Scottish Highlands Gardens Tour
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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.
- Explore a range of gardens in the beautiful Scottish Highlands
- The glen garden of Crarae's wonderful shrub collections of rhododendrons and wide range of other species
- Ardmaddy Castle 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
- 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 with the exception of National Trust and English Heritage gardens(please note this does not include entrance to stately homes/houses, for which there is a separate admission fee)
Alltshellach is a fine highland residence, situated on the dramatic shores of Loch Leven. With magnificent mountain views, excellent accommodation and a superb indoor pool, it's extremely popular with all outdoor enthusiasts.
Alltshellach has 37 bedrooms, all located in the main building. Many of the rooms enjoy excellent views of the loch and the surrounding mountains.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
- Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued on request
- A small fridge is available for storing medication Good signage for fire escape routes
- One bedroom key issued per room (second key available on request)
- Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests are welcome; dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all times
- Information can be provided in large print
- Staff has had disability awareness training
You'll spend a lot of time on your feet: there'll be up to 5 miles during the course of the day, around the gardens.
In the evenings there will be a mixed programme of activities. On some evenings there will be a dedicated activity based around your holiday's theme; on others, you can join in with the general social activities taking place in the Country House or relax in the bar with new-found friends.
On 7 night holidays there is one free day where you can relax in the Country House or explore the local area independently. Our Discovery Points are ready to help you make the most out of your stay - there are plenty of maps and a selection of the best tried and tested walking and cycling routes to use, as well as local weather forecasts and public transport options too – plus those all important personal insights on things to spot, places to stop, and things to do along the way.
Days may be in different order, however during your holiday you will visit:
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.
Druimneil House and Angus’s Garden
Start your garden exploration with Druimneil, overlooking Loch Lhinne, which contains a fine range of rhododendrons, shrubs and trees. Then it’s on to Inverawe Fisheries and Country Park, for lunch, walks and maybe some salmon. Next is Angus’s Garden, a 9-acre woodland garden created in 1957 by Betty Macdonald in memory of her son Angus. The garden is set in magnificent scenery, with stunning views towards Ben Cruachan and Glen Etive, and offers peaceful walks and interesting plants.
Ardtornish Castle and Ard Daraich
We cross to Morvern, the most isolated part of Argyll, to visit Ardtornish Castle. On a windswept position overlooking Mull, the soil is stony, acidic and wet. Despite this, the garden is beautifully designed, originally to be seen from the sea. After lunch on the beautiful Morvern peninsula, renowned for the variety of bird life, flora and wildlife, we visit Ard Darich, a 7-acre hill garden with rare rhododendrons, camellias, acers, trees and shrubs.
The walled garden of historic Ardmaddy Castle used to be barracks, dating back to the 1745 rebellion. Previously also a market garden, a rhododendron enthusiast has hybridised many varieties, and recently, water and woodland gardens have been developed. After lunch there's time for an optional stroll exploring the gardens at the Country House.
You can use our Discovery Point to explore the local area or relax in the wonderful surroundings of our country house.
Ardkinglas Woodland Garden and Crarae
We travel through amazing scenery including the Arrochar Alps on our way to Ardkinglas Woodland Garden, famous for champion trees and the tallest tree in Britain. The many red squirrels add interest to the walks. After lunch at the Cairndow Tree Shop we head to Crarae. Run by the National Trust, the planting is centred round a gorge and simulates a Himalayan valley.
Ardchatton Priory and Arduaine
The fascinating Ardchatton Priory is steeped in history with a garden lovingly tended by a wonderful character, old George. He has a cacti collection not to be missed, as well as a sorbus and wildflower garden, roses and shrubs. Then we visit Arduaine. This wonderful, endangered coastal garden forms a horticultural tour around the temperate world. The collection includes blue Tibetan poppies, giant Himalayan lilies and Chatham Island forget-me-nots.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast
Every effort is made to adhere to this itinerary; however there may be circumstances beyond our control which could lead to a change in the programme.
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!
Discover the Highlands
Alltshellach is situated beside the shores of Loch Leven. This is a spectacular location with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
About 2 miles away, across the loch is the village of Ballachulish. Here you’ll find a post office, food store and bank. A much wider range of facilities can be found in Fort William, about 14 miles to the north.
As the adventure capital of Britain, the Lochaber region is a popular destination for all outdoor enthusiasts. During your stay in Glen Coe you may enjoy visiting the following activities and places of interest:
Jacobite Steam Train
Ride the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. This stunningly scenic line includes the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, featured in the Harry Potter films. Steam trains run every day and early booking is reccomended. www.westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite
Isle of Mull
Reached by car ferry from Oban, or Lochaline, Mull is one of the most popular Scottish islands. You could visit the colourful harbour at Tobermory or the abbey on Iona. www.calmac.co.uk/mull
Isle of Lismore
The peaceful island of Lismore is ideal for a relaxed exploration. You can hire bikes at Port Appin, about 30 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, then take the short ferry crossing to the island.
The bustling harbour town of Oban, about 45 minutes' drive south of Alltshellach, is a popular destination. There's always plenty of activity around the harbour and its well worth the walk up to McCaig's Tower, a remarkable folly built in the style of a Roman ampitheatre, with commanding views over the town.
Eilean Donan Castle
Nearly 80 miles drive north from Alltshellach is this romantic and much photographed Scottish lochside castle. Located on a small island just offshore, the castle is isolated by the sea at high tide, only accessible via a stone bridge. www.eileandonancastle.com
Try your hand at ice climbing on the indoor wall at nearby Kinlochleven. www.ice-factor.co.uk
Travel to Glen Coe
Our address is: Alltshellach, Onich, Fort William, Invernesshire PH33 6SA
The nearest station is in Fort William, however most guests travel to Glasgow then catch our transfer coach. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
Many guests opt to fly to Glasgow Airport, then join our transfer coach to Glen Coe.
Glasgow to Glen Coe transfer
We offer a coach transfer between Glasgow Buchannan bus station**, Glasgow airport and Alltshellach every Saturday. The transfer is £32 return and £21 for a single trip, but a place must be reserved at least 14 days in advance by calling our Reservations team on 020 8732 1220.
On arrival days our coach leaves Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station at 4.15pm, or Glasgow airport at 4.45pm. We will arrive at Alltshellach at 7pm which is in time for dinner on your first evening.
On departure day the transfer will get you back to Glasgow Airport by 11.30am and to Buchanan Street bus station by 12.00 noon.
** Buchanan Street bus station is about 15 mins walk from Glasgow central station (frequent buses are available) or 5 minutes walk from Glasgow Queen Street station.
If you are not travelling on a Saturday, the journey from either Glasgow Buchanan Street or the airport can be made using the Scottish Citylink bus, numbers 914 or 915. See www.citylink.co.uk for the timetable. Ask the driver to stop at the north side of Ballachulish Bridge - from here it is a 400 metre walk to Alltshellach.
From Glasgow take the A82 towards Crianlarich. Continue on the A82 towards Fort William. Head for Ballachulish keeping the village on your left. Go straight on at the roundabout over the steel bridge and take the second right B863 to Kinlochleven and the seafood restaurant. Alltshellach is 400 yards further on, on your right.
Travelling from overseas
Ideally book a flight to Glasgow Airport. From here you can join our coach transfer to Alltshellach (see above).
The next best option is to fly to Manchester Airport, which has a better range of long-haul flights. There are trains from the airport to Glasgow (some direct, others need 1 change). Allow 4 hours to get to Glasgow, then join our coach transfer to Alltshellach. See www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.
There are also flights to Edinburgh with a train transfer to Glasgow.
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.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person