The Hebrides in Colour
7 nights including 2 Gala Dinners
The mild climate of north-west Scotland is dramatically influenced by the warm North Atlantic Drift, giving rise to world-class gardens that are a rarity in such northerly latitudes. All are unique, not only for their magnificent collections, but for the wild, untamed beauty in which they stand.
The walled garden at Ardmaddy is shielded by mature woodlands and protected from the Atlantic winds by the elevated castle to the south. Today, we can appreciate rhododendrons, azaleas and climbing plants which line the walls, ahead of our visit to the 20-acre plantsman’s paradise of Arduaine Garden, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.
Colonsay House Gardens are set in a natural landscape of informal woodlands and have been in the Strathcona family for over 100 years. A relaxing cruise offers wonderful views of the columnar basalt structure of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa, before heading to the remote, hidden gem of Lip na Cloiche Garden on Mull.
Steaming north through Kyle Rhea and The Narrows we arrive at Plockton, where Attadale Gardens await, skilfully restored by owner Nick MacPherson following the devastating storm in 1980. Pausing a while on Raasay, our next port of call is the jewel in the crown of Highland gardens, Sir Osgood Mackenzie’s masterpiece, Inverewe.
A navigation of the Inner Sound brings us to our final garden at Armadale Castle, where the 40 acres attractively complement the Gothic mansion ruins, sheltered by 200-year old trees. The Farewell Gala Dinner is preceded by a sail through the scenic Small Isles.