If you are going to be up on the West Coast anywhere near Gairloch or Poolewe then you need to consider visiting Inverewe Gardens.
They are stunning anytime of year, with nice cafe (you can visit the cafe without having to pay to go into the gardens).
What Are Inverewe Gardens?
What Are Inverewe Gardens?
Inverewe Gardens are botanical gardens set on the West coast of Scotland. They are warmed by the Gulf Stream enabling them to grow a much wider variety of plants than is normally possible in Scotland. The results are stunning gardens which are packed full of interest whatever your age.
The house is now open to visit. It’s well worth a stroll through.
Don’t miss the quirky light fitting in the entrance doorway. Once inside the main door you will find a guide who can help with any questions you might have.
There are two rooms on the ground floor to visit. The interpretation is done really nicely with explanations on objects – it’s a quirky way to convey useful stuff.
In the kitchen there are some activities to try out such as identifying things by their smell and texture.
The final room is a art gallery.
1. Inverewe Gardens Location
Inverewe Gardens are located on the coast and are warmed by the air of the Gulf Stream. The nearest village to Inverewe Gardens Scotland is Poolewe.
Inverewe Gardens are located at;
(Like many Highland postcodes it is actually quite a long way from Achnasheen so bear that in mind!)
Inverewe Gardens Telephone Number: 01445 712952
Inverewe Gardens Scotland email
2. Inverewe Gardens Opening Times
The opening times for Inverewe Gardens are as follows;
1 Jan-3 Apr, closed
4 Apr-30 Apr, daily 10.00-16.00
1 May-31 May, Wed-Sun, 10.00-16.00
1 Jun-1 Oct, daily, 10.00-17.00 (last entry 16.00)
2 Oct-31 Oct, Wed-Sun, 10.00-16.00
3. Inverewe Gardens Entry Costs
Here are the entry prices if you are paying to enter Inverewe Gardens;
- Entry for an adult is £13.00
- Entry for a family is £33.00
- Entry for a one adult family is £25.00
- Young Scot Entry is £1.00
Inverewe Gardens – Membership Option
Have you thought about becoming a National Trust for Scotland member?
Membership offers a lot of benefits and is surprisingly affordable.
Not only do you get free entry to National Trust properties in Scotland, but also in England and in quite a number of other countries around the world thanks to their partnerships (entry is either free or discounted).
There are also local members groups that arrange activities, alongwith members events such as deeper insights into properties, and sneak peeks behind the scenes.
On top of all that, there is also a members magazine too. It’s a real community.
Adult membership is £63.00 per year or £5.25 per month.
Annual membership for two adults and up to 6 children is £117.00 per year or £9.80 per month.
As you can see if you enjoy visiting properties and gardens it’s great value.
Check out more about National Trust for Scotland membership right here.
4. Travelling to Inverewe Gardens
Travelling from Inverness to Inverewe Gardens
- Travel time is around 1 hour and 45 minutes with a distance of 76 miles from Inverness to Inverewe Gardens Scotland.
- There are some lovely photo stops along the way so I would recommend allowing plenty of time.
Travelling from Gairloch to Inverewe Gardens
- The travel time is around 1 hour and 15 minutes with a distance of 50 miles from Ullapool to Inverewe Gardens Scotland
- There is no single track road travelling from Ullapool to Poolewe.
Travelling from the sea to Inverewe Gardens
- Oh yes, you can actually arrive by boat to visit Inverewe! You just need to ring 01445 712950 to book the berth for your boat.
5. Inverewe Gardens Parking
On arrival you will see plenty of coach parking as you enter Inverewe, this is immediately on the right and also seems to be used by lots of camper vans and motor homes too.
The car parking area is nearest to the visitor centre.
There are picnic tables and rubbish bins in the parking area – handy if you want to take a picnic.
6. Inverewe Gardens Visitor Centre
There is a visitor centre directly opposite the car park which has an entrance clearly marked.
It is free to enter the visitor centre itself.
You will find toilets immediately to the left on entering the visitor centre.
There is also a shop and towards the back of the visitor centre is the desk where you pay and this is where you access the gardens.
Entry is of course free for National Trust for Scotland members.
