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BLAIR CASTLE - HERCULES GARDEN

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Blair Atholl
Pitlochry
PH18 5TL

Signed from A9, north of Pitlochry. SatNav postcode PH18 5RE.

9 acres

Tel
01796 481207

Visit website

Opening Hours

Daily, 10am–5.30pm (last entry 4pm), 1 Apr–28 Oct.

Admission

Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies Wed.

Facilities

  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children’s play area
  • Dogs welcome
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Toilets

Features

  • Herbaceous border
  • Pond or lake
  • Sculpture

About the garden

Owned by
The Blair Charitable Trust

Owned by The Blair Charitable Trust, the first impression of the landscape around Blair Castle is one of the sweeping lawns and magnificent trees. Next a geometric layout reveals itself, but visitors have to explore further to discover the nine-acre walled Hercules Garden. Created between 1747 and 1760 by the second Duke of Atholl and his gardener John Wilson, then abandoned in the 1960s, it was finally restored in the last decade of the 20th-century. Hercules overlooks the garden and from there, visitors get a fine view of the lines of fruit trees that sweep down to the ponds running through the centre of the garden.

The terrace along the north wall is divided by yew buttresses and flanked with herbaceous and rose borders. The formal layout is enhanced by statuary, ornamental buildings and an arched Chinese bridge. Plants are chosen to suit the northern climate including herbaceous plants such as Phlox, Echinops, Hosta, Astilbe and Aster, which team together with annuals and bulbs. Fruit trees that bud late and fruit early, shrub and climbing roses and a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs, many having a scent and fine autumn colour, make up the mix.

From the walled garden, a walk leads to the ruins of St Bride's Kirk, dating back to the 12th-century, and Diana's Grove mainly planted in the late 19th-century with many exotic conifers; today they are some of the tallest and finest specimen trees in the country. From here, the path from the statue of Diana leads visitors back to the castle.

Plants of special interest

  • Alliums
  • Fruit bushes/trees
  • Grasses
  • Lavender
  • Roses

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.