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Discover Scotland's most stunning botanical attractions with your family, and see for yourself how rare species flourish in this special area due to the the effects of the Gulf Stream. Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland, the Inverewe Garden and Estate is situated to the north of Poolewe in Wester Ross in North West Scotland. Surrounded by a rugged landscape, the historic garden is 54 acres and is surrounded by 2,000 acres of estate
Inverewe Gardens was established over 100 years ago in the middle of a barren wilderness. With a unique microclimate due to the effects of the Gulf Stream, the garden has the same latitude as Hudson Bay and Moscow. The unexpected garden features a thriving exotic plants collection from across the globe, Himalayan blue poppies, olearia from New Zealand, rare Wollemi pines, Tasmanian eucalypts and stunning variety of rhododendrons from India, China and Nepal. For rhododendrons enthusiasts, it's possible to see one in bloom everyday of the year at Inverewe Garden.
Osgood Mackenzie established and developed Inverewe Gardens out of bare rock and a few scrub willows. He bought the Inverewe Estate in 1862 at the age of 20 with financial help from his mother. The garden neighboured the Osgood family estate, and the heart of it was a peninsula protruding into Loch Ewe north of Poolowew. Osgood Mackenzie used the warm waters of the Gulf Stream to create this tropical oasis. The development of the garden was continued by Osgood Mackenzie's daughter Mairi Sawyer. In 1952, she gave the garden to the National Trust for Scotland just before her death.
There is so much for families to see and do at Inverewe Garden. Visit Mairi Sawyer's home, Inverew House, which is a short five-minute walk from the visitor centre. At the award-winning museum, you can explore the history of the garden and learn about the fascinating story of the Osgood family. Discover the many challenges the father and daughter faced gardening on the edge and discover where the plants come from. Check out what is going on at the Sawyer Gallery during your visit. A gallery for contemporary art, visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibitions that reflect the characteristics of the walled garden and its surrounding environment.
Go on a treasure hunt in search for plants and places on the Poetry Trail, which is situated in the walled garden. The Global Trail takes you on a journey around the world and provides kids with a map and passport to complete. Make sure you explore the Savage Garden with its selection of insect-eating plants, which can be found next to the pond. Children can even have a go feeding them! The Pinewood Trail and the Kernsary Path both take visitors around the estate and you can marvel at the most stunning views. Mini adventurers will love exploring the wilderness of the Scottish North West Highlands. There is over 2,000 acres to explore beyond the garden.
One of the most beautiful gardens in Scotland, Inverewe Gardens is the perfect spot to visit if you love nature. Immerse yourself in the local wildlife and see if you can spot Scotland's big five, including red deer, otter, seal, red squirrel and golden eagle. You may even see some Californian redwoods flying above you! Enjoy a wildlife boat trip around the shores of Loch Ewe from the Inverewe Garden jetty and learn about the marine environment from Kipper Jamie.
If you and your family enjoyed exploring these beautiful gardens, continue your Highlands adventure with a visit to the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and Fort George, the 18th-century artillery fortification.
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National Trust for ScotlandShow more
The National Trust for Scotland, or NTS, is a Scottish National Trust, parallel to the English National Trust, and conservation charity. They protect heritage sites north of the border, and have been since 1929.
There are so many properties cared for in Scotland. Souter Johnnie’s Cottage, Weaver’s Cottage, and Hugh Miller’s Birthplace Cottage and Museum are just some of the National Trust Scotland cottages and houses. For somewhere grander, look at Culzean Castle, Brodick Castle and Kellie Castle for some of the best National Trust Scotland castles. There are also places relating to famous Scots, beautiful gardens, locations of battles, and many more places to visit; the Trust cares for around 130 properties.
Join National Trust Scotland and make the most of loads of benefits with a National Trust Scotland membership. It’s why it’s the largest membership organisation in Scotland. You’ll get unlimited entry to NTS properties, free or discounted entrance to other National Trust properties, free parking, and access to NTS publications. You’ll also be able to enjoy National Trust Scotland events for special prices.