Dunbeath Castle Gardens

Dunbeath, Caithness, KY6 6EY

Situated in the far North East of Scotland and perched high on the cliffs above the Moray Firth lies the glorious Dunbeath Castle Gardens.

Modelled originally in the 19th century by David Bryce, the gardens comprise two equally sized walled gardens that straddle a narrow driveway leading down towards the Castle. This driveway was created by Bryce, who cut through solid rock to create an amazing vista of the Castle.

Both walled gardens were remodelled in 2000 by the owners Tertius and Claire Murray Threipland with the help of Xa Tollemache, a Chelsea Show Gold Medallist.

The Southern Garden is a traditional highland garden divided into eight differing compartments (also known as ‘rooms’) at either side of a long herbaceous central walkway. Located half-way down is Mary Queen of Scots’ Linlithgow Palace sundial, bought by the family after the sacking of the Palace in the 18th century by “Butcher” Cumberland. There are reputed to be over 3000 varying types of plants in this garden, which are at their peak from the beginning of May to the end of September.

The Northern Garden stands in contrast to the Southern. It is more open and exposed to the elements and contains ornamental grasses, buildings and water features that provide points of interest for visitors.

Both gardens offer an intriguing contrast in style and hold seasonal interest all year round, from snowdrops, bluebells and daffodils that herald the beginning of spring, to delphiniums, roses, dahlias and many others that provide colour later in the year.

Once visitors have finished exploring all the gardens have to offer, they can finish up with a refreshment stop in the brand-new tearoom.

Website: www.dunbeathgardens.co.uk

Telephone: 01593 731308

Opening times: By appointment only

Admission costs: £6

Garden of the Week is in association with Discover Scottish Gardens. For more information, advice and day-out ideas, visit discoverscottishgardens.org