Your holiday summary
|Price range||From £395|
|Travel partner||Brightwater Holidays|
Need help with your booking?
0330 333 6701
Private Gardens of Caithness & Sutherland
We will travel to the far north via Inverness, breaking our journey to visit the beautiful garden of Novar, situated near Evanton. We will explore the northern coast travelling amongst the jagged headlands and shining white sands. Our visits include two gardens both protected from the wind by high walls - Bighouse Lodge by Melvich and The House of Tongue in a spectacular setting on the Kyle of Tongue. We could not go to Caithness without including a visit to The Castle of Mey, the former summer retreat of the late Queen Mother, before continuing our coastal route south of Wick to visit two private gardens not often open to the public - Dunbeath Castle, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea, and Langwell, tucked away in a secluded strath near Berriedale. We will close our tour with a visit to Dunrobin Castle whose turreted structure and formal gardens certainly would not look out of place in the Loire Valley and lastly the smallest garden on our tour, the aptly named Bumblebee Cottage in Dornoch.
Comfortable coach travel throughout
Visits to the gardens of Novar, Bighouse Lodge, House of Tongue, Castle of Mey, Dunbeath Castle, Dunrobin Castle, Langwell and Bumblebee Cottage
Services of a Brightwater Holidays tour manager
We depart from our designated pick-up points and head north, stopping en route for refreshments. Our first visit is to the garden at Novar, in Evanton, which features a water garden with flowering shrubs, trees and plants, particularly rhododendrons and azaleas; and a five acre walled garden with a restored formal 18th century oval pond. Following our visit we will continue north by the scenic coastal road to Thurso and our accommodation at the St Clair Hotel. Dinner will be served in the evening.
Monday 8 July 2013
After breakfast we will travel along the coast, past the pioneering nuclear power station at Douneray, to Bighouse Lodge, situated at the mouth of the River Halladale. The two acre, recently restored, walled garden, originally laid out in 1715, consists of a central axis leading to a charming bothy with lawn, herbaceous borders, a sunken garden and four separate conceptual gardens behind the hedgerows. Each garden contains a sculpture to reflect the aspects of the Bighouse Estate, namely the River, the Forest, the Strath and the Hill. We continue to Tongue, the name of which has old Norse origins, though fairly obvious: it comes from “tunga”, a tongue of land projecting into the loch. Here we visit the House of Tongue, a 17th century house located on the Kyle of Tongue with a walled garden, herbaceous borders, old fashioned roses, vegetables, soft fruit and small orchard. We return to the hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Tuesday 9 July 2013
This morning following breakfast we will visit The Castle of Mey the former holiday home of the late Queen Mother. Originally Barrogill Castle it was first seen by the late Queen Mother in 1952, while mourning the death of her husband King George VI. Falling for its ruined, isolated charm she declared she would save the castle from ruin. Having acquired the most northerly castle on the British mainland, she renovated and lovingly restored it and for over half a century she spent her summers here and created the beautiful gardens you see today. This afternoon we will visit Dunbeath Castle, home to the private garden of Sir Archibald and Lady Edmonstone. These extensive gardens feature mature and new plantings, with a landscaped lake, water and bog gardens, a formal garden, rhododendrons and a woodland walk. Our final visit of the day will be to the private garden Langwell, a beautiful old walled garden with spectacular borders situated in the secluded Langwell Strath. Following our visit we will return to our hotel for dinner.
Wednesday 10 July 2013
This morning after breakfast we visit the gardens of Dunrobin Castle - the château style ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland. The castle is a wonderful early 19th-century fantasy castle with a touch of the Loire and a dash of Bavaria. Below the castle is a magnificent example of a formal nineteenth century garden. The gardens are laid out on terraces which descend to the sea. Following our visit we will return to our original pick-up points.
This holiday is booked by phone. Click 'book now' to make a reservation request to our travel partner who will call you back to confirm your booking details and take payment. To speak to a representative now please call 0330 333 6701.