The entrance to the gardens is through a door located beside the payment till.
Facemasks may be required for the visitor centre.
7. Inverewe Gardens – Accessibility
A powered scooter is available at the visitor centre. There is an accessible toilet and parking. The central path is flat and level and gives great views across the bay.
8. Inverewe Gardens – Visiting with Children
There are a number of interpretative panels for children, which give interesting facts about particular plants or parts of the garden. I found these interesting too!
There were also some interactive points with QR codes but I couldn’t get these to work – perhaps because of a poor phone signal?
The main paths are suitable for buggies and pushchairs. The main paths are shown in green on the map you are given at the visitor centre. The red paths would require quite a lot more effort and are steeper in places too.
9. Inverewe Gardens Dogs
Dogs are allowed into Inverewe gardens. You take them through the visitor centre to access the gardens.
Of course, you need to take poo bags with you and ensure you pick up after your dog and ensure they are well behaved.
If you don’t want to go into the gardens themselves there is a dog walking area beside the car park.
You can also access the Pinewood trail from the car park area too.
10. When Is the Best Time to Visit Inverewe Gardens?
Well actually anytime because there is always something to see, with plenty of interest and colour whatever the month.
However, a particularly good time is during April and May when the rhododendrons are in bloom. Inverewe has over 400 varieties of rhododendron in the garden.
11. Who Created Inverewe Gardens?
Osgood Mackenzie is the man behind the gardens. He was 20 years old when he was given the estate. At the time there was no house and nothing other than a barren and quite rocky area leading down to the sea.
Osgood knew that to achieve his aim of creating a garden he needed to protect the plants from the strong winds which would have blown salt all over them. The first thing constructed was shelter belts to protect the plants and trees. He also had the house built, although unfortunately this was later destroyed by fire.
12. Inverewe Gardens – Who Owns Inverewe Estate?
The estate, which covers around 12,000 acres in total, is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
The estate was left to the National Trust for Scotland by the daughter of Osgood Mackenzie, Mairi. She took over the gardens and estate in 1922 when her father died.
They now manage the gardens, which include a holiday house.
They have a team of gardeners who look after the amazing collection of plants and trees as well as a team looking after our visitors in the visitor centre and cafes.
13. Inverewe Gardens Facebook
Check out the Inverewe Gardens facebook page.
It’s always got updates about the gardens, with details of events and pictures too.
14. Inverewe Gardens Cafe
There are actually two cafes at Inverewe Gardens Scotland. One is located in the car park area which means you can access the cafe without going into the gardens themselves. This cafe is called Osgoods.
The cafe was operating within stricter Covid regulations when I visited, so much of the food and drink was pre-wrapped. Nevertheless, there was a good selection and it was great to see a Vegan pie option on the specials board.
Plant milk is available too.
The cafe itself is large, bright and airy. There is a lovely mural on the wall together with a model of the water processing plant.
Just beside the cafe are toilets which were spotlessly clean when I visited.
Inverewe Gardens Osgood’s Cafe Opening Times
- 1 Jan-early May, closed
- 1 May-31 Oct, Wed-Sun, 09.00-16.00
Inverewe Gardens Coffee Bothy
Inside the gardens themselves there is also a Coffee Bothy, located just beside the main house.
Inverewe Gardens Coffee Bothy Opening Times
- 1 Jan-11 Jul, closed
- 12 Jul-31 Oct, Mon & Tues, 11.00-15.00
15. Inverewe Gardens – Visiting the Gardens
On entering the gardens from the visitor centre you’ll come to a lovely musical tree sculpture. It’s really lovely and is made up of lots of tiny leaves which are dedicated to people or quotes. So many people seemed to miss this on their way to visit something in the garden.
On your right, you will see a path that will take you around to the Azalea Walk.
On the left, you will come to the entrance to the walled garden, although this can be also be entered via steps at the far end of the walled garden.
Continuing past the walled gardens (previously kitchen gardens for the main house and still featuring fruit and vegetables) you will come to a little covered look out point.
You will then reach a junction. You can turn up the hill and explore such delights as the very rare Wollemi Pines, the Bambooselem and the Peace Plot amongst other things. This area seemed to be a little quieter, perhaps because the paths were a little smaller and rougher and there are more gradients to deal with.
