Knockdow House is a stately property located in the picturesque region of Dunoon, Argyll. Surrounded by mountainous terrain and grassy fields, this is a striking part of the world renowned for its rugged coastlines, white beaches, ancient forests and crystal-clear waters.
Benmore Botanic Garden
One of the most popular attractions in the north of Dunoon is Benmore Botanic Garden. This breath-taking mountainside garden is distinguished by an incredible selection of internationally acclaimed plants, as well as trees as tall as giants!
The park’s entrance is flanked by huge Redwood Giants, which are 150-year-old mammoth trees that create the most spectacular entrance. There are also Douglas fir trees, Scots pines and monkey puzzle trees.
This 120-acre mountainside garden is a fairy tale come true with its dramatic plants and foliage from all over the world, including places as far reaching as the Himalayas, the Orient and South America. One section of the garden is home to a Japanese maple bursting with flaming red colour. There is also the Benmore Dolphin pond, with magnificent views of the mountains in the background. Not far from the pond you will find the spending Golden Gates, which date back to 1878.
The more active visitors can make the climb to the popular viewing point, which is 450-foot-high and overlooks views of the Holy Lock and neighbouring mountains. During your journey up, you’ll get to enjoy the traditional Chilean and Bhutanese pavilions.
At any time of year this is a nature-lovers paradise. There are endless regions of the park to explore and you could while away hours here discovering the grounds.
For nature lovers, there is a bounty of wildlife to explore, including sparrow hawks and red squirrels running riot throughout the grounds! Those of you eagle-eyed enough might even be lucky enough to spot a golden eagle.
During the spring and early summer, the grounds of Benmore come alive with bright reds, pinks, yellows and whites. In autumn, many of the colours shift to auburns, yellows and browns. There are more than 300 species of world-class rhododendrons, all of which are bursting with colour and strategically arranged by botanical grouping and geographic origin.
Finally, no visit to Benmore is complete without visiting the Victorian Fernery. This unique part of the park is remotely situated at Benmore, nestled amongst a rocky cliffside. Here, you’ll find lush greenery, including ferns of all shapes and sizes sprouting from rocks, fountains, walls and floors.
Finally, Benmore is the first garden in Scotland to have signed up to the Silent Space initiative. This initiative encourages guests to sit in quietude for a while as they soak in the sights and sounds and immerse themselves in nature.
Entrance for adults is £7.00 while children under 15 get in for free.
Knockdow House is lucky enough to be in very close proximity to some of the world’s finest national parks and gardens. No visit to Argyll is complete without a visit to Benmore Botanic Garden.