soil and temperate climate allow a wide variety of plants to thrive. The garden includes a huge Cornus Kousa, Eucryphia glutinosa, Hoheria lyalii mingle alongside scented roses and philadelphus. 

In the afternoon you will visit Arduaine gardens. The garden is full of colour and fragrance showing inspiration of glamorous destinations. The explanation for this is that the garden began in 1898 at a time when there was high interest in foreign travel and an appetite for the exotic. as a result of this, the garden includes plants from all around the world. Ranging from East Asia to South America. 


Depart after a leisurely breakfast


Alltshellach

Situated in a stunning location on the shores of Loch Leven, Alltshellach is a stately Scottish house set amid a rugged landscape. The house is a picture of Highland solidity, with spectacular views of craggy mountains and grassy slopes beyond the loch. This pocket of domesticity lets you admire nature at your leisure though, sipping tea or G&T as you watch clouds scud across the sky. In fact, this one-time home of the Bishop of Argyll & the Isles has been recast as a hiker’s hotel, with an air of old-world splendour, excellent accommodation, a generous indoor pool, three lounges and a supremely cosy Highland Bar that’s well-stocked with local beer and whisky, all of which is (almost) enough to distract you from the vast vistas over the waters. But it’s the great outdoors you’re here for and the house is ideally situated for accessing the Mamores, the mountains of Glen Coe and tackling Ben Nevis as well as bagging munros and spotting local wildlife.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we slowly reopen in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams.

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

There are 38 comfortable bedrooms, all in the main house, with a range of ‘Good’, ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ options to choose from. Rooms radiate cosiness thanks to little touches – a remedy for even the dreichest day. Those with a view are worth the extra spend, as you’ll be overlooking the gardens and loch. The Best rooms include Room 21, a spacious corner room with lovely views of Loch Leven, while Room 23 is a stately showstopper that was once the official Bishop’s bedroom, complete with original features and cracking views.

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger televisions – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, extensive gardens, heated indoor swimming pool, multi-purpose ballroom, library and board games to borrow

After a day exploring, return to the house and its specially tailored walkers’ facilities. Stroll the gardens that dip down to the loch. The small peninsula at the bottom of the lawns is called An Dunan and often becomes an island at high tide – look for prehistoric rock art cut into the slabs on its side. Make time too to plunge into the heated indoor swimming pool (currently closed) and do a couple of lengths under the watchful eye of the mountains through the panoramic windows. Inside the house, head for one of the communal areas: you’ll have three to choose from and can kick back, relax and catch up with other guests. Later, stop in the Highland Bar for a nip of whisky or a nightcap – the comfy seats make a fine spot for a dram and there’s a range of good single malts to choose from that’ll have you believing you’re living a laird’s life.

Food & Drink

As at all of our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Alltshellach is full of Scottish flavours and focusses on locally sourced and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when you might be treated to Cullen Skink Soup and a trio of smoked salmon, mackerel pate and steamed mussels with Highland oat cakes, while mains may include Highland game and ‘Barlotto’, a type of nutty risotto made from barley instead of rice. Finish off with a spoonful of Iron Brew Ice, chocolate and marmalade mouse and Atholl brose, a luxurious blend of honey, whisky and carefully selected herbs for a flavour of the Highlands.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

10682_0005 - Alltshellach - Exterior

Getting to Alltshellach

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

What to Bring

As you'll be walking around the gardens please bring stout, comfortable footwear for rough, wet or uneven terrain in gardens, and clothes for the great British weather!

Sally Smith

Sally Smith has over 20 years experience working in the horticulture sector in varied roles from a college lecturer, a researcher for the BBC at RHS Chelsea Flower show, to being a gardening advisor at Garden Organic Ryton. She is passionate about all plants whether ornamental, humble vegetables or wild flowers and loves to share this knowledge when visiting gardens. Sally believes every plant has a story to tell when put into the context of the place in which it is growing, linking plants to the garden’s history and the people who garden there past and present. Sally is also an HF Holidays’ walking leader.

Leader to Be Announced

We’ll announce the leader for this holiday shortly. Be assured that all of our expert leaders share one goal; to create an exceptional experience for our guests. We look forward to welcoming you on this holiday.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
22 May - 29 May
7 Garden Tour £1,039 £989 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
7 nights
Interests:
Garden Tours

7 nights from £1,039pp £989pp

Save up to £50 per person

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