If you continue straight on you will come to Inverewe House. This was closed during July 2021 due to Covid19 restrictions. However, the toilets were open. The Sawyer Gallery was closed and the Bothy Cafe was closed, although this is open on Mondays and Tuesdays.
If you bear left and follow along with the water on your left hand side you will come to the Rock Garden area.
16. Inverewe Gardens – The Jetty and Surrounds
The jetty is tiny with wonderful views across the small bay. Whilst there I saw a heron fly across to it’s nest and I could hear the chicks. However, I wasn’t able to find the spot where you could look down into the nest and a few people I met seemed unable to find it either.
Cuddy rock is another viewpoint although this requires a bit of scrambling over rocks to get down to. This was a particularly peaceful spot.
On the return from the jetty, there is a walk up the hill signed Devils Bow. This has a lovely little lookout on the way up to the high viewpoint.
The high viewpoint was well worth making the effort to see. Unfortunately, I can’t share a photo as I got busy chatting with some other visitors, who were also there trying to spot the heron chicks.
On the way back down I went through the pond garden, which was very peaceful and quiet and I found myself coming back through the Big Trees area to Inverewe House, getting a very pleasant view of the house from the lower part of the garden.
The walled gardens were absolutely stunning and I particularly liked the sculpture, the detail on the handrails which looked like climbing ivy and the stunning gates.
The gates are not locked and if you head through them you will find a number of benches looking over the sea.
17. Inverewe Gardens – Boat Trips
If you want to get a view of Inverewe Gardens from the sea, whilst learning about and looking for wildlife then there are boat trips available to book. These are run by Jamie Elder who is a local fisherman and scallop diver.
His boat is a 31′ covered boat called Striker.
1 hour boat trips cost from £17.50 to £22.50 per person
2 hour boat trips cost from £20 – £30 per person
(You have to pay entry to the gardens to access these boat trips)
18. Want to Stay at Inverewe Gardens?
If you want the ultimate Inverewe Gardens experience then you can actually stay in a super cute cottage in the gardens themselves.
Garden Lodge is a 3 bedroomed holiday home set right in Inverewe Gardens itself. It is all on one level, with a wood burning stove, walk in shower and great reviews.
Prices start at £657 per week. Check out all the details right here.
19. Want to Stay Near Inverewe Gardens?
Poolewe is the nearest village to Inverewe and is within easy walking distance of the gardens.
Check out these cottages in Poolewe and the surrounding area.
20. Inverewe Gardens – FAQs
Do you need to book for Inverewe Gardens?
No, you do not need to book to visit Inverewe Gardens but you can do so if you would prefer by ringing the visitor centre.
Who Created Inverewe Gardens?
Osgood Mackenzie created Inverewe Gardens. He built a shelter belt of trees which protected the gardens from the worst of the winds on the coast. This, along with the climate, helped a wider range of plants to grow than you might normally find in Scotland.
Can You Take Dogs Into Inverewe Gardens?
Yes, Inverewe is dog friendly. You go through the visitor centre with your dog to get to the gardens. Dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.
Who owns Inverewe estate?
The National Trust for Scotland now owns Inverewe Estate. It manages all the grounds, the holiday accommodation and the visitor facilities.
What is the Postcode for Inverewe Gardens?
The postcode is IV22 2LG. Just bear in mind that some postcode areas are quite large!
Inverewe Gardens Opening Times?
The gardens are completely closed from the 31st of October to the 3rd of April.
From the 4th to the 30th of April they are open daily from 10am to 4pm. From the 1st of May to the 31st of May they are open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. From the 1st of June to the 1st of October they are open every day from 10am to 4pm. From the 2nd October of October to the 31st of October they are open daily from 10am to 4pm.
Who Created Inverewe Gardens?
Osgood Mackenzie. He planted a shelter belt of trees which enabled the growing of species that you would not normally find in this part of Scotland.
Inverewe Gardens – Conclusion
- Inverewe Gardens is well worth visiting, whether you are a keen gardener or not
- There is plenty of interest whatever your age, from super tall trees, to a lovely coastline and dramatic gardens
- The gardens are dog and child friendly
- Inverewe Gardens makes an ideal day trip
Check out my Scottish Highlands page for lots more ideas on things to do and places to go
Check out my guide to the Scottish Highlands for everything you need to know about this amazing area.
