Finlaystone Gardens

Finlaystone Country Estate, Langbank Renfrewshire PA14 6TJ

Finlaystone has been a visitor attraction since the mid-1980s. Set on a whinstone hill above the southern bank of The Clyde, the garden comprises a walled garden, woodlands with waterfalls, a visitor centre, children’s play areas and arboretum.

Benefitting from the Gulf stream and fertile soil, Finlaystone is a mature garden with interest all year round; from snowdrops at the start of the year, to bluebells, daffodils, camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, peonies, roses and one of Scotland’s largest clumps of Kalmia latifolia which opens its pink parasols in June.

Sweeping lawns are punctuated with a variety of shrubbery and trees, including John Knox’s yew tree, where he conducted the first reformed communion in the West of Scotland in 1556. A 70-metre serpentine herbaceous border is densely planted with perennials offering a different impression on every visit. Terraces also offer stunning views over The Clyde to the Trossachs.

The walled garden was moved from sea level to its current position with the coming of the

railway around 1845. In the late 1980s, Jane MacMillan who lived here, remodelled the walled garden and included a tearoom. A Celtic cross is at the heart of the design with a lotus fountain as a centre piece. Visitors will also find soft fruit and vegetables grown here, a peach house, a winter border, a spectacular avenue of Cornus Kousa chinensis and a row of flowering cherry trees.

With its apt name, Finlaystone’s ‘smelly’ garden is full of fragrance and paved with the blind, handicapped and less active in mind. The knot garden is formally laid out with box hedging parterre and the bog garden showcases water-loving plants that thrive in its margins. There is also Celtic paving and a maze laid out on the ground, which takes its design from the Book of Kells.



Telephone: 01475 540505

Opening times: 9.00-17.00 all year round

Admission costs: £5 for adults. £3.50 for children and concessions. Family memberships available.

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