Kildrummy Castle Gardens in Donside, Grampian
Kildrummy Gardens on the A97, and 13th Century Kildrummy Castle, (35 miles west of Aberdeen) are two distinctly separate visitor attractions. The castle is in ruins, but is an important Jacobite monument. Glimpses of it can be seen from within the gardens, but you will have to visit Kildrummy Castle itself to walk around the ruins.
Kildrummy gardens are at their best in May, June and the autumn.
Rhododendrons provide an explosion of colour at the entrance and perimeters of the gardens. Blue poppies of Tibet are a delight with their striking blue petals and yellow centres.
Even the keenest of gardeners will find rare and unusual plants to inspire them. As you walk around the gardens, the scent of the many flowering shrubs and Lily of the Valley is truly delicious.
Benches are placed at strategic intervals for those wishing to rest and admire the view. The water garden is superb with a large pond, running stream and cascading waterfalls.
Small rocky paths are an attractive feature of the gardens but are not suitable for anyone who has difficulty walking, although it is possible to avoid these and still view much of the gardens. An uphill path meanders up into natural woodland where there is a simple, children's play area.
Further along, an excellent view of Kildrummy Castle ruins is afforded from higher ground (see picture on right). Lower down are the rock gardens and in the elegant lawned area, a small two-roomed museum adds local interest. Red squirrels can be spotted in the gardens if you're fortunate.
To complete your visit, tea and shortcake can be purchased in the ticket office at a very reasonable price. Toilets, including a toilet for the disabled is available.
Both Kildrummy Castle and Kildrummy gardens have an entrance fee attached. Both have their own separate car parks and ticket offices.
Kildrummy Gardens are open daily from April until October, 10a.m. - 5p.m. Tel: 01975 571 203 for details.
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