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Castle Kennedy & Gardens
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Castle Kennedy & Gardens
Stair Estates, Rephad, Stranraer, Wigtowshire. DG9 8BX

Castle KennedyOpening Times / Dates:

Additional Facilities:
  • Tearoom with home baking and light lunches
  • Gift shop and Plant Centre
  • Free car and coach parking
  • Wheelchair access to the Gardens
  • All dogs on leads welcome
  • Guided walks by appointment
  • Facilities for children and babies
  • Designated picnic area

Castle Kennedy & Gardens is one of Scotland's finest gardens ... The inspiration of the 2nd Earl of Stair in the 1730's, the gardens are a magical landscape created on an isthmus between two large lochs. They extend to 75 acres of carefully landscaped terraces and avenues and contain the romantic ruined 16th century Castle Kennedy at one end and the 19th century Lochinch Castle at the other.

Castle Kennedy Gardens

There is always something new to experience in the garden's unique landscapes and settings. The warming influence of the Gulf Stream allows a remarkable collection of plants from the world's warmer climes to flourish outdoors.

Thousands of flowers are on view throughout the year including the colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas and embothriums early in the year and the stunning herbaceous borders in the Walled Garden later in the summer. There is also a two acre lily pond, a pinetum and a 100 year old Monkey Puzzle Avenue to enjoy. New for visitors is a Snowdrop Trail open at weekends in February and March, offering visitors the opportunity to walk or drive along 2 miles of snowdrop banks by the loch shore.

Perfect for exploring, four carefully designed walks of different lengths and interests have been designed for visitors. These reveal the full garden experience throughout the seasons as well as the permanently enchanting woodland and loch side views.

For a quick coffee, a light lunch or a delicious cream tea, eating in the tearoom is a delightful experience. Charmingly situated, it offers unparalleled views of Castle Kennedy throughout the year. Choose from an ever changing selection of soups, jacket potatoes, toasted sandwiches, cakes and drinks. Using locally sourced fresh ingredients in traditional recipes from Lochinch Castle, delicious home made food is available for all the family.

Castle Kennedy GardensThe gardens offer a number of seasonal activities for children, including quizzes and family trails. In additional there are baby changing facilities and high-chairs available both at the tea room and new picnic area.

The Gift Shop sells original gifts, accessories, crafts, books and souvenirs including a detailed souvenir guidebook and postcards of the garden.

Near the entrance to the grounds is a Plant Centre with a wide selection of rhododendrons and other plants available to purchase many of which are home grown.

We welcome all groups to the garden and do all we can to make your visit as easy and enjoyable as possible. If you would like to find out more about group bookings and discounts, please call 01776 702024.

Castle Kennedy & Gardens is for everyone, so we strive to be accessible. There is a wheelchair friendly route limited only by the grassy banks as well as a wheelchair available at the main entrance and reserved parking spaces in the car park.

Castle Kennedy & Gardens Summer
Competition & Events

Castle Kennedy & Gardens are the place to be this summer! With two magical open air theatre performances of 'The Wind in the Willows' on the 15th of July and 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' on the 8th of August, as well as a fantastic Art & Photography Competition for everyone, there really is no better place to visit this summer.

Situated in front of Castle Kennedy, and with the wonderful backdrop of the gardens behind, they promise to be enchanting summer evenings not often found in Galloway.

The Wind in the Willows presented by Heartbreak Productions
Wednesday, 15th July 2009
6.00pm, with the grounds opening at 4.45pm for picnics.

  • Take a trip with Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger and revel in their outlandish adventure in this charming timeless children's classic.  With live music, song and dance this promises to be an entrancing and entertaining theatre experience for all the family.

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare  
Saturday, 8th August 2009
6.00pm, with the ground opening at 4.45pm for picnics.

  • ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’Flitting fairies, forest bound adventurers and jovial tradesmen all join to create the best in family entertainment.

    Presented by Chapterhouse Theatre Company this will be a perfect summer evening for all.

Costs for the above are:

  • Advanced tickets:
    Adults £10.00, students and children £6.00, Families (2 adults and 2 children) £25.00
  • On The Day Tickets:
    Adults £12.00, Students and children £8.00, Families £32.00.
  • There will be light refreshments available, free parking, toilets and
    baby changing facilities.
  • Please come suitably dressed for the weather, and bring insect
  • Please also bring your own rugs or low backed seating and torches.

Please phone Castle Kennedy Gardens 01776 702024 for more information.

The 2009 Art & Photography Competition

The Summer Art and Photography Competition will run from June until the end of October.

  • This year's theme is 'Water in the Landscape'.
    This competition gives people the opportunity to discover what Castle Kennedy and Gardens has to offer this summer, as well as a chance to win some fantastic prizes (including  a return trip for a car + 4 passengers to Belfast), and to have their picture printed in the Free Press! Entrants can draw, sketch, paint or photograph their view of water in whichever medium they choose. Judging will take into consideration the composition chosen and the skill of the artist.
  • Last year's winning entry for the Summer Art Competition – Hannah McIntoshThe competition will be split into four age categories. These are: age 4-7 (p1-p3), age 8-11 (p4-p7), age 12-18 (secondary) and age 18+ (adult).
  • Entrants to the competition must fill out an application form. These are available from the Gardens on entry.
  • All entrants will receive a 50% discount for one adult and one child to create their artwork. Thereafter, entrants can enter the Gardens for free to complete their work.
  • Sponsors in 2009 include, Baxters, J M Trains, Moodies, Daisy Chain at Reids, McKenzies, Stranraer & Wigtownshire Free Press as well as Stena Line.

Please phone Castle Kennedy Gardens 01776 702024 for more information.

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