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Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Cowden Garden
Upper Hillfoot Road
FK14 7PL

7 acres plus 25 acres of parkland

07876 117703

Visit website

Opening Hours

10.30am–5pm, Mon–Sun, summer; 10.30am–4pm, Wed–Sun, winter. Opening times may vary – please see website for full details.


Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (member 1 only for joint memberships) applies Thu.


  • Accessible facilities
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children’s play area
  • Children's activities
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets


  • Autumn colour
  • Japanese garden
  • Pond or lake
  • Woodland

About the garden

Owned by
Sara Stewart

This is a stunning historic Japanese garden created by renowned explorer Ella Christie. In 1908 she visited Japan where she was inspired to establish her own Japanese garden. She appointed Taki Handa, who had studied English, Horticulture and Botany at Doshisha Women’s College in Kyoto to create Sha Raku En, ‘the garden of pleasure and delight’.  

Cowden remains the only Japanese garden of its size to be accredited to a female Japanese landscape architect. Sara Stewart inherited the garden in the 2000s and in 2014 appointed Professor Fukuhara, winner of a Gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to spearhead a restoration.

Cowden Garden includes a stroll garden, antique lanterns, bridges and a new addition, the Garden Pavilion. In 2021 the Stewart Adventure Woodland opened. It  includes a large tree house, boardwalk, woodland activities for children and a network of woodland paths. 

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Alpines
  • Conifers
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Daffodils
  • Ferns
  • Heathers
  • Hostas
  • Irises
  • Lilies
  • Meconopsis
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers

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.