Bonnington House

The Steadings

Jupiter Artland

Wilkieston EH27 8BY


Why Should We Visit?

Bonnington House is a pale yellow mansion, set amongst the rolling countryside straddling the border between Edinburgh and West Lothian.

The house was built in 1622 and was doubled in size in 1720 before being remodelled in the Jacobean style in 1858. It was bought by its present owners, Robert and Nicky Wilson, in 1999 and subsequently two new wings were added, restoring those that had earlier been demolished. The Wilsons have also developed the 100-acre estate as Jupiter Artland, a sculpture park of contemporary artworks.

The gardens immediately surrounding the house are seldom open to the public and so the opening next weekend is a rare chance to see them and admire the works of some of the leading names in contemporary garden design.

Story of the Garden

The gardens at Bonnington House were laid out when the house was first built and then altered on several occasions in keeping with the styles of the times. The most recent remodelling has involved asking leading designers to re-envisage traditional themes, mixing fresh energy with immaculate upkeep to give the gardens


At Bonnington House, not only can you dip your toe into the world of contemporary sculpture, you can immerse yourself in it completely, thank to the swimming pool, designed by Portuguese artist Joana Vaconcelos and opened in 2019.

Vaconcelos lined the pool with 11,500 tiles in dazzling colours, made by a 100-year-old factory using traditional methods in her native country, and she sited it on a series of leylines – geometric alignments connecting spiritual sites.

The pool measures nine metres in diameter with a maximum depth of 2.15 metres (just big enough for swimmers to make circular laps), and dotted around the base are 12 radial stones engraved with zodiac symbols which bathers can study close-up by gliding along the bottom. The gardens surrounding the pool have been designed by Nicky Wilson along withThomas Unterdorfer

Don’t Miss

Owner Nicky Wilson is a sculptor and she has worked on the gardens at Bonnington House with renowned designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd in order to establish an intricate parterre, a laburnum arch, a labyrinth garden, flower-filled terraces and a lawn tennis court.

Anything Else to Look Out For?

An original ha-ha, uncovered during work on the estate, is just one of the classical features at Bonnington House. There’s also a 17th century sundial and significant traces of the formal layout that was developed in 18th century.

Best Time to Visit

The gardens are open for two days only -– Saturday, 25 and Sunday 26, June – as part of Scotland’s Gardens Scheme. Gate receipts go to charity.

Any Recommendations in the Area?

No visit to Bonnington House would be complete without exploring Jupiter Artland. This sprawling outdoor sculpture park is home to works by Charles Jencks, Andy Goldsworthy and many renowned international artists who explore the relationship between nature and humanity.


From the A71, turn onto the B7015. The entrance to Jupiter Artland is on the right.The X27 and X28 buses run frequent services.


Open Saturday, 25 and Sunday, 26 June, 10am - 4pm. Tickets: £10

Jupiter Artland is open daily, 10am - 4pm, until Sunday, 2 October. Tel: 0150 688 9900.

New Hopetoun Gardens at Newton, near Edinburgh, is a garden centre with a difference.

As well as an exceptional collection of plants for sale, New Hopetoun is also made up of a number of carefully-designed gardens, each showcasing different styles.

Throughout the summer these plots will be the location for Art in the Garden, an exhibition of sculptural works and outdoor art by some of Scotland’s most talented artists.

The exhibition, which is an annual event, offers a chance to explore different ways of adding sculpture to even the smallest garden setting. Over the years, works have been made from all kinds of materials, including glass, metal and stone.

Visitors can also find plants suitable for many different growing conditions including damp and shady; dry and sunny; formal and wild and there is also a good selection of grow-your-own vegetables and fruits available.

Art in the Garden runs until Wednesday, August 31.

New Hopetoun Gardens


Broxburn EH52 6QZ