You might like this Scottish Highlands Road Trip itinerary and review – it’s a circular trip that can be done in 1 or 2 days from Inverness or Gairloch.
Check out 10 Important Things to Know Before Visiting the Highlands and have an even better trip.
Fancy a holiday cottage? Check out Highland Cottages with Hot Tubs for some great tubs in great places.
Check out my Scottish Highlands page if you need some ideas for your next trip.
Further Reading – Book Recommendation
This book covers the life and times of Osgood Mackenzie who created the gardens at Inverewe.
It’s ?14.99 and 400 pages long
- What’s the Difference Between an English Breakfast and a Scottish Breakfast? 🏴 🏴Wondering About A Scottish Breakfast? This article was inspired after hearing a fellow guest ask the hotel staff for a full English breakfast. The only problem with that was we were in a hotel in Scotland! My nephew and I paused, waiting for the hotel staff to correct the guests, but they simply took their… Read More »What’s the Difference Between an English Breakfast and a Scottish Breakfast? 🏴 🏴
- What is the Best Way to See the Scottish Highlands? 🏴See the Scottish Highlands by Train We are lucky to have several beautiful train routes in the Highlands. The first is probably the most famous, the West Highland Line. This runs from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh which overlooks the Isle of Skye. This railway was made more famous by Michael Palin who declared the… Read More »What is the Best Way to See the Scottish Highlands? 🏴
- 6 Shetland Hotels Reviewed – Find Your Ideal Stay Easily 🛌Looking to travel to Shetland? Want to know about Shetland Hotels? Here is my guide to 6 hotels that I have stayed in when visiting Shetland. Shetland Hotels Shetland Hotels The Lerwick Hotel, Lerwick Set just on the edge of Lerwick the Lerwick Hotel is set on a hill on the coast looking across to… Read More »6 Shetland Hotels Reviewed – Find Your Ideal Stay Easily 🛌
- Planning a Highlands Holiday? – Here’s What to Pack 🏴highlands holiday post image
- Is It Easy to Drive in the Scottish Highlands?If you are coming to the Scottish Highlands and planning on driving here are some things you need to know. The Scottish Highlands are a fantastic place to drive but it’s quite different from other parts of Scotland the UK. What It’s Like Drive in the Scottish Highlands? There aren’t any motorways in the Scottish… Read More »Is It Easy to Drive in the Scottish Highlands?
- What’s Best Time of Year to Visit the Scottish Highlands?As someone who has lived in the Highlands for over 20 years any time of year is a great time to visit the Scottish Highlands as there is always something wonderful to see. Here are some things to help you decide when it’s the best time for you to visit. Here is what the weather… Read More »What’s Best Time of Year to Visit the Scottish Highlands?
- Foyers House Hotel Review – Helpful Things to KnowLooking to stay at the Foyers House Hotel? Here is my review, including a video room tour, of a one night stay in November 2022. I was staying in Foyers because I was attending a photography course. My Overall Rating for the Foyers House Hotel – 😐 Price for Stay – 1 Night in November… Read More »Foyers House Hotel Review – Helpful Things to Know
- Highland Hotel Strathpeffer Review – Helpful Things To KnowLooking to stay in Strathpeffer? Check out this review of the Highland Hotel Strathpeffer, which includes a video tour of the room. What is the Highland Hotel Strathpeffer Like? The Highland Hotel is a large hotel in a historic building. The hotel has a wood-panelled lounge and dining area and some stained glass windows. The… Read More »Highland Hotel Strathpeffer Review – Helpful Things To Know
- Brodie Castle – Everything You Need to Plan Your VisitThinking of visiting Brodie Castle? With lovely grounds to walk in, a quirky castle, cute cafe and a fabulous play area what’s not to like? Check out this guide for all you need to know Brodie Castle – Everything You Need to Know 1. Brodie Castle Address and Telephone Number Brodie Castle address is; Brodie,… Read More »Brodie Castle – Everything You Need to Plan Your Visit