These are by far the best gardens we have ever visited although they are little known and very low-key.
Set 300 metres above sea level and looking out over Luce Bay, Mull of Galloway and the Isle of Man, you couldn't want a more spectacular, nor off the beaten track location.
We visited in our motorhome and were a little alarmed by the never ending narrow and steep approach road. We began to wonder if we had made a mistake travelling in the motorhome and were relieved when we finally made it into the car park!! It is, however, well sign-posted, which it definitely needs to be!!
The garden was begun in 1979 by Tessa and Bill Knott, who bought a derelict farmhouse with 103 acres of moorland, in 1974. Tessa's vision was to create a family garden out of this gorse and bracken covered wilderness and through perseverence and love for their creation, have not only succeeded but far surpassed anyone's idea of a family garden!
The small lakes were created by damming the boggy areas and stocked with fish. Talking to the gardener and asking him about the diving board, we were told the family used to swim here regularly.
Paths meander through trees and shrubs and on our visit, in August, water lillies, montbresia and hydrangeas were all in full bloom. In spring, rhododendrons create a spectacularly colourful scene.
We particularly liked the unusual sculptures, including a Florentine Medici boar and a beautiful tower of slate balls. We also met the resident peacocks and shared our lunch with white doves.
This year the garden celebrates it's 30th anniversary. Please make the effort to visit this special place, you will not be disappointed.
Open daily, Easter - end Sept, 10am - 5pm.
Dunragit, By Stranraer, DG9 8PH