Cambo Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 8QD

Choosing where to go for a day out in summer often involves flipping a coin to decide between  the seaside or a gorgeous garden. At Cambo Gardens there’s no need for compromise because here you get both in the shape of one of the most dynamic gardens in the country and two miles of coastline that make up part of the Fife Coastal Path.

The dense woodland that separates the garden from the shore is criss-crossed by many paths, with fairy trails for children and a nature play area in the shape of the Lost Elf Village however the real magic of Cambo is contained in the two and a half acre walled garden, with its cleverly-designed planting schemes that provide interest all year round.

This is a garden that’s completely packed with plants. They spill from borders, climb up the walls and explode from containers in a glorious froth of flowers and foliage. Right now a collection of historic roses is filling the garden with heady scents, while twin herbaceous borders, packed with flowers, are just getting into their stride.

(Image: Discover Gardens)

As the summer progresses it's the many prairie species planted here that start to dominate until by August the garden is ablaze with fiery colours. Verbena, Salvia and other Mediterranean species flourish in the Dry Garden while flowers and produce mingle together in a decorative Potager.

The fruit and vegetables that are grown in Cambo’s Edible Garden are destined for the cafe, with surplus being sold in the shop. Here visitors can also buy plants and flowers from the Cutting Garden as well as cider made with apples from the Orchard.

Also on sale is Cafe Cooking, a new cookbook from renowned chef Gillian Veal who has put the Cambo cafe on the map. The cafe occupies a former carriage house, while the stable block, where the shop and gallery are now located, was restored in 2017 by architects Page/Park.

(Image: Discover Gardens)

The Cambo estate has been home to the Erskine family for many generations and the garden is where the annual Scottish Snowdrop Festival began. Three hundred and fifty different kinds of snowdrops bloom here in late winter, many of them rare and unusual varieties that are sought after by collectors.

Now however, the gardens are run as a trust, with opportunities for volunteering, a host of social enterprise activities and a track record of supporting local crafts, both in the shop and in the exhibition space within the converted stable block.

A packed programme of events offers gardening sessions, cookery demonstrations, butterfly walks and, for children, encounters with minibeasts while, throughout the year,  monthly talks in the Edible Garden provide advice on everything from composting to no-dig gardening.

(Image: Discover Gardens)

Cambo House itself is a popular wedding venue with B&B accommodation and holiday cottages and just along the road is the Kingsbarns Distillery, which released its first single malt in 2019.

Cambo is situated six miles south of St Andrews on the A917.Paths within the gardens are wheelchair and buggy friendly. Maps and advice are available from staff about paths within the woodlands. The gardens are open daily, 10am - 4pm.
Tickets : £7.70/Free (carers and under 16s). Contact: Tel: 01333 451040

In association with Discover Scottish Gardens